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Old 11-29-2013, 10:12 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Hell, Arizona
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 529

Rep: Reputation: 89
Slow boot, lilo displays BIOS bug warning

This is a system that has been working for a while, and I have done nothing to it. Out of the blue, this morning the boot sequence hung at the lilo prompt for several minutes before finally booting. Once booted, I log in and run lilo and get this:

Warning: LILO is compensating for a BIOS bug: (drive 0x82) heads > 255
Warning: LILO will try to compensate for a BIOS bug: (drive 0x82) sectors > 63

My drives test as good, and there are no problems that I'm aware of. The kernel log has nothing in it. Smartctl says smart status is good. But this warning didn't just appear for no reason. I've googled, etc., and I can't find anything that describes what this is or why it is doing this. Anyone seen this before, and/or have any trouble shooting comments/suggestions?
Old 11-29-2013, 01:27 PM   #2
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Midwest USA, Central Illinois
Distribution: SlackwareŽ
Posts: 12,867
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Please post your '/etc/lilo.conf'. I am wondering if you have 'lba32' in the global section of the config file.

You can add 'compact' to the global to speed things up. If you do need to add 'lba32' & 'compact' then be sure to run 'lilo' again from the cli.
Old 11-29-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Hell, Arizona
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 529

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 89
I do have lba32 in lilo.conf - it's been there forever. If it is not there I get a warning:

Warning: LBA32 addressing assumed

And lilo.conf has not changed since forever. Because I haven't changed anything, especially lilo.conf, I would not suspect something in lilo.conf is the culprit, nor that fixing this involves changing anything in lilo.conf. Here is my lilo.conf, I've used this for ages:

append=" vt.default_utf8=0"
boot = /dev/sda
message = /boot/boot_message.txt
timeout = 30
# Override dangerous defaults that rewrite the partition table:
# VESA framebuffer console @ 1024x768x64k
vga = 791

image = /boot/vmlinuz
  root = /dev/sda5
  label = Slack32
I might add that I have *never* seen these particular warnings before. Up until yesterday, this did not happen, and I have changed *nothing* since yesterday.

Last edited by Ook; 11-29-2013 at 01:50 PM.
Old 11-29-2013, 02:48 PM   #4
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: uk
Distribution: slackware current
Posts: 757

Rep: Reputation: 53
A few thoughts

Lilo is complaining about your disk geometry, but unless you are in the habit of running lilo often you don't really know that the error lilo is reporting is the cause of your recent problem.

I had something similar recently (although unlike you I am constantly meddling and updating stuff)
In my case I ran lilo recently and a message something along the lines that my geometry was wrong and I was offered to fix or ignore the partition table. I did backups before running the fix option which cured the problem. I think this was due to a kernel upgrade.

I see that your linux boot partition is on sda5, have you got any other OS on that drive that could have affected the disk?

Are you really using Slackware 9.1 as per your sig? And you never do any updates?

Have you changed anything in the bios recently such as the drive boot order?
Old 11-29-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Hell, Arizona
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 529

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 89
Hmm, I guess I should update my sig. I actually have a SlackWare 7 disk at home... When I first joined lq, I think I was on SlackWare 9, but that was about ten years ago and I'm not sure what I was using then...9.1 or 9.2 maybe maybe.

FTR, I am currently on 14.0. I played with 14.1, but it caused some odd problems with network connectivity with wine apps, and I didn't have time to look into it further so for now I'm sticking with 14.0 until I have time to do something about this.

The last time I ran lilo it was as happy as can be. That's been a while, but I haven't changed anything in this box. It's my main work box, and I tend to leave it alone cause I earn $$ with it and breaking it causes expensive down time. Hmm...I did hook up a drive via a ide to sata adapter, but it would not mount it, so I disconnected it. That was external, I didn't actually stick my hands into the box. I would not think that would have changed anything as it is connected and the sata cable just sits on the floor, nothing connected to it.

I haven't touched the bios for a while - usually if I dinker with drive boot order I get a kernel panic on boot.

I'm leaning towards a disk problem. This bugs me. I have two (1)TB drives in the box, they are not that old, they pass SMART, but if it really is a drive/partition problem then maybe I need to take a close look at my partitions and see if I inadvertently did something stupid. I have 6 partitions on one drive, two are unused. sda1 is unused, sda5 is my root partition, and only sda5 is referenced by lilo.conf.
Old 11-29-2013, 05:09 PM   #6
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Hell, Arizona
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 529

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 89
Problem solved!!!

After writing that last bit, I looked down on the floor where the sata cable sticks out of my computer. I use it to hook up stuff for testing or data transfer, etc. And lo and behold! There is an ide to sata adapter connected to it, no hard drive, just the adapter.....remove as fast as usual. Run lilo...runs like it normally does.

So I get the dunce award of the day.....


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