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Old 05-25-2012, 09:02 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Hell, Arizona
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 535

Rep: Reputation: 92
Boot problem - lilo runs ok, but get the infamous screen of 99s on boot.

I have a FoxConn Winfast K7S board, athlon cpu, SiI pci sata controller. One ide drive connected to motherboard controller, two sata drives connected to the sata controller.

The ide drive is an old WD 30GB drive, the entire thing has a single partition, ext3. Partition is marked as bootable.

I'm installing slackware 12.2. It recognizes the ide drive as hda, and the sata drives as sda and sdb. This is as expected.

Boot from 12.2 install CD. Install to hda1. Install runs as expected. Lilo runs with no errors. But when I boot, I get the infamous screen of 99's.

So I boot from CD, enter parms to boot the partition I just installed Slack to. Boots up fine. Run lilo manually. Gives expected output:

Added Linux *

No errors, nothing to indicate that it didn't work. Yet when I reboot, the same thing - screen of 99's.

I don't even know how to troubleshoot something like this. The drive is properly partitioned - it's just one partition, how can you go wrong:

cfdisk (util-linux-ng 2.14.1)

Disk Drive: /dev/hda
Size: 30020272128 bytes, 30.0 GB
Heads: 16 Sectors per Track: 63 Cylinders: 58168

Name Flags Part Type FS Type [Label] Size (MB)
hda1 Boot Primary Linux ext3 30020.28

Where do you go from here?
Old 05-26-2012, 03:19 AM   #2
Registered: Apr 2011
Location: California, USA
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 465

Rep: Reputation: 190Reputation: 190
Just a few simple items to consider ...

When booting from CD don't forget to mount/bind /proc /sys and chroot before running lilo wih -C option. (depending upon how you booted up)

Disconnect the SATA drives (and other hardware) to simplify troubleshooting.

set vga=ask in lilo and experiment in case it's a display issue.

Check BIOS settings. Enable BIOS to rewrite basic information such as when there are major hardware changes and it get's confused. (I forgot what that's called). Reset BIOS to defaults.

Write zeros to the first MB of the disk drive and start over.

I'm not familiar with the "infamous 99s" screen you mention so I don't know the causes of that symptom. Perhaps you're referring to a lilo failure mode.

Last edited by TracyTiger; 05-26-2012 at 03:21 AM.
Old 05-26-2012, 03:39 AM   #3
Registered: Jun 2009
Location: Texas
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 611

Rep: Reputation: 219Reputation: 219Reputation: 219
Pass the '-M' parameter to lilo the next time you boot from CD and reinstall it.

Also, be sure you're mounting up your file system and pointing lilo at your actual configuration file, and not the default that comes on the CD.

mount /dev/hda1 /mnt
lilo -M /dev/hda -c /mnt/etc/lilo.conf
umount /mnt
init 6
The '-M' forces installation into the MBR, and is the best known cure for the case of the '99s.'

'99' is the hex error code indicating that LILO failed to load completely. If this doesn't fix things, then the MBR on your old IDE boy may be done.

Last edited by foodown; 05-26-2012 at 03:53 AM.
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