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Old 12-08-2004, 07:12 AM   #1
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Grub "error 18" on Mepis

I installed Mepis on my hard drive using the boot loader Grub. After the reboot grub barfs with error 18. I have read a few things on the Internets about it being a problem with the BIOS. However, I am wondering if I should install LILO and how.

Old 12-08-2004, 03:07 PM   #2
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"I installed Mepis on my hard drive using the boot loader Grub. After the reboot grub barfs with error 18. I have read a few things on the Internets about it being a problem with the BIOS. "

Here is the wiki explanation of error 18

"However, I am wondering if I should install LILO and how."

Since this is a BIOS problem LILO will have the same problem although LILO uses different terminology to describe the problem. The solution for LILO is the same as the solution for Grub.

Steve Stites
Old 01-06-2005, 06:54 AM   #3
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Taken from

Error 18: Selected cylinder exceeds maximum supported by BIOS
This error is returned when a read is attempted at a linear block address beyond the end of the BIOS translated area. This generally happens if your disk is larger than the BIOS can handle (512MB for (E)IDE disks on older machines or larger than 8GB on others.). In more practical terms this means the BIOS is unable to start executing the kernel because the kernel is not located within the block it can access at boot up time.

This can be circumvented by creating a boot partition at the beginning of the disk that is completely within the first 1023 cylinders of the harddrive. This partition will contain the kernel.

The kernel it self does not suffer from the same limitations as the BIOS so after the BIOS has loaded the kernel the kernel will have no problem accessing the whole harddrive. Newer BIOSes will automatically translate the harddrives size in a way that it can be completely contained within the first 1023 cylinders and hence modern computers do not suffer from this problem.


Just a guess, but you should try creating a boot partition as hd's first partition (for example, hda1).

I suppose you _could_ use the same /boot partition for both Fedora and Debian, but that would get you in trouble sooner or later.
Old 02-25-2005, 06:36 AM   #4
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altho that may the error reported its an oldie

you should have an option to enable LBA in your bios and that stops the error

check your motherboard site for a new bios but read the docs carefull

or create a /boot if you are too cautious to update bios and LBA fails


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