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upgrading 486s BIOS

On Mon, 22 Nov 1999 pfarrar at wrote:

>      P.S. what does that mean, "Linux cannot be installed via a secondary 
>      BIOS"?

>From what I've heard, that should probably be rephrased to be "Linux
ignores all BIOS."

However, the problem is in LILO, which has to use the BIOS.

Here's the skinny, from what I know:

Linux will use the appropriate disk geometry for your system (although you
might sometimes have to provide it in lilo.conf).  Once Linux is loaded,
it can access whatever parts of a disk it wants to.

The catch is getting it loaded.  LILO utilizes the system BIOS, and is
thus limited to whatever the BIOS can see.

The usual remedy people come up with for this problem is this:

1) When installing, make the first partition small, like about 10MB.
   Mount this under /boot
2) Partition the rest of your drive however you want.
3) Install your favorite distro
4) Watch it run well :)

The reason this works is that the small initial partition is completely
accessible within the BIOS limitations, and is therefore accessible to
LILO. Under this scheme, you don't need anything like EZ-drive, you don't
need any extra hardware, you just need a linuix kernel within the first
1024 cylinders.

HTH (and hope it's right),

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