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[ale] My boot sector looks dead.

> Another friend already suggested I try that, actually.  I re-installed LILO
> and still only get LI when I boot from that drive, which is why I began
> assuming damage to the HD.  (That, and the fact that all this trouble began
> after a sudden power outage -- I have no UPS.)

Checking out the README file from /usr/doc/lil* on my redhat machine gives me 

  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

I've discovered that if you partitioned a hard drive using LBA mode and then
later went back and set it to NORMAL or LARGE mode then this will occur. Make
sure that BIOS is set to whatever mode it was in when you partitioned the drive.

hope this helps
Vernard Martin (vernard at cc.gatech.edu)  http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~vernard/      
"Luck is just one of my many skills." - Isamu from Macross Plus