I've been trying (with no success) for about 8 days now to install linux
so that it will boot from a new hard drive. Here's what I've got:
1. A new Athlon XP-2500 chip with 512 MB of RAM.
2. A new motherboard sold by Fry's on sale a couple weeks ago to work
with that CPU.
3. A new Western Digital 80 GB hard drive.
For some reason, this combination goes very slowly when attempting to
boot. It takes several minutes for it to tell me that it's not able to
find a boot disk. It will boot linux from a CD or bootable floppy, but
the hard disk is never bootable. Exactly once, I got Red Hat to start
to boot, so that a message came on the screen acknowledging that linux
was being booted, but this crashed within a minute or so thereafter.
Every other time I get that message about inserting a boot disk and
pressing a key.
Except that the hard drive won't boot and sometimes gets munged up so
that the OS doesn't see it at all, the drive shows no signs of being
sick. Linux installs fine, but just won't boot.
Among the things that I've tried:
0. A different motherboard (older) that may have originally formatted
the drive as LBA. The BIOS setup of the new motherboard doesn't give
any options that look to be related to LBA at all.
1. Red Hat, Mandrake, Slackware (with 2.4.22 kernel), MEPIS, ...
2. Using DOS fdisk to partition the drive before installing linux.
3. Using KILLDISK to zero out everything on the drive before installing
4. Marking the hda1 partition active using DOS fdisk.
5. Marking the hda1 partition bootable with cfdisk.
6. Marking the hda1 partition bootable with linux fdisk.
6. Installing the bootloader in the MBR.
7. Installing the bootloader at the start of the hda1 partiotion.
8. Letting the linux installers have the whole disk to do what they
wanted to, accepting all the defaults.
9. Formatting the drive with Windows NT of Windows 2000 setup disks
befor trying to install linux.
10. Booting with nodma or allowcddma options.
11. Disabling and enabling DMA in the bios.
Is there a step-by-step or checklist of what I should be sure to do to
make this work? Anything that I haven't listed that could be causing