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Old 11-21-2005, 03:54 PM   #1
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Registered: Nov 2005
Distribution: Fedora Core 1
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BIOS settings and Linux Disk Partitions

I recently installed Fedore Core 1 on a PC w/a 32 GB hard drive. Prior to the installation, in the BIOS settings, I accidentally set the hard disk mode to LARGE instead of AUTO-DETECT. I'm using Award BIOS, which allows you to do this.

Linux is now running on the system. However, I want to know what effect this mistake had on the installed OS, i. e. would a different partition table have been created if I had set the disk mode to AUTO? Or does it matter? If I change the disk mode back to AUTO-DETECT in the BIOS now, will Linux still boot? (I can't check this because I'm now several hundred miles away from the box I set up!)

The reason I'm asking is I can't seem to get the GRUB boot loader to work--now whenever the BIOS boots from the hard drive, all I see is "GRUB" and nothing else. I read somewhere that GRUB only works with disks in LBA and CHS modes. So I always have to boot the OS from a Linux boot floppy.

Please let me know. Thanks.
Old 11-22-2005, 12:46 AM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2002
Location: East Centra Illinois, USA
Distribution: Debian stable
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I recently had a similar problem. I added a 160G drive as Master, and moved the existing 40G drive to Primary Slave. I went through the motions of cloning the 40G to the 160G, edited /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/menu.lst on the new drive, then tried to boot from the new drive.

Got an error: something about 'exceeds 1024 cylinder limit'. Puzzled over that for a few hours; then I realized my error. I didn't edit the BIOS!

Reboot, hold down the delete key during POST, and edit these parameters for the hard disk: # cylinders, # heads, # sectors. The BIOS will set the disk size for you.

The LARGE setting shouldn't hurt anything (I couldn't get auto-detect to work properly).

The BIOS doesn't write the partition table. You do that with the partitioning application.

What's happening, basically, is that the BIOS hasn't been properly informed about the size of the disk. That being said, if the entire grub installation isn't in the first 1024 cylinders, you only get what's in the MBR.

Change the settings I mentioned above: cylinders, heads, and sectors.

Then try again.

Of course, you've edited the bootloader config and /etc/fstab to show proper entries for partitions and locations of files?
Old 11-22-2005, 01:55 AM   #3
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Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Mandriva mostly, vector 5.1, tried many.Suse gone from HD because bad Novell/Zinblows agreement
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FC1 sounds extra old.
With a 38 Gb HD you can try newer linux version


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