Booting From Large Disk/LILO Problem

Mark Paine mpainf at
Tue Mar 5 22:08:10 EST 2002

Got a problem with LILO - which is probably more to do with disk
geometry than anything else, I think

Anyway, the basics - Abit BE6-II motherboard with a Seagate 40Gb on the
HPT366 controller.  Running Debian 2.2 with custom kernel (2.2.19) with
the IDE patches to allow support for the onboard HPT366 support.

I used to have a Seagate 20G on the first IDE channel (off the 440BX
chipset), but recently upgraded to the 40G and thought it would be
better on the HPT366 so that I could use it at ATA/66 speeds rather than
ATA/33 as this system is my home server.  (And the 20G has gone to my
workstation, and its 8G will be installed on this system).

Anyway, the first problem I had was partitioning the HD.  fdisk reported
a CHS of 12009/16/63.  cfdisk reported 77545/16/63.  Obviously a 16bit
problem on the cylinder count.  Partitioning using cfdisk seemed to work
fine and made more sense.

However, when it came to install LILO, it always failed on booting by
stopping at LI which I believe indicates a drive geometry problem.  No
matter what geometry I put in LILO (using the disk option), or even with
hde parameters for the kernel (which really should not be a problem I
think), I can't get the system to boot from the 40G drive while on the
HPT366 controller.  Options such as LBA32 and linear have no effect at
all.  (One thing I have not tried is booting it from the main IDE
channels, but then its running as a ATA/33 which is not really what I

I am currently booting from a floppy then to the HD and all appears to
be running fine with no problems so Linux seems to recognise the drive

The problem with booting though is bugging me.  I suspect that it is a
BIOS problem, but the BIOS for the HPT366 is part of the motherboard
BIOS.  I am not running the latest version of themotherboard BIOS, but
on the Abit web site I can see no changes that would affect the HPT366
BIOS.  There are no options in the HPT366 BIOS that affect drive
configuration, unlike the main BIOS, so I can't over ride what the
HPT366 BIOS is sensing the drive as.

Do I need to clip the capacity to 32G via a jumper setting on the HD so
that LILO is happy enough to boot?  If I do that, would I need to
reformat the HD?  Would I then need to have hd parameters to the kernel
so that it knows the true geometry?

I have looked around on the net, read the Large Disk HOW-TO, and LILO
mini HOW TO, all with no joy and am currently stumped. The only thing I
can think of to do is a BIOS upgrade, and if that doesn't work, then
clip the capacity to 32G. Another possibility is to boot from the 8G
drive which would be on the first channel and LILO on it would point to
the HPT366 (hde) drive.  This would be a bit of a hack though.

Any suggestions?

Mark P

.sig - TBA

More information about the linux mailing list