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Old 02-17-2005, 08:14 AM   #1
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Registered: Feb 2005
Posts: 5

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Hung after installation of Mandrake 10.1 community


I've installed Mandrake 10.1 community on my old PC (pentium MMX).

I've 2 HDD and I have installed linux on the second one (on the first I've Win95...). I have on this second HDD 4 partitions:
hdb1, 100MByte /root
hdb2, 3GB /
hdb3, 256MB swap
hdb4, 2GB vfat
(the HDD is a 20GB seagate, the rest of the space is unpartitioned).

The installation process seems to go fine but at the end of the installation, when i press the button "reboot", the PC does not reboot.

If I manually reset the PC, BIOS starts and then LILO or GRUB (I tried to install both) starts. If I choose windows, windows starts.

At LILO or GRUB prompt, if I choose linux the following happen:
1) the screen goes black (in text mode)
2) it appears in the top of the screen something like (more or less):


3) after a couple of seconds the PC resets itself and restarts from BIOS.

What is wrong?

I installed Fedora Core 1 and everithing went OK. I used fedora for at least 2 weeks without problems, then I tried mandrake...

Thanks in advance, Marco.
Old 02-17-2005, 09:01 AM   #2
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Warrington, Cheshire, UK
Distribution: Linux Mint 19.1 Xfce
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I'm assuming that hdb1 should read /boot not /root. I suggest you make a GRUB boot floppy and try booting from that. If that works, then the problem may be with your MBR. If you make your GRUB floppy boot Win 95 as well, you can use this to overwrite your MBR and get everything working.
Old 02-21-2005, 05:49 AM   #3
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Hi I'd like to conclude this subject telling you the whole story of this week end...

First of all, I DISCOVERED grub! It's a powerfull tool, not only to boot OS's but also in trouble shooting. I think even newbies should know the grub basic commands.

I made a grub floppy (one floppy image is on the mandrake cdrom, called hd_grub.img, others are on internet) and I tried to run the kernel that Mandrake installed on my /boot (hdb1) partition. NO WAY. As soon as I launch "boot" in the grub shell the screen gets black and the computer resets and reboots.

At this point I really thought the problem was in the kernel mandrake installed me. To prove it I needed another kernel, but it was not easy for me (newbie) to get a new kernel without a working linux...

I had the idea to boot my installation with the kernel, present in the mandrake cdrom, that is used by mandrake during the installation process (it is in CD1, /isolinux/alt0/vmlinuz). Since grub cannot access cdrom, I copied (with windows) that file from cdrom to C:\ and then I reboot the PC with grub floppy and I tried:

kernel (hda1)/vmlinuz ro root=/dev/hdb2

Fantastic. I had a lot of errors (since I did not load any initial ram disk, the kernel did not find many needed modules) but I got a working linux. Due to the missing modules, I couldn't access ext3, vfat and cdrom but I could access my / (I think recognized as ext2) and my /boot (just pretending in /etc/fstab that /dev/hdb1 is a ext2 partition...).

Then I tried the impossible: load the kernel as above and the initrd.img of the kernel istalled by mandrake on by /boot. I wrote in grub:

kernel (hda1)/vmlinuz ro root=/dev/hdb2
initrd (hdb1)/initrd.img

Even if with this try I got a kernel panic, I read an interesting error:

Loading ext3.ko module
ext3: version magic " SMP 686 gcc-3.4" should be " 386 gcc-3.4"
insmod: error inserting '/lib/ext3.ko': errno=8
Kernel panic

I try to interpretate: The kernel I'm using on this boot ( 386 gcc-3.4) does not like the ext3 module in the ram disk ( SMP 686 gcc-3.4) and refuses to load it. Well, is it comprehensible.

But, wait a minute. In Italy we say: Am I dreaming or I'm woken up? 686? SixEightSix????? I've a pentium MMX!!!!

If I understand, the initrd.img mankdake installed me is compiled for i686. My poor i586 cannot execute i686 code. I guess that also the kernel mandrake installed me is compiled for i686. This explains my problem: as soon the kernel starts, the processor finds some unknown 686 op code and resets itself!

Now I knew that the problem was on the kernel istalled by mandrake 10.1 community on my pentium MMX (thank's) . I needed a solution.

Since booting with the kernel from mandrake cdrom (without any initrd) gave me a working linux, then I could change the kernel just running rpm! I just needed a kernel rpm package! Again the mandrake cdrom contains a lot of kernels (with i586 extention!) and I hoped that someone would have really worked on a i586.

To move the files from the cdrom to / was not straight (remember, I do not have the modules for vfat, etc.). So I copied a couple of .rpm kernels (2.6.8 and 2.4.27) from mandrake cdrom (CD1 and CD2) to C:\ using windows. Then I copied the files from /mnt/mnt/windows to /mnt/boot using the rescue mode of mandrake cdrom (in rescue, all partitions are mounted on /mnt).

At that point I reboot with grub lauching (hda1)/vmlinuz ro root=/dev/hdb2

In the shell I ran:

cd /boot
rpm -iv kernel- (i do not remember the exact name, but it was a 2.6.8, with i586)

rpm did the job (it also reconfigured LILO) and I restarted the computer.

No luck! same reset problems.

I tried again: I reboot and then I wrote:

cd /boot
rpm -iv kernel-2.4.27......i586.rpm (i do not remember the exact name, but it was a 2.4.27, with i586)

after the installation I tried to reboot and....


The kernel 2.4.27 is now working, and the system is up and running! (I just had to restore the fstab with ext3 for /dev/hdb1)

To conclude, some question:
- Was it a known problem of Mandrake 10.1 community to install a kernel copiled for 686 on a 586 PC?
- Do you know if this problem has been solved in the Official release (I'm getting one). Will I be able to load a 2.6 kernel?

I hope this story was interesting and the info I gave you were useful.

Bye Bye to everyone.

Greetings from Rome, Marco.
Old 02-25-2005, 07:01 AM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Western Australia
Distribution: Icewm
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I am replying to some the bootloader issue

either lilo or grub was in your master boot record but not both
if lilo was it reports some errors like L OR LI OR LIL OR LILO
whereas grub normally reports errors with an error number .

if however you misunderstood the instruction because umm your preferred language is Italian then you may have installed grub or lilo in the first partittion or somewhere other than mbr.

if you are interested in grub check out the link in my signature.......lilo also has some devotees.

2) I suspect you did not follow my tutorial on how to get grub onto a floppy with your distros kernel and likely to need as well your distros initrd image file?

3) grub can read a cdrom but you need to read my tutorial on how to do it

4) I hope you know I am being terse as I don't speak Italian.
and grub will not work using absolutes
kernel (hda1)/vmlinuz etc

that line would change to 2
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz etc

good luck with mdk as I think its just great


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