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Windows XP Boot Issues
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skecs



Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 10:22 am
Posts: 76
Location: Bathurst, NSW Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The actual command (MS-DOS) is (usually done from a boot floppy):

A:\>fdisk /mbr

of course you must have fdisk on the boot floppy Cool
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jjmac
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just general stuff on mbr booting: (grin)

If you install any Linux ... or any type of bootstrap/boot program to your mbr you are obviously going to over-write the existing generic bootstrapper thats there.

All other OS's, whether they are a windows OS, or a BSD, or whatever will install a generic bootstrapper to the mbr ... at least in BSD's case it will ask first. Windows will just go a head and do it. The actual windows loader though ... its' 1st stage, will be located on the 1st sector of the partition that is being used as drive C:. Other windows drives will also have a 1st stage on their 1st sectors as well. For some screwy reason. If that is missing you wont be able to mount your D: drive when windows boots up. There are two actually. The second (mirrored) 1st stage will be on the 1st sector of the last K of the first allocation unit/page of the windows partition. So, a 4K page means you will have a loader on the 1st sector, and a copy of that on the 7th sector.

Point being ... the windows or otherwise loader isn't in the mbr. All the mbr bootstrap needs to do is read the table, find the table record that is set "active" ... pass that info to the bios ... then the bios goes to the first sector of the partition provided and drags in the OSes 1st stage loader and gives control to it. If the bios is geometry limited then the 1024 cylinder limit becomes important. If the bios can work with out that limit then good. That is news to me though, but as i have a brand new bios now i'll have to experiment with that Smile.

Linux is the only OS, that due to its' nature of having a boot loader thats been developed outside of the main kernel, allows a person to install it at other locations beside the root partition. And, as it is, most people go for the mbr.

It's up to you of course ... if your going to overwrite your existing bootstrap with a Linux loader, then you need to realise that when/if you decide to remove Linux you will have to restore the original configuration. Making a backup of the whole mbr to floppy first will do that. You will have a copy of the bootstrap, with the table as it was, along with the windows partition set active.

The last installer i remember using gave an option to backup the mbr to floppy, so it would pay to take advantage of that allowance.

Not sure on Grub, but i think it would be similar to Lilo, in that lilo will keep a copy of the sector to which the lilo loader is installed. If its' a blank sector such as the first sector of the primary-extended ... then it will be a 512 byte file of zeros, except for the last two bytes. If its' the mbr, it will be a copy of that ... specifically " /boot/boot.0300" The last three numbers of that file will represent the major-minor numbers of the device concerned. If lilo is installed to the first sector of a floppy, it will be "boot.0200".

My lilo is was installed to the primar-extended on the first drive, ... "/dev/hda2" with a backup to /boot/boot.0302.

I say was because i just realised that i'm not quite sure were it is at the moment Rolling Eyes. I recently swaped the drives over with a new fresh addition, so my old "hda" is out of the picture at the moment. But i'm pretty sure it's on the new "hda1". Which is just a 100mb boot partition. The only partition on the drive. With "hdb" being where everything happens. Once i figure out what i'm going to do with the new drive i'll move it somehere else (grin).

To kill a long rant Smile, the point i'm trying to make is that you reall don't need to overwrite your existing bootstrap, regardless of how the install presents its' options. If you do though, you need to make a backup of your mbr first so as to ensure minimum problems with restoration. And ... you can install both Grub or Lilo anywhere that the Bios can see it, and anywhere where its' not going to clobber some OSes existing 1st sector ... which basically gives you ...

# the 1st sector of the primary-extended, if one exists.
# the 1st sector of a Linux partition
# the 1st sector of a boot partition (primary)

As far as using windows to uninstall Linux, well, i suppose ... but for lilo, if you have to uninstall it ... lilo provides the command from within your linux,

}# lilo -u

Then you just bring up "cfdisk" and reset your windows "C: drive" as "active, reboot and then you should go straight into your previous state.


Edit (added wen 15/06/2005): -=-

You may not actually need to reset your windows partition "active". Even though both Grub and Lilo will use the table and the Bios to find there 2nd stage loaders, they don't rely on a partition being set "active". They will know which record to look for. They only require the geometry at that time. So on restoring Lilo as above, or directly restoring the mbr state from floppy ... then the original table will still have the windows partition set "active" anyway. But then, it dosen't hurt to check before rebooting Smile


I don't know how Grub goes about that, but there would be a similar facility.

People often just either overwrite there existing Linux with a new install, or just remove its' table entry from "cfdisk" or whatever. Then on reboot end up with a 1st stage Lilo/Grub trying to map to its' second stage ... without any luck, because the table entry is no longer there (it will use the table/bios untill the second stage is loaded) or because of the install overwrite.

There all problems that can easily be avoided ... especially by having the original mbr backed up on a floppy.


jm


Last edited by jjmac on Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:03 am; edited 2 times in total
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youlikeicecream
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very knowledgeable jm, looks like you v'e run into problems in this area before - lol Smile
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towy71
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

or a copy of SmartBootManager on a bootable device Wink then you can boot from any other bootable device
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jjmac
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2005 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully some added clarity to my above post.

I may have implied above that the Grub/Lilo 1st stages use the geometry/Bios to find their second stages. The bios will only be involved if one or the other is being used to bootstrap the system from the mbr and the geometry wont be used at all as the have their own mappings.


>>
anon wrote:
portal.suse.com/sdb/en/2004/05/fhassel_windows_not_booting91.html

Basically says that all 2.6 kernels have troubles if the first partition ends on or after the 1024 cylinder - this is why I said use a /boot partition first. This affects more than 2.6 kernel Linux (try nearly all OS can have this problem including Windows if the kernel is located above 1023 cylinder) and is why FHS recommend the 100 - 150 MB /boot partition as hda1.
>>



The 2.6.x will return a ata-ide compliant geometry though, that is, one based on 16 heads. Rather than the non-speced 255 head geometry that windows wants, and that the 2.4.x kernel returned. So any programs that are assuming the old behaviour, will likely have problems with the 2.6.x kernel series. And it is the utility programs fault there too. So it is a good idea to update any old programs that you may have that work with table/geometry issues if your running 2.6.x, ie; ___parted___ Rolling Eyes

But as far as 2.6.x having a special problem with the first partition being greater than 1024 cylinders. It dosen't. If the BIOS is being used to find an 'active' partition, in order to load a 1st stage loader, as is the case when using the traditional 'bootstrap' on the MBR, then it will depend on how far the BIOS can address into the disc. If Lilo/Grub is used instead of a 'bootstrap', they wont use the BIOS, so it becomes a none issue. Reverting to boot Windows does become an issue though.




>>
The BSD's, QNX and Solaris all need a primary partition, although most(not all) Linux Distro's will make do with Primary or Logical partitions.
>>

Which Linux distros don't make do with both.


Whats needed is case studies to pull apart and analise. Real disasters, total nukes Very Happy

At least then the common reasons behind boot issues would have a chance at being revealed.


Edited: Jan 2006: spell and clean up.



jm


Last edited by jjmac on Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:24 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yep, the windows boot loader is easily replaces by using the rescue disk, and going through a few steps there.
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Birdman
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jjmac said:

"Whats needed is case studies to pull apart and analise. Real disasters, total nukes Very Happy. "

Well, apologies for the cross post but what started in Harware will be better placed here me thinks Wink

I have just put together a new box with some of my old bits thrown in as well. I have been booting into Slackware current with a floppy and the time has come to start booting from the HD now that I have compiled a 2.6 kernel that will not fit onto a floppy.

I decided to run lilo in test mode, this is what I got:

Warning: LBA32 addressing assumed
Reading boot sector from /dev/sda
Warning: /dev/sda is not on the first disk
Using MENU secondary loader
Calling map_insert_data

Boot image: /boot/vmlinuz
Added Slackware24

Boot other: /dev/sda2, on /dev/sda2, loader CHAIN
Fatal: Partition entry not found.

Obviously I am not going to go steaming in and end up not being able to boot Windows (that will upset the family and I'll have to fix it PDQ). My lilo.conf is:

default = WinXP
boot = /dev/sda
prompt
timeout = 100
vga = 773
# End LILO global section
# Linux bootable partition config begins for Slackware24 new kernel 2.4.29
image = /boot/vmlinuz
root = /dev/sda3
label = Slackware24
append="hdd=ide-scsi"
read-only
# DOS bootable partition config begins
other = /dev/sda2
label = WinXP
table = /dev/sda2
# DOS bootable partition config ends
# Linux bootable partition config begins for new kernel 2.6.11
image = /boot/vmlinuz26
root = /dev/sda3
label = Slackware26
read-only

I have one SATA drive and an IDE drive. I assume that it is looking at the IDE drive as the first drive?

I haven't run liloconfig. That may well do the job, but I am scared of breaking things.

BTW, my partition setup is:

/dev/sda1 150meg linux /boot
/dev/sda2 20GB NTFS WinXP system
/dev/sda3 15GB linux /
/dev/sda5 Swap
/de/sda6 20GB FAT32 Win data

I keep reading that it is not necessary to load lilo on to the MBR. How do I install it to the root partition?

Thanks.
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Birdman
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Progress made Smile

A little googling and pause for thought and I think I'm safe to go live.

Changing boot = /dev/sda to /dev/sda1 I assume installs lilo to the sda1 partition rather than the MBR

AND

changing other = /dev/sda2 to sda means that Windows simply looks at the sda disk and uses its own boot loader?

I have run /sbin/lilo -t -v and all three options were added - the only caveat being that sda is not the first disk? Is this important?

I ran /sbin/lilo -s /mnt/floppy and now have a backup of my MBR just in case.

Is it safe to go live?
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jjmac
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howdy Birdman ...


I think the basic problem with your above config is the ...


>>
table=/dev/sda2
>>

In your ...

>>
# DOS bootable partition config begins
other = /dev/sda2
label = WinXP
table = /dev/sda2
>>>

config section. Leave that out as your mbr/table is likely on your ide drive (hda) not on /dev/sda, let alone sda2.

That why your getting ...

>>
Fatal: Partition entry not found.
>>

As there is no table there, it can't find a partition to map to. Lilo will use the default table in the mbr by default anyway. That option just exists incase you want to experiment with an alternative table setup.


>
Warning: LBA32 addressing assumed
>>

Just put ...


lba32


At the top of your config somewhere to make it explicit. Lilo will use LBA sector addressing anyway though. It's just generating that message to let you know it's assuming so rather than going by any other reliance.


Otherwise the config looks OK. If your system does use swap ... i would try to get it closer to the start of the drive. There is some performance boost to be had by doing that. But a lot of systems by virture of large ram availability wont normally use much swap, if any, anyway.




>>
I keep reading that it is not necessary to load lilo on to the MBR. How do I install it to the root partition?
>>


In lilo.conf do ...

boot=/dev/root_partition

Keep in mind that the 1st stage will be loaded by the mbr/bootstrap process. Which is Bios dependent and so will be subject to any Bios addressing limitations that may exist. Iv'e read where some Bios' these days don't have geometry problems. If thats the case your way, all the better. If not, then it will have to be installed somewhere within the 1024 cylinder limit. In either case you will probably be better off installing it in the master drive some where. There are config options that can be used to fool the Bios into thinking that the second drive is the first. But i haven't experimented with that in respect to the 1st stage loader. I have gotten an old windows install, OSR2, to boot from the second disk that way though.

As you have an "ide" disk as well ... it will likely be setup as Master. Could you change that with a jumper rearrangement. As you built it, you should know how there set up.

Code:


You can install Lilo anywhere the Bios can initially see it...

# 1st sector of a partition that doesn't have an
  other non-Linux OS installed

# A primary-extended

# A boot partition is a good candidate.

# Any Linux partition




>>
Changing boot = /dev/sda to /dev/sda1 I assume installs lilo to the sda1 partition rather than the MBR
>>


Yes, it will install the 1st stage to /dev/sda1. But i don't think "sda" is you master-drive. And so probably dosen't have the mbr at "sda".

I think your ide drive is master, and the first sector of that will be the mbr.


>>
changing other = /dev/sda2 to sda means that Windows simply looks at the sda disk and uses its own boot loader?
>>

No !,

See the 6th post above "Posted: Jun 14, 2005" ...

"other=" is designed to boot non-Linux OSes. They will have a 1st stage boot loader installed on he first sector of their respective partitions. The "chainloader" is designed to reference that sector. The "image=" parameter is for the Linux images, as they will commonly be somewhere in a directory. That is, they aren't aligned on a sector boundary and so need to be mapped directly.



>>
/dev/sda2 20GB NTFS WinXP system
>>

If thats correct ... then ....

-------------------
other=/dev/sda2
------------------

Would be the way to reference it.


>>
Changing boot = /dev/sda to /dev/sda1 I assume installs lilo to the sda1 partition rather than the MBR
>>


boot=/dev/sda1

Will install Lilos' 1st stage to the first sector of "/dev/sda1", which appears to be your "boot" partition. But it also seems that /dev/sda is your slave/second disk, 0x81 ...

I think thats what the ....

>>
Warning: /dev/sda is not on the first disk
>>

I'm unclear at the moment if that would be a problem though. If the bootstrap can reference the second drive, then it would be OK. But that will depend on your Bios.


>>
I have run /sbin/lilo -t -v and all three options were added - the only caveat being that sda is not the first disk? Is this important?
>>

Yes, running with the "-t" switch is always a good idea Smile


>>
the only caveat being that sda is not the first disk? Is this important?
>>

That can be tested by putting it all on a floppy first to see if the Bios can handle looking to the second drive for Lilos 1st stage.


>>
I ran /sbin/lilo -s /mnt/floppy and now have a backup of my MBR just in case.
>>


That will save a copy of the sector that lilos' 1st stage is being written to to a file of choice. Not necessarily the mbr, unless you are installing to the mbr. Lilo will by default make a copy of whatever sector is concerned anyway. And will save that copy to /boot/boot.0300 for a mbr install, /boot/boot.0302 as it did for my primary-extended install omn /dev/hda2. For a floppy install it will be /boot/boot.0200. The numbers are just the Major-minoe device numbers of the install location.

Have a look at my post above, about 6 up i think, dated Jun 14, 2005


>>
Is it safe to go live?
>>

Naaaw, (grin) hold the horse Smile ... put it on a floppy first...

Take your config file, or a copy of it and change the devive to install Lilo to, to /dev/fd0 ...

That is ...

-----------------------------
boot-/dev/fd0
-----------------------------

Then on a blank floppy do ..


]# lilo -C <saved_renamed_config>.


or, just do ...


]# lilo -b /dev/fd0


Then go into your Bios setup, and change the boot sequence to look at the floppy drive first. If you get a successful result, then write it tto disk. If problems/quirks occure ... then further fixing is needed !.


A look over "man lilo" will have a lot of usefull info as well.


If you want a copy of your mbr on floppy, and there are no other facilities/programs handy to do that ....

do :


]# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/fd0 bs=1024 count=1440


That will get rid of any cruft on a floppy ...


]# dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=1

That will do a raw/binary copy of the first sector of /dev/hda to the first sector of the floppy. As i suspect thats your mbr ... it should boot as such.

Pleas don't get the cli switches used with "dd" back to front. You will wipe out your mbr as a result !



]# cfdisk -Pt /dev/hda

That should provide a good idea of the layout on your ide drive

Good Luck, and post back whats going on.


The only real possibility i can see would be installing lilos' 1st stage to the second drive. In that it may not be ok with the Bios. If that occures then you could try Lilos' "drive cross mapping options". I don't hthink they have been mentioned as yet, but Lilo can do that if needed.




jm
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:52 pm    Post subject: Re: boot fix for 9.1 Reply with quote

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Birdman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks jm. Plenty to think about there Smile

This IDE drive being the "first" disk is bothering me.

My old (read - now dead) box had two IDE drives in it. My new box doesn't have enough power supply plugs to cater for all of my devices. So, I have only power to one of the IDE drives at the moment - the one with all of my old linux installations on. At some point I will swap the power lead to the other drive as it has some data on that I will need to transfer to the new drive. Eventually, I will use the 60GB IDE drive as a backup drive, but only when the new SATA drive if set-up to my satisfaction.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that my IDE drives are "floating" at the moment, and I do not want them to be seen as the "first" drive. I can certainly change the jumpers on the current IDE drive. This means the bios would see slave an IDE drive contected to the primary IDE interface. Can you have a slave without a master?

The SATA drive (my first experience) has no jumpers and I assumed that it would make itself the first drive. It seems to me that the solution is to make sure that any IDE drive connected is always in slave mode so that the SATA drive is promoted to first drive and always stays there. Does that make sense?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 4:17 pm    Post subject: Re: boot fix for 9.1 Reply with quote

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nelz
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 4:40 pm    Post subject: RE: Re: boot fix for 9.1 Reply with quote

If the issue is only a lack of power plugs and not a lack of power, you can buy splitters that convert one plug to two or more.
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Birdman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 5:00 pm    Post subject: RE: Re: boot fix for 9.1 Reply with quote

That is a good idea for the future but not really an issue with this particular problem i.e. I don't need both IDE drives connected at once but I do need to safely install lilo so that I can boot both linux and Windows.
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Birdman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:34 pm    Post subject: RE: Re: boot fix for 9.1 Reply with quote

I have played with the jumpers on hda. When in slave mode Windows sees the 60GB disk as 20GB and linux denies its existence! Switching the jumpers back to slave mode linux once again shows it as 60GB.

cfdisk -Pf /dev/hda

Partition Table for /dev/hda

---Starting--- ----Ending---- Start Number of
# Flags Head Sect Cyl ID Head Sect Cyl Sector Sectors
-- ----- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----------- -----------
1 0x80 1 1 0 0x0B 254 63 637 63 10249407
2 0x00 0 1 638 0x05 254 63 1023 10249470 55793745
3 0x00 0 0 0 0x00 0 0 0 0 0
4 0x00 0 0 0 0x00 0 0 0 0 0
5 0x00 1 1 638 0x83 254 63 1023 63 9895977
6 0x00 254 63 1023 0x83 254 63 1023 63 4594527
7 0x00 254 63 1023 0x82 254 63 1023 63 256977
8 0x00 254 63 1023 0x83 254 63 1023 63 8385867
9 0x00 254 63 1023 0x83 254 63 1023 63 5494167
10 0x00 254 63 1023 0x83 254 63 1023 63 9703197
11 0x00 254 63 1023 0x83 254 63 1023 63 13751577
12 0x00 254 63 1023 0x83 254 63 1023 63 578214

I hope this means something to you Smile
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