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9. LILO after the installation of Mandrake Linux 9.1 on HP products

2003-11-19

9.1 Description of the products used in this experiment

Notice: Folks, that part is NOT a commercial for HP production of any means! In fact, a series of HP computers I have been using has delivered failures in power supply units, problems with hard disks etc. On the other side, laptop's batteries get exhausted earlier than expected. Other than these issues, HP machines are fine.

HP Omnibook 6000

A laptop computer Omnibook 6000 is equipped with a 'bootable' DVD drive and recently, at an ICT conference, I bought a bootable DVD-ROM with Mandrake Linux 9.1 installation. After booting the laptop with that bootable DVD, it gets directly to the Linux installation menu.

HP Vectra VL420 (used as a server)

In opposite, an HP Vectra VL420 doesn't have a DVD drive (it only has a CD drive), so the direct installation from that particular installation DVD is not possible. But, an option of making a bootable floppy disk for starting the installation procedure is possible. In fact, several boot images are available for those users who don't have (bootable or not) DVD drive. One of the images is a 'network' one. That means, in a local area network there has to be either a NFS, FTP or HTTP server from which the installation will take place.

HP Vectra VL420 (used as a workstation)

Another VL420 desktop system I also use, has a spare HDD from a previous Windows 2000 server installation (actually, that IDE disk was moved from the other computer where it was a primary one and here it is the second one disk for backup data). The nice things is that it has a HTTP and FTP servers installed (of course, usable if the system is boot from that disk). That was good so I could use one of these servers now.

So, I made a 'network' bootable floppy and booted the first Vectra VL420 (intended to be a Linux server) with it. After a while, it came to a point to choose the installation method (NFS or FTP or HTTP server). At first, I wanted to use the second 'spare' HTTP server at the other Vectra mentioned above, but regardless of what permission I tried to give to the 'Everyone' group of Windows users, I always got the following answer from the Linux setup:

Error: Couldn't get file ... (or something like that)

Then I tried to use the FTP 'spare' server from the second Vectra and at first it also asked for local and remote IP addresses. That time successfully, it started to load a part of the remote Linux files into its memory without any complaint. Soon after, it came to the very same position as Omnibook 6000 did: it got directly to the installation menu, asking a user to choose a language for the installation use.

>From that point, the setup process was almost the same...

I have chosen/confirmed the following items:

- a language to use, besides English(American) as default: I added Unicode and Serbian (both Cyrillic and Latin); - a mouse and keyboard; - a security level - I accepted defaults: 'Standard' for laptop and 'Higher' for server;

The next important task was to choose one of DrakX partitioning options:

- for laptop I chose the 'Use the free space on the Windows partition', because the laptop has one IDE hard disk and I wanted it to use a part of it for Linux (besides existing Windows 2000 Prof. already installed). Windows' Disk Management reported:

Disk 0  15      MB      FAT     (HP Diagnostics or like)
        7.13    GB      FAT32   (C: "HPNOTEBOOK")
        20.80   GB      Free space

The two partitions (FAT & FAT32) were made during the installation procedure using HP's supplied installation CD's.

At the first moment, Linux setup complained that my Windows partition "was too fragmented" and required me to reboot under Windows, run the "defrag" utility, then restart the Mandrake Linux installation. The defragmentation process have taken cca. 1.5 hour to be completed! When restarted the setup, it wanted to use 7.13 GB Windows partition, instead of 20.80 GB. I chose to 'Use the free space'. Then it made partitions for Linux: /dev/hda5 and /dev/hda7.

- for Vectra VL420 I used 'Custom disk partitioning' because there I had two SCSI disks, one of them running Windows 2000 Server already installed, and the other one I wanted to use entirely for a Linux server. BTW, I wasn't sure what the option 'Erase entire disk' would do during its next step (erase a whole disk or a partition?), although it also may be the proper solution too. DrakX recognized the two SCSI disks as sda and sdb and I chose sdb to install Linux. The first step was to 'Clear all' and after that to 'Auto allocate' the space on that second disk. Finally, after a 'Done' it appeared to make /dev/sdb1 and /dev/sdb6 Linux partitions.

9.2 What does LILO looks like on these HP products

HP Omnibook 6000

boot=/dev/hda
map=/boot/map
vga=normal
default="windows"
keytable=/boot/us.klt
prompt
nowarn
timeout=100
message=/boot/message
menu-scheme=wb:bw:wb:bw
image=/boot/vmlinuz
        label="linux"
        root=/dev/hda5
        initrd=/boot/initrd.img
        append="quiet devfs=mount acpi=off"
        read-only
image=/boot/vmlinuz
        label="failsafe"
        root=/dev/hda5
        initrd=/boot/initrd.img
        append="failsafe devfs=nomount acpi=off"
        read-only
other=/dev/hda2                                 <--- /dev/hda1 seems to be reserved for some HP diags.
        label="windows"
        table=/dev/hda
other=/dev/fd0
        label="floppy"
        unsafe

HP Vectra VL420 (installed as a desktop client Linux system)

boot=/dev/hda
map=/boot/map
vga=normal
default="windows"
keytable=/boot/us.klt
prompt
nowarn
timeout=100
message=/boot/message
menu-scheme=wb:bw:wb:bw
image=/boot/vmlinuz
        label="linux"
        root=/dev/hda5
        initrd=/boot/initrd.img
        append="quiet devfs=mount acpi=off"
        vga=788                                 <--- that line is missing at laptop with LCD screen above.
        read-only
image=/boot/vmlinuz
        label="linux-nonfb"
        root=/dev/hda5
        initrd=/boot/initrd.img
        append="devfs=mount acpi=off"
        read-only
image=/boot/vmlinuz
        label="failsafe"
        root=/dev/hda5
        initrd=/boot/initrd.img
        append="failsafe devfs=nomount acpi=off"
        read-only
other=/dev/hda1                                 <--- /dev/hda1 seems not to be reserved for HP diags here.
        label="windows"                                 There I have Windows 2000 Professional already 
        table=/dev/hda                                  installed (probably without HP's supplied CD's).
other=/dev/hdb1                                 <--- that is the spare disk with Windows 2000 Server.
        label="windows2"                                Actually I had some data on it and used it as a
        table=/dev/hdb                                  second, backup disk on that desktop workstation.
        map-drive=0x80                                  I have never tried to boot the computer from it, but
           to=0x81                                      Mandrake's setup offered it as a boot option.
        map-drive=0x81                                  (And that was useful as a FTP server, needed to install
           to=0x80                                      Mandrake Linux on the other box - without DVD drive too).
other=/dev/fd0
        label="floppy"
        unsafe

HP Vectra VL420 (installed as a desktop Linux system with server features)

boot=/dev/sda                                   <--- /dev/sda is the first SCSI disk where LILO resides (MBR).
map=/boot/map
vga=normal
default="windows"
keytable=/boot/us.klt
prompt
nowarn
timeout=100
message=/boot/message
menu-scheme=wb:bw:wb:bw
image=/boot/vmlinuz
        label="linux"
        root=/dev/sdb1                          <--- /dev/sdb1 is the second SCSI disk where Linux resides.
        initrd=/boot/initrd.img
        append="quiet devfs=mount acpi=off"
        vga=788
        read-only
image=/boot/vmlinuz
        label="linux-nonfb"
        root=/dev/sdb1
        initrd=/boot/initrd.img
        append="devfs=mount acpi=off"
        read-only
image=/boot/vmlinuz-secure
        label="linux-secure"                    <--- something related to the Linux server security?
        root=/dev/sdb1
        initrd=/boot/initrd-secure.img
        append="quiet devfs=mount acpi=off"
        read-only
image=/boot/vmlinuz
        label="failsafe"
        root=/dev/sdb1
        initrd=/boot/initrd.img
        append="failsafe devfs=nomount acpi=off"
        read-only
other=/dev/sda1                                 <--- /dev/sda1 is the first partition on the first SCSI disk where Windows resides.
        label="windows"
        table=/dev/sda

9.3 Conclusions

>From the examples above, you could see that I have been using various computer forms with also various types of hard disk. Somewhere there is only one IDE drive, somewhere else there are two of them, otherwise there are a couple of SCSI drives etc. Regardless of that, I always tried to put LILO into the MBR - located on the first disk. Now it looks like that Linux finally managed to solve the old 1024 cyl problem. In fact, LILO seems to be capable to boot Linux regardless it is placed close to the rest of Linux partitions or not.

There are some other considerations related to the experiment above, but they are part of the other fine document: Linux+WindowsNT mini-HOWTO.


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