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Author Topic: "Missing Operating System" error  (Read 4112 times)


  • Vectorian
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  • Posts: 1132
Re: "Missing Operating System" error
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2010, 09:58:35 am »

I've edit my previous post to include more output which will be helpful in getting lilo written correctly to your MBR.  Unless you're attempting a more advanced boot scenario (dual-booting, tri-booting, chain loading, etc) I cannot think of a reason why you would need to mount anything prior to writing lilo to the mbr.


  • Member
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  • Posts: 13
Re: "Missing Operating System" error
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2010, 11:16:40 am »

No need for dual boot. Once I get Vector going on hda, all I plan for the second HDD is data (or a 2nd Linux distro).

I've been reading, and I think I should adjust my partitions - I've got 10GB designated for my 'root' partition, and I see a much smaller partition is recommended; linux-swap is 4GB (twice my RAM); and the rest of the 120GB HD is '/home.'  Should the swap partition follow the first, or does it not matter?
Would you suggest anything different? Are all the other files (lib/usr/bin, etc.) except for "/home" which I've designated for hda2, loaded to hda automatically?

I'm leaning towards yet another install, using GParted when it gets to that step. I'd re-size my first partition (smaller), and try to make sure the /root and most of the rest of the install goes there; does the linux-swap need to be next, followed by the bulk of the capacity for '/home?'

Should I format the 2nd HD drive, or not worry about that until later? I keep thinking about the
"Fatal: First sector of /dev/hdd1 doesn't have a valid boot signature" error from LILO.
Does it need a valid boot signature?
Isn't that (hdd1) the HDD that I'm not using (yet)?

I've been playing around with Linux for literally years - MepisLite, then Dreamlinux on an old Celeron 400 with 256K RAM.
This is now our home machine, and WinXP just wasn't getting it done for us. I tend to think in MS Wndows terms, even though I know Linux works differently (and better), so I apologize in advance for so many questions, most of which probably reveal a lot still to learn.


  • Packager
  • Vectorian
  • ****
  • Posts: 2567
Re: "Missing Operating System" error
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2010, 11:41:42 pm »

DO NOT make your root partition smaller. If you have a big enough hard drive, make it larger--at least 20 gigs. Don't forget that all the programs you'll install go on the / (that is, root) partition. Your data goes in the /home directory. So if you have lots of photo files, videos, music files, and other biggies, you want lots of room for them in /home.

I don't use a separate home partition at all. The problem with partitioning is that it's hard to get it right. Either / is too small and you're always fighting for room or /home is too small and you don't have enough room for your data. I have /home directly on / (the root partition) and don't have to worry about the niceties of having the best size for each partition.

You do want to have other Linux-formatted partitions to which you can copy your /home if you're going to install a new version of VL. You'll save tons of time if you have that copy of /home because once you install the new version, you can copy stuff back from the /home you copied elsewhere. That "stuff" includes not just your data, but your customizations for the programs you use. With Linux you never have to redo all those customizations. Nearly all settings are in /home and you don't have to mess with a nightmare like the Windows Registry or hunt for the many places Windows may scatter your settings.

4 gigs is way too much space for your swap partition, especially since you have 2 gigs of actual RAM. 512 megs would be enough.

You can mark a partition as active in the partitioning program you use, such as GParted or cfdisk.
Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
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