Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 47788
Installer cannot make bootdisk after bootloader failure, also can freeze with certain package selections
Last modified: 2007-03-26 23:46:50 EDT
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User-Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 5.01; Windows 98)
Description of problem:
When installing LILO in graphical-mode upgrade, it is possible to receive
an error message saying that there was an error installing the boot
loader, and the specific error I received was "No images have been
defined." It also then HIGHLY reccomends making a bootable floppy. Once
this step is reached, the program will continously detect a problem with
the floppy, even if it is a brand new MS-DOS formatted disk (which is what
the HOW-TO calls for). Linux ext2fs formatted disks were also attempted.
See "Additional info" regarding pacakge selections.
Steps to Reproduce:
1.Boot from installation CD on a system with a screwed-up kernel
2.Run graphical mode
4.Select all system and interface packages (you can leave out the foreign
langauge ones if you like)
5.Get "No images have been defined" error message
6.Attempt to create bootable floppy with a freshly formatted MS-DOS 1.44
Actual Results: The installer returns an error for the drive/disk, and
asks you to try again.
Expected Results: Installer should accept the disk and make it a linux
bootdisk for your system
I have also encountered a problem when installing only one or zero
packages from Disc 2, it tends to freeze the installer during the
finishing step of the installation of the packages. That is why I
reccomended selecting so many packages. I do not know whether or not
these are related, even if only by the bootloader error, so I have
submitted them together.
In step one, when you say "screwed up kernel installation"...how screwed up is
it? Did the system even boot before you tried the upgrade?
No boot happened.
This also might be related to a problem in the kernel-2.4.3-12-i386.rpm that
was released, but let's address the installer bug first.
Please read my initial descrpition of the bug again first, just in case any
knowledge is missing.
For a bit of background, our floppy drive had a slight mechanical problem
accepting disks. I corrected it at sometime during this mishap, and it was
simply a plastic "cover button" attached to the plastic face of our computer
was jamming with the face. Remove the face, no more jam. I later filed down
some defects in the cover button to correct the problem. I was able to boot
from an MS-DOS bootdisk, which did little to help me but verified that the
drive could at least read, accept, and eject disks. I was under the impression
that no linux bootdisk was made during our original 6.2 to 7.1 upgrade a week
before this incident, since the drive acceptance mechanism had been jammed for
at least two months prior to this day.
Now a more complete procedure:
1. I was not very familiar with linux kernels before I did this. I am still
not familiar with how kernel upgrade rpms work. Then again, nobody seems to
have written a HOW-TO on upgrading kernels. Maybe I should if I can get more
information on them. But I installed the 2.4.3 kernel upgrade rpm,
2. then deleted several directories relating to the 2.4.2 kernel, since they
were left during the upgrade. I thought this would be harmless, but I was
being fast and bullheaded rather than allowing my computer to reboot and make a
bootdisk. But I am not sure whether or not that caused our next problem.
3. On reboot, lilo hung after displaying its RedHat graphical mode, when it
said "Starting Linux..." or whatever it says, I'm on a Windows machine at home
now so I don't recall and can't remind myself. Again, Lilo could not start
4. Tried doing the RedHat 7.1 Upgrade to restore files, selected all of the
system and interface packages, as well as install Lilo, and I received the
error message that I described in my initial description of the bug. Quoting
from there, "When installing LILO in graphical-mode upgrade, it is possible to
receive an error message saying 'there was an error installing the boot
loader,' and the specific error I received was 'No images have been
defined.' It also then HIGHLY reccomends making a bootable floppy."
5. The rpms still installed/upgraded (usually, but it would on some occasions
freeze up requiring a CTRL-ALT-BACKSPACE and a reboot), then when it came to
making a bootdisk, the installer would keep telling me something to the effect
of "There was an error reading the disk that you inserted. Please insert a
formatted disk into the first floppy drive, then try again." It would read for
about a second, then refuse the disk, no matter what format it had, MS-DOS or
ext2. These were brand new disks I was trying.
6. I even tried reformatting the disks in both formats on other computers, and
even swapping the floppy drive for another one that I had on hand and doing the
upgrade again, and it did not make a difference. Statistically speaking, if I
use four brand new disks all write-enabled, and two different drives, there is
little chance for the error coming from my equipment.
7. On completion of the setup and reboot (with no removable media in any of the
drives), the system will not boot from the hard disk. The result was very
similar to the problem experienced during the initial boot after the attempted
kernel upgrade, step 3. I think the only difference was originally several
ellipses were printed after "Starting Linux," then it stopped the computer
completely; now no ellipses were printed following "Starting Linux," and it
stopped the computer completely. It might have been vice versa, but I don't
know if that's relevant.
8. Luckily someone, somehow, made a bootdisk during our original 7.1 upgrade,
which I found after writing up this bug originally. This surprised me because
last I knew, the floppy drive we were using at the time had a jammed acceptance
mechanism for two months until this day that I figured out how to fix this. I
thought God must have just decided to bless me at that moment, and I haven't
asked who made the bootdisk, so I will leave it at that. I rebooted using the
orignal 7.1 bootdisk. Again, this was made during our original 7.1 upgrade
about a week prior, and not anywhere in this mishap. Hard drives mounted, CD-
ROM access wasn't allowed for some reason. XWindows could start.
9. I had to recompile the kernel from scratch using the 2.4.3 kernel headers
and sources rpms to get the computer to run again. After the kernel
configuration and complilation, I made a new bootdisk using the "make bzdisk"
command in the /usr/src/linux-2.4.3-12/ directory, which was successful. It
rebooted from the bootdisk, and it worked. Again, nothing wrong with our
floppy drive, nothing wrong with our disks. After reconfiguring lilo to read
the new image I made, it was able to boot from the hard disk, too.
I now know more about kernels than I really want to. I still don't know how
that darned upgrade kernel rpm is supposed to work, and I'm not going to try
using it again unless it is really necessary to solve this problem.
So it sounds like you tried the upgrade on a system that was already unbootable.
This means that the upgrade has very little chance of succeeding. I think that
if the system wasn't already in a messed up state, the upgrade would have worked
By the way, a document for upgrading your kernel is available at:
It seems to me that something went wrong during the kernel upgrade which
prevented the upgrade for working. I would try a reinstall of 7.1 and see if
that solves the problem.
Okay, let me try this again. Don't you see it as a problem if the installer
tells the user "It is HIGHLY reccomended that you make a bootdisk" if the
bootdisk can't actually be made?
Okay, try this on for size:
1. Just to remind you, I installed the 2.4.3 headers and sources and
compiled a new kernel rather than "re-installing" since that would require
me to wipe a lot of partitions pointlessly. Then I (screw up) need to
reinstall some critical packages or experience a problem with LILO or
something, so I go through the upgrade process again with the 7.2
installation CD. Now, as it turns out, lilo.conf has some typos in it. The
wrong partition is labeled as the root partition, and the last line reads
"read-onl" rather than "read-only". So I go through the ugrade, te
pacakges install, and tehn we get the expected bootloader error again,
only instead this time it says that there is a syntax error in lilo.conf. The
installer does not detect the root partition typo, even though it already
detected the correct partition on the lilo installation form. However, it does
detect the other typo. Guess what it says along with this error message?
"It is HIGHLY reccommended that you make a bootable floppy." My guess
is, that unless the installer is smarter than I think it is (which it does not
seem so smart from the last example) the creation of the bootable floppy
is going to fail, even though the image is intact and the installer could
possibly do it. Finally we get to the page where we are asked to insert a
floppy, and it again fails, even though (I think at least) there is a way that it
could work here, and even though we were just "HIGHLY reccomended" to
make this boot floppy.
2. Okay, so now let's say lilo.conf is fixed. I had to use the rescue mode
on the 6.2 installation disc to get it done (see bug#52055), but it is done.
Let's try this re-upgrade again. Guess what? It still doesn't make the
3. I can make a bootdisk manually without the installation CD-ROM from
the command line. Go figure!
I think this is a dup, feel free to comment if you disagree
*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of 52099 ***
I tried viewing the bug that you marked mine as a dup of, and this is what I
Sorry; you do not have the
permissions necessary to see bug 52099.
According to bug #52099, this error has been fixed in Rawhide. Thanks for your