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By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) CRC Error -- System Halted --

From Tom Manning on Tue, 11 Jan 2000

Hi there...

Problem I'm having with Linux is this: Couple of days ago, worked great. Then one morning I booted up, typed "linux" at the LILO prompt, and it immediately said "CRC ERROR --SYSTEM HALTED--"

End of story. CTRL-ALT-DEL doesn't even work, it has to be reset manually. I can boot into Windows just fine.

Linux and Windows are on seperate hard drives, I'm running a Celeron266 with 96MB RAM, ABIT BX6(1) motherboard.... What do you think?

Thanks very much

Tom [Canada?]

(!) It sounds like an ailing hard drive to me. Try a boot/rescue floppy (Tom's Root/Boot is nice for this -- http://www.toms.net/rb).
If you can't mount your filesystems, try running fdisk to view the partition table. The command 'fdisk -l' will list all available partitions on all drives (except for the Debian fdisk which will require a series of commands like 'fdisk -l /dev/hda ; fdisk -l /dev/hdb' etc depending on the number of drives you have --- they use a more powerful version of fdisk which nonetheless has this limitation).
It's possible that the CRC error is only affecting your track 0 (where your MBR, and the partition table are stored).
Anyway it is almost certainly a hardware problem. If you have a backup, I'd replace the drive (or at least reformat it with badblock checking enabled) and restore your system and data. If you don't have a backup, you might be able to recover some of your data and filesystems through some low-level disk editing heroics.
(If you've given up on recovering the filesystems and data, and you want to confirm that it really is hardware and not some Linux glitch, try using MS Windows to repartition and reformat that second drive. Not that MS Windows does that any better than Linux --- but you'll know by that it's not "just us").

Copyright © 2000, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 50 February 2000
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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