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Old 06-28-2004, 04:03 AM   #1
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 41

Rep: Reputation: 15
crazy boot troubles "disk read error"

this has me tearing my hair out.
I have just installed slackware 10 to a 200gb disk that has a 170gb ntfs partition on it, and i cannot boot it.
i have tried both lilo and grub.
To boot i have to use the slackware cd and the 'bare.i root=/dev/hda3 etc.. ' command, or a full kernal boot floppy.
I would be happy with just a bootloader floppy, at least to get me started.

Ill expalin my grub problem first. I followed the instructions to make a grub boot floppy, all went well. The relevent lines of my menu.lzt:

# For booting GNU/Linux
title GNU/Linux
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda3

my / partiton is hda3.
now when i boot off the floppy grub loads fine, but when i choose that option to boot i get "disk read error"

when i use lilo, and i install it to a floppy, its worse. I just get L 01 01 01 01 forever. This is apperently also a disk read error.

If i try installing lilo to the mbr, or even just hda3 and setting it bootable, bios simply says "invalid system disk"

Anyone know what could be the problem here?! Theres nothing wrong with my disk (hd) cause i can boot it using the slackcd method.

The only thing i can think of thats unusual is my partiton set up. It goes:
50mb(empty)->170gb(ntfs, primary)->8gb(/home)->800mb(swap)->4gb(/, primary)
my mb is new, so there shouldnt be a >1024 problem. I tried lba32 in lilo.
i even tried making a little /boot partiton at the start of the drive (thats what the blank 50mb used to be), but that didnt help.

I really have no more ideas what to try, any suggestions?
Old 06-28-2004, 04:22 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Switzerland (Europe)
Distribution: OpenSuSE, RedHat, Knoppix, IRIX + MacOSX
Posts: 198

Rep: Reputation: 31
Check the BIOS if the "Boot sector protection" (or similar) is active ?
Old 06-28-2004, 05:11 AM   #3
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 41

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
no, theres no such option in my bios, at least not that i can find

(Abit NF7-S)
Old 06-28-2004, 08:03 AM   #4
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 41

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
actually it did occur to me, i couldnt boot off that drive either when i had just windows on it, disk copied from my main drive.
Is it possible that there is something wrong with the drive? Its brand new.

EDIT: oh no, wait that would prbly because the MBR didnt get copied.

Last edited by dave_blob; 06-28-2004 at 08:16 AM.
Old 06-28-2004, 12:14 PM   #5
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 41

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
this is crazy, i got lilo to go on the floppy, and now when i try to boot my kernel from the menu i get:
which means: ``Illegal command''. This shouldn't happen, but if it does, it may indicate an attempt to access a disk which is not supported by the BIOS.

Old 06-28-2004, 04:24 PM   #6
Registered: Feb 2003
Posts: 51

Rep: Reputation: 15
from the way your partitions look, it seems like your linux partition is at the end of the disk... don't bootloaders like the boot partition near the begining (i.e. < 32 gigs in? ). I can't seem to remember what exactly it was... currenty I am running a 250 gig disk, I have my windows part (10 gig) as hda1, linux partition (10gig) as hda2, linus swap hda3, and my 2 data partitions after that... and I haven't had any problems.

Also, are there any updates for your BIOS? just a thought....
Old 06-28-2004, 04:28 PM   #7
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Distribution: Ubuntu & Arch
Posts: 3,503

Rep: Reputation: 57
I had a similar problem a while back. Check the jumper settings on your hard drive and make sure you have it set to Primary Master and not Cable Select.


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