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Hello, I've been wracking my brain, reading various LILO and GRUB howtos, and can't seem to find a way to do what I want... I have an older WinBook Si2 ...
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  1. #1
    rlw
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    LILO/GRUB boot floppy help, please


    Hello,

    I've been wracking my brain, reading various LILO and GRUB howtos, and can't seem to find a way to do what I want...

    I have an older WinBook Si2 laptop. There seems to be a problem with the BIOS, in that it intermittently doesn't see the hard disk. I can boot a Knoppix 3.7 live CD, and it sees /dev/hda just fine.

    I installed Win2K on /dev/hda, and got it to boot from power-on twice during the installation.

    What I want to do is create either a LILO or GRUB boot floppy that can see /dev/hda, boot the Win2K MBR, and get me into Win2K. It looks like LILO should be able to do it, using the "other" directive, but I always get an error when I try to LILO to /dev/fd0. I must be missing something.

    Here's the conf file I've been playing with:

    boot=/dev/fd0
    disk=/dev/hda
    bios = 0x80
    timeout=100
    prompt
    default=Win2K
    vga=normal
    other=/dev/hda1
    label=Win2K

    Any suggestions or pointers will be greatly appreciated...

    Thanks,

    RLW

  2. #2
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    hi rlw !

    Welcome to the LinuxForums.

    i never tried/used Lilo and i can't help in that. btw, what error it throws?
    i would suggest you to try Smart Boot Manager.






    Casper
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

  3. #3
    rlw
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    Quote Originally Posted by devils_casper
    hi rlw !
    Welcome to the LinuxForums.
    i never tried/used Lilo and i can't help in that. btw, what error it throws?
    i would suggest you to try Smart Boot Manager.
    Casper
    Caspar,

    Thanks for the welcome...

    Here's the LILO -t command and response:

    #lilo -t -v -v -v -C NTLilo.conf
    LILO version 22.6.1 (test mode), Copyright (C) 1992-1998 Werner Almesberger
    Development beyond version 21 Copyright (C) 1999-2004 John Coffman
    Released 17-Nov-2004, and compiled at 14:06:34 on Dec 1 2004
    Debian GNU/Linux

    Warning: NTLilo.conf should be owned by root
    Warning: LBA32 addressing assumed
    /dev/mapper/control: open failed: No such device
    Is device-mapper driver missing from kernel?
    /dev/mapper/control: open failed: No such device
    Is device-mapper driver missing from kernel?
    Incompatible libdevmapper 1.00.19-ioctl (2004-07-03)(compat) and kernel driver
    raid_setup returns offset = 00000000 ndisk = 0
    BIOS VolumeID Device
    Reading boot sector from /dev/fd0
    Device 0x0200: BIOS drive 0x00, 2 heads, 80 cylinders,
    18 sectors. Partition offset: 0 sectors.
    Fatal: creat /boot/map~: Read-only file system


    I get essentially the same error (read-only filesystem) when I try to use GRUB.

    I don't have the floppy mounted, and I'm running on a bootable Knoppix CDROM, so is it possible that it's trying to write this stuff to /mnt/fd0, and not the floppy?

    This seems like it should be something rather easy to do, if I only know the right magic incantations in either the GRUB.conf or LILO.conf file...

    BTW, I took a look at the Smart Boot Manager SF website -- doesn't seem to be very active. The "home page" has broken links to the documentation. Actually, all the "home page" is is a directory listing...

    Thanks for the suggestion, anyway.

    RLW

  4. #4
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    i have to check all this. not sure whats wrong.
    regarding SBM, i just checked the link i posted earlier and i couldn't find any broken link. i know its developer abandon it but SBM works perfectly. try it.





    Casper
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

  5. #5
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    It sound a bit weird to me.

    The way you described suggests there is no Linux in hda. The Lilo is run with the Live CD Knoppix and compiled into a bootable image into a floppy booting just one hard disk address of the Win2k.

    It sounds possible and I might have a go at it some time.

    I would have my lilo.conf more like this
    Code:
    boot=/dev/hda1
    timeout=100
    prompt
    default=Win2K
    vga=normal
    other=/dev/hda1
    label=Win2K
    and issue with the command
    Code:
    lilo -b /dev/fd0
    -----------------------------------------------------

    There is absolutely no problem if you go with Grub.

    Just make a bootable Grub floppy according to Chapter 3.1 of the Grub Manual by dd stage1 and stage2 into a floppy. You will find both files are already inside Knoppix Live CD.

    Grub in such a floppy runs on itself unattached to any operating system. Your Win2k will fire up if you type at a Grub prompt
    Code:
    root (hd0,0)
    chainloader +1
    boot
    -----------------------------------------------
    Edited

    I tried Knoppix and Slax the idea of using Lilo may not work as both returned the error saying the filing system is read-only and can't create the required /boot/map...

    I know in an installed system where /etc/lilo.conf is "sourced" from the hard disk it would work. But in the current situation the "/" system is in the memory and even when I re-mounted it as rw the change did not get implemented. May be Lilo is out.

    The way you described worries me about Grub. At run time on boot up to a Grub prompt Grub does not have access to the kernel but has to find from a hard disk address to load the kernel up. If the hard disk in your laptop cannot be detected without a kernel then Grub may not see it.

    You can ask Grub to tell you the partitions of the 1st disk by command
    Code:
    geometry (hd0)
    If Grub say disk not found then Grub will not work for you.

  6. #6
    rlw
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    Quote Originally Posted by devils_casper
    i have to check all this. not sure whats wrong.
    regarding SBM, i just checked the link i posted earlier and i couldn't find any broken link. i know its developer abandon it but SBM works perfectly. try it
    Casper
    Casper,

    Thanks again for your suggestion. I managed to download a binary copy of btmgr, install it on a floppy, and test it.

    It doesn't do what I need to do. When the selection screen came up, it didn't contain HD0 -- but did have CDROM and FD0. Evidently, btmgr uses the BIOS to scan for drives.

    Perhaps I was unclear in stating my problem.

    I have a laptop that evidently has a BIOS with a problem. The BIOS does NOT auto-detect the hard drive, a 20GB Hitachi -- /dev/hda, detected by Knoppix as "HITACHI_DK23BA-20".

    Running fdisk -l /dev/hda gives the following:
    Code:
    Disk /dev/hda: 20.0 GB, 20003880960 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2432 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/hda1   *           1        2432    19535008+   c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

    The (*) under "Boot" tells me that the partition is bootable. The partition contains a Win2K installation on a FAT32 partition (so I can access it under Linux). The fact that I can access the drive under Knoppix tells me that the IDE controller in the laptop works. The fact that the BIOS can't see (or only intermittently "sees" the drive, something like 1 in 40 reboots) tells me that there is some kind of problem with the BIOS. The drive is accessible when I install it in a USB external drive case, also.

    So.... What I need to find out is the following:

    Is there a way to use LILO, GRUB, or some other kind of boot method to boot this drive using a floppy disk, without depending on the BIOS to find the drive? This would be something similar to trying to boot from a SCSI drive that is not detected by the BIOS. Having worked with various versions of Unix, Linux, (even the hated SCO!), I know that there's some way to do this, I just don't know the proper way to configure LILO or GRUB to make it happen.

    BTW, the laptop boots just fine from a floppy or CDROM (that's how I'm managing to run Knoppix).

    Thanks again in advance for any pointers or suggestions anyone can provide.

    RLW

  7. #7
    rlw
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    saikee,

    I tried GRUB -- you're right, it comes back with "Error 21: Selected disk does not exist".

    I haven't tried your LILO suggestion yet. I'm about to throw in the towel. I've spent two days trying to get this thing to work, and my clients are screaming at me. I just might go out and buy a new laptop, although the hacker in me hates the idea.

    It's a shame, too, because this little WinBook is a sweet machine. Runs Knoppix like a dream on a P3-850, booting from CD and doing a home/config=scan -- it'd be even better if it could boot from the hard drive!

    I'll give the LILO trick a try. Thanks for your help...

    RLW

  8. #8
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    rlw,

    I would in your case check thoroughly the Bios Cmos setting to see if there is anything odd there. It is quite possible no internal hard disk was selected for the booting up process and Knoppix kick starts it by repeat scans.

  9. #9
    rlw
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    Quote Originally Posted by saikee
    rlw,
    I would in your case check thoroughly the Bios Cmos setting to see if there is anything odd there. It is quite possible no internal hard disk was selected for the booting up process and Knoppix kick starts it by repeat scans.
    Saikee,

    I've been through the BIOS with a fine-toothed comb. I've even used a couple of BIOS diagnostic tools a buddy gave me. It's really odd that it won't even let me change the drive type to "USER". If I could do that, I'd be able to hard-code the heads/cylinders/tracks.

    I still think there's a bug in the BIOS. The problem is that this is an old, unsupported PC, and the only thing that WinBook has on their website for it is the latest BIOS -- I'd love to be able to flash an older BIOS to see if that helps...

    Thanks for all your help.

    RLW

    Edit 20070207

    I finally got it working last night. It was not a BIOS bug, but a hardware problem. There's a WinBook support forum at the manufacturer's website. Many folks complained of the same problem, and one guy mentioned that he made cardboard shims and wedged them under the connectors for the hard drive and CDRW drive. I did the same, and VOILA!, it works.

    Thanks to all for their help....

    RLW

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