Nigel Henry wrote:
On Friday 26 October 2007 02:59, Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
> I suspect that you are trying to read part of the drive that
> the BIOS of that machine can not access. An updated BIOS may help.
> If not, using a /boot partition at the start of the drive will help.
> Remember, both LILO and Grub use the BIOS to access the hard drive.
Hi Mikkel. Sorry for the delay in my reply. I've been reading, reading, and
more reading about LILO. I use LILO on my Debian installs, and havn't had
problems with it.
Not a problem - lists like this are great for problems you work on
in your spare time.
I believe you're right in it being a BIOS problem. I've
been on the site that has docs, specs, etc for this AST Bravo MS 5133
machine, and it was shipped with a 1.2GB HDD, and Win95, with possibilities
of a 2GB one being used (1024 cyl limit in the BIOS setup). The drive my son
had Win 2000 pro on is a 6GB one (13328 cyl). Quite how he got it set up,
I've no idea, but I know it booted because I tried it.
Windows boots from the start of the partition. It probably only had
the Windows partition on it, and once Windows boots, it no longer
uses the BIOS to access the drive. (Not always true, but usually the
case.) On the other hand, there may be a BIOS extension on the MBR
that lets the BIOS work with larger drives. I remember dealing with
several versions of them in the past. Drive Manager was one of the
more common ones.
According to the same
site there is a BIOS update available, but the machine shows that it already
has it (circa 1996). According to the Enhanced IDE features, on this machine,
Multi-sector transfer (which is set to auto)
32-Bit Disk I/O (which is set as enabled)
The installation of Smoothwall Express2 creates four partitions, and uses all
the drive, deleting whatever is on it.
hda4 / (this one is flagged as bootable)
If the /boot partition is the first one, then having partition 4
marked may be the problem, depending on the BIOS. Changing this to
the first partition may let the system boot.
I had initially on the 6GB drive managed to install the Smoothwall,
couldn't reboot. I got an L, followed by a string of 40's. The L showed that
the first stage of LILO was ok, and according to error codes, the 40 is a
drive seek error. Booting up the Finnix live cd, and running fdisk -l, I got
the partition setup as above, which corresponds with the partition setup on
my current running Smoothwall.
> Depending on the version of LILO, there may be an option to use LBA
> addressing that sometimes also helps. I believe it is automatically
> used in the latest versions, but I could be wrong.
I don't know if I can make changes to LILO on the Smoothwall, as it's pretty
nuch an automatic install, apart from OK'ing a few pages, and setting up the
NIC, and entering passwords.
> One way to see if it is a BIOS problem is to try using the same
> drive in a more modern machine. If it boots without problems there,
> then it is a good indication that it is a BIOS problem, or that you
> are using 2 different settings for the hard drive. I have run into
> problems in that past where one machine used LBA, and another used
> the LARGE mode, or didn't support the newer modes, and you could not
> boot from the drive in the older machine anfer installing from the
> newer machine, even if they used the same processor.
Well I did try the drive in another machine, just to see if it was OK, and
Smoothwall installed on it in about 5mins, and rebooted ok, but forgot to
boot up the drive before re-installing the Smoothwall on it. I was sort of
losing the plot by now though, so have no idea if the old Smoothwall install
would have booted up on the newer (circa 2003) machine.
I should have been clearer here - what I was talking about was
taking the drive, and, without making any changes to it, put it in
another machine and see if your installation would boot.
Moving on a few days, and trying various incantations on this horrible P1
machine. The Smoothwall installed in 5mins on my other machine on this 6GB
disk, but will not run on the P1 machine, because the harddrive limit is 2GB.
You can bet around this in Linux by telling they system that it has
a 2GB drive, and making sure all of /boot is on the part the BIOS
know about. You may have to give the true drive specs to fdisk, but
you can have the /boot, swap, and any other partitions except /boot
on the part the BIOS does not know about. I used to do this a lot in
the past with 386, 486, P1, and the AMD equivalent systems. As long
as the BIOS did not lock up when trying to boot with the large
drive, Linux was more then happy to use all of it. It was also
common to have both /boot and a windows partition in the part the
BIOS knew about.
One thing you have to be careful about is that this BIOS probably
only understands the "normal" drive geometry, so if you install on
another machine, and intend to move the drive to this machine you
have to make sure you do not use the LARGE, LBA, or AUTO settings
for the drive. Otherwise, you will bet strange results when you try
and boot. You may get as far as the LILO prompt, and error out when
loading the kernel.
I couldn't even get the P1 machine to initialise the harddrive,
and ended up
installing Win95 from a 13 floppy set. That wouldn't run to completion, as
disk 13 failed on installing, but at least it had installed enough so that I
could run smart boot manager in the floppy drive, and boot Finnix from the
cdrom drive, but no joy on getting the Smootwall installed on this machine.
Perhaps we should just close this thread as unresolved. I've spent many hours
getting nowhere, and extremely frustrated in the process.
That is up to you. I can understand you being frustrated with this
machine, and not wanting to fight with it any longer.
Apologies for the late reply, but I've been trying allsorts of
get this damn machine to play ball with me.
Again, no apologies needed. This is not the first stretched out
thread, and it will not be the last one. This is more what the list
is for then some of the long rants we have had here lately. (For
that matter, it is better then my ramblings about some of the old
CP/M machines I have played with!)
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!