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May 2024
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Booting - Linux Reference

Here are some solutions to problems Linux users often encounter. If you have a better solution or
have a question please send your solutions, questions, or comments to us.
Are any of these solutions obsolete? Are they clear and easy to understand?

Linux has been running fine until I installed win 95. Now it will not boot.
Linux has been running fine until I installed win 98. Now it will not boot.
Linux has been running fine until I recompiled the kernel. Now it will not boot.
How do I get rid of this M$ WinNT boot loader
Some lilo notes

Linux has been running fine until I installed win 95. Now it will not boot.

1. If you created a boot floppy during the linux installation, put it
   in now and reboot your computer. If not, you can create a boot disk.
   Using an ftp client log on to sunsite.unc.edu (or your other
   favorite archive site) as anonymous with password
   yourname@yoursite.com. You can also use your favorite web browser.
   Just put in ftp://sunsite.unc.edu
   Look for linux, distributions, then your linux distribution. Now
   look for a directory labeled bootdisk, or bootdisk.1.44 Also find
   a directory labeled dostools or dosutil. Look for a file called
   rawrite.exe, rawrite12.exe, or rawrite13.exe
   If you are in DOS, do this
   rawrite filename.ext a:
   This will put the disk image on to the floppy disk.
   If you are in linux, do this
   dd if=filename.ext of=/dev/fd0
   Now you have a startup disk.

2. Now run Lilo.


Linux has been running fine until I installed win 98. Now it will not boot.
Tough toe nails. The only solution I know of is to run fdisk /dev/hda.
Delete all partitions. Now recreate your partitions Reboot if you like. 
Anyone have a better solution?

Linux has been running fine until I recompiled the kernel. Now it will not boot.
Possible problems:
1.Kernel encountered errors and did not finish compiling.
2.You may have the wrong drivers compiled in. For example you may have
  compiled the wrong processor type.
3.You may not have configured lilo properly. 

1.A. You will have to scroll up and check the errors. Then reconfigure
     and recompile your kernel.
2.A. You will have to experiment with different configs. For example if
     you set your sound card's IRQ to 5, try setting it to 7, etc...
     Change only what needs to be change. When you are running make
     config, make menuconfig, or make xconfig, make sure you save your
     settings as a file. Copy this file to a floppy. Here is a kernel
     config script I wrote. Right click and choose save link as to
     download, or just click to view source code.
     This script will 1. go to /usr/src/linux/ 
                      2. make config   OR    make menuconfig    OR
                           This will ask you lots of questions about
                           your system.
                      3. make dep   <---- this will make dependencies.
                           This will take a while
                      4. make clean
                      5. make bzImage  <---this is the kernel. This
                           will take a while
                           on older systems.  It took four hours on a
                           486DX, but only 10 Minutes on pentium II
                           500MHz or an AMD k6 - 2 500MHz, both with
                           100MHz SDRAM
                      6. make modules  <---depending on how many
                           modules you make it could take a while.
                      7. make bzlilo   <---This will place your new
                           kernel where the old one was
                           lilo will also be run.
     Make sure you did not encounter any errors.  Now you need to reboot.

3.A. If you did not configure lilo properly, lilo will give you errors.
     Here's a breif description of how to make your own /etc/lilo.conf
          Let's say you have the following system:
                      Hard drive: 5GB broken up into 5 partitions
                      /dev/hda1 = 1GB <--- that's your first partition
                      /dev/hda2 = 1GB <--- that's your second partition
                      /dev/hda3 = 1GB 
                      /dev/hda4 = 1GB 
                      /dev/hda5 = 1GB 
              Red Hat Linux is installed on /dev/hda1
              SuSE Linux is installed on /dev/hda4
              Windows 95 is installed on /dev/hda5
              Let's pretend Redhat is mounted on '/'
              SuSE is mounted on /mnt
              Windows 95 is not mounted

          Let's say you have the following /etc/lilo.conf file:

                      boot=/dev/hda  <----- This is your first physical
                      vga = normal
                      prompt         <----- This will give the LILO:
                      timeout=50     <----- This will tell your computer
                                            to wait 5 seconds with the
                                            LILO: prompt

                      image = /boot/vmlinuz  <--- This is where your linux
                                                  kernel is located on 
                                                  your red hat
                                                  distribution. vmlinuz
                                                  is the kernel. You can
                                                  name it to helloworld if
                                                  you like.
                      root = /dev/hda1       <--- This is the partition
                                                  where you installed
                                                  red hat
                      label = redhat         <--- You can call it whatever
                                                  you like, not just red

                      image = /mnt/boot/vmlinuz <-This is where your SuSE
                                                  kernel is right now
                                                  because SuSE is mounted
                                                  on '/mnt'.
                      root = /dev/hda4          <-This is the partition
                                                  where you installed
                      label = SuSE              <-This is the label for

                      other = /dev/hda5    <--- This is where you have
                                                windows 95
                      table = /dev/hda     <--- This is the drive
                                                windows 95 will recognize
                      label = win95        <--- This is whatever you like
                                                to call windows 95


 How do I get rid of this M$ WinNT 4 boot loader
Boot to DOS from a floppy. Make sure you have a file called fdisk.exe on
it. When you see the command prompt type this:
fdisk -mbr

If you are having trouble with that and you have some other partitioning
program and you don't care what's on your harddrive, then delete all
partitions and recreate some partitions.

 Some lilo notes

If you have two linux distributions installed, then mount the second one
to /mnt or anyother directory. 
For example:
  you have Slackware on /dev/hda1
  debian is on /dev/hdb3
  Slack is mounted on '/' (or root directory). You will need to mount
  /dev/hdb3 somewhere. Mount it to '/here' if you like.
Then edit lilo.conf. To allow the second linux to use its own