[BL] LILO challenge
baslinux at lists.ibiblio.org
baslinux at lists.ibiblio.org
Sat May 3 00:48:12 EDT 2008
> My 486 IBM does is not booting from floppy. It is giving me a 620 error.
> I don't know exactly what it means and I tried another floppy drive with the
> same results.
Can you replace the I/O card (it has HD, FD, serial and parallel ports)
or put in a floppy controller card? (I think we have one of those).
> But it boots normally from HD. I have a BL3 DOS-version there, running in a
> DOS loop.
. Is there some other way to boot from> DOS
>>>> to linux?
> I was also thinking on loadlin. or using the BL3 DOS-version, which runs in
> a loop.
> But it's not the correct option for a powerful PC like yours.
It works. I could put in a slower hard drive instead but I can wait for
the floppy to boot. Luckily this is not the computer where loadlin messes
up the keyboard. On a third computer I can't exit X with
Ctrl-Alt-Backspace because that turns off the computer.
>> SiS motherboard. An identical ECS board works with the keyboard but not
>> with a scanner (it used to work) and the USB went bad. So I think
>> something broke on this board and it is not a built-in conflict.
> Sis is the chipset brand, not the motherboard itself.
Yes. Some boards with SiS chipset have SiS IDE controller but one of ours
has Nvidia controller but at least one SiS chipset too.
>>>> Any idea why linux behaves so much better than DOS in logical
> No, I just was told it.
> BL3 uses EXT2 file system, actually considered "less efficient" than EXT3 ou
> ReiserFS, but We'd better have in mind that EXT2 was used successfully for
> many years on every GNU/Linux distros.
I experimented and ext3 takes up 50% more space. The advantage is
supposed to be not taking to check the file system when it crashes. With
a small file system it is irrelevant.
>> zero tracks are where it boots from and keeps partition tables?
> Zero track is the outer track on the first cylinder.
> Every time the head lands on it, so the possibility of damage there is much
> higher than on other tracks.
> MBR and the partition tables (or FAT, in DOS) are located there.
512Kbytes? So this is why I am having both boot problems and partition
table errors. Somehow it works anyway.
>> I might try it as secondary master with a primary master. Experiments
>> show that mixing two speeds of drive do not slow down the faster one, but
>> sharing a cable with CD-ROM drive might. I will test that.
>>> DOS is extremely zero-track dependable because it keeps the system files
>>> strictly there, while Linux doesn't.
>> dependent or dependable? Do you think lilo would boot from this hard
>> disk? From floppy disk it stops at LI.
> Hmmm, I've been trapped by a word!
> Sorry, I'm not an English native writer.
> I mean DOS depends on zero-track, since one cannot place that system
So why won't LILO boot floppy work either? Does the floppy disk version
look at the MBR or other parts of track 0?
> I'm not very sure of this, but I think since fdisk can start a Linux
> partition from any given location, so it would be possible to boot from
> there, wherever it could be.
> It is possible to put hda1 on the last sectors of the HD and hda5 in the
> beginning (just for example).
> What I don't know is if I still depend on the track #0, since I can place
> the boot sector in a partition instead of the MBR.
I put the boot files in a DOS partition (hda1) then ran lilo to make the
boot floppy disk. Does lilo look at the MBR for anything, or just where I
put boot.b and kernel and then at the file system on the ext2 partition?
>> I think the Maxtor utility that wrote zeros also stopped using any bad
>> sectors. It may have been the same as low-level format.
> Low-level formatting IS really dangerous to the HD, but it differs from
> logical formatting (that's what we do).
What did I do by zeroing all the tracks?
>> Zeroing destroys the MBR and you replace it by partitioning?
> Yes, that's it!
> A virus partition can manipulate the MBR information and trick the
> partitioner, making us to think the disk is defective.
> Since MBR is very small, a partition virus has to be even smaller.
Are they entirely in track 0?
>> We were talking about that. Maybe you could flash the BIOS to change the
>> location of MBR? This way they sell more drives.
> I believe it won't work so, because the Hd has its own firmware.
> And yes, they are not interested on selling less units.
>> Should I expect anything else on this drive to fail? In the past few
>> months I lost several drives which I why I am using this one. One of them
>> left scorch marks that we had to clean off the controller pins.
> Normally when a HD starts failing it doesn't live any longer.
> The magnetic painting on the discs (cylinders) is too weak.
Spinrite says one disk has a lot of ECC corrected errors, and other
errors, and a slow power-up time. Does that mean it is dying? 10GB. The
other 10GB won't boot. I can boot from a 2GB if the 10 will work as
> There are some paths for doing some fixing, but there are no warranties of a
> perfect working from there on.
> When a HD becomes noisy it's announcing its death to come.
They also have very slow transfer speeds that get slower during the test.
We can often fix partition problems, but maybe they wont' stay fixed.
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