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Old 05-21-2001, 02:42 AM   #1
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Registered: May 2001
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OK, I'm a complete idiot: I just installed Linux on my Sony XG-39K laptop and when I boot the computer, I get
"L 00 00 00 00" .... repeat forever.

The machine also has Win2000 on it, but I'm unable to get to anything. Before the goof, I had Boot Magic. I was expecting the RedHat to ask me where I wanted to install LILO, but it never happened and I'm sure it put it in the MBR, where it ain't supposed to be. So I think my problem is that my MBR has been corrupted by LILO and Boot Magic is confused.

NOW, THE BAD NEWS: I don't have any backup diskettes --- In a fit of insanity, I chose not to make any boot disks, for linux, boot magic, OR partition magic. I am able to boot off of the Linux CD, but I think I'm just looking at the directory structure on the CD, not my computer.

Someone give me some hope!

Old 05-21-2001, 03:27 AM   #2
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Registered: Dec 2000
Location: Gothenburg, SWEDEN
Distribution: OpenSUSE 10.3
Posts: 1,028

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You have at least two option to go from here.
1. Take your cd to another computer (windows) and use rawrite.exe to write a boot floppy from the images found on the cd.
Most distributions come with both rawrite and boot disk images.

2. Download a boot floppy from the Internet and use rawrite to write it floppy.

When your at it try to figure out if there are any rescue floppies on the cd as well.
Boot from your floppy and mount your hard disk partition. Then edit your /etc/lilo.conf file as follows:
change to
This tell lilo to install bootloader at the beginning of first partition on primary master rather than on MBR.
If this doesn't work please post your lilo.conf, there might be some other config problems.
* * * Dont forget to run /sbin/lilo after changing your config file. * * *
Old 05-21-2001, 11:57 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2001
Location: Manchester UK
Distribution: Mainly Fedora
Posts: 496

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Haven't you got the windows original start up disc?
Or a partition magic startup disc? I'm sure I got one with partition commander.
Those make disc prompts are there for a reason you know!
Old 05-21-2001, 04:21 PM   #4
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Registered: May 2001
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Thanks ugge! I'm making progress, but still have trouble. I have managed to create a Linux boot disk by going through the install procedure again, so I can boot up Linux from a floppy now. I changed the /etc/lilo.conf file as you stated and ran /sbin/lilo, with success, I think.

But I'm still unable to boot from my hard drive. The screen gives the same indication --- L 00 00 00 ..., repeating forever.

Discussions with tech support at Partition Magic confirmed that LILO messed with the MBR. I can boot DOS from a floppy or Linux from a floppy, but neither from the hard drive.

Tried to run "fdisk /mbr" to insert a new MBR, but that had no effect either.

Ideas, anyone?

Old 05-22-2001, 05:32 PM   #5
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Registered: Oct 2000
Location: UK - Frome
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 1,081

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How have you set up the Linux partitions? You may have to specify the geometry of the HD. Can you not re-install Win2000? This should allow you to re-write the MBR.


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