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1 13th October 23:47
External User
Posts: 1
Default Help: "No boot signature found on partition" (LILO)

I have trouble with LILO and slackware 10.0 (working
on unattended install).

What I am trying to do is to boot from boot CD, mount
an existing slackware root partition and install LILO
based on /(mount-point)/etc/lilo.conf.

For debug purposes I have tried this:
1) Install Slackware the "normal way" from CD and simply
select "LILO: Simple installation."
So far, booting on /dev/hda works fine!

2) I boot from CD to the root prompt, mount /dev/hda under /mnt

3) I run "lilo -M /dev/hda -C /mnt/etc/lilo.conf", and get
"Master boot record on /dev/hda has been updated."
But after this, I can no longer boot:
"No boot signature found on partition."

Note that I did not change lilo.conf, so I don't think the problem
is there.

The partitions are
/dev/hda1, block 1-64, type 82 (swap)
/dev/hda2, block 65-1000, type 83 (formatted ext 3). ACTIVE.

I have verified that the boot signature is on /dev/hda (using dd and
hexdump), and it is there (offset 0x01FE=0xAA55).

My lilo.conf:
# Start LILO global section
boot = /dev/hda
message = /boot/boot_message.txt
timeout = 1200
# Override dangerous defaults that rewrite the partition table:
# Normal VGA console
vga = normal
# Linux bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz
root = /dev/hda2
label = Linux
# Linux bootable partition config ends

As a test, I have tried to chroot to /mnt and use liloconfig,
but it failed (missing /proc stuff).

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

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2 13th October 23:49
johninsd at san dot rr dot com
External User
Posts: 1
Default Help: "No boot signature found on partition" (LILO)

You have overwritten the LILO boot record, which was installed on /dev/hda to
begin with.

I think there is some confusion over the use of the -M switch. -M installs a
"Master Boot Record", not the LILO boot record. When this switch is use,
nothing in /etc/lilo.conf is read. A "Master Boot Record" merely transfers
control to the first active partition.

Generally, when -M is used, it is followed by -A to activate a particular

You don't want to use -M; you have written your LILO boot record on the master
boot sector of /dev/hda.

To recover, just re-run /sbin/lilo to overwrite the master boot sector.

Or, using the LILO boot record on /dev/hda2

[boot=/dev/hda2] not [boot=/dev/hda]

lilo -b /dev/hda2
lilo -M /dev/hda
lilo -A /dev/hda 2 # note the space

Right now, if /dev/hda2 is marked active, there is no boot record; hence the
correct error message is being displayed.
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3 13th October 23:50
External User
Posts: 1
Default Help: "No boot signature found on partition" (LILO)

Thank you very much for your help, John. I just tried without the -M and
simply did: "lilo -C ./lilo.conf" instead, and now everything is working

/ Lars
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4 15th October 21:16
+alan hicks+
External User
Posts: 1
Default Help: "No boot signature found on partition" (LILO)

Hash: SHA1

In alt.os.linux.slackware, Lars dared to utter,

I see you've already got your question answered but I thought I'd throw
you a bone here. Take a look at the man page for mount. You can use the
bind option to mount /proc to say /mnt/proc as well so it is available
in a chroot environment. This is the way Gentoo does its install.

- --
It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise,
Than for a man to hear the song of fools.
Ecclesiastes 7:5
Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (GNU/Linux)

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5 15th October 21:17
External User
Posts: 1
Default Help: "No boot signature found on partition" (LILO)

I think you want to run
lilo -r /mnt
after booting from cd and 'mount /dev/hda2 /mnt'

Merci........Yvan I did not want to repeat other people's mistakes.
So I made new mistakes of my own.
Boy did I invent some good ones!
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