Installing Linux-mandrake 6.1

Computer Type:
  Home built
  ADM k6-2 300Mhz
  Motherboard = TMC T15VG+ socket 7 with 1MB level 2 cache
  Graphics = Matrox 200 AGP
  Harddisk = Maxtor 5GB EIDE
  Soundcard = creative Labs soundBlaster AWE 64 value
  Lan card = Linksys 10/100 fast Ethernet (Model FENSK04)
  Graphics Accelerator = Creative Labs Voodoo2

1)I have installed Linux 6.1 as described in the Getting    started/Installation Guide and every time I start the computer it freezes and the display is blank.

2)The computer has 2 hard drives and linux is installed onto the Secondary Master Maxtor 5MB drive. The Primary Master 13GB drive contains Windows 98.

I have created the following partitions:
1) / root      = linux native (set as boot partittion) 1GB
2) swap        = Linux swap  size = 256 MB
3) /home       = Linux native  size = 1GB
4) Extended Partition  size = 2.5GB
5) /usr on extended partition size 1GB
6) /usr/opt on extended partion size = 250MB
7) /usr src on extended partition size = 500MB
8) /tmp on extended partition size = 800MB

3) can you please tell me if I am doing something wrong or at lease tell me what is going on. As you can see, I am very new to linux, but have got a lot of experience with DOS and window.

I sometimes get an error message when Linux is booting up that reads: Bootloader

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michael_brooks19Author Commented:
Edited text of question.
michael_brooks19Author Commented:
Edited text of question.
Need more info...

When do you see the blank screen? on startup? or after lilo? or after everything is loaded?

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Try this:

Run setup again. This time make a partition of 16Mb (Linux native)  and set the mount point as /boot. That may fix your problem.

This next part does not relate to your problem, but I don't see how having seperate partitions for /usr/opt or /usr/src does you any good. I would leave them out and just put all that space under /usr. The /usr/opt and /usr/src directories will be created under /usr and just use some of that space as they need it.

The reason for having seperate partitions under Linux is so you don't jack your system when you fill up something like /usr /tmp or /home. For instance, if you have a rogue process that is spewing text into /tmp and it fills up you can still kill that process and empty out /tmp. If you only had one partition then your entire disk would fill before you knew anything was wrong and then you could not even log on to fix it. That is most likely to happen in the /usr /home and /tmp directories, thus we set them up as seperate partitions.  Also,  this is part of why /root is not under /home. That way root can still log on even if /home fills up.

Anyway, the other side of this is that if you break your disk up into too may little pieces then you can run out in one partition while you still have plenty in another place. For instance,  What if you want to upgrade to the next version of Linux but are not ready to get rid of your old source files just yet? You can't fit all that in the 500 meg you allocated to /usr/src. However, if it is all just part of /usr then you can use what you need and when you decide things are getting crowded then you can dump that old source.

Yes, I know I told you to make another partition (/boot), but that dinky 16mb will never be  missed and you will never need more than 16mb in the /boot partition, so try it. If you still have problems, tell us exactly what errors you are getting.

J Crouchet

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michael_brooks19Author Commented:
At boot time the computer is now hanging after starting LILO. The following is part if the error message that is displayed.

Partition check:
hda: hda1
hdb: hdb1
attemp to access beyong end of device
03:35: rw=0, want=2, limit=0
dev 03:45 blksize=1024 blocknr=1 sector=2 size=1024 count=1.
EXT2-fs: unable to read superblock.
attemp to access beyong end of device.
03:45: rw=0, want=33, limit=0
dev 03:45 blksize=1024 blocknr=32 sector=64 size=1024 count=1.
isofs_read_super: bread failed, dev=03:45, iso_blknum=16, block=32.
Kernel panic: VFS: unable to mount root fs on 03:45
Ok, on closer inspection I spotted something I missed earlier. Your second drive is EIDE, not IDE.

Are both of your drives located on the same physical cable, or are they on seperate cables?

What are your other IDE devices, including the other harddisk? Tell me if each is located on the primary or secondary IDE controlers, please.

Try this (this assumes you have nothing but Linux on the 5GB hard disk):

- Delete all the partitions on the 5GB drive. Linux partitions, extended partitions, primary partitions, etc. Just leave free space.

- Run the setup again. Set up the swap partition, /boot, /usr, /home and /

If you want you can create /tmp and /var partitions too.  On a single user system this is not really needed, but it can limit the damage from certian types of attacks so I usually set these up.

BTW, 800Meg is way more than you should ever need in /tmp or /var. 50meg each is very generous and should do fine unless you will have more than 5 users logged onto your system at the same time.

- Do NOT specify the "growable"  option on any partition. Make sure this is unselected.

- When given the option, DO make a boot floppy. Once it is made, flip the write protect tab. You may need this later.

- Finish the install & try to boot.

That should give you a clean install and, if it can work with Linux just on the second disk, that should do it. If not, then you may need to set up a small  (like 10meg) /boot partition on your primary drive. I will describe the steps for that if you need them.

Let me know about the cables for the drives -- I may have a simpler solution for you.

J Crouchet
Oh, I forgot to tell you that if your system will not boot after the above install, try booting from the floppy you made.  If that boots ok then you have a partioning problem and we are on the right track.

Be very, very sure you have that floppy disk write protected before you get it anywhere near a system with Windows.

J Crouchet
michael_brooks19Author Commented:
1) The primary harddrive is 17GB and windows 98 is loaded.
2) The second harddrive is 5GB and is totally allocated to Linux.
3) Both harddrives share the same cable and are connected to the primary harddisk controller on the motherboard.
4) the primary harddrive supports 66-DMA, therefore the connecting cable is the 66-DMA type.
5) I have somehow over-wrote the boot sector on the primary harddrive with Linux, and now the computer will only boot into Linux. I can get it to boot into windows, if when LILO start, I hit the tab key and then select DOS. Is there anyway of restoring the boot sector of the primary harddisk to DOS?
Linux has to put it's boot information somewhere, and Windows will not play nice with Linux. Thus the normal solution is for LILO to take over booting and to choose whether to boot to Windows or Linux from LILO.

If that bugs you, you can restore the old Master Boot Record as LILO stores it away safe and sound. However, if you do you will need to use a floppy to boot Linux. Unlike DOS, once Linux is booted you can take the floppy out and you will not need it again -- until you reboot.

I set up some systems that way. No floppy in the drive booted to Windoze, Linux boot floppy booted to Linux.

Go to the command line and run

man lilo

For information on how to retreive your old boot sector.

BTW, if you are tinkering with partitions and dual boot systems without a good backup of your system, you are working without a net.

J Crouchet
michael_brooks19Author Commented:
I have followed all of your instructions and now when I start Linux I do not get any error. However, after the boot screen has loaded iI then see for a very short duration the Linux GNU login screen and then the screen goes blank.

can you please help me to solve this problem
How short a duration? A second? A minute?

Did you boot from HD or floppy?

After you boot, try hitting Alt+Ctrl+F2 to see if that gets you a logon prompt.

I'm not ready to give up on this yet! :-)

J Crouchet
michael_brooks19Author Commented:
The Linux logic screen is displayed for about half a second, then more characters are very quickly scrolled across the screen and the the screen remains blank. I have left the computer in this mode over nignt to see if the Linus screen or any other information is displayed, but the screen just remains blank.

I experienced the blank screen senario when ever I boot from the harddrive. When I boot from floopy, the system always hangs at about when it is loading the INIT files.

The Alt+Ctrl+F2 does not work.

Could this problem be related to the
video card that I am using. I have checked the video card and the characteristics are as follows:

Matrox ProductivMatrox Productiva G100
Key features:  
64-bit AGP video card
8 MB of powerful graphics memory

1600 x 1200 desktop in true color for demanding business documents

230 MHz RAMDAC for flicker-free displays


I don't think so. The Alt+Ctrl+F2 should come up with a text based logon prompt if it is just a video card configuration problem. Obviously the card works for displaying text or you would not see text.

When you boot from floppy, what init files is it loading when it hangs?

J Crouchet
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