Clone Dual Boot XP/Linux w. LILO

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by geekylishious, Jul 10, 2005.

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  1. geekylishious

    geekylishious Registered Member

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    Last week, I cloned my laptop 60GB dual boot hard drive to a larger 80GB hard drive using the Acronis TI via USB 2.0 external enclosure. After installing the new 80GB my Windows XP boot works flawlessly with the same drive letters, however Linux option refuses to boot and hangs at GRUB plus cursor.

    The symptoms are very similar to this thread https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=83316&highlight=dual boot

    However, the difference between the user and I is that I did not use GRUB loader (as far as I remember) when I installed Linux, but LILO. I did not install it in the MBR but used the "bootsect.lnx" pointer file method utilizing NTLDR. The only feasible way right now to boot into Linux is via bootdisk that I created back during initial install.

    Is there anything I can do to rectify the situation and have NTLDR boot into Linux again w/o killing either OS? Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions.

    Relevant Info:
    XP HOME SP2, Linux Redhat 9.0, TI 8.0 v.889, Toshiba HD 60GB was cloned into 80GB using "auto" settings.

    1 Primary XP NTFS partition
    1 Extended partition containing:
    1. XP FAT 32
    2. Linux /boot ext3
    3. Linux /home
    4. Linux /swap
     
  2. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    I've read your post more than once and I can't determine if you're using the GRUB, LILO, or Windows boot loader. Please state which you use to boot your PC.
     
  3. geekylishious

    geekylishious Registered Member

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    wdormann,

    sorry about my vagueness. :oops: I am using the Windows boot loader.


    More detailed setup info:
    1. win.ini was edited to have two options: Windows and Linux, choosing Linux will execute "bootsect.lnx".

    2. "bootsect.lnx" file is placed on my Windows C: drive. This file contains a link that points to my Linux /boot sector. (So, I have read :doubt: )

    Hope that explains a little bit more.

    Thanks!
     
  4. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    Ok, it's more clear now.

    In my experience, LILO is very fragile. Any changes to the disk structure seem to render it useless. In the past, if I've restored certain partitions using ATI, I've also needed to re-install LILO. I'd boot with my Gentoo CD and re-install from there. Not terribly difficult to do, but extra steps nonetheless. I've since switched to GRUB and those problems disappeared.

    In your case, it's likely that you may need to both re-install LILO and also re-create your "bootsect.lnx" file. You should be able to do both by using your Linux boot floppy:
    1) double-check /etc/lilo.conf and then run lilo to install it into the first sector of the relevant partition.
    2) copy the new boot sector to your bootsect.lnx file using the "dd" command.

    You may want to consider GRUB, as it's more robust than LILO in my experience.
     
  5. geekylishious

    geekylishious Registered Member

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    wdormann,

    Thanks for your fast reply. Hmmm, I never re-installed LILO, but recreated the "bootsect.lnx" file again and copied it over to "C:". The result was a complete halt of my system after choosing Linux during boot. The display was black and the three finger salute for reboot did not work. (GRUB didn't show up anymore either...)

    Anyway, I will reinstall LILO per your suggestions and see how it goes. Hopefully, the boot floppy is sufficient as I do not have the installation CDs anymore. (Probably going to change to GRUB as well, but that's another little project for the future.)

    I should be posting soon.
     
  6. geekylishious

    geekylishious Registered Member

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    wdormann,

    I just tried your suggestion and linux still refused to boot. It hangs at a complete black screen, but this time I am able to "three finger salute" the system. :'(

    Maybe it's time to move on to a different distro and wipe the Linux partition... o_O
     
  7. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    Hm, I'm still confused why you say "GRUB" didn't show up anymore". I can't understand how you are using some combination of the Windows boot loader and GRUB and LILO.

    I'm sure your situation is completely fixable, especially since your boot floppy works. Depending on what amount of effort you've put into the Linux system will determine how much effort you'll put into getting it bootable again, though. :)

    Two things to check with the new drive:
    1) Does your linux /boot partition start after the 1024th cylinder (approx 8.4GB)?
    2) Does your BIOS report a different geometry (Cylinder, Sector, Head) for the drive than Linux detects (should be reported at boot time, or via fdisk)?

    If either of the above are true, you may need to enable the lba or linear options in lilo.conf.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2005
  8. geekylishious

    geekylishious Registered Member

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    wdormann,

    I am using the NT loader to initiate LILO. I am pretty sure that I have never used GRUB before. :rolleyes: That being said, "GRUB" started appearing after I cloned my hard drive from 60GB to 80GB. Maybe Acronis TI added it somehow?
    Not quite sure how GRUB was installed either, but from a Linux installation point of view, I have not used GRUB before.

    Answer to question 1:
    My Linux boot partition is well beyond the 1024 cylinder. Say around the 60GB mark.
    Answer to question 2:
    I dont' know. :doubt:
    I have one of those laptops with a soft bios or whatever Toshiba wants to call it. It's suppose to be purely controlled by the OS. There is no BIOS menu to access. I can't "fdisk" either as I have XP Home, have never created any rescue/boot disk and recovery CDs are not with me.

    As for lba, it was already enabled during the initial intall. It was also listed in the lilo.conf file that you asked me to double check before reinstalling LILO.

    Again, thanks for your fast replies. They are greatly appreciated!
     
  9. wdormann

    wdormann Registered Member

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    I'd recommend ditching LILO altogether.
    Try following these instructions to install GRUB to the boot sector of your linux partition.
     
  10. geekylishious

    geekylishious Registered Member

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    :D

    Thanks wdormann! It worked like a charm. Again, your help is greatly appreciated. I took out LILO, followed the instructions on the website (I actually had it in my bookmarks as well :D ), messed with the grub.conf file a little bit and booted back to the way it was before my clone! :eek:

    I guess this thread is solved.

    Wooooohooooo! 10 out of 10 credits go to wdormann.
     
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