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Old 11-15-2003, 09:51 PM   #1
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LILO/GRUB fail & Lost data

Please forgive me in advance for this long-winded query, but I would really like some assistance on (what seems) a major problem.

I have a system running Win98SE, and recently added a second HDD and tried installing RedHat 7.3 the new Samsung 80GB HDD. I let the installer choose most of the default settings, except I chose the LILO bootloader instead of GRUB (since that is what I have always used in the past).

When I restarted the machine, LILO gave the error "L AA AA AA AA". A search on the net indicated that this was an indication that the drive was not ready (?). I then used the boot disk, and RedHat booted, except for a DriveStatusError BadCRC warning. Another search of the net indicated that this could be due to a bad IDE cable - I changed the cable and the BadCRC error went - but I still got the LILO boot time error.

I thought that if there was something wrong with the IDE cable that maybe the installation was bad and so reinstalled RedHat over the top of the old one - again accepting all the defaults except LILO. I still got the same "L AA AA AA" message from LILO at boot.

I reinstalled yet again, this time using GRUB as the bootloader. This time I got a GRUB Read Error - again searching the net indicated an error with the drive. I could still boot RedHat with the bootdisk, and since I had done all these installations, I thought that maybe there was some corruption from the first installation, so I tried to reformat the drive. I followed the example on formatting the drive in the man pages, but stupidly I forgot that I wanted the format the Linux (hdc) drive, instead I formatted the Windows (hda) drive!!!

Is there anyway of getting back the data on my Windows drive????

In RedHat the "fdisk -l" command tells me that it is Linux system, but I can't access it. When I try and mount it I get a message saying that it is not a valid filesystem (I tried all the filesystem types listed in the man for mount).

Out of interest, what could be wrong with the RedHat installation that neither LILO nor GRUB work properly? (But my most important question is how to recover my Windows drive!!)

Many thanks in advance to anyone who can provide some assistance.

Old 11-15-2003, 10:02 PM   #2
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I had a lot of problems with 7.3 installing getting exactly the same error. I never succesfully ever installed 7.3 with Lilo as a boot loader. I did eventually with Grub but it did not always go in first time.

As for recoveing Windows I am not sure if this applies to Win 98, but can you somehow boot to Dos. With my WinXP I have managed to get to the recovery (Dos based) and run FIXMBR which usually recovers any damage I have done to Windows Drive. Hope this helps a little.
Old 11-15-2003, 10:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply, but....

Sorry to hear about the problem with LILO/GRUB
Would RedHat 7.2 be any better?
(I would prefer to stick with RedHat 7.X since this is what we use at work)

Yes - I can boot to Win98 (and Win95) using boot disks. I have run "fdisk /mbr" but the HDD cannot be read because of its format.

Many thanks,


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