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Re: dd command to clear start of harddrive

Nigel Henry wrote:
> Thanks to Andy for the dd syntax, but sadly, although it cleared the start of 
> the drive, I still couldn't get the Smoothwall to boot up post install, just 
> an "L" followed by a string of 40's after the BIOS memory check. All a bit 
> weird, as when I bought the machine about 4 years ago when I first started 
> with computers, it had Win 98 on it, and that worked ok. I passed the machine 
> onto my son, and he somehow got Win 2000 pro installed on it. I know that was 
> booting ok, because I tried it. It got as far as wanting the password to get 
> in, but as I don't know his password I couldn't progress further, but at 
> least it was booting, so it doesn't seem to be a problem with booting from 
> the harddrive. 
You should probably read the troubleshooting section of LILO. But I
suspect the problem is in the BIOS of the machine you are trying to
use. I suspect that you are trying to read part of the drive that
the BIOS of that machine can not access. An updated BIOS may help.
If not, using a /boot partition at the start of the drive will help.
Remember, both LILO and Grub use the BIOS to access the hard drive.

Depending on the version of LILO, there may be an option to use LBA
addressing that sometimes also helps. I believe it is automatically
used in the latest versions, but I could be wrong.

One way to see if it is a BIOS problem is to try using the same
drive in a more modern machine. If it boots without problems there,
then it is a good indication that it is a BIOS problem, or that you
are using 2 different settings for the hard drive. I have run into
problems in that past where one machine used LBA, and another used
the LARGE mode, or didn't support the newer modes, and you could not
boot from the drive in the older machine anfer installing from the
newer machine, even if they used the same processor.


  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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