[lug] Problem with LILO & WIn 2k

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Sat Nov 10 23:31:47 MST 2001

Each letter of the LILO prompt stands for a particular portion of the
bootloader process completing.  See the LILO manpages for details.

LI = The second-stage bootloader could not be loaded.

This is usually due to putting the Linux partition out at the end of the
drive where the BIOS cannot access it, meaning that the first-stage LILO
bootloader "can't get there" either.  Some newer versions of LILO in
some distros seem to have an easier time of finding stuff beyond the
normal physical limitations of the older versions, and I *think* GRUB
can deal nicely with the problem also, but I'd have to recommend some
experimentation if you want to go this route.  I use a different tactic.

On my laptops that have had this problem in the past I've usually gone
the fairly simple (to me anyway) route of using a commercial parition
editor/mover and moved the Windows partition down the drive ever so
slightly and created a /boot partition for Linux in front of Windows
during the Linux installation. 128MB is overkill and will give you all
the room you'll ever need for tons of different old and new kernels in

This has the advantage of not moving Windows down where it's not happy
and still giving Linux a place to get up and running on the machine. 
For the super-crazy you can even put different distro's kernels in that
same /boot and boot different distros of Linux if you feel so inclined
-- however that's pretty gory and not highly recommended.   

Then you can either use LILO to boot all your OS's, GRUB, or even the NT
Bootloader if you like.  Just keep all the kernel stuff near the front
of the drive to avoid these odd ball drive geometry issues.  

Be careful and always backup your machine (Ghost works nicely for this,
etc... etc...) before futzing around with moving partitions...

Nate Duehr, nate at natetech.com

On Mon, 2001-11-05 at 15:49, "Saltiel, Hernán Claudio" wrote:
> Hello!
> I have installed Windows 2000 Professional on my notebook, and after that,
> Mandrake 8.1.
> The problem is that I've tried to install it on a 20 Gb. hard dik, and when
> I try to boot, only receive LI LI LI LI......
> The way I installed my machine was on the /dev/hda5 for the swap partition,
> and the /dev/hda6 for the / partition.
> I think that LILO is confusing the geometry of the disk, so I can only boot
> this system from a diskette, or from the VMware software.
> I've tried to make a dd if=/dev/hda5 of=/bootsec.lnx bs=512 count=1, and the
> copy the file bootsec.lnx to the Win2k partition, and modified the boot.ini
> file to support the linux partition, but the messages remains with LI LI
> LI....
> Anybody knows how to make LILO to recognize this kind of disk, because I
> partitioned the disk in two 10 Gb. partitions, and the swap starts after the
> 1024 cyl, is this bad for linux, must I put some parameters on lilo.conf, or
> waht?
> Thanks a lot in advance for your help!!!!!
> HeCSa.

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