Can't install LILO, useless err msg

I'm trying to install Linux RedHat 5.0 on a completely new system
and when I got to the dialog boxes for Lilo installation, I
told it to put Lilo on the MBR and gave it no special options
to pass to the kernel.  It came up with some entirely generic
error msg like "Can't install bootloader" with no further details.
The error dialog had options "previous", "menu" and "retry".
Eventually I tred "menu" and it came up with a list of things
to be done; all of them had asterisks next to them saying
they had been done except "Install bootloader".  When I
went through the steps again, it took me back to the same
menu.  "Install bootloader" was still not checked, but it
had given me *no*error*message*at*all*.

What caused this?

trovatoreAsked:
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mhomannCommented:
Hi,

with some more info about your system (type of Harddisk, type of controller, partition sizes), it would be easier to help you...

mfg
       Mathias

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xtermCommented:
This has happened to me several times, especially when installing
RH linux to a second drive & certain SCSI drives.

Simply boot off boot.img, type "linux root=/dev/xxx ramdisk=0"
(where xxx is the drive & partition where linux is - like hda1
for your first IDE drive/first partition) at the boot prompt.

Then when booted, login root and edit /etc/lilo.conf (you
may actually have to manually create it).  Then run
/sbin/lilo, and the next time you boot, you're in business.
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trovatoreAuthor Commented:
Well, I'll have to try it before I can grade the answer, which could be a week or so --
my friend is off in the Valley.  What is "boot.img" and where do I find it?

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xtermCommented:
boot.img is the kernel on the first floppy that you
use to install.  So just boot off your first disk.
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trovatoreAuthor Commented:
Oh yeah, and how do I find out what goes in /etc/lilo.conf ?

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xtermCommented:
Below is a sample lilo.conf - it assumes that linux
is on the first partition of your first hard drive
in the example below.  If its not, just doctor it up
to suit your needs (ie. /dev/hda2 in the root= section
if its on the second partition of your first IDE drive)

#/etc/lilo.conf (don't include this line)
boot=/dev/hda    
map=/boot/map
install=/boot/boot.b
prompt
timeout=50
image=/boot/vmlinuz
        label=linux
        root=/dev/hda1
        read-only

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ThriceCommented:
If Lilo is already configured correctly and it's still not booting properly, you might want to try making a /boot partition within the first 1024 cylinders of your harddrive. Some bioses cannot boot from partitions past the 1024th cylinder...I had the same problem you do and fixed it by trying this. Hope this helps. Good luck.
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trovatoreAuthor Commented:
Thrice -- thanks for the effort, man.  But take a look at the dates:  The question is almost five years old.  I think my friend finally got Linux installed somehow, but I have no idea if the system in question is still even in operation.
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