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Old 04-11-2014, 07:11 PM   #1
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Unhappy Slackware 14.1 boot problems

Hi, I recently installed Slackware 14.1 on a Toshiba external hard drive on my Toshiba Satellite Laptop. The install went fine as far as I can tell and I installed all the necessary packages, however I,m having problems booting to the external drive. I initially just went into the BIOS and set HDD/SDD to highest priority and thought that would work, but it didn't. It just loaded Windows 8 normally (which is what I'm using right now and plan to use in addition to Slackware as soon as I can it to work). Then I removed my internal hard disk thinking that it would leave the computer no choice but to boot to the external disk, however I got an error message which told me I had no OS installed (or A hard disk for that matter) and prompted me to contact my system admin. I'm at a loss for what I should do and at this point all suggestions are welcome, thanks.


Thank you all so much, your suggestions are great! However my problem continues, I plugged all my drives and my install disk back in and I loaded LILO so I could install GRUB that way, however when I went to boot up Slackware I got a "KERNEL PANIC: unable to sync VFS" error (or at least it was something like that). It might also be worth noting I'm using a bootable USB stick as an install disk (I'm not sure that matters, but I felt it was a note worthy fact none the less). Once again, thanks for all suggestions posted so for and for all to come.

Last edited by LinuxUser12345; 04-12-2014 at 11:26 AM. Reason: I feel I need to add more info
Old 04-12-2014, 12:05 AM   #2
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Probably because Slackware uses LILO boot loader. I never use LILO but Grub. Your problem has something to do with bootloader or mapping of drive.

Try use a linux live cd (Mint or any of choice) then "chroot" into your Slackware installation. Put on your Slackware install CD and go to folder /extra there you have a tgz or txz file for Grub bootloader: you must complete the installation of grub at this point else same problem recurs. Here is a good grub 2 tutorial.

However if you know about Lilo you may confront the problem from there, I assume lilo is capable of that. (I have no knowledge about this boot loader.)

Another way is to save your important files and install Slackware from the hard drive, it only takes about 5 Gigabytes of space to do that, you may resize your current windoes installation to provide that needed space.

Finally, you can install Linux Mint on that external drive: Mint manages the bootloader configurations (at install phase) before it goes to reboot. This way you can save your effort. Install Slackware later when you have become better familiar with booting process.

Good luck.
Old 04-12-2014, 03:51 AM   #3
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for booting an external drive with lilo . You should make a initrd.img and make sure you have the right drivers for it.

also the use of grub2 that does come already installed on slackware14.1 is a good way to go also.
grub2 loads few more drivers at boot.
so if I was you I would put everything back hard drives and all. boot from your cdrom and then select the external hard drive to boot to.
how to boot from cdrom
In a pinch, you can boot your system from here with a command like:

boot: hugesmp.s root=/dev/sda1 rdinit= ro

In the example above, /dev/sda1 is the / Linux partition.
then. once using the kernel from the cdrom to boot your external drive. you want to create an initrd.img
then edit your /etc/lilo.conf to use the generic kernel and then run sbin lilo.

or install grub2
# grub-install /dev/sda <---your external hard drive. This assumes you are using the disk /dev/sda, adjust if this is not the case.
# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
one other thing. when you partitioned you external drive and then formatted it. Did you set that partition active or boot-able?
another thing to do after it is running from the cdrom emergency boot. is to run the command blkid this will list your drives.

Last edited by Drakeo; 04-12-2014 at 04:35 AM.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:23 AM   #4
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Member Response


Welcome to LQ!

Slackware Doc Project is very helpful. Look at:

These Slackware Doc Project links should help;
Hope this helps.


boot failure, externalharddrive, laptops, slackware, toshiba

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