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LILO hangs at prompt with L

Peter Bilitch_1
Occasional Contributor

LILO hangs at prompt with L

Hello,

Having succesfully installed Redhat 6.2, I rebooted the system and logged in without any problems.

At the next reboot, the LILO prompt showed an "L" and the system got no further.

I did not edit the lilo.conf file, nor did I run lilo -v -v, etc.

Normally, if there is a hardware error, then LILO produces the error message L=, where xx is a number refering to a specific hardware error. However, I only see the letter L.

Any ideas?

Peter Bilitch
Always on, always connected.
3 REPLIES
Vincenzo Restuccia
Honored Contributor
Jeffrey S. Sims
Trusted Contributor

Re: LILO hangs at prompt with L

The LILO howto has this information for the error codes.

Output Problem
(nothing) No part of LILO has been loaded. LILO either isn't installed or the partition on which its boot sector is located isn't active.
L The first stage boot loader has been loaded and started, but it can't load the second stage boot loader. The two-digit error codes indicate the type of problem. (See also section ``Disk error codes''.) This condition usually indicates a media failure or a geometry mismatch (e.g. bad disk parameters).
LI The first stage boot loader was able to load the second stage boot loader, but has failed to execute it. This can either be caused by a geometry mismatch or by moving /boot/boot.b without running the map installer.
LIL The second stage boot loader has been started, but it can't load the descriptor table from the map file. This is typically caused by a media failure or by a geometry mismatch.
LIL? The second stage boot loader has been loaded at an incorrect address. This is typically caused by a subtle geometry mismatch or by moving /boot/boot.b without running the map installer.
LIL- The descriptor table is corrupt. This can either be caused by a geometry mismatch or by moving /boot/map without running the map installer.
LILO All parts of LILO have been successfully loaded.

It could be bad disk parameters or a media failure all together.
Jeffrey S. Sims
Trusted Contributor

Re: LILO hangs at prompt with L

Here is some more information as to how to fix the geometry mismatch and so forth.

If incorrect information is returned, booting may fail in several ways, typically with a partial "LILO" banner message. In this document, that is called a "geometry mismatch".

A geometry mismatch can be caused by the system BIOS, the IDE controller, or even just how the drive is configured.

Try booting into linux and running the following command:

/sbin/lilo -v -v

Then compare the output with the error messages in the LILO readme file:

/usr/share/doc/lilo-version-number/README

Depending on your system configuration, the problem may be correctable with using the "linear," "lba32," or "compact" options in /etc/lilo.conf. It is also possible that running LILO outside of the installer may solve the problem, since a running system is more robust than the installer.


Here is a line from /usr/share/doc/lilo-version-number/README

Attempt to set the LINEAR configuration variable or the -l command-line option. If this doesn't help, the entire disk geometry has to be specified explicitly.

This file is quite long so you may want to read it for yourself, but at least this should get you going on figuring out your problem.