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Old 06-19-2011, 10:19 PM   #1
sonnystarks
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Do I need LiLo?


I am a beginner who chooses to learn Linux, not Ubuntu. Hence, I have installed Slackware 13.37 to a separate USB HDD. As I write, my cursor is stuck flashing at the "Loading Linux" prompt. My computer also will not boot directly into Windows without the USB HDD attached. (It will boot into Windows correctly after choosing "Windows" at the LiLo prompt.) All I am attempting to do is to have a totally separate OS on the computer's hdd and the USB hdd with absolutely no interaction. I have set my BIOS to boot from the USB HDD secondly (assuming this means "if it is attached") (First in the booting order is the optical drive)and finally from the computer's hdd (Win7). Do I really even need to install and configure LiLo at all?

As I said, I am a complete newbie and the only way I was able to install Slackware at all ("Install Ubuntu and you learn Ubuntu. Install Slackware and you learn Linux" as the axiom goes.) was by following the directions at http://news.softpedia.com/news/How-t...-0-58910.shtml. Please do not reply with installing or configuring suggestions without telling me directly to "Type this..." "Choose that..." "Click on ...."

Thanks in advance for your understanding and patience.

Last edited by sonnystarks; 06-19-2011 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Updated information
 
Old 06-19-2011, 10:54 PM   #2
jschiwal
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You could have the Lilo boot loader installed to the MBR of your external boot loader. Using the quick boot menu would let you boot into slackware even if the hard drive is first in the boot order.

You may have installed the first stage of LILO to the MBR of your main boot drive instead. (Or you are mistaken about the external drive not being first in the boot order) Even if the external drive is first in the boot order, you don't want it as the active boot entry since it is removable.

Another option is to use a Windows boot menu entry to chainload a binary image of the external drive's MBR, stored in the window's C:\ drive.

As stated above, the one thing to avoid is needing the external device plugged in in order to boot into Windows successfully.

Last edited by jschiwal; 06-19-2011 at 10:57 PM.
 
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:57 PM   #3
kbp
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Sorry this is not a direct response to your question, merely a suggestion - it's a lot safer to use Virtual Box or VMware Workstation when learning another OS, at least your main OS will still be in one piece if you stuff up
 
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:08 PM   #4
sonnystarks
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"ten rows of "01 01 01" going down my screen"

"Using the quick boot menu would let you boot into slackware even if the hard drive is first in the boot order..."

And I do this how? Where is this "quick boot menu," in Windows or Slackware?

"to chainload a binary image of the external drive's MBR, stored in the window's C:\ drive."

And I do this how?

I presently have ten rows of "01 01 01" going down my screen. I cannot restore Windows using Easeus Back Up software and I cannot boot directly from the hard drive.

Will attempting the above suggestions perhaps solve the problem or do the "01's" tell us anything?

Will I be able to restore the drive (reversing the boot problem) using the original Win 7 installation disk?
 
Old 06-19-2011, 11:11 PM   #5
sonnystarks
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Thank you! Excellent suggestion.

And why don't all the guidebooks and websites tell us that before we attempt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbp View Post
Sorry this is not a direct response to your question, merely a suggestion - it's a lot safer to use Virtual Box or VMware Workstation when learning another OS, at least your main OS will still be in one piece if you stuff up
 
Old 06-19-2011, 11:25 PM   #6
sonnystarks
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Somewhat useful information...

This is truly useful information. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jschiwal View Post
Even if the external drive is first in the boot order, you don't want it as the active boot entry since it is removable. As stated above, the one thing to avoid is needing the external device plugged in in order to boot into Windows successfully.
 
Old 06-19-2011, 11:26 PM   #7
kbp
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Quote:
Will I be able to restore the drive (reversing the boot problem) using the original Win 7 installation disk?
.. yes, you should only need to fix the MBR(Master Boot Record) to get Windows booting. We used to use 'fdisk /mbr' but these days booting on the Windows CD/DVD and selecting the auto-repair option should fix it for you (I haven't tried Win 7 so I can't give you the exact process).

A quick search suggests that by booting on the Windows CD you should be able to get to the "System Recovery Options" menu and from there select "Startup Repair"
 
Old 06-20-2011, 12:36 AM   #8
sonnystarks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbp View Post

A quick search suggests that by booting on the Windows CD you should be able to get to the "System Recovery Options" menu and from there select "Startup Repair"
Thank you so very much for trying! However, I had attempted all of the above before my initial post and the system repair on both my emergency start up disk as well as the Win 7 actual installation disk "could not find any problems" with the Boot or Startup process. After reading the posts here, I finally decided to just bite the bullet and reformat the hard drive, which was, in fact, successful.

Now, back to my original question: "All I am attempting to do is to have a totally separate OS on the computer's hdd and the USB hdd with absolutely no interaction." Is this possible? Does LiLo just get in the way or is it necessary for the Slackware side to work? And... as you stated,
Quote:
"Even if the external drive is first in the boot order, you don't want it as the active boot entry since it is removable."
my question would be, (assuming the above IS, in fact, possible) where should the USB be in the boot order or, is it supposed to be in the (obvious?) 2nd place? Seems to me, if it was third, the main hdd would always boot first?
 
Old 06-20-2011, 12:45 AM   #9
sonnystarks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonnystarks View Post
Thank you so very much for trying!
And... could I impose upon you to take a quick read of the instructions for installation that I am following at http://news.softpedia.com/news/How-t...-0-58910.shtml and tell me what I should add/omit/change? The instructions are for Slackware 12 and I'm sure a few things are different in version 13.37.
 
Old 06-20-2011, 01:12 AM   #10
sonnystarks
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Smile My epiphany!

After doing some intense thinking, I just realized what I am looking for. I have Linux Mint installed on a USB drive. To activate it, all I have to do is to insert it in my computer and boot. There is no (visible) interaction with Windows and it does not offer me a choice. It acts like a live CD. I guess what I want is a version of Slackware that will do exactly the same thing. Is there any such animal out there?
 
Old 06-20-2011, 05:59 AM   #11
FeyFre
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonnystarks View Post
After doing some intense thinking, I just realized what I am looking for. I have Linux Mint installed on a USB drive. To activate it, all I have to do is to insert it in my computer and boot. There is no (visible) interaction with Windows and it does not offer me a choice. It acts like a live CD. I guess what I want is a version of Slackware that will do exactly the same thing. Is there any such animal out there?
I think Slax is what you want.
 
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:11 PM   #12
sonnystarks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeyFre View Post
I think Slax is what you want.
However, according to the screen shot I viewed, we are back to a "tempting" GUI. You see, if a GUI is too handy and available, I probably will get lazy and begin to ignore the command line. My intent is to have and only use a command line interface. Am I correct on this? Does it have a fancy GUI as in any recent Linux distro (Ubuntu? Mint?)? I am told Slackware is the best distro to learn command line. Is this correct information also?
 
Old 06-20-2011, 05:21 PM   #13
FeyFre
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sonnystarks
1. Handy GUI for me does not equal handy GUI for you or somebody else.
2. Nobody forces you to include into build "handy GUI" staff(i.e. you always can kick out KDE from build).
3. "Handy GUI" will be loaded only if you load it: in boot menu or typing startx in shell. If you so lazy as you say probably you lazy enough to not to load X.

In any case Slax is not pure slackware. You should try to resolve your LiLo 01 problem: as far as I understand you did not made proper initrd image(and googling confirms you not alone against this problem). Did you booting generic or huge kernel? Does it includes proper USB drivers?
Some month ago I got USB HDD with installed Calculate Linux, but did not bothered to notice any details(kernel configuration or even boot loader), so I'm sure your problem is resolvable. G-Luck.
 
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:04 PM   #14
jschiwal
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About the quick boot menu question. This is a key you push when the computer is in the POST phase. It is F9 for some computers, F12 for others. If you watch the computer boot up (at the very beginning of the boot process) it will tell you which key to press. Then you will have a menu where you press the up or down arrows to determinee which drives MBR to boot up.

If this is how you want to do this, make sure that LILO (or Grub) is installed to the MBR of your external drive, and not the MBR of windows C:\ drive.

Last edited by jschiwal; 06-20-2011 at 06:06 PM.
 
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:09 PM   #15
sonnystarks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeyFre View Post

2. Nobody forces you to include into build "handy GUI" staff(i.e. you always can kick out KDE from build).
Thank you for your response but,unfortunately, you are too far over my head. Remember please, I am just a beginner and am attempting to load this program to learn Linux. I should not already have to know it to learn it (chicken-egg situation) What does it mean to "kick out KDE from build?"


Quote:
You should try to resolve your LiLo 01 problem: as far as I understand you did not made proper initrd image
I did not make any image (yet). I am attempting to install from the Slackware 64 Version 13.37 disk that came from "UNIX Academy Training."

Quote:
Did you booting generic or huge kernel? Does it includes proper USB drivers?
The default at the "Package Selection Screen" is "Base Linux System." It recognized the hdd so I assume it had the proper drivers.

Quote:
I'm sure your problem is resolvable. G-Luck.
Only if you guys do not lose total patience with me.
 
  


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