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Old 07-17-2004, 05:35 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: Slackware
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LILO question

Can LILO boot the cdrom and floppy devices? How would I set that up in /etc/lilo.conf? I would use the BIOS to do this, but it doesn't have an option for the cdrom, and it doesn't want to boot from a floppy.
Old 07-17-2004, 07:19 AM   #2
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I don't think that is possible.
Old 07-17-2004, 08:58 AM   #3
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it think it is possible
im on winblowz atm, but wen i switch back over ill check it out for you...peace
Old 07-17-2004, 06:30 PM   #4
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Distribution: Conectiva 10 - Conectiva 8 - Slackware 9 - starting with LFS
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Basically, lilo can boot anything which is visible bye the operating system at the time you install it. That means, when you run lilo after edit lilo.conf. Your problem is, lilo will need the exact diskette you have used when you installed lilo. If you copy another kernel to diskette after lilo install, it will not boot. I did not do any experiments with cdrom and I don't feel comfortable with this lilo idea because I don't know the underlying structure of the iso9660. For sure, the cdrom disk is not logically equal to a hard disk or a floppy. This is an adapted device, originally projected to audio recording. I think the software needs the ability to recognize the sound tracks and the data tracks, mainly to not try to execute your songs or play your programs. May be you could have more success using grub. I posted yesterday some procedures needed to install grub in one running system. The post is
Old 07-18-2004, 12:49 AM   #5
Registered: Jun 2004
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So it looks like I'll be better off using grub...

I'm using slackware 9.1. To uninstall lilo, do I just need to remove the package? Do I need to delete anything else? It's installed on the MBR, if that matters.

On I think the 4th time I booted, it gave me an error:
CRC error
-- system halted
I ran a google search on it and it said that the boot sector (in this case, the MBR) may be bad, which doesn't surprise me because this is an old computer.

I'd rather install grub to the boot sector of the root directory (/dev/hda2, it is a bootable partition). If I thought before I installed, I should have created a separate /boot partition. Stupid me. After all, I'm trying to make the cdrom bootable so I can install slackware 10, and doing that would destroy my bootloader.

How would I configure grub to boot from a floppy or cdrom? Possibly the chainloader command? What's grub's notation for a floppy device?

Thanks for the help,
Old 07-18-2004, 07:35 PM   #6
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
Distribution: Conectiva 10 - Conectiva 8 - Slackware 9 - starting with LFS
Posts: 519

Rep: Reputation: 34
I guess you always depends on the mbr for booting because during boot the bios brings the first sector to memory and jumps to the code existing on it. If you have there the dos boot sector, it will search for the active partition and then boot it. Lilo and Grub replaces this sector with its own code. So if you have a bad sector 0 your disk may be unbootable.
As you use slackware, for start up your system, you just need the boot diskette or the cdrom from the installation. In the lilo prompt, as you can see in the message provided by slackware,
In a pinch, you can boot your Linux system with a command like:
                    mount root=/dev/hda1
Of course, you have to change the disk/partition with yours. Speaking about install/uninstall of grub/lilo, both use the mbr or the first sector of the partition. So, if you install one, you are uninstalling the other. You don't need to remove the package from the system.
You don't have to think yourself stupid. There is no reason to have a separate boot partition in most ot the systems. One of the reasons, is the 1024 cylinder limit for the bios to boot in old systems. This problem was circumvented with the lba mapping for most of the disks until now.
If your cdrom isn't bootable, you can't change it. It's the age of your machine and its bios.
About this "CRC error", etc, you may have cabling problems. I had several in my life. Open your machine, dettach the flat cable, attach it again and give it a try.


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