From: James Griffiths (jamesg at domain linsol.com)
Date: Fri 30 Apr 1999 - 10:49:25 IST
I only read your email just now.
> I have a problem booting Linux install disks on certain machines. This
> happens with slackware and redhat, when I boot and when the kernel should
> kick in, the screen goes blank and the machine hangs. Also using redhat and
> sometimes Suse, it can hang at the 'Loading initrd.img...' prompt. As this
> is before the kernal even boots, I am concerned about how I can fix this
I have a Dell 486 here which displays symptoms similar to one of the
problems you mention above. Specifically :
When booting from an install diskette, the machine hangs as you
describe after it prints the "Loading initrd.img..." prompt.
I did a fair bit of investigation of this problem and came to
the conclusion that it has to do with an interaction between
the SYSLINUX boot loader and certain bioses - the bios on the
machine here is a Phonix bios.
I also came across other users of more modern machines (some
also from Dell) which had the same problem.
I talked to the SYSLINUX developer and tested the newest version
of the SYSLINUX loader - this seems to solve the problem.
My suggestion would be that you check first the that the
diskettes which are failing are actually using SYSLINUX (SuSE
boot diskettes pre Version 5.2 used LILO), and which SYSLINUX
version they are using. If they are using SYSLINUX, then a
SYSLINUX banner appears on bootup displaying a version number
normally around 1.4x for modern disks.
Then you can duplicate the boot diskette and install the newest
SYSLINUX version on the copy and retry.
If you want to mail me a direct phone number, I can give you a
call with more info.
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