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  Author  Subject: Re: Unable to mount root FS

Posted on 02-27-2001 01:53 a.m. ET  reply

Original Poster: "Mark W. Krentel" <>

> I've been trying to install Linux Mandrake 7.1, without success. It
> installs, but when I reboot it fails to recognize my hard drives:
> I have a 30 Gig C drive, 12 Gig D drive

I think you may have hit the 1023 cylinder limit problem. Your
partition for / (and /boot, if Mandrake puts /boot on a separate
partition) must be entirely within cylinders 1-1023. I can't be sure
if that's the problem, but it's a common problem with disks > 8 Gig
(especially if you're unaware of it). If your first Linux partition
is not within the first 8 Gig, then this is likely the problem.

What does fdisk report for your disks? We need to know the cylinder
numbers for each partition and what's on it (eg, Linux /usr or DOS C:).
Your first Linux partition must have cylinders <= 1023. If this is
the problem, then you'll have to repartition (maybe with FIPS or
Partition Magic) or otherwise give Linux a lower cylinder number.

Here's another test. In the Linux install, it should give you an
option to make an emergency boot disk on floppy. Make one and try
booting off it. I believe LILO can boot off a floppy, even if your
root partition violates the 1023 limit.

Also, I'm not sure if LILO handles booting off hdc or hdd (since I
rarely use more than two disks). But the best solution for all these
issues is to give Linux a small (50-100 Meg) partition for / in the
low cylinders (1-1023) on the first disk. Then the other partitions
(/var, /usr, ...) can go anywhere on any disk.

> Does 7.2 fix these problems?

Won't make any difference.


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