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RedHat 7.1 won't load from HDD, only get Loading Linux ....

Posted on 2001-06-14
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I have two HDD's, one 20GB with Windows 98SE and a 13GB with RedHat Linux 7.1. The Linux HDD has four partitions: /, swap, /usr, and /home. I can load Windows fine, but when I choose Linux from RedHat lilo, all I get is a blank screen with "Loading Linux............".

I created a boot floppy, and if I boot the floppy, it prompts to load Linux from hdb1, which is my / partition in Linux. Doing this, I get into Linux fine.

What do I need to do to get lilo booting RedHat Linux 7.1?
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Question by:woregul
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XTerm earned 100 total points
ID: 6195072
There are 2 possible reasons :

(1) A badly configured lilo (not likely).
(2) Lilo not being able to boot second disk.

For 1 i need your lilo.conf and full partition info.
For 2, if u have PM6, you can create a small (15M) partition at the very beginning of your HD.
Then boot linux with floppy.
Ok, i assume this partition is hda1.

mkfs.ext2 -v /dev/hda1
mount /dev/hda1 /mnt -t ext2
cd /boot
cp ./* -R /mnt
umount /mnt

"Edit /etc/fstab and add"

/dev/hda1 /boot ext2 defaults 0 0

"Then back command:"

lilo

That should do it. If you dont know what /dev/hda1 is, dont do what i says, but ask for more info.
If ure unsure, don't do it either, cause you'll lose data.
If you dont have PM6 (Partition Magic), there is no data-keeping solution to problem 2.

Good luck
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by:emery_k
ID: 6195631
Apparently my earlier comment did not get posted.
I had a similar problem which was hardware related. When the hard disk that would not boot was moved into a different system it booted fine.

To see if it is hardware related go into your bios and tell it that the first hard drive (W98se) is not installed then do an install where your system (at the hardware level) only sees the drive that you want to use for linux. This takes the dualboot issue out of the equation. If it is still a problem and you don't want to make hardware changes boot from floppy. If it works and you don't need to access you W98 drive you can switch between which drive you boot to using the Bios. I've also used the removable trays (about $30 each) that go in a 5.25 bay and just swapped which drive I wanted to boot from.

There is software that helps with the dual boot but I'd confirm if that hard drive can boot properly first.
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by:woregul
ID: 6195668
Here is my lilo.conf:

    boot=/dev/hda
    map=/boot/map
    install=/boot/boot.b
    prompt
    timeout=50
    message=/boot/message
    default=windows

    image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.2-2
        label=linux
        read-only
        root=/dev/hdb1

    other=/dev/hda1
        optional
        label=windows


Here is the partition tables for my two HDD's:

Disk /dev/hda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 2494 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

Device Boot  Start   End    Blocks  Id  System
/dev/hda1*       1   522   4192933+  b  Win95 FAT32
/dev/hda2      523  2492  15824025   f  Win95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5      523  1181   5293386   b  Win95 FAT32
/dev/hda6     1182  2491  10522543+  b  Win95 FAT32


Disk /dev/hdb: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 1582 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

Device Boot  Start   End    Blocks  Id  System
/dev/hdb1*       1    63    506016  83  Linux
/dev/hdb2       64  1582  12201367+ 85  Linux extended
/dev/hdb5       64    94    248976  82  Linux swap
/dev/hdb6       95   476   3068383+ 83  Linux
/dev/hdb7      477  1582   8883913+ 83  Linux


See anything wrong with this?

I do not have PM6 and would prefer to fix this without it and without losing data, but if that is not possible, I may have to buy it or deal with the floppy.
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Author Comment

by:woregul
ID: 6195678
Here is my lilo.conf:

    boot=/dev/hda
    map=/boot/map
    install=/boot/boot.b
    prompt
    timeout=50
    message=/boot/message
    default=windows

    image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.2-2
        label=linux
        read-only
        root=/dev/hdb1

    other=/dev/hda1
        optional
        label=windows


Here is the partition tables for my two HDD's:

Disk /dev/hda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 2494 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

Device Boot  Start   End    Blocks  Id  System
/dev/hda1*       1   522   4192933+  b  Win95 FAT32
/dev/hda2      523  2492  15824025   f  Win95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5      523  1181   5293386   b  Win95 FAT32
/dev/hda6     1182  2491  10522543+  b  Win95 FAT32


Disk /dev/hdb: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 1582 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes

Device Boot  Start   End    Blocks  Id  System
/dev/hdb1*       1    63    506016  83  Linux
/dev/hdb2       64  1582  12201367+ 85  Linux extended
/dev/hdb5       64    94    248976  82  Linux swap
/dev/hdb6       95   476   3068383+ 83  Linux
/dev/hdb7      477  1582   8883913+ 83  Linux


See anything wrong with this?

I do not have PM6 and would prefer to fix this without it and without losing data, but if that is not possible, I may have to buy it or deal with the floppy.
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by:XTerm
ID: 6197785
Since you just get a crash after Loading linux, and not a kernel panic... i think your kernel could be corrupted.

Boot with the boot floppy.
(All as root)
cd /usr/src/linux
ls
# If there are ver little files, install the kernel source.
make menuconfig
#Make adaptions if you want.
#Exit and save new config
make mrproper
make dep
make clean
make bzImage
make modules
make modules_install
make bzlilo
#Kernel compilation will take a long time depending on #RAM/CPU
init 6 #Will reboot the system.

I'not sure wheter red hat gives the option of installing the kernel binaries after installation.
If you know this is the case or you find how, try that first, it's a lot easyer.

If you install a new kernel and the problem remains, it is
i quote :

 "The cause lies in a combination of a big kernel,LILO and faulty hardware. Roughly this affects 1% of all machines. We assume this is due to a faulty BIOS that has problems with fast memry access. Possible error messages : System reboots,hangs,"crc-error","no free space","error 0x00","error 0x01","incomplete literal tree".
This problem does NOT occur if the machine is booted via loadlin, the kernel has been copied to a floppy, a smaller kernel (zImage) <-- Not an option for you."

I'm not really sure thats the problem, but it looks like it. If you can't fix it with installing kernel libraries, or recompiling the kernel, post your hardware specs.

Good luck

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Expert Comment

by:XTerm
ID: 6197788
I just remebered, i *think* you can download kernel binaries from www.kernel.org or other archives.
After you change kernel binary ALWAYS REINSTALL LILO !!
by entering 'lilo'. Also update System.map; which should be included with the kernel binaries.

Regards
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Author Comment

by:woregul
ID: 6219489
I tried XTerm's option 1 to rebuild my kernel and got the same result.

What I get is only the display from lilo:

Loading linux........

So I tried XTerm's option 2. I bought an upgrade to PM6 and created a small 15M partition, but I backed out the change when I could not get Windows to load properly. I used PM6 to undo the change and Windows is now back.

I was so concerned with losing Windows that I did not try to copy the boot area to the new 15M partition. I may try it again to see if that would work for Linux.

I did boot up with lilo to run Windows, and it just hung on the Windows load. Do I need to reinstall linux to see if lilo would work correctly to load Windows?

Also fdisk in linux did not show the changes I had made to the first hard disk. Do I need to update something?

Thanks for any help on this.

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Expert Comment

by:XTerm
ID: 6228734
I think it is indeed a hardware error.
Try booting via Grub.
If that doesn't help, you'll have to use Loadlin.

Good luck
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Expert Comment

by:hthukral
ID: 6264356
try in ur boot label default as label=linux instead of windows
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Author Comment

by:woregul
ID: 7104948
I finally got around to grading this. Sorry it took so long. Xterm's comments were very helpful and correct in the end - I fixed my problem by upgrading my hardware.
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