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Old 09-04-2004, 01:35 PM   #1
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LILO and Grub "Geome" error on HP Pavilion

Hi everyone. I'm having some problems. I have a HP PAvilion, with an 80gb HD, Nivida Geforce card, 512 mb of ram, and a 2.08 ghz (XP-enhanced) processor. I tried to install Mandrake but kept getting "Geome Errors": when I attempted to boot it again. LILO just says "L" when I attmempt to boot, and GRUB says "GRUB" unless I boot it form afloppy, then it says "GRUB: Geome error". I'm on my girlfriend's computer, and I need some help. I tried to reinstall windows, as my MBR was ruined after that, and I couldn't restore it (I tried the rescue-disk's options). However the Restore disks aren't working. The yisntall windows, but when I try to restart my computer, or let windows start again, it just freezes. What I would like to do is isntall Linux, and convince family to use it. If not, use it to format hard drive, and then re-install windows. Thanks.
Old 09-09-2004, 02:04 PM   #2
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Some thoughts for your consideration.

1) I don't know your hardware, but a geometry error can result from grub being used without telling it the geometry stuff.

The easiest option is to go into your bios and set it to LBA mode otherwise you may have to consider this

geometry drive [cylinder head sector [total_sector]] Command
Print the information for the drive drive. In the grub shell, you can set the geometry of the drive arbitrarily. The number of the cylinders, the one of the heads, the one of the sectors and the one of the total sectors are set to CYLINDER, HEAD, SECTOR and TOTAL_SECTOR, respectively. If you omit TOTAL_SECTOR, then it will be calculated based on the C/H/S values automatically.

Now a rescue cd should tell you what your correct C h s are but if your mbr is stuffed you may be better off seeing if your manufacturer or google has the correct numbers.

(2) the L for LILO is another error and from memory is a first stage error and likely to be related to grub's geometry issue.

3) IN the interim you can find a windows site that can tell you how to use the windows rescue cd to overwrite a bad mbr.

from memory w98 dos command was fdisk \mbr

4) Alternatively you could get a linux rescue cd and use qtparted to create new partitions after deleting the old ones and clicking on save will write that NEW partition to mbr...then you re-install mdk and when it comes to grub give it more info

I have never had to use it but here is an example from google taken from some using a non-mdk and this is from /boot/grub/menu.lst

kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.5-1.358 ro root=LABEL=/1 hda=38792,16,63


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