HElP! Red Hat Installation Nightmare

HElP! Red Hat Installation Nightmare

Post by Matthew Flemi » Fri, 20 Mar 1998 04:00:00



It used to be so easy....

I am attempting to install Win NT and Red Hat on a single SCSI drive
of about 8.5 gigs. Win NT is installed in /dev/sda1 with its boot
loader occupying the MBR. Now Linux root is in /dev/sda2, a swap in
/dev/sda3, and /home in /dev/sda4. What I wanted to do is put LILO on
a floppy, and use that whenever I need to boot Linux. Unfortunately, I
was surprised to find that the installation program in Red Hat 5.0,
unlike the installation programs in Red Hat < 5.0, does not make it
possible to do this. The only options are putting LILO in the MBR or
in the root partition. I did neither. Voila, I have a Linux
installation with no way to boot it. OK, no problem, I use the rescue
disk to mount /dev/sda2, use dd to put /boot/vmlinuz on a boot floppy,
try to boot with that. No joy. It can't find the root partition, which
it thinks should be 8005 or something like. What exactly the hell does
that mean? Then I remount /dev/sda2 again with the rescue disk, use
rdev to see what root device is in /boot/vmlinuz, and sure enough it
is something like 0x8005. Then I figure I should make a boot disk with
LILO on it, put together a lilo.conf with root = /dev/sda2, and lilo
says it can't find /dev/sda2!

Another problem: If I do use LILO to load the kernel on /dev/sda2,
this needs to be toggled bootable, and fdisk for some reason can't
find /dev/sda at all when run from the repair disk.

Are all these problems just related to the size of the drive?

Any solutions greatly appreciated. However, I would be afraid to put
LILO on the MBR. Putting it on the root partition might be an option,
if I can really load it with the NT boot loader. I know this is
supposed to be possible, but I am afraid to try.

Thanking you in advance for your generous assistance.....

Matthew Fleming
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HElP! Red Hat Installation Nightmare

Post by David Ashl » Sat, 21 Mar 1998 04:00:00




>It used to be so easy....

>I am attempting to install Win NT and Red Hat on a single SCSI drive
>of about 8.5 gigs. Win NT is installed in /dev/sda1 with its boot
>loader occupying the MBR. Now Linux root is in /dev/sda2, a swap in
>/dev/sda3, and /home in /dev/sda4. What I wanted to do is put LILO on
>a floppy, and use that whenever I need to boot Linux. Unfortunately, I
>was surprised to find that the installation program in Red Hat 5.0,
>unlike the installation programs in Red Hat < 5.0, does not make it
>possible to do this. The only options are putting LILO in the MBR or
>in the root partition. I did neither. Voila, I have a Linux
>installation with no way to boot it. OK, no problem, I use the rescue
>disk to mount /dev/sda2, use dd to put /boot/vmlinuz on a boot floppy,
>try to boot with that. No joy. It can't find the root partition, which
>it thinks should be 8005 or something like. What exactly the hell does
>that mean? Then I remount /dev/sda2 again with the rescue disk, use
>rdev to see what root device is in /boot/vmlinuz, and sure enough it
>is something like 0x8005. Then I figure I should make a boot disk with
>LILO on it, put together a lilo.conf with root = /dev/sda2, and lilo
>says it can't find /dev/sda2!

>Another problem: If I do use LILO to load the kernel on /dev/sda2,
>this needs to be toggled bootable, and fdisk for some reason can't
>find /dev/sda at all when run from the repair disk.

>Are all these problems just related to the size of the drive?

>Any solutions greatly appreciated. However, I would be afraid to put
>LILO on the MBR. Putting it on the root partition might be an option,
>if I can really load it with the NT boot loader. I know this is
>supposed to be possible, but I am afraid to try.

>Thanking you in advance for your generous assistance.....

I think if you can mount /dev/sda2 somewhere in the directory tree when
you boot with your rescue disk, you can put a blank formatted disk in the
drive and run

cat /[/dev/sda2 location/boot/vmlinuz >/dev/fd0

This will give you a bootable disk w/o lilo for getting into your linux.
Once you've got that, you can maybe modify the boot=/dev/<something> in
your lilo.conf file to make it write to /dev/fd0 instead of /dev/sda for
example. See "man lilo.conf".

Quote:>toggled bootable

I think you can use DOS/WIN95/WINNT fdisk to mark a partition as active,
which I assume is the same as bootable.

What you could do to experiment with linux clobbering the master boot record
is to save the master boot record out somewhere, for example onto a floppy,
with the dd command:
dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=50
(I think count=1 or count=2 is correct but it's better to copy more). The
above command copies the master boot record to a floppy, so then you should
be able to boot into WINNT normally with that floppy if lilo screws up
getting into WINNT (if you take the plunge and use lilo to write the mbr).

Restoring the mbr would work in reverse, but you'd want to know exactly the
right number of sectors to copy back...Which I don't know offhand. The
file /usr/doc/lilo-0.20/README file tells all about booting details. From
that it looks like count=1 is the correct thing, as I look at it now.

So if you start from a point where you have a diskette to get you into
WINNT, and one to get you into your linux partition, you can experiment
with lilo writing your MBR. Which BTW I think it a Very Good Risk anyway.
Lilo has never let me down.

I think linux can handle your big drives without a problem, I seem to
remember some limitation where the linux boot partition must be close to
the start of the hard drive (within the first X gigabytes). I'm really not
sure on that one though...

Lilo is a small <500 byte program loaded in a boot sector, which when run
loads up the bulk of the lilo program (gives you all sorts of options and
lets you boot other partitions), which then will let you boot a specific
partition.

Use all the above information at your own risk, I take no responsibility for
making things worse...

--

http://www.epyx.com/dash
SPAMMERS: You have nothing I want, don't send me email.

 
 
 

1. Installation nightmare (Madrake & Red Hat)

I'm having major problems installing X on my PC (PIII 650, 4 Gig Linux
partition, 64M Ram, ATI Rage 128 Video Card, Winmodem, USB port, 17"
Monitor).
During installation I clicked the relevant info (monitor, vid-card,
resolution, etc) but when Mandrake tests the system, if fails to work and
delivers this message...

Couldn't Load
XKB Keymap, falling back to pre-XKB Keymap
_FontTranSocket Unix Connect: Can't connect error + 111
Failed to set default font
path 'unix/:-1'
Fatal server error:
could not open default font 'fixed'
try changing some parameters

I've tried changing the parameters offered (moitor, vid card, etc) but I
don't seem to be getting anywhere, each time it just throws up the same kind
of fatal messages.
Prior to Mandrake, I tried Red Hat which basically reacted in the same way,
refusing to launch X windows.

If anybody can help or point me in the right direction, I would be very
grateful
regards
Daf

pls mail me if poss (remove the deletethisbit to mail):


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