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Comments for LILO

06 Feb 2003 04:57 jaysquared

installed lilo, but windows drive can't be accessed from LILO

I'm running a Pentium 3 ,256 ram, with 2 hard drives. I had windows 98 on hda and installed mandrake on hdb. Now, it starts up fine when I select the linux option, but when I try booting up windows it gives me an error message L 99 99, I tried fdisk /mbr from a windows boot cd, then it just gives me the same error again L 99 99. Now, when I try to install or read the hda drive from a windows boot disk, it says invalid media specification. But when I mount the hda drive in linux, all my files are there, intact. Any suggestions?

this is the contents of my lilo.conf file, if it helps.

append="quiet devfs=mount hdc=ide-scsi"
append="devfs=mount hdc=ide-scsi"
append="failsafe devfs=nomount hdc=ide-scsi"

any help will be welcome, thanks.

04 Feb 2003 00:57 snodx

Primary HDD error

Greetings everybody,

I have Mandrake 7.2 installed on a Pentium III machine.

So one fine day when I start working in console mode (not in X-Windows mode) the electricity fails. When my machine started the moment electricty resumed, the system tries to search for the boot record in the hard disk, but in vain. After the RAM count stage I get this message:

Primary HDD Error
Press F1 to resume

When I press F1 the boot record is searched in SCSI, then in the Floppy drive and then in the CDROM:

Searching for boot record in SCSI: Not Found
Searching for boot record in Floppy: Not Found
Searching for boot record in CDROM: Not Found

And then it finally says: Could'nt find boot media. Install the boot diskette in the Floppy drive and press any key to enter. All this while (while the boot record is being searched for) I get to hear a Crkkk Crkkk Crkkk sound that often comes when reading the head of a crashed hard disk.

Had the system invoked the bootrecord successfully then a blue colour lilo window would have been displayed, with the various Operating Systems (installed on the hard disk) image names printed in white. On my system lilo used to show "linux", "failsafe" and "floppy".

Is this "Primary HDD error" a lilo problem or a Mandrake problem? Can I get the system to somehow invoke the Mandrake Kernel (of course I can expect a Kernel panic)? Is there a lilo component which I can copy onto a floppy and attempt to invoke the kernel? If this succeeds then I can try to recover the data from the hard disk.

Thanx in advance.

Eagerly awaiting a response.

Google is showing up only 2 results for "Primary HDD error" and both of them are irrelevant to the current problem. I am trying other search engines, forums and mailing lists.


21 Jan 2003 10:17 johncoffman

Re: check for kernal remapping before mbr write?
Kernel remapping of the disk geometry is not an issue with "lba32" in the /etc/lilo.conf file. The boot loader will first try to directly address the disk with a 32-bit linear address; if this fails, then it will use the geometry supplied by int 13h, fn 8h.

21 Jan 2003 09:20 deunhido

check for kernal remapping before mbr write?
can lilo check for kernel remapping before trying to install an mbr? it would be good to display a warning before a futile attempt to write sector 0. more info at the large disk howto.


17 Jan 2003 22:00 blaci

LILO error

My pri-master is the cd-rom and the pri-slave is the hard! I installed ( on dev/hdb5 !!! ) RH7.2 and everyting went fine.
I checked the lilo.conf and the partitions were good seted up.

I gived the lilo command to see if the lilo works fine, but there was a warning:
WARNING: /dev/hdb is not on the first disk !
Added Win98
Added linux

I rebooted the computer and after "Boot record found on IDE-0" only appared the L letter!

What should i do???

Thanks for your answer!

15 Jan 2003 10:39 johncoffman

Re: "No boot signature in partition" - Lilo message?
The message "No boot signature in partition" comes from the Master Boot Record. 'lilo -M /dev/hda' may be used to install the MBR. It is the function of the MBR to boot the active primary partition. This partition may be a LILO boot record, or another operating system. A primary partition is marked active by a flag in the partition table, part of the MBR. A partition, either primary or secondary, is marked "BOOTABLE" by a signature word at offset 510, which must be 0xAA55. If this signature is not present, the partition is not considered bootable. This convention dates back to the IBM PC and IBM PC-XT. Even bootable floppies adhere to this signature convention, although they do not support multiple disk partitions. The LILO boot installer (/sbin/lilo) unconditionally sets this signature in every boot record it writes (boot=), whether to a master boot record (e.g., /dev/hda), or to a bootable partition (e.g., /dev/hda2 or /dev/hda5). Note that the former may or may not be marked active, whereas the latter may only be accessed from the LILO chain loader, not the MBR, since it is not a primary partition. The former, if marked active, may be booted from the MBR. It this last case, the MBR receives control from the BIOS (it itself has the "bootable" signature), and chains automatically to the active partition if it contains the signature marking it bootable.

15 Jan 2003 05:31 TSchlabach

"No boot signature in partition" - Lilo message?
I wonder if this message is a lilo or a BIOS messages, but my guess would be this is a LILO message.

If it is
1) What does it mean?
2) What can I do about this? I.e. how do I write a signature into the parition?

Background: I have upgraded my Debian only system (no Windows dual boot or the like) from 2.x to 3.0. Since then I get this message when I try to book from harddisk.

I have already tried to reinstall lilo and have lilo rewrite the MBR - no change.

From what I know doesn't lilo put at least an "L" (or LI or LIL) onto the screen before it complains about anything else.

If I delete the MBR, I get "missing operating system", so lilo obviously wrote its MBR into /dev/hda. I also checked with lilo -A that /dev/hda1 is the active partition and contains a valid linux installation.

Booting from CD rom and starting the system with "rescue root=/dev/hda1" works fine as well.

I post this here as I think this is less a specific installation's problem than the general question about this error message in case it is a lilo message. It's neither really verbose nor did I find it somewhere.

Kind regards,

26 Dec 2002 15:48 christianpp

Re: LILO Error
You're right, /boot was located on /dev/hdc.

Added "map = /mnt/c/map" to lilo.conf (using LILO 22.3.4; /dev/hda1 mounted on /mnt/c) and now it works :-)

Thanks for your help!

26 Dec 2002 14:14 johncoffman

Re: LILO Error
Implicitly, all the other parts of LILO are in /boot, which is not on /dev/hda. You can 1). move that directory to hda (install=, map=, & loader= will have to be specified explicitly in lilo.conf), or 2). get rid of LILO entirely. Mark /dev/hda1 active, ("lilo -A /dev/hda 1" [note the space]) and install a master boot record: ("lilo -M /dev/hda"). If you want specific help, correspond directly with me. --John Coffman

26 Dec 2002 14:04 christianpp

LILO Error
I have installed LILO in MBR of my primary master HD (/dev/hda) and it's only task is to boot Windows on /dev/hda1. There are also two other HDs (/dev/hdb, /dev/hdc) in my computer that don't have an entry in lilo.conf. My problem is that when I remove one of the other two HDs (hdb/hdc or both) from the computer, LILO only prints "L 01 01 01..." and when I put it/them back, everything works fine again. I'm really confused and hope somebody can help, because I don't want to reinstall LILO everytime I exchange harddisks that are not used with LILO.

Here's my lilo.conf:

boot = /dev/hda

vga = normal

other = /dev/hda1
label = windows


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