I have an old Pentium II with 300 Mhz computer just to run/test old DOS applications. It have two hard drives, a 2 GB for DOS and a 40 GB for Linux. First I installed Debian 6 with GRUB, but it failed to boot due to the old BIOS can't see hard drives that are greater then 8 GB. Then I remembered that good old LILO boot manager had a solution for this problem. So I reinstalled Debian 6 with LILO. I changed LILO's settings to see the DOS's partition/harddrive.

DOS always boots...but Linux just sometimes(1/5) why is that? Error messages are:

Can't mount /dev
Can't mount /tmp
Can't mount ....

Looks like it cannot find the root partition, however I added line to the Linux section root=/dev/sda1 in lilo.conf.

Maybe it's a LILO configuration problem or a bug or the BIOS

Did anyone else have this problem?

  • "I added line to the Linux section root=/dev/sda in lilo.conf" So did you really make a file system across the entire disk device? Normally one makes a file system across a partition, meaning you'd use something like root=/dev/sda1 (probably sda2, if you made a small /boot to work around the BIOS limitation). Admittedly, that should be an all-or-nothing error; the system would either be able to boot successfully or it would not boot ever. – user Aug 2 '13 at 11:58
  • I have root=/dev/sda1 in my configuration...I left that number here – Zui Aug 2 '13 at 12:03
  • /dev/sda is hugely different from /dev/sda1. Please don't leave out such details. – user Aug 2 '13 at 12:57

I'm too try to get my old Pentium I 100Mhz.

I use Live CD for this task, Slax distributive was my choose.

Try this http://ftp.slax.org/SLAX-3.0.x/

Versions 2.0.x too old, versions 4.0.x want not boot on my P I.

May be you will be more happy. 3.0.x - is OK.


If it fails to boot 4 times in 5, it's possible the disk is failing, and the bad sectors aren't affecting the small DOS partition yet.

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