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Old 07-21-2001, 05:35 AM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2001
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Angry My 2 Linux Problems

Firstly, lets assume that I know nothing (or near enough) about Linux, but would like to.

One day, for whatever reason, I was feeling strange and decided to give linux a go. I had all the partitions right, boot disk made, and a coverdisk with REDHAT 6.2 in my CD drive. Then it all went horribly wrong.

The First problem I encountered:
I went through the linux install fine, right up until the 'xwindows' setup. It seems to me that Linux does not support my monitor. I tried selecting several different monitors, but everytime I went to "test these settings" My monitor (not my computer) displayed a scanning frequency error. (I can't remember exactly what it said.)

My Monitor is:

# Hitachi CM615
# 17"
# Max Horiz: 30 - 70
# Max Verti: 50 - 100
# Max Res. 1280 x 1024

My Graphics card is a Sparkle Geforce256.

The second problem I encountered:
I continued with the install anyway for interests sake.
When it finally finished, it rebooted and loaded up Lilo. (or at least, it should have)

But it stopped in its tracks, and where I assume it should have printed "LILO" it printed "LI" and then proceeded to freeze up nicley.

Although I did manage to get Linux to load from a boot disk, I couldn't load xwindows by typing in "startx" because of the aforementioned monitor problem. And I did previously state that I knew next to nothing about Linux, so there I was, unable to go back to windows, unable to load xwindows, and I had an extremely unfamiliar command line in front of me.

So I repartitioned, reformatted and went back to windows. And, now I am finally getting the itch to try it out again.

Any help with either problem would be greatly appreciated.
Old 07-21-2001, 05:49 AM   #2
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OK, Just a couple more things.
I was using (or trying to use) KDE, not GNOME.

And, although probably not important, the message my monitor gave was " ...PC display settings correct?"
Old 07-21-2001, 12:06 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2001
Location: Cambridge, England
Distribution: Slackware 10, Fedora Core 3, Mac OS X
Posts: 617

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did you try setting up the monitor manually during set up (putting in those settings) or did you just look for 'Hitachi' in the list of monitors?

if it was the latter, try doing it manually next time.

that thing to do with LILO im certain has been answered before (but i can;t remember the answer myself). try searching the forums for it (using handy search button at the top of the page.

hope that helps (if not post again)

Old 07-22-2001, 03:53 AM   #4
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Registered: Jul 2001
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Distribution: SuSE 7.2 Professional
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That says SuSE :

When booting with LILO, the machine hangs after displaying a part of the word LILO on the screen.
The LILO start-up code consists of two parts : The "first stage" in a bootsector and the "second stage" in /boot/boot.b. During the installation of LILO a "map-file" is created (ususllay /boot/map), where LILO finds the necessary pointers (sector-adresses) to the operating systems (Linux-Kernel etc.) that should be started.

(The following is taken from section 5.2.1 of the original LILO User's Guide by LILO-author Werner Almesberger)

When LILO loads itself, it displays the word


Each letter is printed before or after performing some specific action. If LILO fails at some point, the letters printed so far can be used to identify the problem.

No part of LILO has been loaded. Either LILO isn't installed or the partition on which its boot sector is located isn't active.

L error
The first stage boot loader has been loaded and started, but it can't load the second stage boot loader. The two-digit error codes indicate the type of problem. This condition usually indicates a media failure or a geometry mismatch.

The first stage boot loader was able to load the second stage boot loader, but has failed to execute it. This can either be caused by a geometry mismatch or by moving /boot/boot.b without running the map installer.

The second stage boot loader has been started, but it can't load the descriptor table from the map file. This is typically caused by a media failure or by a geometry mismatch.

The second stage boot loader has been loaded at an incorrect address. This is typically caused by a subtle geometry mismatch or by moving /boot/boot.b without running the map installer.

The descriptor table is corrupt. This can either be caused by a geometry mismatch or by moving /boot/map without running the map installer.

All parts of LILO have been successfully loaded.

The most frequent causes for a geometry mismatch are not physical defects or invalid partition tables but errors during the installation of LILO. Often these are caused by ignoring the 1024 cylinder boundary (1024_Zylinder.html).

Solution :
In most cases the solution is to apply one of the three procedures given below :

Install the LILO data below the 1024 cylinder boundary (if not yet done). This includes installing the necessary Linux kernel(s) as well as the files stored in /boot and the boot sector which will contain LILO's start-up code.

Reinstall LILO by means of the command

Tip:/sbin/lilo can provide a detailed log if you enhance verbosity and re-direct the output to appropriate logfiles. To do so, proceed like this:
/sbin/lilo -v -v -v >/boot/lilo.log 2>/boot/lilo.logerr

/boot/lilo.logerr should contain nothing at all (if the boot configuration is correct). /boot/lilo.log will (among others) tell you precisely which geometries and BIOS device numbers LILO will be going to use.

Check the consistency of hard disk geometry information. Actually, such information is stored in up to four places:
geometry used by LILO.
See: the logs described above.
Adjustable by: disk = option for lilo.conf . Cf. the LILO section in your SuSE Linux manual, the original LILO documentation, or
geometry detected/used by the Linux kernel.
See: the boot messages (/var/log/boot.msg or (maybe) the output of the dmesg command).
Adjustable by: suitable kernel parameters (to some extent). Details e.g in your SuSE Linux manual.
geometry stored in the partition table.
See: Output of /sbin/fdisk -l.
Adjustable by: fdisk Expert commands. Very dangerous for your data! Previous full backup strongly recommended! Really for experts only!
geometry used by the BIOS. LILO will meet this geometry later at each system startup and must cope with it.
See: BIOS-Setup (also that for your SCSI host adapter).
Adjustable by: BIOS-Setup.
In case of inconsistencies the "way of least resistance" will often be the best method for adjustment.

Data for support:
When you contact any kind of support about LILO, your chances for success will be significantly better (in light of the preceding), if you include the following into your request:

output of the command fdisk -l (partition layout),
the LILO logs referred to above,
BIOS and SCSI BIOS settings concerning your hard disks.
Of course, it might well be that the mere act of collecting these data is enough to set you onto the right track ;-)

I hope i could help you with this stuff...
Old 07-22-2001, 04:35 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies.
I couldn't find my specific monitor in the list, I tried the ones that sounded most like mine, I tried "standard monitor" or whatever. And I tried entering the values manually.
I have a single, 30 gb HD, and the partitions were in this order:

20 GB - Main windows drive (c
5 GB - Secondary Windows, backup, whatever. (d
5 GB - Main Linux one
512 MB - Linux Swap.

I did this with partition magic in windows before starting the linux install. I could not create partitons during the linux install for some strange reason.

Could the problem be that linux was so low on the drive?
Can I simply move linux to the top of the drive, above the other partitions without it effecting windows?
Old 07-22-2001, 05:08 AM   #6
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Registered: Jul 2001
Location: Bavaria, Germany
Distribution: SuSE 7.2 Professional
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Well, as far as i know the /boot/map , /boot/boot.b
and the Linux kernel must be fitted into the hard disk's first 1024 cylinders to be Lilo-accessible.
Partitions exhibiting a value greater than 1023 at 'end' cannot be started with Lilo. This limitation does not apply to the remaining file system (or the /sbin/lilo and lilo.conf files).

Try to boot with the installation-cd, there should be a option like "boot installed system" (?)
Then you should try 'fdisk -1 device', it shows the partitions absolute position in cylinders.


Old 07-22-2001, 05:49 AM   #7
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try using partition magic to move your linux drives (/ and swap) to be in between windoze which should be your c: / hda1 and any of your other windoze partitions

if u didn't understand what is just said then this is for u.
this was my partition layout :


then i changed it to this:


It then worked and i could boot into linux.
Old 07-22-2001, 06:01 AM   #8
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about ur monitor u could just use the defuallt monitor setup finds depending on ur distro
Old 07-22-2001, 08:44 AM   #9
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Well, I gave it another go. I didn't move my partitons around (but I didn't install LILO this time either, i'm just using a boot disk, which is fine with me for now.)
My partitions are:
C: (20gb)
D: (5 gb)
/ (5 gb)
swap (512 mb)

And It seems it wasn't my monitor that was causing problems. I changed my graphices card from 'geforce256' to 'standard svga compatible'.

Although setup detected the right card it didn't work???

Anyways, I can now load linux (via boot disk), but when I go into KDE the colours and resolution is absoloutly SHOCKING.

How do I change this? I found no obvious way to actually change the resolution or colour depth???
Or is this impossible because Linux thinks I'm using a 'standard svga compatible' video card???
But if my card works fine in windows, was detected by setup, why should it fail so miserably in linux?
Old 07-22-2001, 01:52 PM   #10
Registered: Apr 2001
Location: Columbus,OH
Distribution: slackware
Posts: 122

Rep: Reputation: 15
try using...


i would recommend making a bakup of /etc/X11/XF86Config before starting the config...


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