Boot broken, no ramdisk or hd w/PCI video

Boot broken, no ramdisk or hd w/PCI video

Post by Fred R. Goldste » Fri, 14 Oct 1994 05:23:38

This is from the bizarro world, I think, but then I'm a newbie to
Unix hacking in general.  Using Yggdrasil Summer '94, I installed
a "custom" partition of about 67 Mbytes with OS/2's Boot Mangler
pointing to it, and an NEC CDR36 SCSI attached to a Trantor T130B
(NCR 53C400 8-bit card).  This went just fine using my old 386SX
motherboard.  It worked when I put in a PCI 486DX2 (AL1 with PCI and
VLB) motherboard with the old ISA Tseng ET400 video card.  It worked after
I rebuilt the kernel with the March version of the NCR53C400 driver, which
is a
slightly modified NCR5380 driver.  Then I put it aside for a couple of

I just obtained a new PCI video card using an S3 Vision864 chip.  Since
OS/2 doesn't have a driver YET for it installed (grumble, not included
in the generic-brand box), I figgered I'd try Xfree.  I tell Boot Manager
to select Linux.  It starts up, measures Bogomips, tells me I have the
NEC CDR36 drive attached, sees the hda partition table (Seagate ST3290),
then complains something like "file system too big".  It moves on and
reports another error trying to create the RAMdisk.  Then it grinds the
CDROM for an eternity, booting in uninstalled mode (offering me the
"install" login option which normally goes away).  Booting as root, I
see that "/" is the CDROM.  I can't mount the real root hda7 because
/etc/mtab~ or whatever is not writeable!  Of course not, with no RAMdisk
and only CDROM!

I tried a few BIOS PCI options but none made any difference.  It may not
even be the video card's fault, but this is the first PCI card.  It also
won't boot from the Yggdrasil startup floppy!  That just does a kernel
panic; it somehow doesn't seem to see the CDROM correctly (at IRQ5).
Suggestions?  ANybody see this before?  Thanks!


Opinions are mine alone.  Sharing requires permission.


1. lilo config for dual hd-boot hd->ramdisk-boot?

Hi, I've got a 128 Mb flashdisk with hda1 partition of size 48Mb
(actually 50192Kb), of which 41Mb is used. I can directly boot this
partition with a standard lilo configuration. Oh, I have 64Mb of RAM,
but the OS, my small program, and no other servers require only 6Mb of

Since it is a flashdisk, with limited rewrite capabilities, I would like
to load the whole of this hda1 partition into a ramdisk and use the
ramdisk as the root fs, that way I only ever read from the flashdisk.

I don't think I need to use initrd (since my kernel *already* has
everything it will need, I do not need to do a two-stage boot),  and I
don't think I need a compressed image of the root filesystem (since the
first partition, which, as explained above, I can also use directly as
the root filesystem, contains exactly what I want to load into RAM).

Ok, so my 2.2.19 kernel has ramdisk support compiled in - i.e. not just
as a module, and also loopback device and initrd, though I don't think I
need the last two of these.

My lilo.config has:


        #  To use hda1 as root

        #  To load hda1 into ram0 and use *that* as root fs
                append="root=/dev/ram0 start_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=50192 load_ramdisk=1"

Booting the 'flash' works fine, but booting 'ram' doesn't; the kernel
gets loaded correctly, but then it says "can't mount root filesystem on
01:00". I presume '01:00' means major 1 minor 0, which *is* ram0, so it
seems that the kernel knows what I want to be the root filesystem, it's
only that it failed to load the partition into memory before trying to
mount it.

I also tried adding 'prompt_ramdisk=1' just to see if it was even seeing
any of the ramdisk-related kernel parameters, and it did not prompt me
after loading the kernel, before attempting to load/mount the root

Can anybody offer any advice? Many thanks!


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