I now have this problem, or something similar.
I can't use GrannyGeek's method, since I have no Windows on my system (I don't even have a copy of Windows XP, so I can't install it to solve this problem).
Here's what happened. I had two PATA drives on my machine, one of which had my root partition. My motherboard supports SATA for two drives, so when they became less expensive I bought two and installed them. I had VL 5.8 on hda (my first PATA drive), and then I installed 5.9 on the second SATA (sdb). I used 5.8 to add 5.9 to Lilo. Then, hda died. I removed the drive, and set things up so that the former second PATA became the only one. Naturally there was no more Lilo, so I booted from the install disk.
I don't know where to install Lilo. None of my hard drives will accept it (hda, sda, nor sdb) ... I get that error message where it's a bunch of zeroes (I think that's the one, but I can find out for sure if it's important). If I try to install Lilo to a floppy, I get a similar or the same error message, even when VASM tells me it has installed successfully.
I can't find anything in my BIOS about setting one of the drives as the first.
This isn't a serious problem, since I can always boot from the install disk. But I would like to have Lilo back.
If anybody has any ideas, I would greatly appreciate it.