While compiling a new custom kernel (patched with the UnionFS) for my Slackware 12.0 install on a standard Pentium 4 I suddenly got the message:

"L 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99 99"

when LILO was trying to load. I've come to understand that this error means LILO stage 1 has loaded but stage 2 has failed to load.

I've read around a little and found a few solutions, such as using lilo -M to update the MBR (which supposedly could be broken). The HDD is fine, I've tested it with MHDD and it can also be booted from CD-ROM by passing the root= option to LILO.

My question is: What could cause this to happen, and how can I fix it? Why would this happen out of the blue? I compiled and rebooted the computer with my new kernel perhaps eight times, but then finally on the ninth reboot I suddenly get this error from LILO? I didn't do anything different, I simply do a "make; make modules; make modules_install", I then copy the bzImage kernel into /boot (and at the same time rename it to the proper name corresponding to the entry in lilo.conf).

I've also tried to simply reboot and add the kernel again, I've also tried to recompile, but according to the error the fault isn't with the kernel, but with lilo, like I wrote above i.e. that the second stage fails to load. Since I didn't touch lilo (in any other sense than executing the commanad "lilo") how could this happen?