(?) mandrake linux v9.1 fresh install crashing on first bootup,

From Michael

Answered By: Thomas Adam, Mike "Sluggo" Orr, Ben Okopnik

hi, i'm fairly new to linux other than i had red hat successfully installed and working on another computer before. now i got a new computer and i decided to try mandrake this time because i heard it's more user friendly which would work well for trying to convert my finacee from windows.

anyways, i installed mandrake on the second of 3 hard drives in a dual-boot system.

anyways i ran into a couple big problems. first i installed LILO graphical boot loader on my seagate 4GB, leaving my main 20GB drive completely alone but still having the option to boot to windows in lilo, thankfully because after install i found that if i boot to my 20 GB drive to get windows my screen types 9A repeatedly for about 6 lines or so and then goes to a black screen with the message "press a key to reboot" as i said, thankfully i still can access windows via lilo booted on my 4GB seagate and i have a rescue mbr and boot record stored on my 6GB.

(!) [Thomas] Sounds like whatever bootloader is in your MBR (I can't tell from your description if it is LILO or not) is broken.

(?) now when i try to load linux (my biggest problem really) it does the initial bios check (ok) and says loading kernel but then my monitor goes into standby mode as if i shut the computer off.

(!) [Thomas] Did you read the backpages. I remember that I answered a question on this very subject. Here is the URL:

(?) ok, i let it run for a while while it reads the hard drive, eventually i let it sit for 30 minutes or so with no change and i end up rebooting and here i am. i did try to turn the monitor back on manually and it just does it's self test and says check cable connection. i still haven't been able to get linux to load successfully even in failsafe and no framebuffer modes. i did have this same install on my second partition of my 20GB but removed it after hearing that you can't have windows and linux on the same drive and expect linux to work,

(!) [Thomas] That is nonsense. You can indeed have Linux and Windows on the same drive, either by partitioning the free space on that drive for Linux, or by using the "win4lin" idea, whereby flat files are stored on your windows partition.

(?) i hoped giving it it's own drive would fix the problem especially since that was how i had red hat installed and working on another computer. i don't know why it's not working on this comp. if anyone out there happens to have a solution for this and ! maybe a reason why the install hashed my mbr on my 20GB i would = appreciate it.

(!) [Thomas] Sounds like your monitor's modelines are off. I'd be interested to know whether or not it is FrameBuffer that causes the monitor to bork. Try this at the LILO prompt:
linux video="vga16:off"

(?) sorry to sound like an idiot but so you know i'm self taught as far as computers go and i learned over the years how to do just about anything in windows, buid a computer, and install and run linux with some intelligence, i know it doesn't sound like much to the more educated types out there but

(!) [Sluggo] Not an idiot.
(!) [Ben] Clearly not, since he's managed to do all of that. To me, "idiot" == "uneducable", no matter how "intelligent" someone may be in the common meaning. Not knowing something does not make you an idiot; being unwilling to learn when you need to would.
(!) [Sluggo] There's no way to distinguish EDO and "regular" 72-pin memory unless says on the chip (good manufacturers) or you've memorized their numberic codes (which nobody except those who work in the memory industry do). Most people who put memory in 72-pin computers just sort their spare memory chips by what "looks similar" and then experiment to see which ones work together. Of course it depends on the motherboard too. Most motherboards insist 72-pin memory (SIMM) be installed in pairs of the same size (megabytes). But my mom's computer works happily with three 8 MB SIMMs and one slot empty.
DIMMs (168-pin memory) are designed with notches along the bottom to distinguish their type. You don't have to know the types; you just have to know that if it's the wrong type, the notches won't fit the protrusions in the slot and it won't go in.
(!) [Ben] *AHEM!* Yes it will, Mike. You just haven't repaired enough computers to know better. :) I've seen two floppies "go into" a 5.25" floppy drive before... and DIMMs would be much simpler: you could _easily use a hammer to drive them into position. I've seen people jam the 30-pin SIMMS in backwards, completely uncaring that only one corner of it actually touched the connector instead of the entire strip being solidly plugged in. It was in there, by gosh, and *that's* what counted.
(!) [Sluggo] The manufacturers must have realized the problem of identical-looking incompatible memory types and gone to this system to cut down support calls. Fortunately, there's a company where I live (CompuCare in Seattle) that sells memory with a lifetime warranty, and they've been good about exchanging it if anything goes bad.
It's easy to tell whether DIMM memory is the right type, because if it's not the notches on the bottom won't line up with the slot and it won't go in.
You think we're not self taught? Some of us have had formal education in Computer Science and/or as hardware technicians, but I just learned by trial and error over the years same as you. I worked in workstation support and at a small ISP for a few years, and that gave me an opportunity to learn from more knowledgeable ppl whenever it related to a task at hand. I still remember what a big ordeal it was when I installed my first CD-ROM (pre-IDE) at home, but now it's a snap.

(?) haven't had the advantages of having a computer my entire life either.

(!) [Sluggo] I used my first computer in junior high school. It was an Apple II.

(?) how to switch my swap file from hdb2 to hdc* i would appreciate it.

(!) [Sluggo]
  1. Create the partition (e.g., /dev/hdc1) and set the type to "Linux swap". Use one of the *fdisk programs (my favorite is cfdisk) or your distribution's GUI installer.
  2. Run "mkswap /dev/hdc1" to format it.
  3. Run "swapon /dev/hdc1" to activate it, and "swapoff" the old partition to deactivate it.
  4. Add a line in /etc/fstab for the new swap partition; comment out the line for the old partition. Linux runs "swapon -a" at boot to activate all swap partitions listed in /etc/fstab.
  5. (Optional) Change the type of your old partition to Linux, and reformat it with your favorite filesystem (ext3, ext2, reiserfs, etc).

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