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Old 02-12-2005, 08:19 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2005
Distribution: Kubuntu and Debian
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Hello everyone! I'm new around here and to linux.

Attempted a dual boot option.

The installation(mandrake 10.1 community) went well on a partition of about 17gb. I used up this partition to make the root(5gb), swap(1gb) and home(11gb).

The problem: After installation everytime i attempt to startup linux from the boot menu(lilo) after a few checks of files in verbose mode i can see that it halts and completely hangs at this particular point "CHECKING ROOT FILESYSTEM". nothing except for a soft reset works.

tried rescue provided on the dvd...still the same.

Failsafe also has the same problem.

i'm using lilo boot loader

i'm using "linux swap" for the swap partition

i'm using ext3 on the rest of the parittions

winxp continues to loading without any problem

Please help me out as this is quite disappointing as i was really looking forward to seeing things work today!!
Old 02-13-2005, 02:31 PM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Berkeley, CA
Distribution: Mac OS X Leopard 10.6.2, Windows 2003 Server/Vista/7/XP/2000/NT/98, Ubuntux64, CentOS4.8/5.4
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Maybe you should get the Mandrake 10.1 official rather than use the community version
Old 02-13-2005, 05:03 PM   #3
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Location: Outlying D.C.
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The problem you are seeing occurs when the Kernel first attempts to locate and check the state of the file system.

Usually by this point it already knows that the partition table exists, but it is now attempting to find the /etc/fstab record to tell it where the root file system is mounted.

If it succeeds in locating the root file system it will temporarily mount it to check it's condition, and then mount it for booting.

You are not getting that far.


A) Linux may be unable to access the HDD

Cabling errors, a dead or shorted drive on one of the IDE connectors, a bad IDE interface, etc. all produce identical errors.

B) Linux may not be able to find the partiton

The kernel initialially loads from a RAMDISK image. This image is loaded into RAM and provides the initialization code you see executing prior to this point. This image gets loaded by the bootloader in one swipe, but it is not the full blow kernel and modules.

Once the root filesystem is found the actual kernel is (usually) loaded and control gets passed to it... however you are not getting that far.

The initrd image may not be seeing the installed kernel.

This can be due to

1) The wrong partiton TYPE selected for the root/boot filesystem
2) LBA or other errors which make the kernel believe that the root system is located somewhere where it is not.
3) HDD failures (see 2 above)

I would try to re-install Mandrake if I were you.

Given the (IMHO) rather meager amount of disk space you are allocating to Mandrake, I'd suggest NOT creating seperate partitons, but rather allocating all the remaining disk space thusly...

512-1gig (do you actually have a GIG of RAM? if so use 1 gig...) to SWAP
/ To the rest of the drive.

No HOME or other partitions.

Finally your machine may have certain problems which do not manifest in Windows, but are there never the less.

You may need to specify certain parameters such as

noapm, nolapic, noapic, nopcmcia

etc... to the kernel PRIOR to startup, before things will function correctly.

On laptop machines this latter problem usually causes the behaviour you've observed, but it also affects some desktop units.


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