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Old 03-09-2005, 01:29 AM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Gentoo
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LILO / boot disk / WinXP all lock on bootup

I installed another memory module at timings which were far too aggressive, and my system got FUBAR'd. I was looking for an excuse to tear apart the Windows / Linux partitions anyhow, so I fdisk'd the system and re-installed Linux first (after turning the timings to fail-safe). I did the partitioning with fdisk (my first time seriously using the program). I partitioned 60MB for the W95 LBA drive (type c), 60MB for the ext3 drive, and the rest (~3GB) for swap. Linux installed successfully. I used Grub for the loader. Upon reboot, Grub hung before the splash screen. I booted back with the LiveCD, uninstalled Grub, installed Lilo, and tried again. Lilo hung with just "L" printed on the screen. I checked the config (everything seemed ok), and tried again. Nothing.

This is where things get weird.

I tried rebooting with my Windows XP CD to see if I needed to format the Windows drive (for some reason), and it hung before loading anything. I know the CD to be working. I then tried to boot from a floppy, and that also hung before loading anything (you know your box is fsck'd when it doesn't boot from the dang floppy disk). I messed around with the partition table, changing bootable flags, DOS compatability, etc. Nothing worked.

I immediately suspected faulty hardware, but I can boot with the LiveCD and mount the ext3 partition on which Linux was installed just fine. I also compiled my entire system on it, so I figured it unlikely that there was some drive error. I suspected that since hda1 was large (60MB) it failed... however, I can't prove it. There are no BIOS updates for my computer.

I heavily suspect the partition table (what else could cause anything that tries to access the drive on bootup to fail?). Any ideas?
Old 03-09-2005, 03:03 AM   #2
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Registered: May 2003
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If you can't boot from a floppy, it's not your hard drive obviously. Which is where your partition table resides.

Floppy accesses cpu, memory, motherboard chipset.

If I were you, I'd pull the battery out of the motherboard, wait 3 minutes, put it back in and try again. If you still can't boot from a floppy, then you are in for a real crappy day.
Old 03-09-2005, 04:10 AM   #3
Registered: Nov 2004
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I think it is the problem that you install grub on the mbr and then install winXP change the mbr. The most important is then you install lilo. There may also be some problem with you windows partition. I mean the disk sector of windows partition or mbr destoryed.
I don't know if I predict is right.
But now what you can do is use your linux to fdisk your partition and don't foget to make a boot disk and install grub or lilo again not in mbr.


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