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Old 01-12-2004, 04:24 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Kansas City
Distribution: college linux
Posts: 23

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no boot loader

I just reinstalled college linux on my laptop, and accidentally started installation without installing lilo first. Now all that happens when I power up my PC, is it prints out "LI_", and doesn't allow me to give any input. I have the setting set to Boot from the CD and it won't boot up Knoppix Gnoppix, or any of my other bootable cds. Does anybody have any ideas on how to fix this potential disaster?
Old 01-12-2004, 05:12 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Ronneby, Sweden
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Strange thing that it doesn't boot from CD. Are you sure that the BIOS settings are correct? What's on your hard disk (a broken LILO or whatever) can not be the culprit for your bootable CDs not working. The boot sequence in BIOS should be something like "A, CD-ROM, C" or similar.

If your laptop has a floppy drive, then you could try Tomsrtbt disk:
With it, you can mount your HD partitions and run lilo to restore the boot loader.

If you choose to use Tomsrtbt and want some help, feel free to ask again.

Good luck!
Old 01-12-2004, 07:38 PM   #3
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Brighton, Michigan, USA
Distribution: Lots of distros in the past, now Linux Mint
Posts: 748

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Yeah, I had this happen to me on a desktop a while back. Somewhere along the way, your lilo got messed up. Probably because you did the install, but didn't want to (or forgot/skipped) install lilo when you did the general installation. Now, Lilo's looking for the kernel and system maps it expects.

First stage boot loader has been able to load and second stage has been loaded but can't execute it.(geometry mismatch or /boot/boot.b has been moved without running the map installer)

I'm not sure why your cd won't work, and have to agree that something might not be setup right in your bios. If you don't get to the MBR on the hard drive (which you wouldn't if you booted from cd) there's no way for Lilo to have a problem. Neither Linux or Windows mess with the bios in this fashion.

Once you do get that figured out, you can reinstall, or it might be easier (and more educational) to boot knoppix or whatever, mount the partition, then "chroot /mnt/<whatever your mountpoint is>". This will "change root", meaning your partion will become the active Linux version instead of the Knoppix version. Then, simply check your /etc/lilo.conf to make sure it's modified and correct, and run "lilo" as root to install the new bootloader.

Hope this helps.


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