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Old 10-01-2003, 09:35 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
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Can lilo work without the lilo.conf file?

this question arises from the fact that that i have installed slackware 9 and in that distro have installed lilo as my boot manager

lilo.conf is located in the /etc of my slack partition, but if i delete it the slack partition, will lilo still work (to boot my OSes?)

also, just a point of clarification, if I want to remove lilo, what command do I use and will it remove it or replace it with an "old boot record" as is basically stated in the man file?

does windows need a boot manager installed to the MBR or just an empty one?

so, it is probably possible to guess that I need to get rid of the boot loader from my MBR, but I do not have a windows xp cd (since it was preinstalled with my pc), and one last thing, what is the command to install lilo to a floppy?

thx in advance
Old 10-02-2003, 12:00 AM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Melbourne
Distribution: Ubuntu Breezy
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I cannot say exactly what will happen to lilo if you remove your slackware partition, my guess would be that lilo would still work fine, because lilo.conf isn't actually read at boot time, however you would lose any way of being able to adjust it's settings (without the /sbin/lilo command).

The way to remove lilo is by installing another boot loader.
for windows you accomplish this by typing (at a windows command prompt) :

fdisk /mbr

which installs the windows boot loader, please note that this will boot only windows and it's a bit fiddly to get linux onto the xp boot menu.

and i'm not sure how to install lilo to a floppy disk

have fun,
Old 10-02-2003, 12:19 AM   #3
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Registered: Aug 2003
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I'm not a big fan of lilo but as far as I know, yes, lilo will still work even if you delete /etc/lilo.conf or you Slackware partition. Unlike grub which reads its config file every time it loads, lilo embeds it's configuration inside the bootsector. That's why everytime you make a change to lilo.conf, you have to run lilo again so that it reinstalls with the new configuration.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think during winnt4/2k/xp installation, the nt boot loader is only installed in the bootsector of the first accessable active partition it finds, the MBR is replaced by a standard MBR that simply boots the active partition.

If your lilo is inside MBR and you want to remove it, you can use "fdisk /mbr" commmand with any dos bootdisk that has the fdisk utility. The fdisk /mbr command does not wipe out the MBR, it just restores it to a standard one mentioned before.

To sum it up, when your MBR is a standard one, and your nt loader is installed in the active partition, windows will load.

If you want to install lilo to a floppy disk, simply edit your /etc/lilo.conf , and change the boot option to boot=/dev/fd0
then run lilo, it'll then install itself to the floppy disk.

Last edited by Demonbane; 10-02-2003 at 01:35 AM.


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