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Re: Linux, FAT32 and a mighty odd MBR.

-----Original Message-----
From: Dale Harrison <dth@cns.aust.com>
To: debian-user@lists.debian.org <debian-user@lists.debian.org>
Date: Wednesday, October 29, 1997 9:26 PM
Subject: Linux, FAT32 and a mighty odd MBR.

>I had a weird problem last night, installing Debian 1.3* on a friends PC.
>For what it's worth, it's a PentiumII/266, some hideous amount of memory,
>some hideous amount of HD space.
>Aside from the SuperMicro motherboard bug [Which has been reported, I'm
>fairly sure..], you know, the one where the bootable cd sits there at the
>LDLINUX.SYS line.., everything went fairly smoothly.
>Until it came to LILO. Installed LILO, booted Linux fine. Added the lines
>to boot Win95, it took 2 goes for it to install the new record [it never
>complained the first time about failing]. Problem is, it simply doesn't
>boot Win95. It says "booting Win95", then returns to the LILO prompt.
>Ok, a bit of a hassle. He needs his Win95 stuff more than Linux, so I'll
>just remove LILO and figure out something else later. lilo -u, lilo -U
>both complain that theres no LILO boot signature on /dev/hda. Hence
>nothing is removed.
>Hmmm. Boot via Win95 rescue disk and fdisk /mbr. Reboot and LILO's STILL
>there. Tried this more times than I can recall.. LILO won't die. System
>Commander reported some wacky things about the MBR, saying things were
>pretty well screwed with it.
>The problem remains, I can't seem to overwrite the MBR, not with LILO, not
>with fdisk. I found out that the Windows partition was FAT32, but surely
>LILO can handle this? [does it make much of a difference with the MBR?]
>So, I guess I'm throwing this out to you guys, is this a Windows problem?
>A Debian problem? A LILO problem? A FAT32 problem?
>Any suggestions for fixing?

Using this setup
/dev/hda1 Win95
/dev/hda2 Linux
/dev/hda3 Linux Swap

/dev/hda   Generic MBR, not Lilo
/dev/hda1 Win95 Boot sector
/dev/hda2 LILO

/dev/hda2 is set as active with FDISK.

Bios reads generic MBR off of /dev/hda.  MBR reads the first sector off the
active partition, ie /dev/hda2.  LILO is now active.  From here, it either
reads the linux kernel, or some other, ie chained, partition.  Solution:
Use FDISK to change active flag.

I don't know why you can't boot win95 from lilo's prompt.  Could we see your
/etc/lilo.conf file?  And a copy of fdisk's output?

(echo /etc/lilo.conf;cat /etc/lilo.conf;echo -n;echo -e

Adam Heath
http://wwp.mirabilis.com/3375265  -- Page me

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