Q: I have added an IDE disk to my SCSI system, and now it won`t boot. All I get is ones and zeroes.

A: Most PC systems are set up to boot into the first IDE disk, and so is lilo. As a result, when you add an IDE disk, the system may try to boot off the IDE disk and fail. Or, when lilo tried to boot your system, it gets the wrong info from the disk.

If you are using it only for storage:

1) Create several partitions, one of which needs to be an Linux partition. Make sure that it`s hda1-4. It can`t be an extended hda5+, or a DOS partition.

2) Make it bootable (mark as active).

3) Edit /etc/lilo.conf so that the line boot=/dev/sda3 is now boot=/dev/hda(partition number) .

will write to the Master Boot Record of your first IDE disk.

If the disk is for Windows, you don`t want to write lilo to a FAT or NTFS partition. lilo will boot, but the lilo docs claim it will make the FAT partition unusable. You can divide a FAT partition via fips: Please backup, defrag, and read the docs. fips is availble on every Linux CD-ROM I`ve seen in the last year, and is available numerous places on the Web.

You can also write lilo to the Master Boot Record (MBR). Be warned that Win95 makes a hobby of overwriting the MBR, and, in some cases, you will get a blue screen of death (inacessible boot device).

The blue screen crash can be fixed by removing lilo using DOS/Win95 FDISK. Boot with a DOS/Win95 boot floppy, and type "FDISK /MBR".

You can also write lilo to a floppy boot=/dev/fd0 .

What's that you say? How do I run lilo, if I can`t boot to Linux?

Simple (well, maybe not so simple): Boot your an emergency-boot Linux floppy. Now, mount your root filesystem using "mount /dev/sda(?) /mnt". Edit lilo.conf and run lilo. "ROOT=/mnt /mnt/sbin/lilo"

If you have RH 5.0, you`ll need to use the Red Hat floppy. Start just as if you were planning to install Red Hat, but, when you get to a choice between Disk Druid (yuck) or fdisk, hit Alt-F2. Then, proceed as above.

If you don`t have an emergency floppy disk, disk images are available (among other places) at http://www.toms.net/ . RH 5.0 users can find disk images on the Red Hat CD-ROM, as well as rawrite.exe, a DOS utility.