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Hi guys! Can anyone help me finding a solution on this bootloader issue of mine? I'm new in this forum and as well as new in Linux. My problem is ...
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  1. #1
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    Unhappy How to run Linux from HDD without bootloader


    Hi guys!

    Can anyone help me finding a solution on this bootloader issue of mine? I'm new in this forum and as well as new in Linux. My problem is that we have an X-ray machine that has a Linux OS, but the Flash Memory card(LILO bootloader) that is pointing to the HDD was corrupted or faulty. The X-ray company don't want to sell the part, but they want us to buy the whole computer which is very very expensive (REALLY expensive...T_T). Now I have read some of your forums about bootloaders like syslinux, lilo, and grub, but my problem s the right command to run the image file. I tried so many already and all are failure with many different kinds of errors... The system has a LILO configuration. I tried also putting MBR (/sbin/lilo - M /dev/sda) to it. Oh, fyi, i use USB flash drive to have a fast troubleshooting. I changed all the "hda, hdb, hdc1..." to "sda, sdb, sdc1..." in lilo.conf. I also tried to run /sbin/lilo 'cause that's what the forums said, but errors like "no such file or directory" or "cannot open lilo.conf" were given even though they are their in the folder (but I cannot see them in the command line).

    Here is the lilo.conf file:
    lba32
    boot=/dev/sdb
    map=/boot/map
    install=/boot/boot.b
    vga=extended
    default=smp-linux
    keytable=/boot/de-latin1-nodeadkeys.klt

    #prompt
    timeout=50
    #message=/boot/message
    #menu-scheme=wb:bw:wb:bw
    image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.36-hitrax
    label=linux
    root=/dev/sdc1
    append=" devfs=mount panic=60 video=vc:1-1"
    initrd=/boot/initrd-2.4.36-hitrax
    read-only
    image=/boot/vmlinuz-2.4.36-hitraxsmp
    label=smp-linux
    root=/dev/sdc1
    append=" devfs=mount panic=60 video=vc:1-1"
    initrd=/boot/initrd-2.4.36-hitraxsmp
    read-only


    I hope anyone can help me... Thank you very much...

  2. #2
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    What operating system do you have on the flash drive you are using?
    I haven't used Lilo for about ten years so don't remember much about how it works. Your lilo.conf shows "boot=/dev/sdb" which would refer to a second drive and later shows "root=/dev/sdc1" which would be the first partition on the third drive. How many drives are attached to this machine. Can you post drive/partition information you get from the flash drive?

  3. #3
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    Actually, I cloned the HDD of the X-ray machine and copied the active partition and MBR of it to the flash drive. I'm sorry if I confused you of so many drives, the system of the machine has only 1 drive but with 11 partitions. The Flash USB drive has a 4GB capacity with only the MBR and the copied Active partition. I copied only the MBR and the Active partition because I tried to copy it first to an extra HDD and it worked. That is in respect with a running Flash memory card. All I did is pure logic, but without sense... The OS of the machine is running LILO, that's why its logical for me to used LILO also. I was guessing that if the Flash Memory card has the boot sector pointing to the HDD, the MBR of the HDD might be empty space. So I put MBR /dev/sda to the flash drive using command konsole of Backtrack, but I got "SYSLINUX 4.06 EDD Load Error - Boot Error". Now I understand that the letter after "sd" is the number of drives and the number after it is the partition. Thank you... Please feel free to ask me more about any specification details. I'm glad somebody took time to consider reading my problem...

  4. #4
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    The Flash USB drive has a 4GB capacity with only the MBR and the copied Active partition.
    Are you booting the flash drive to try to access the hard drive? Does the hard drive with the 11 partitions have a separate boot partition? The Syslinux error you are getting would indicate you are using a Live CD (Backtrack?) to boot as syslinux is primarily used on CD or flash drives with a Live system. Do you know what operating system is being used on the hard drive? If it has Lilo, it is probably a pretty old version of Linux. I'm not really sure how you are trying to boot?

  5. #5
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    The original idea was to boot directly from the HDD, but I don't want to mess it up. So I came into a conclusion to test and boot it directly to the flash drive. If all goes well, then I will reconfigure the HDD. The active partition of the HDD is the first partition. The one who will boot the active partition is the faulty Flash memory card (connected to primary IDE). The system cannot boot without it. The only reason I use Syslinux and Isolinux is to boot directly the kernel and the image of the X-ray machine (add kernel and image to the menu list) because I cannot boot LILO directly from the system. And if I run /sbin/lilo of the flash drive using either Ubuntu or Backtrack, the file cannot be located. This I also cannot understand, I can use /sbin/lilo to put MBR on the flash drive (then boot.0800 is created as a backup), but I cannot execute it to update the system. The system is using Linux 2.4.36 and lilo 22.4.1.

  6. #6
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    Mr. Yancek, question. What is the command to run kernel in HDD but Syslinux (first boot) is in the flash drive?

    This is the syslinux.cfg file:
    label ubnentry20
    menu label HiTraX
    KERNEL /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.36-hitraxsmp vga=extended
    APPEND initrd=/boot/initrd-2.4.36-hitraxsmp devfs=mount


    The reason I am asking this is that, "error 22: cannot locate ext3 file system on ide0 (3,1)" is produced when I run the flash drive. Might as well run the system inside the HDD for now, while the bootloader is on the flash drive. Is it possible?

  7. #7
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    error 22: cannot locate ext3 file system on ide0 (3,1)
    I've never seen anything like the above before. There are a couple of links below I am posting which might help you put an entry to boot from the hard drive with syslinux. The first link shows some options that worked for this person, post # 7. The second link has some options also.

    Syslinux - normal boot from local hard drive? - The Syslinux Project - reboot.pro
    Continue HD boot option? | syslinux | users

  8. #8
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    Thank you very much Yancek.

  9. #9
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    It's now ok Yancek. I boot it from the flash drive and ran the OS on the HDD. The problem was "root=/dev/hda1" is pointing to HDD on the Primary Master. The drive is on the Secondary Master, so I changed it to "root=/dev/hdc1". It really solved my problem! I will be back after a week to finish my secondary mission: running the whole system onto the Flash drive. For now, I will cherish the whole week holiday here in UAE starting tomorrow. Unstressing for the three-week straight of research. Thanks a lot for helping me out Yancek.

  10. #10
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    Glad you got it working.

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