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LILO works on one computer but gives L 40 40 40 ... on another

Okay, I think I know what the problem is, but i don't know how to fix it. I've installed slackware 9.1 on my old laptop hard drive:

NEC Versa V/75
486 DX4 75Mhz
20 Mb Ram
540 Mb Hard Drive

Since the laptop has no floppy or CD drives, I had to take the hard drive out and connect it to to a pc with a 2.5" to 3.5" IDE adapter and install Slack via PC. On the PC (AMD K6-2 450Mhz, 64Mb Ram) Slackware boots just fine, but when I put the drive back in the laptop I get the "L 40 40 ..." error which, from what I can tell from some documentation, is an I/O error of some kind.

I have actually gotten I/O errors on this laptop before when putting Windows 98 on it. Apparently it won't handle a FAT32 filesystem so I FDISK'd it with dos 6.22 and was able to get it up and running after that so I am wondering if this is a similar situation altough I got another distro to work with ext2

A few weeks ago I was able to get RedHat 7.0 working perfectly on it and then I used the ext2 FS for the partition so i thought it would be safe to stick with it, but now I am getting the before mentioned error when trying to boot slack.

I would prefer to use Slack because RH 7.0 sucks really bad and it's ironic that, so far, it's the only distro I can get running on this thing so far.

For those that are curious here is my lilo.conf:
I don't think anything in here is at the root of the problem, but I am willing to here suggestions.

# LILO configuration file
# generated by 'liloconfig'
# Start LILO global section
boot = /dev/hda
message = /boot/boot_message.txt
timeout = 1200
# Override dangerous defaults that rewrite the partition table:
# Normal VGA console
vga = normal

# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz
root = /dev/hda1
label = Linux
# Linux bootable partition config ends


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1 Solution
Hi corwashere,
It's probably a problem of the BIOS. Older BIOSes couldn't access larger hard drives properly (they didn't support LBA).
Check your LILO HOWTO for old HDs. It's possible that you used LILO on your PC in an "LBA" mode, whereas the laptop's BIOS doesn't support it.

If this doesn't do the trick, you could try something else, which succeeded with my old PC:

1. Create a tiny partition on the lower end of your HD tracks, like 5MB or such. This can even be a DOS partition.
2. configure LILO so that the kernel and all loaders required for access are stored on your little partition.

Or probably better
corwashereAuthor Commented:
That's what the problem may be. So to my next question. If I create a small (10 Mb or more?) partition and mark it as bootable, will the slackware installation know to put the boot files there or do I have to explicitly tell it somehow. At first glance, I don't see anything in the installation program or in liloconfig which allows me to set this.

corwashereAuthor Commented:
That did it! All I did was create a 10Mb partition mounted it as boot and the installer did the rest!

Thanks for your help! The points are well earned :)

> will the slackware installation know to put the boot files there or do
> I have to explicitly tell it somehow

You'll have to tell. The boot flags are only used by DOS.

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