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Author Topic: New install won't boot from MBR - SOLVED!!  (Read 5987 times)

s1wood

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New install won't boot from MBR - SOLVED!!
« on: February 03, 2010, 01:29:30 pm »

Hi,
I've finally got a working installation of Vector 6.0 Standard Gold. Some teething problems, some of them I have sorted out.
The main problem now is that it won't boot without the CD - I get the small boot screen then it goes back to the beginning.
Unfortunately I haven't got the TUI option which I think I have seen suggested as the answer: is it possible to add this somehow?

Susan

« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 01:30:52 pm by s1wood »
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stretchedthin

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2010, 03:42:15 pm »

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s1wood

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 01:12:37 pm »

OK, I followed the instructions, got the text interface and went though the Lilo process - still not working. After several attempts the system crashed and I lost patience, re-formated and installed the light version.
It still won't boot from MBR but I have now worked out that I have been misunderstanding something on the text interface, i.e. how to select or deselect items ('toggling' is not  a verb I am familiar with) and Lilo keeps offering me a Windows partition I don't have and should be deselecting.
So, I have been trying to install Lilo through VASM - I go through the whole process and then get 'Lilo failed to install' and advice to try editing the text menu - which is definitely beyond me!
Where do I go from here?

Susan
PS can someone confirm that I have now got the selection bit right - [X] means something is selected and [ ] means unselected? Does it make any difference if the symbol used is
  • ?
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nightflier

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2010, 01:50:44 pm »

Susan, you are correct regarding selected/unselected items. It doesn't matter if it's an x or a dot. "Toggle" just means turn something on or off.

If vasm fails to install lilo to mbr, there is usually something strange about the partitioning of the drive. Sounds like you may have some remnants of a windows part on it. If this drive is dedicated to your Linux experiment, it would be a good idea to totally wipe it using a low level utility. I use UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ for this purpose. You need to know the make of your hard drive so you can select the proper utility for the job.
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s1wood

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 02:46:20 pm »

I wiped the drive (I have a CD for this) and re-installed but Lilo will still not work.
How long is it supposed to take at the 'configure lilo and install' screen? Because that is where it seems to stop.
Trying to use VASM it just cuts out at that point.
I partitioned with the text utility this time. I don't know if I could have done something wrong there?

Susan
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newt

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010, 03:27:02 pm »

It sounds like an unusual situation on your test machine.  The 'configure lilo and install' step should only take a few seconds (<10 for sure).

I think it might be worth your while to manually write zeros to the boot sector of the hard drive using linux, and then try reinstalling lilo. Here's how you can manually write zeros to the boot sector:
-boot linux (live or installed)
-as root, enter this command: dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/NULL bs=512 count=1
    -you will need to change 'NULL' to your actual hard drive device (e.g. hda, hdb, sda, sdb, etc)
-repeat the previous command a couple more times

After this, reboot your system with the VL CD and either reload just lilo, or reload VL. Just reloading lilo would probably let you know if this helped or not.

Side note: I mention this method because I was recently helping a friend reload their Windows system after being infected by virii. As it turned out, he could not reload the system because the boot sector was infected. He had previously run DBAN on the hard drive and STILL the boot sector had not been nuked. After running the above command a few times from a live linux distro, he was able to reinstall normally. I actually had him run the following sequence of commands (his drive was /dev/sda):
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 03:31:37 pm by newt »
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s1wood

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2010, 10:24:52 am »

Tried that - no change.

When using VASM Lilo is now giving me an error message , unfortunately I can't read the handwritten note I made but it is something about '0x80 being used by 2 disks.'

Lilo also refuses to install to a floppy.

 >:(

Susan
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newt

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2010, 12:03:51 pm »

This thread (last post) may prove useful: http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=20448&sid=ffa0f3527577d10ae740d5e588c68c43#20448

From that, it would be interesting to see the output from the command: lilo -v3 -t

Perhaps the output from that, combined with a 'disk=' and 'bios=' arguments would prove successful in getting lilo installed.

HTH!
newt
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s1wood

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 12:08:16 pm »

OK,
I've got that error message again - this is just trying to install LILO to MBR from the Light Live CD.

"....It should be possible to get LILO working by editing the /etc/lilo/conf and reinstalling LILo manually. See tha LILO man page and documentation in /usr/doc/lilo for more help.
lilo error=Fatal: Bios device code 0x80 is being used by two disks."

Does that mean anything to anyone?

Susan
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s1wood

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 12:13:36 pm »

I looked up that Knoppix link - it is far too technical for me, I don't know where to start.
I have only one HDD.

Susan
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s1wood

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2010, 12:20:56 pm »

I just tried installing to a floppy which I had formatted in Linux - 'lilo error=Fatal:creat/boot/map~:Read-only file system.' Does this just mean a dodgy floppy?

Susan
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newt

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 12:44:25 pm »

Please post the output of this command (run this as root): lilo -v3 -t
Cheers!
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s1wood

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 03:04:41 pm »

>Please post the output of this command (run this as root): lilo -v3 -t<

Sorry, can you run that through from the beginning please? I have no idea where to start.
I currently have Vector Light installed.

Susan
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newt

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2010, 03:39:26 pm »

The steps are:
-Open a terminal (icon with dollar sign by the VL menu)
-su to root (su and enter root password when prompted)
-enter the command (lilo -v3 -t)
-copy the output from the command
-paste the output in a reply to this thread

This is an attempt to get more details about your hard drive BIOS ids so that your lilo.conf can be configured in such a way that it can be installed successfully.
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s1wood

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Re: New install won't boot from MBR
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2010, 12:37:10 am »

I can't copy and paste because a) I can't find out how to do it and b) the computer in question  is currently refusing to connect to the internet (yet another re-installation coming up) so I am typing this out on my Windows computer (which I am becoming fonder of by the day!) There may be errors in the small print and punctuation.

>Warning: LBA32 addressing assumed
device-mapper major = 253
raid_setup returns offset = 00000000 ndisk = 0
BIOS  VolumeID Device
Reading bootsector from /dev/sda
pf_hard_disk_scan: ndevs=2
0300 0001247D /dev/hda
0800 00000000 /dev/sda
Resolve invalid VolumeIDs

reference: disk "/dev/sda"  (8,0)  0000

LILO want to assign a new Volume ID to this disk drive. However, changing the Volume ID of a Windows NT, 2000, or XP boot disk is a fatal Windows error. This caution does not apply to Windows 95 or 98, or to NT data disks.

Is the above disk an NT boot disk? [Y/n]^C <



The HDD I have in was bought 2nd hand, formatted for Windows at that time but has been wiped and reformatted several times now. My VL installation is on hda2.

Just one thing has occurred to me,I looked in my BIOS set up to make sure I had HDD as a boot option, which I have, but there are IDE options - I was sure I had reset it to what it was originally when I first played around with this, but could I be on the wrong option? I have IDE-0 selected.

Thanks for the help,

Susan
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