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Can't boot to hard drive after partitioning

Posted on 1997-01-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Recently I used the Quarterdeck product PARTITION-IT to resize some of the DOS partitions on the hard disk of my computer (Pentium 100). In the process I moved (but not resized) the Linux active partition and the Linux swap partition. Subsequently the LILO boot loader went into panic mode.

I was able to use the Slackware boot/root floppies to mount the active partition (hda3) and it seems intact. Therefore I concluded that I would have to reinstall LILO from the hard disk, which I was able to do with the command

      lilo -r /mnt

which changes root to /mnt (where I had mounted /dev/hda3)
prior to installing LILO. This seemed to work, however I still get kernel panic when I try to boot from the hard disk.

Someone has suggested that I should use Linux <fdisk> to
reset the Linux partitions, however I understand this is a data-destructive process, to be used as a last resort only.

Can someone advise me how to retrieve the situation? More generally, what are the do's and don'ts of trying to use a DOS-based partition utility when Linux partitions are present? I should mention that LILO is using the MBR to boot to Linux/DOS,

Thanks for any help you can provide....

Roger Young,
roger@maths.grace.cri.nz
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Question by:roger010997
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markg2 earned 100 total points
ID: 1626848
Linux Fdisk is not necessarily data destructive.  It seems that your partition type may have been altered by the DOS utility (either at the partition or the master boot record of the drive).  Try resetting your partition type in the Linux fdisk to 'boot', this *should* fix your problem and *should not* be data destructive, and if you get the urge to move partitions around again, try a utility called FIPS (avail with redhat linux releases), it is 'Linux aware'.  
Note: You may want to fdisk your Master Boot Record from DOS before this procedure (at DOS prompt: fdisk /mbr - this is non-destructive), and then re-install LILO *after* doing the Linux fdisk.

Good Luck. (and be sure to back up your data, just to be safe!)
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