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Old 01-30-2004, 05:21 PM   #1
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Angry Can't get Fedora 1 to boot

My box has 2 hard drives One SCSI and the other IDE. The SCSI disk contains Win NT4 and 2K that i need for work. The IDE contained my old RH 7.2 partition that i was upgrading and a Fat16 partition that I use to share data between OS's.

When I initally installed I wanted grub to go on the MBR and then use that as a boot loader. However the installer never detected the SCSI disk (and I never caught that when i installed). Everything appered to install successfully and then I went to create the emergency boot disk and the installer oh so helpfully informs me that the friggin' kernal is too large for a diskette. I reboot and hit the Windows 2K boot loader and see no sign of grub. I expected to only be in Fedora since it didn't detect the SCSI disk so I'm really confused.

I'm hoping someone can give me tips for either creating a CD-ROM boot disk for Fedora or a way to install grub on a diskette or Cd-ROM via Windoze.

Old 01-30-2004, 05:40 PM   #2
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"I'm hoping someone can give me tips for either creating a CD-ROM boot disk for Fedora or a way to install grub on a diskette or Cd-ROM via Windoze."

You can create a lilo boot floppy that does not have a kernel on it. That way you do not run into size problems. I always create boot floppies by the method described in section 8 of this lilo HOWTO:

Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.

Steve Stites
Old 01-30-2004, 10:07 PM   #3
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Can you see the scsi disk from your installed Linux? Or do you have a really oddball scsi controller?

The other question of course, is if you normally set your bios to boot from the scsi first? The BIOS will check the IDE drives first (for a partition which has been "toggled" as boot-able. If the bios are at default.)

Normally, the safest assumption for the bootloader installation script is to assume that the boot-drive is going to be the master hard drive on the primary IDE channel. For Grub this would be (hd0,0)--IDE-0, Drive-0, partition-0. You need to look up the syntax for Grub yourself and write it on your scratch-pad. I will get confused trying to write it all down. There are many howtos on grub.

******I suggest you try setting the bios on your computer for booting on IDE and setting the bootable flag for the / (If you don't have a separate /boot primary partition--if you have this, toggle the bootable flag for the /boot partition.)******

So, the installation target (for your boot-loader) on your machine would be the scsi drive, wouldn't it? Because that is where the MBR for windows is located. The first partition of windows drive should be the one which is flagged as *boot or *Active or *Boot-able (whatever) so the bios will read that as the primary or boot drive. None of the other partitions should be toggled as a boot-able partition--that is what the boot-loader or boot manager is for.

You can check to see if this is so with fdisk from either O.S..

Then you need to read up on grub or lilo; which-ever you prefer. Because you are going to need to use exactly the right syntax to target the installation of "stage-1" to the appropriate MBR.

If you use a scratch pad to write down the instructions and syntax--and take your time to be sure you have it correct; it will be only a little painful.

Both lilo and grub make a back-up of the original MBR--although you can restore it pretty easily if you have the original bootable Win2000 CD. (Boot up to repair/rescue fire up the console and type fixmbr--just like with XP.)

And of course, there is the alternative, which involves delving into the guts of the windows boot-loader and copying a file or two to the root of the first primary windows partition. This one will have you using the windows chainloader/bootmanager as the. . . well, the bootloader. You just add the choice to boot linux as well as the other two. You can find a thread on how to do that here at LinuxQuestions--search for it.

You will want to do further reading to make appropriate changes so you don't have to chose between the different MS operating systems on a second boot manager (the MS one.) There are several ways to set things up to boot each O.S. directly from grub or lilo. It should take some editing and maybe a little swearing; but you should not have to re-install. The "Standard_Microsoft_Solution_for_any_fricking_problem" is hardly ever (never if you have decent backups) necessary with Linux.

Windows 2000 will most probably be the running the "chain-loader" for the MS operating systems as it is the "newer and improved-er" MS operating system. (It will have installed a few files to NT-4, if that is what resides in the first partition. The original NT files should have been saved/backed-up with .old or .something suffixes.)

Last edited by Eqwatz; 01-30-2004 at 10:42 PM.


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