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SubjectRe: Linux-2.6.8 Hates DOS partitions
On Wed, 13 Oct 2004, Andries Brouwer wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 13, 2004 at 01:31:34PM -0400, Richard B. Johnson wrote:
>
>> Only the DOS partitions and the swap are used in this new configuration.
>> This is a new "Fedora Linux 2" installation on a completely
>> different IDE hard disk, in which I have to enable boot disks in
>> the BIOS to boot the new system.
>>
>> Immediately after installing the new system I reverted (in the BIOS)
>> to the original to make sure that I was still able to boot the old
>> system and the DOS partition. Everything was fine.
>>
>> Then I installed linux-2.6.8 after building a new kernel with
>> the old ".config" file used as `make oldconfig`. Everything was
>> fine after that, also.
>>
>> I have now run for about a week and I can't boot the DOS partition
>> anymore!
>>
>> I can copy everything from C: and D: from within Linux
>> and then re-do the DOS partitions, BUT.... bad stuff
>> will happen again unless the cause is found.
>
> Well, if you do and the same thing happens, we know that there is something
> reproducible here. That is always good to know. It might be that you did
> something a week ago and forgot all about it and now have a strange bug.
>
> If this is reproducible, then there are lots of possible explanations.
>
> Have you considered the numbering of the disks? You changed things in
> the BIOS. Did the Linux SCSI disk numbering remain the same?
>
> Andries
>

I just had to reinstall the "Fedora Linux 2" release from scratch the
second time. What it does is, even though I told it to leave my
SCSI disks alone, and even though I bought a new ATA Disk just for
it, and even though I carefully told the installation program to
use ONLY /dev/hda... Guess what? It installed a piece of GRUB
on my first SCSI, /dev/sda, where the LILO boot-loader for DOS
and linux-2.4.26 exists! It looks like it put it in a partition
table!

So, every time I install a new Linux version, GRUB writes something
else there. Eventually it probably gets big enough to make the DOS D:
partition go away, and soon DOS drive C: becomes unbootable. I can't
find any other reason.

The GRUB configuraton file on a pristine install does not
seem to access /dev/sda, but it does...

# grub.conf generated by anaconda
#
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE: You do not have a /boot partition. This means that
# all kernel and initrd paths are relative to /, eg.
# root (hd0,0)
# kernel /boot/vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/hda1
# initrd /boot/initrd-version.img
#boot=/dev/hda
default=0
timeout=10
splashimage=(hd0,0)/boot/grub/splash.xpm.gz
title Fedora Core (2.6.5-1.358)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.5-1.358 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.5-1.358.img
title Other
rootnoverify (hd1,0)
chainloader +1


I just got this installed again and configured sendmail to receive
mail when I got your message. I now have to configure a printer
and install a non-kerberos versions of ftp, telnet, and rlogin
before I can go home. The ones supplied with this distribution are
incompatible with my old Sun Workstations and people use those
to communicate with this machine.

This is the second time I've had to reinstall everything from
scratch in the past two weeks and I can tell you that there is
nothing "free" about free software.

Cheers,
Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version 2.6.5-1.358 on an i686 machine (5537.79 BogoMips).
Note 96.31% of all statistics are fiction.

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