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Old 10-22-2003, 09:35 AM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2003
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Unhappy LILO / Booting problem

I've got an old AMD 486 100mhz system with an ASUS VL/I-486SV2GX4 Motherboard. 32 megs RAM

Unfortunately the bios is not a flash chip so its stuck at the original version:


Now I had an old maxtor 500 meg drive in there running slack 8 fine

well I put in a 10 gig seagate drive from an xbox

now the bios won't recognize anything bigger than a 2 gig drive, thats fine. When installing slack 9 however fdisk sees the drive as the full 10 gigs.

So i made a 9 gig hda1 and 1 gig hda2 linux swap

installed everything - works a-ok.

Now the problem is LILO.

Install it in the root of hda1 and the system tries to boot from t floppy - doesnt find anything and hangs. Doesn't say anything. No LILO.. no LI.. no "insert system disk" - nothing.

Now if I install it in the MBR then when it tries to boot up I get

L 40 40 40 40 40
and the 40's just keep repeating as long as you let them.

Now I'm thinking there's a problem reading the root of the 1st partition sinceits 9 gigs and the bios only sees the drive as 2 gigs.. but im not sure why th eMBR lilo doesn't work.

So would I have to repartition the drive for a drive which is less than 2 gigs which is bootable, and then have linux on a 6 gig partition with 1 gig swap?

im thinking i can't boot a partition over 2 gigs due to the bios (which i can't reflash)

and yes hda1 is marked bootable.

i can boot the OS fine with a floppy but thats slow and i'd rather just get the system working without needing the floppy

anyone have any ideas/suggestions?

Old 10-22-2003, 12:28 PM   #2
Registered: Jul 2002
Distribution: OpenSuSE 11
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Well it might be a bios issue, so it will not boot to the bigger drive.
Old 10-22-2003, 12:35 PM   #3
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Registered: Oct 2003
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So would making a small partition that boots linux (one small enough that the bios sees it) not work?
or could i somehow use the old 500 meg drive which does boot fine and have it boot up the linux on the other harddrive?

i mean then it would be /hda
and i'd want it to boot /hdb1
and use /hdb2 as swap

or would this be too much of a PITA?
Old 10-22-2003, 01:14 PM   #4
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Montpellier, Milano
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You should creat a /boot partition at the begining of the disk, then do the rest as you wish.

Old 10-22-2003, 01:26 PM   #5
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would i be able to do this without having to destroy the first partition (9 gigs) and separate it?

is there a linux utility that will let me take 100 megs off for the boot partition from the 9 gig partition without deleting anything from it?

how big should the /boot partition be anyways? 100 megs should be more than enough right?

So right now I have

/hda1 - 9 gigs - ext2 (beginning of drive)
/hda2 - 1 gig - swap

and i want:

/hda1 - 100 megs - ext2 bootable (beginning of drive)
/hda2 - 8.9 gigs - ext2
/hda3 - 1 gig - swap

right? is there any way i could make the boot partition /hda3 and still have it at the beginning of the drive? (i'm assuming a small partition at the beginning will be able to be booted by the bios - at least I hope!)

also once I have this new partition how would I make it boot the main partition?

any links to tutorials or anything would be greatly appreciated - i've installed linux a few times but i'm far form an expert.. never had to make a separate boot partition (and I don't want to have to reinstall linux all over again on a fresh partition lol)

Old 10-22-2003, 01:56 PM   #6
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Montpellier, Milano
Distribution: RedHat
Posts: 81

Rep: Reputation: 15
I've found this thread
For the /boot partition size... 50MB would suffice, I remmember on RH6.x it was ~30MB (Or was it 37?....) I don't remmember.


P.s. 1GB SWAP is way to much, unless you would like to use your system for a specific task, but keep in mind that it's slow.


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