As LILO loads itself, it displays the letters of the word LILO, one at a time as it proceeds. Once LILO is correctly loaded, you’ll see the full word printed on the screen. If nothing prints, then LILO has not been loaded at all; most likely LILO isn’t installed or it is installed, but on a partition that is not active. If LILO started loading, but there was a problem, you can see how far it got by how many letters printed:
The first stage boot loader is loaded and running, but it can’t load the second stage. There should be an error code indicating the type of problem; usually the problem is a media failure or bad disk parameters. See the LILO User’s Guide for the meaning of the error codes.
The first stage boot loader loaded the second stage but was not able to run it. The problem is most likely bad disk parameters or the file /boot/boot.b (the boot sector) was moved but the lilo command wasn’t run.
The second stage boot loader was run, but it couldn’t load the descriptor table from the map file. This is usually caused by a media failure or bad disk parameters.
The second stage boot loader was loaded at an incorrect address, probably because of bad disk parameters or by moving /boot/boot.b without running lilo.
The descriptor table is corrupt. The problem is probably bad disk parameters or moving /boot/map without running lilo.
LILO was successfully loaded.