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Old 09-30-2004, 11:46 PM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Slackware 10.0
Posts: 14

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Boot issue with LILO and vfat

I set up my system with Slackware. I made a 25 megabyte boot partition, a 1200 megabyte SWAP partition and I made a 2000 megabyte /home partition. The rest of my disk I used for /

I tagged Partition 1 as linux. Partition 2 as SWAP and Partition 3 as linux and Partition 4 as linux

I am using linux fdisk to do this.

I tagged the boot partition as bootable.

I went through install and when it got to LILO it didn't work.

If I use a windows disk and fdisk my drive with a 25 meg partition and make it active, then format it in DOS with nothing else done to the rest of the disk. Then I enter Linux setup. Fdisk and make the rest of the disk as above partition 2, partition 3, and partition 4 with the same setup,

1 is /boot vfat now
2 is SWAP
3 is /home linux
4 is / linux

I go through install and it loads LILO to the MBR and everything works fine.

Even though with my boot partition tagged as bootable, if it is a linux file system it does not work. It only works if the boot partition is vfat

Why is this? Do I need DOS to do this? Am I missing something in Linux FDISK?
Old 10-01-2004, 12:55 AM   #2
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 626

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Re: Boot issue with LILO and vfat

Originally posted by user_of_slack
I went through install and when it got to LILO it didn't work.
You don't say what the error was, so it's hard to say what went wrong. Did you try to put lilo in MBR or on the /boot partition the first time?

You don't really need a separate boot partition if you're putting lilo in MBR, which is probably why it worked the second time. You could have used NTFS on /boot partition and lilo would still work in MBR.

Try installing without a separate boot part and put lilo in MBR
Old 10-01-2004, 05:36 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Slackware 10.0
Posts: 14

Original Poster
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I have gotten LILO to work based on your advice. Below is a follow up for more information...

From What I read, When installing Linux, You should make a small boot partition under 25 megs.

I always wrote to the MBR. I did that on many occasions but I always had a dual boot system, The /dev/hda1 was always a vfat partition on my system.

This time I dumped windows altogether :-) This is where my post came from... I only had linux partitions and a linux swap partition. I tagged the boot partition as bootable but when installing slackware it said failure ...see below..

I took your advise here and didn't make a boot partition. I have one large / and a 1200M swap partition. I installed to the MBR and it worked with no problem.

In the past I would have

/dev/hda1 vfat /win
/dev/hda2 linux /boot
/dev/hda3 linux /
/dev/hda4 linux swap

I would install LILO to the MBR

I tried:

/dev/hda1 linux /boot
/dev/hda2 linux /
/dev/hda3 linux swap
Writting to the MBR failed

Changing to

/dev/hda1 linux /
/dev/hda2 linux swap
Writting to the MBR worked fine

The error with Slackware gave no real help:

LILO install Error #1

Sorry, but the attempt to install LILO has returned an error, so LILO has not correctly been installed. You'll have to use a bootdisk to start your machine instead. It should still be be possible to get LILO working by editing /etc/lilo.conf and reinstalling LILO manually. See the LILO man page and documentation in /usr/doc/lilo for more help.

My problem is solved now and my system boots via LILO.


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