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LILO boot Problem

Posted on 1998-04-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I installed LILO in /dev/hda2 (not in MBR but in the Bootsector of the root-partition of Linux)
But when I'm booting I will only see th first letter "L" not "LILO boot" and the system hangs.
Booting from disk with LILO works fine. So the problem can only be LILO itself and not the Linux-Installation.

My HD looks like:

¦                    File              Starting         Ending      Partition  ¦
¦  #  Active      System Type        Cyl Side Sect   Cyl Side Sect  Size [KB]  ¦
¦                                                                              ¦
¦  1   No   Hidden (0xFF)              0    0    2   473  254   63  3,807,404  ¦
¦  2   Yes  Linux (ext2fs/xiafs)     474    0    1   598  254   63  1,004,062  ¦
¦  3   No   BIGDOS FAT-16 up to 2G   599    0    1   698  254   63    803,250  ¦
¦  4   No   DOS Extended             699    0    1   789  254   63    730,957  ¦
Question by:witty
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2
  • +4

Expert Comment

ID: 1631516
Post your lilo.conf file...

Expert Comment

ID: 1631517
Try to:
Boot up linux using floppy and login and do a: /sbin/lilo
Then reboot...

Expert Comment

ID: 1631518
Hhm... it looks like there was a problem loading the second
stage boot loader. This letter wasn't followed by an error
code, was it?
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Author Comment

ID: 1631519
My lilo.conf: I think there can't be anything wrong!
# LILO Konfigurations-Datei
# Start LILO global Section
#compact        # faster, but won't work on all systems.
vga = normal    # force sane state
# End LILO global section
# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /vmlinuz
root = /dev/hda2
label = Linux
# Linux bootable partition config ends

I already tried to run lilo again to install into my partition Boot sector!

-and the system hangs after putting the "L" on the screen. Without anything else!!!


Expert Comment

ID: 1631520
phear! this just happened to me today. my box booted and froze at this:


i rebooted w/ the bootdisk using mount root=/dev/hda2 and i tried executing "lilo" but then it bitched about my partition setup, so i guess fdisk or partition magic skrewed my system pretty bad. My hard drive was like this:

/dev/hda1 DOS primary partition/drive 500mb
/dev/hda2 extended dos partition 4.5 gig
/dev/hda5 DOS FAT partition/drive 500mb
/dev/hda6 Linux native 2 gig
/dev/hda7 linux native 1gig
/dev/hda8 linux native 700MB
/dev/hda9 linux swap 64mb
/dev/hda10 linux swap 64mb

/dev/hdb1 DOS FAT

(as u can see i was pretty much dumping DOS)

it bitched about the partition so what i did is go delete all the partitions back to the /dev/hda1 (deleted all but that 1)

then i repartitioned my system and now it werkz fine (im typin to ya from linux right now, too bad im in crappy fvwm95 tho =P) so what i suggest is booting off ur install bootdisk and where it says boot: to enter in ur commands just use:

mount root=/dev/hdax (hda2 for you i guess it'd be)

for me to boot off the floppy it'd werk but not off the HD.

i had lilo installed on the MBR w/ a 5 second linux boot timeout.

urs might be somethin different than partition, but boot off the disk and type lilo at prompt and see if it bitches about the partition, if it does it means whatever u ran to setup the drive skrewed it up.

if u have to whack off all ur data and try that, do it as a last resort, and be sure you upload all ur stuff to a buddy or back it up on removable media. if u need i guess u could u/l ur stuff to my box after i go to sleep one nite and d/l it the next. just lemme know in advance. i got like 2 gig of space open for you to u/l anonymous ftp, im only 33.6k tho, so...

btw i use slackware




Expert Comment

ID: 1631521
I thought each letter indicated the start of another stage in
the LILO procedure..? If this stops at "L", it means something
different than "LI", which is different from "LIL", etc. If you
don't believe me, look in the HOWTO/manpage.

Witty: WHEN exactly do you see this "L" stuff? When booting the
       computer from hda or when booting it from hda2?



Author Comment

ID: 1631522
My Harddisk is new "partitionized"!
And the Partition Table in the MBR is OK!!!
so this isn't a solution for my problem!


Author Comment

ID: 1631523
I looked in the HOWTO/manpage and didn't find it. Can you post it?
>WHEN exactly do you see this "L" stuff? When booting the computer from hda or when booting it from hda2?
 I have Lilo installed in the root partition of my linux - not in the MBR - I see it when booting from hda2!


Expert Comment

ID: 1631524
On my system: /usr/doc/lilo-0.19-1/README

I'll paste some relevant parts here:

When LILO loads itself, it displays the word "LILO". Each letter is printed
before or after performing some specific action. If LILO fails at some
point, the letters printed so far can be used to identify the problem. This
is described in more detail in the technical overview.


   L <error> ...   The first stage boot loader has been loaded and started,
    but it can't load the second stage boot loader. The two-digit error
    codes indicate the type of problem. (See also section "Disk error
    codes".) This condition usually indicates a media failure or a geometry
    mismatch (e.g. bad disk parameters, see section "Disk geometry").

What exactly have you got in the MBR, btw? ;-)


Author Comment

ID: 1631525
My MBR was generated with "fdisk /MBR" from DOS!
I've already tried other MBRs from several MBR-writing programs (Boot-loader ...)

Expert Comment

ID: 1631526
Perhaps your system has the problem that a lot of systems have. Your system can not boot from any partition away from sector 0 more than 1 GB, (or 512MB, I don't remember). If so, try to put your lilo boot loader in a partition near the 0 sector.


Author Comment

ID: 1631527
I know about these problems, but I can boot from a Win95 Partition "behind" the Linux partition without any problem!
So what I don't know is, if this is the same problem - boot Linux / boot Win95 from a Partition behind 512MB!
Do you think LILO can make problems and Win95 (or Dos) not?

Expert Comment

ID: 1631528
Not, I think if you can boot with Win95 you would be able to boot from LILO too.
SO the problem could be the one commented by Talence, perhaps the HD description in BIOS is different from the recognized by Linux and you have wrong physical sectors in your lilo boot sector, so it can not find the files it needs.

LVL 19

Accepted Solution

xterm earned 200 total points
ID: 1631529
Try booting with linux append="hda=xx,xx,xx" (where the xx's
denote C(ylinders),H(eads),S(ectors per track).  Once you've
booted up and Lilo knows the geometry of your drive, put a
permanent line in /etc/lilo.conf (the same append statement
without the word linux) & re-rerun /sbin/lilo.  Next time you
boot it should be able to boot off hda2.

A better solution of course would be to simply reinstall Lilo
to the MBR - it will boot '95 just fine, but try the above if
you don't want to go that route.

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