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F10 F10TROUBLESHOOT HDDBOOT RESTORE LILOBOOT DIS_RECOV_PREP HOME PAGE

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L I L O   a n d   F 1 0

How to make LILO and the Compaq F10 Partition get along together:

The /boot partition should:
  1. be created as a primary partition (1-4).
  2. range in size between 30-90MB depending on your needs.
  3. entirely exist below the 1024 cylinder limit and should not cross the 1024 cylinder boundary.
  4. be marked active.
LILO should be installed to the /boot partition and NOT to the MBR (Master Boot Record). Installing LILO to the MBR will cause the LILO: prompt to be displayed when you press F10 during system POST rather than causing the Compaq System Partiton (F10 Partition) to run.



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T r o u b l e s h o o t i n g

Troubleshooting steps if Linux does not boot using the method described in the section labeled LILO and F10:

  1. "boot=" in /etc/lilo.conf must point to the location of /boot: Make sure that /etc/lilo.conf has the "boot=" line pointing to the partition containing /boot and not to any other partition such as root ("/"). If /boot is its own partition then "boot=" should point to the /boot partition and not to root. If /boot is not separated out into its own partition, then "boot=" should point to the root partition.

  2. Check /etc/lilo.conf, run /sbin/lilo -v: After reviewing the LILO configuration file (/etc/lilo.conf) for correctness, run "/sbin/lilo -v" and watch the output for errors. Review the lilo.conf man page for more information on the parameters in the /etc/lilo.conf file.

  3. Mark /boot active: Make sure that the /boot partition is marked active and is the only one marked active. You can check this by running fdisk with the "list partition table" parameter:
    #Fdisk for SCSI controller #Fdisk for Array Controller
    fdisk -l /dev/sda fdisk -l /dev/ida/c0d0
    You should note an asterisk "*" next to the bootable partition. Only 1 partition should be made active at any time. Only primary partitions can be marked active.

  4. /boot must be a primary partition: Make sure that the /boot partition is a primary partition. Primary partitions are numbered from 1-4. If your /boot partition has a partition number of 5 or higher, then it is not a primary partition and you may not mark that partition as active. You may use one of the following alternate methods to boot Linux:

    Alternate methods available to boot Linux and access the F10 partition if /boot is not a primary partition:

    • Backup and Reinstall: Backup your data and reinstall using the partition layout described in the section labeled LILO and F10.

    • Use the MBR: Install LILO to the MBR and add an entry in /etc/lilo.conf to call the F10 partition. This will allow you to boot Linux and also have access to the F10 partition. This method; however, may cause delays to those involved in troubleshooting the server since this is a non-standard way of gaining access to the F10 partition utilities. Here are sample entries for /etc/lilo.conf that will add a choice for the F10 partition in LILO on bootup:

      #F10 on SCSI controller #F10 on Array Controller
      other=/dev/sda3
              label=F10
              table=/dev/sda
      
      other=/dev/ida/c0d0p3
              label=F10
              table=/dev/ida/c0d0
      
    • Use Existing Boot Manager: If you have an existing boot manager such as NT or System Commander then add an entry in one of those to boot Linux. See dualboot.html for more information.

    • Use the Extended Partition: Install LILO to the extended partition itself (the extended partition is a primary partition 1-4) and mark it active. Warning, this method is untested and may cause data loss. I, nor my employer, nor anyone else may be held responsible if this method causes data loss for you. Be sure to backup your data if you choose to use this method.

  5. The MBR must be clean: Make sure you have a clean MBR. Basically this involves running "fdisk /mbr"; however, there are several preparation steps you should take before completing this task. If this is a fresh install and you are not concerned if this wipes out your data, then go straight to booting on a Win95 boot disk and run "fdisk /mbr". If you do have data in the system that you need to protect and you need to prevent data loss, then follow the steps outlined in the section labeled "Restoring F10 Functionality" (These steps include getting a complete system backup, "fdisk -l" saved to floppy and printed, backup of MBR to floppy, finish w/ "fdisk /mbr").


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  S e q u e n c e

Hard Drive Boot Up Sequence:

Here is a brief description of the bootup sequence on a Compaq computer with the F10 partition. This will give you better understanding when troubleshooting the system:
  1. Controller Order: Control must pass to the controller marked as "Controller Order: First" in SCU (System Configuration Utility).

  2. First Drive: Control will pass (depending on the controller type) to:

    • SCSI ID 0 - If the regular SCSI controller is set to controller order first.

    • Array A (the first array) - If using a Compaq Array controller and it is set to controller order first.

  3. MBR: Next in sequence is the MBR.

    1. MBR is clean: If the MBR is clean, you will be able to either press F10 to start the Compaq System Partition, or press nothing and control will pass to the active partition on this drive.

    2. MBR is corrupt: If the MBR is corrupt, the system will hang at this point. If LILO is present in the MBR but is not correctly pointing to your Linux partition you may see "LI" at this point. [Note: Another cause of seeing only "LI" is that you may need to use Linear Mode for LILO; however, that should not be the case for Compaq servers that use F10 on a Compaq System Partition - "linear mode" should be the case for servers that have the Bios based F10 Setup.].

    3. MBR contains a valid copy of LILO: If the MBR contains a valid copy of LILO that correctly points to your Linux partition, then that will start Linux. Note: If this system does use the Compaq System Partition, and if LILO is installed to the MBR, then you will not be able to press F10 to get to the Compaq System Partition on boot up.

  4. Boot Sector on Active Partition: Once control passes through a clean MBR, then control passes to the boot sector on the active primary partition (1-4) on this first disk or array. The boot sector on the active partition is then read and executed (i.e. loads your OS).

    1. No active partition: If no partition is marked active, then you should get:
           Non-System disk or disk error
           replace and strike any key when ready
           _
          
      To remedy this, use fdisk to mark the /boot partition active.

    2. Partition active, no boot sector: If you have a partition marked active, but no boot sector present, then your OS will not boot. One possibility is that you will see a blinking cursor in the upper left corner of a blank screen. Another possibility is the following message (this one was created by having a zero'd out boot sector on the /boot partition):
           Missing operating system
          
      To remedy this, check /etc/lilo.conf, run /sbin/lilo to install a new boot sector on the /boot partition.

    3. Partition active, valid boot sector: If /boot is marked active and its boot sector contains a valid copy of LILO then Linux will boot. During installation this choice is listed as "First sector of boot partition".


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R E S T O R I N G   F 1 0
F U N C T I O N A L I T Y

How to restore functionality to the F10 key on bootup:

If LILO is installed to the MBR then the F10 key will not function correclty on bootup to start the F10 partition. This section will describe the changes necessary in order to allow the F10 key, when pressed on bootup, to start the Compaq System Partition (F10 Partition).

The steps to accomplish this are very simple:
  1. Back up certain critical configuration files as well as all user data.
  2. Install LILO to its new location and make any other necessary adjustments. The method you choose will determine what other necessary adjustments are needed.
  3. Remove LILO from the MBR.
Backup:

Before you begin any operation that has the potential of being data destructive, you should always take precaution and back up certain files as well as all user data.
  1. Perform 2 system backup and verify them both. This will be your last line of defence if something does go wrong; therefore, it is very important to make sure that they will work if needed.

  2. Verify that you have good boot disks that give you access to your hard drives and your tape backup. These disks are also called boot and root disks or also called rescue disks. There are several type of boot diskettes you can use to recover your system, here are just a few:

    • A boot diskette (mkbootdisk) and a rescue diskette (/images/rescue.img) - depending on which version of Linux (RH60).
    • Installation Diskette or CD, type "linux expert" at the boot prompt - depending on which version of Linux (RH61, RH62).
    • Installation CD and Diskettes. See recovery.html for more information on using these.
    • Home made rescue diskette set.
  3. Gather several reports from your system:
    #Reports from SCSI controller #Reports from Array Controller
    cat /etc/fstab >/tmp/fstab.out
    cat /etc/lilo.conf >/tmp/liloconf.out
    fdisk -l /dev/sda >/tmp/fdisk.out
    cat /etc/fstab >/tmp/fstab.out
    cat /etc/lilo.conf >/tmp/liloconf.out
    fdisk -l /dev/ida/c0d0 >/tmp/fdisk.out
    Be sure to copy these reports to floppy and also print them.

  4. Backup the MBR:
    #MBR on SCSI controller      #MBR on Array Controller
    
    dd if=/dev/sda of=/tmp/sda.sav bs=512 count=1
    
        
    
    dd if=/dev/ida/c0d0 of=/tmp/c0d0.sav bs=512 count=1
    
  5. Create an ext2 formatted floppy and copy each of the reports to the floppy. Print each of the reports. Also copy the backup of the MBR to the floppy. Also copy "dd" to the floppy.
    #Reports and MBR from SCSI controller #Reports and MBR from Array Controller
    mount /mnt/floppy cp /tmp/fstab.out /mnt/floppy
    cp /tmp/liloconf.out /mnt/floppy
    cp /tmp/fdisk.out /mnt/floppy cp /bin/dd /mnt/floppy
    mount /mnt/floppy cp /tmp/fstab.out /mnt/floppy
    cp /tmp/liloconf.out /mnt/floppy
    cp /tmp/fdisk.out /mnt/floppy cp /bin/dd /mnt/floppy
Create a ext2 formatted floppy and copy each of the reports to the floppy.
mkfs /dev/fd0
mount -t ext2 /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy
cp /tmp/*.out /mnt/floppy
cp /tmp/MBR.sav /mnt/floppy
    
You will need to find a suitable place to move LILO to. Check the section labeled LILO and F10 Troubleshooting for help in determining the best choice for you.

If you have decided to use an alternate boot manager such as WinNT or System Commander, then you should see the page labeled dualboot.html.

You may use the method described in this section if one of the following apply:
  1. /boot is a primary partition. You will install LILO to the boot sector on /boot, mark /boot active, and clear the MBR.

  2. /boot is not a primary partition and you wish to install LILO to the extended partition itself. First remember my warning: Warning, this method is untested and may cause data loss. I, nor my employer, nor anyone else may be held responsible if this method causes data loss for you. Be sure to backup your data if you choose to use this method. If you still wish to use this method then you will install LILO to the boot sector of the extended partition itself (the extended partition is a primary partition 1-4), mark it active, and clear the MBR.


Once a suitable place has been found in which to install LILO, follow the steps below to complete the proceedure. The proceedure contains several sections: preparation Install LILO to the new location Remove LILO from the old location Recovering if something went wrong

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F 1 0   P A R T I T I O N  
( A L T E R N A T E   M E T H O D )

How to make the F10 key start functional on boot up:


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D I S A S T E R   R E C O V E R Y
P R E P A R A T I O N   S T E P S

How to prepare for disaster recovery:
Before performing a task that may render your system or data useless, it may be a good idea to take several precautionary steps that will allow you to safeguard your operating system and data.