[lug] LILO Boot Problem

D. Stimits stimits at idcomm.com
Tue Jan 9 12:24:05 MST 2001

Steve Mathias wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> I recently installed a new version of Linux (Mandrake 7.2 dist.) over an
> existing RH5.2 system.  The fact that I'm posting this from work should be
> some indication that it did not go so well.  Everything seemed to go fine
> (except for creating the boot floppy, but I hadn't been able to mount a floppy
> for sometime, so that didn't surprise me), until rebooting after the install.
> At that point my machine hung at the point where one normally sees LILO ....
> I only saw LI followed by a flashing cursor.
> Since then I have completely reformatted both my hard drives - I have a SCSI
> disk and an IDE disk - using fdisk or the graphical tools provided by the
> installers.  I've tried reinstalling RH version 5.2, 6.1 on the IDE drive, as
> the RH installer doesn't even seem to recognize that the SCSI disk is there.
> The Mandrake installer seems to recognizes both disks, and I've tried
> installing onto both of them.  In all cases, the system hangs when rebooting,
> at the same place.  In a desperate attempt to get my machine to boot at any
> cost, I even tried to install NT and this produced the same result.
> At this point I have the Mandrake distribution installed on the IDE drive.  I
> can only boot the machine from the install CD.  If I do a rescue at the
> install prompt, I can get a prompt.  If I do 'fdisk /dev/sda' it says that it
> can't see the disk.  This leads me to believe that there is some problem with
> the partition table on that disk, that it's not really re-formatted and that
> there is a bootloader on there which the system is trying to use.  But I'm in
> way over my head here.  I would really appreciate any advice or pointers on
> how I can try to sort this out.
> Thanks.
>     -Steve
> --
> Steve Mathias
> mathias at genomica.com

If it can't see the disk, I would suspect that possibly there is no
driver for the controller. It isn't unusual for NT 4 to require
specifically naming the controller type during install (I have two which
it does this with), so that isn't a particularly good indication of disk
failure. Linux, if it uses a module, and that module is on the disk that
requires the module in the first place, would require an initial ramdisk
with the module info in it. Is the scsi the drive that has /boot/ and
the root partition on it? What kind of scsi controller is it?

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