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Installing Linux past 1024 cylinders

I wish to install Red Hat Linux 7.1 on my PC.

My hard drive configuration is as follows:
Drive 1 (3 GB) - FAT32, Windows 98 "C"
Drive 2 (19 GB)
   Primary partition (8 GB) FAT32 "D"
   Extended partition (11 GB)
      Logical drive (5.5 GB), NTFS, Win2K Pro, "F"
      5.5 GB unpartitioned free space remains.

The system now dual-boots using the NT Boot Loader.

I want to install Linux into the unpartitioned space using the Linux native (ext2) file system.  However, the Red Hat installation program doesn't permit me to mount root into a partition that doesn't begin in the first 1024 cylinders of the drive.  

My motherboard was purchased only a year ago, and I believe all recent BIOSes support booting from over 1024 cylinders.

Red Hat offers the option of installing onto a FAT partition, but this slows the system down and I'd like to avoid this.  Nor is it feasible to resize the other partitions, they already have quite a bit of stuff in them.

How can I get past this?

help appreciated.
1 Solution
hi there
i`m not sure for redhat but in slackware it`s like this:
after you start the installation you run fdisk on your secondary harddrive. Make a new linux partition(83) and a new swap partition (82). From here it`s easy setup install and so...After install configure your lilo to boot from i gues /dev/hdb (/dev/hda is your p master) and dont install it on the MBR... it`s not so critical but... :-)
Add you FAT and NTFS partition and give them names...
If you have installed the newest verion of LILO or GRUB you`ll find out that it`s bether than the NTBL

If you have more questions just use EE !

Regards no[rm]al
tyronenAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately RedHat doesn't permit me to do this if the FAT/NTFS partitions already occupy more than the first 1024 cylinders of the drive, as they do for me.

Caldera OpenLinux allows the installation to go ahead, but then fails when I actually try to boot it (and Caldera doesn't supply a mkbootdisk script to make a boot floppy) so no hope there either.
Free up some space on your Win98 disk (about 50MB) and make an boot-partition of about 50MB for the Linux /boot map.
In this way, Linux boots from the first HD (you need to put the boot-partition before cylinder 1024). When installing, mount the boot partition at /boot and the other partition that you have to make on your second HD as /

That should work.
Also about LILO: Not in MBR!!

Good luck.

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The boot-partition can be a logical one, that doesn't matter to Linux.

So obviously the NT bootloader already does a good job on your system.
Why not play it the smart way & boot LILO via the NT Boot loader then ?


Sorry for simply referring you to a document but there are certain detailed steps to take
& no one else than you would be able to figure how it best applies to our system.
By the way, that mini HOWOT howto explains in easy understandable parts.
Maybe you find  the 'bootpart.exe' in chapter 4 giving you good assistance.      
Enable lba32 mode with lilo and you should be able to boot past the 1024 cil limit.
tyronenAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestions.  They all would work but for one fundamental problem:

Red Hat's install program *refuses to let me install* to the only free space I have available.  So I can't configure LILO, or follow the NT/Linux instructions etc.

My Win98 drive is nearly full and repartitioning it would be painful.

What I'm looking for is an option, somewhere, that would let me disable the 1024-cylinder check, and just install the system.  If I have to, I can put up with always having to boot Linux from a floppy; just let me put root above 1024 cylinders.
Get Mandrake 8.0.
You are going to have to have an area that RedHat will view as bootable that doesn't violate the 1024 cylinder limit. In this case I'd get a current copy of Partition Magic and squeeze the Win98 installation down by about 10MB to make room for a "/boot" partiition. Then install RedHat using the "/boot" partition and the free space on the second drive. When done, you'll need to set the system up to boot from the NT Boot Loader in the normal manner.
The only solution I found, and I know, is to make a separated boot partition. Use Partition Magic 6.0 for it (can be found on the warez-part of the web, mail to ToniVR@pandora.be to know an url). Make it about 15MB (it may be a logical partition). You can also create the swap an native partition with it, so that you only have to mount the partitions during installation.
RedHat doesn't allow an installation of the boot files behind cylinder 1024, because LILO cannot handle it. This problem can be solved by using LoadLin (edit your boot.ini file from NT to start it from the Win98 partition. LoadLin is a Dos-util), but LoadLin does not give a solution unless you can install Linux behind cylinder 1024. So this is a solution that won't work.

If you need more info about the partitioning with Partition Magic 6.0, just ask me.

Have fun installing, and good luck!

LILO  can boot beyond cylinder 1024, this issue was fixed months ago, but RH installation doesn't allow to install boot files beyond that...

anybody knows why?

just to comment.
If this were my problem, this is what I would do:

I would first use Norton's Ghost program and make a high-compress ghost image file of the 5.5G disk 2 "F"-drive extended partition, specifying the ghost image to write to drive d or drive c - whichever has enough space.

Then I would use the RedHat installation program using fdisk to remove the complete extended partition on disk 2, and add whatever sizes of partitions you now require for the linux installation and for whatever was previously on your drive (eg., if you only require 3g for your w2k ghost image then create that size partition, as a primary. Now you will have 2 primaries.  Now make your boot partition primary (small), now make extended partition, and logical swap and linux partitions in any configuration you want), thereafter writing these changes to disk.  Make sure before this step that you change the partition types accordingly.

Install linux.  Make sure it boots.

Format your new ntfs partition.

Boot windows and dump the ghost image to new ntfs partition.

Maybe this will work for you.

Maybe there are certain factors about the ghost program and your ntfs partition that I have overlooked.

Regardless, I have other options for you if none of this works.  I don't know how to simply force an override of this limitation you're encoutering in linux - I understand that that's basically all you're looking for.  But if you're really hard up for a linux install and don't want to lose that data then here you go.

Let me know if it works for you.


RedHat allows you to specify some parameters when booting before installation. I do not know what you can specify here (I know it's possible to limit memory use, to specify certain ISA cards, etc ...). I assume there is an option to allow an installation after cylinder 1024, but I don't know what.

It's not a solution, but a search-direction I think you should follow.

Greetz, ToniVR
Disk Druid cannot put a boot partition above cylinder 1024 but their other option, Fdisk, can!  It's not friendly to use.  Had to be careful not to modify the W98 partition by mistake.
I've just done it with a 60Gb drive. It had a 20Gb win 98 partition and the rest unallocated.  DD could not use any of this area above 20Gb for the boot partition but red hat Fdisk could. I used Fdisk to create the 3 partitions mentioned in the install book and then resumed installation.
LILO is in the MBR and dual boot works ok.
(can't see the win98 drive/files from Linux but that is another problem :-(
tyronenAuthor Commented:
I did, in fact, try using Fdisk to create the partition, and it created the partition fine.  But as far as I can tell you still need to use Disk Druid to mount it, and it refuses to mount / over 1024 cylinders.

I was trying to use / as the location for LILO, but am prepared to use the MBR if I can be sure that I can still boot both Win98 and Win2K at will.  Should I place it on physical drive 1 or 2?  (Windows now boots from drive 1).
In my case Disk Druid could not CREATE \boot at over 1024.
However, after adding 3 partitions with DD it was happy to 'rename'(mount) one of them as \root.
PS.  I'm a newbie and amazed I got it installed at all!
I know nothing about DD, but  "fdisk", edit /etc/fstab file, and "LILO" works for me...

Opps...typo....I meant
In my case Disk Druid could not CREATE \boot at over 1024.
However, after adding the 3 partitions with Fdisk (all above the 20Gb Win98 partition),
Disk Druid was then happy to 'rename'(mount) one of them as \root.
Install the latest LiLo to remove 1024 limit and move the partition with PQMagic and change the fstab file.
This worked for me.
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