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bootloaders selecting wrong video adapter [was: GRUB doesn't come up in new installation]

At least, I think that's what the problem is after installing lilo on
on the the HD partitions, by booting a live CD then using chroot. 
liloconfig gave me the following warning:

Warning: Unable to determine video adapter in use in the present system.

(nb. I wasn't actually able to follow through with installing lilo
from a chroot environment)  But this coincides with my experience of
having the screen blank just as GRUB should appear, then seeing the
hard drive light go as if the OS were booting.

I'm using a plugged-in NVidia Geforce video adapter and can't see any
onboard video on the ASUS P4S800 mobo.  Anyways, this problem is now
probably beyond the scope of this list, time to go to the GRUB folks
and/or try to fiddle with my hardware to just get it to work out of a
sense of urgency.

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