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Re: Debian Parititioning Trouble

In linux.debian.user, you wrote:
> I'm trying to set up a machine I just built to run Debian. It installs fine, 
> but LILO says it cannot install itself on the hard disk due to an error, (I 
> forgot what it says precisely, but it says this is a common problem with 
> disks over 500mb.) It suggests making a /boot partition at the start of the 
> disk, but I do not understand how to do that. I tried installing it in the 
> root partition's boot sector and writing an MBR, but the system can't find 
> the OS when I boot with it that way.
> Does anyone know what I should do?
> Thanks,
> Deven G.

Do you have Debian 2.2?  I think that has lilo-21.4 or higher which will
work with bigger drives.  If you don't want to repartition and reinstall,
you can correct this situation with editing /etc/lilo.conf and rerunning
lilo.  If you don't have 21.4 or higher, then you can get it and install it.  

If you have a working boot floppy, which should have been made with the
install, then boot with that.  If you don't have that, then put the cdrom in
and at the boot prompt do: 'linux root=/dev/hdxy' where xy is the drive
letter and y is the partition number for /.  

Once you are booted into your system, do 'dpkg -l lilo' to see what version
of lilo you have.  If you have a version lower than 21.4, go to
www.debian.org, Packages, and choose to find lilo in the stable section
(there is a drop down menu)  Download the deb and put it on a floppy.  Then
reboot into Debian as above and put the floppy in.  Do:
mount -t vfat /dev/fd0 /floppy
cd /floppy
dpkg -i lilo (Hit the TAB to autofill) (ENTER)
This will install it.  I think you will not need to do this, though, because
I think you will have a high enough version.

Now you get the joy of using vi, unless you have something installed that is
more friendly. If you have X working, that may be more helpful.  If not,
don't worry about X for now.  So I'll describe with vi.

cd /etc
vi lilo.conf
i (puts you in the mode to insert)
Use the arrows and go to the first paragraph which is global.  I'm not sure
where this has to go, but I usually put it somewhere in the middle of the
paragraph, since I'm not sure if 'boot=/dev/hda' has to be the first line. 
Look to see if you have a line that says 'linear.'  If you do, then that is
where you want to make the change.  If you don't then you will be just
adding this line.  

Change 'linear' to 'lba32' or add 'lba32'

Type ':' which gets you out of insert mode
Type 'wq' and hit ENTER to write the file and quit
Check the file with 'less lilo.conf' to make sure it got changed.
Do: '/sbin/lilo' to write LILO to the mbr

This is easier than doing the install over after repartitioning with the
little /boot partition at the beginning of the drive.  That is another
option however.


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