HELP: Boot & More than 528Meg in RH Linux 5.0?

HELP: Boot & More than 528Meg in RH Linux 5.0?

Post by Alex Portno » Fri, 27 Feb 1998 04:00:00



Hello.

How are you?

I have a small problem.  I am a newbie to Linux, although I have had 5
years experience with SunOS Unix.  I have read the FAQ's, and the
mini-docs but I can't find a solution to this problem.  I am keen to get
Linux running - I love Unix.

I have a 486DX-33 with an old AMI BIOS that doesn't understand LBA.  I
have a IDE 1.2Meg hard disk in my computer.  There are no SCSI HD's in
my PC.

When I ran Windows 95 a week ago, the only way for Windows to see more
than 528 Meg was to run it with a pre-OS loader called "Disk Manager
v9.0" by Ontrack Systems, Inc. in the USA.  This fooled the BIOS by
giving it a false HD geometry.  

I have now wiped Windows 95 off my computer, and am ready to run Red-Hat
Linux 5.0.  This is what I did:

1)      I low-level formatted the HD.  I have done this before; I can
assure
you that my hard-disk is working 100% right now.
2)      I turned on the PC.
3)      I booted off a Win 95 system disk, and set up Disk Manager.
4)      The Blue "Disk Manager" banner came on.  It told me to insert
the
first OS disk I wanted to set up.
5)      I put the Red Hat Linux 5.0 boot disk in.
6)      The set up ran off the CDROM, I chose some options, and then ran
Disk
Druid.
7)      I deleted all the partitions that Disk Manager had created -
"DOS16->32".
8)      I created 2 partitions only - Linux-native "/" and "Swap space".
They were both 1 meg, but I also selected "Expandable" (I think that's
what it was called, or "Auto-adjustable" or something like that).
9)      Selected a few other options, the install finished copying and
asked
me to reboot. I rebooted.
10)     The blue Disk Manager banner came up and asked me to insert the
first disk just as in (4) above.  It's as if none of the OS was
installed on the HD, or else, it wasn't marked startable!

My questions:

1)      Why doesn't Linux boot?

2)      In order to see more than 528Meg with no BIOS-LBA support, is it
vital to run "Disk Manager"?  Or does Linux LILO have built-in "Disk
Manager"-type support written into it?

3)      If I get rid of Disk Manager, is there another program for me to
use
that will allow me to see more than 528 Meg?  Is it free?  Is it written
for a Quantum Fireball 1.2meg HD?

4)      If I don't delete the partition that Disk Manager creates
("DOS16->32"), how will I get "/" to become Linux native?

5)      Has anyone else had this problem?

Thanks for your assistance!

Alex Portnoy

 
 
 

HELP: Boot & More than 528Meg in RH Linux 5.0?

Post by Roy Stogn » Fri, 27 Feb 1998 04:00:00



>When I ran Windows 95 a week ago, the only way for Windows to see more
>than 528 Meg was to run it with a pre-OS loader called "Disk Manager
>v9.0" by Ontrack Systems, Inc. in the USA.  This fooled the BIOS by
>giving it a false HD geometry.  

Once you get the Linux kernel loaded into RAM and running, Linux
couldn't care less if you have FORESIGHTLESSBIOS-1.1; the BIOS is
needed on PC hardware to load the bootstrap code and kernel, but Linux
won't use it after that.  I don't know how to dual boot in your
situation, but to boot Linux I assure you you can wipe "Disk Manager"
away altogether.

There is a more serious BIOS limitation that prevents some computers
with HDDs greater than 2.1 Gigs from booting at all without jumper
settings and special software, but I gather you are having trouble
with the older problem.

[previous attempt snipped]

Quote:>My questions:

>1)      Why doesn't Linux boot?

When and where did you give it a boot loader to boot from?  You will
want LILO installed in the MBR/master boot record.

Where is the kernel (and possibly initrd/initial ram disk) that LILO
will need to boot up?  It needs to be where the BIOS can see it.
Either make separate / and /usr partitions, with / contained entirely
below the 528 MB limit, or make separate / and /boot partitions
(probably a better option), with /boot taking up the first few megs.

Quote:>2)      In order to see more than 528Meg with no BIOS-LBA support, is it
>vital to run "Disk Manager"?  Or does Linux LILO have built-in "Disk
>Manager"-type support written into it?

I remember reading that Linux could work on some types of
"fake-geometry" setups, but after trying to do that myself I suspect
that it is more hassle than it is worth.  Simply make sure that LILO
has something BIOS-accessible to point to, and the kernel will do the
rest.

Quote:>3)      If I get rid of Disk Manager, is there another program for me to
>use that will allow me to see more than 528 Meg?  Is it free?  Is it
>written for a Quantum Fireball 1.2meg HD?

Yes.  It is installed by Red Hat as /boot/vmlinuz, it is free and
GPL'ed, and it works with an enormous variety of hardware.  ;-)

Quote:>4)      If I don't delete the partition that Disk Manager creates
>("DOS16->32"), how will I get "/" to become Linux native?

You do delete the partition, you can set the Linux partition native
from fdisk, but you won't need to because you'll be putting LILO in
the MBR.

Quote:>5)      Has anyone else had this problem?

I hit the 2.1 Gig limit myself, which prevented Linux from seeing more
than that amount of disk space and prevented Win95 from recognizing
the drive at all, for a month and a half before I hit on a combo of
BIOS/jumper settings to get things working.  Your problem should be
quite a bit easier.

Check out the Large-Disk mini HOWTO on your Red Hat CD (and a billion
places on the web) as well.
---
Roy Stogner

 
 
 

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