:> You can install Lilo in the first sector of a Linux-native primary
:> partition and mark that partition "active" in the partition table. I
:> used to do that back in the good old days before I had a stable
:> Linux/Lilo installation. A lot of people still recommend that just to
:> avoid the problem of how to purge Lilo from the MBR, but it's awfully
:> easy to make the disasterous error of installing Lilo on a DOS
:> partition, where it wipes out the file system parameters.
:So how do you get rid of it once you've installed Lilo there?
If you're talking about the problem of the corrupted DOS partition,
the problem is not getting rid of Lilo -- it's recovering the DOS
file system parameters that were stored in that sector. Usually
Norton Disk Doctor can reconstruct that data, though there are some
cases involving resized partitions or FAT-32 file systems where it
doesn't have enough information to do that right. At that point it's
time to find someone with knowledge about the structure of the file
system and a copy of Norton Diskedit.
Otherwise, you can leave Lilo there and not worry about it -- just mark
a different partition "active", and the Lilo boot loader will be
ignored. Since you are deleting Lilo, presumably you are about to
delete that partition and replace it with a DOS partition. When you do
that the Lilo installation will be overwritten.
: I've tried
:getting rid of Lilo, and the UI doesn't come up at boot time but I can't
:install NT now (INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE) -- essentially it seems to have
:hosed the MBR. How can I reset the MBR?
:And what do people think about the risks of FDISK /MBR under Win98 to fix the
:MBR back to just booting Win98? I saw a page at powerquest web site
:(http://support.powerquest.com/pm/pm6019.html) that warns strongly against its
As long as you know that your problem is simply due to the presence of
Lilo in the MBR, then "FDISK /MBR" is relatively safe. The problem is
that "FDISK /MBR" is frequently suggested as a panacea for various
ill-defined disk problems (most having nothing whatever to do with the
primary boot loader in the MBR). If there is a disk manager installed
in the MBR, or perhaps a virus that has encrypted the partition table,
then FDISK /MBR will cause you to lose access to your data. It's a
situation that an expert can still fix, but anyone with the ability to
recover from that would most likely never have asked the question.
Since one of Powerquest's major products is just such a disk manager,
you can understand why those people would warn so strongly against
BTW, I once heard from a person who had coached someone on the opposite
coast through the process of reconstructing a partition table (a simple
one) with DEBUG. IIRC, he said he had some 60 pages of e-mail as a
record of the week-long task.
PGP public key 1024/9A9C7955
Key fingerprint = 2F E5 82 F8 5D 06 A2 59 20 65 44 68 87 EC A7 D7