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Old 04-14-2007, 01:51 AM   #1
General
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Boot floppy that tells computer to boot USB drive?


I wish to install Debian from CD, but my CD-ROM drive is not bootable:
  • I have an internal, bootable floppy drive.
  • I have an external USB CD-ROM drive (this is a laptop).
  • The BIOS is too old to recognize the USB drive as a potential drive from which to boot.
  • Network install is not really an option.
Is there some sort of floppy disk image that I can transfer to a floppy disk, and put in the floppy drive, that would instruct the computer to run the Debian installation CD off of the USB CD-ROM drive?
 
Old 04-14-2007, 03:15 AM   #2
Junior Hacker
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http://www.us.debian.org/releases/et...-images-floppy

http://people.debian.org/~joeyh/d-i/images/daily/
 
Old 04-14-2007, 09:28 AM   #3
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Do you have a operating system on the laptop now? If so, then that makes it a lot easier... post back
 
Old 04-14-2007, 12:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanLinkous
Do you have a operating system on the laptop now? If so, then that makes it a lot easier... post back
Yes, Windows XP came with the computer. I plan on writing over it completely.

Last edited by General; 04-14-2007 at 12:24 PM.
 
Old 04-14-2007, 02:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by General
Yes, Windows XP came with the computer. I plan on writing over it completely.
Going to write over it completely? Are you sure everything works with linux? Don't want to start with dual-boot or anything? How much hard drive space do you have? How much free space do you have on the drive with XP? I would suggest keeping a partition (could be the old XP partition) for a installation ISO and other important files.

What I do is copy a few files needed to start the install as well as the first Debian ISO to the hard drive. Then use a grub boot floppy to start the install from the hard drive. That way I always have the ability to reinstall without worrying about trying to get this to boot or that to work - and it is a FAST install.

You could look into this http://goodbye-microsoft.com/ but I am not familar with it.

Think about it and post back...
 
Old 04-16-2007, 04:04 AM   #6
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Maybe I should change my question a little bit, because sadly, alternatives aren't really an answer. Maybe the floppy img idea is the wrong way to go, but there must be some way to get the computer to boot the USB drive.

NOTE:
  • Not only would I like to be able to run the install CD, I would also like to be able to boot other CDs, such as hardware diagnostic CDs, GParted, rescue CDs, and a LiveCD (so that I can test the hardware before I write over Windows XP).
  • Running the Net install is okay for the next couple of weeks (Net from floppy is how I installed Sarge on another computer), but I am moving to a city where fast internet isn't available. I will need to rely on CDs in emergencies, and I want to figure this problem out before I am stuck in a situation where all I have is dial-up (or worse).
 
Old 04-16-2007, 04:42 AM   #7
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You have to create an initrd on the floppy that will modprobe all necessary modules. Then you can tell grub to boot on /dev/sda1.

Searching on google with keywords:
grub boot floppy old BIOS usb

I found this:

http://club.mandriva.com/xwiki/bin/v...t2?language=en

Quote:
Other Linux Distributions on an USB hard drive

If you want to boot a distribution installed on an USB drive and if the bios of your computer don't allows to boot on USB, one can build a custon initrd image including modules needed to mount partitions of your USB hard drive.
[...]
 
Old 04-16-2007, 08:26 AM   #8
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well you asked about Debian....
I doubt any floppy is going to magically boot whatever is in the USB cd drive. It is fairly simple to get Debian installed from a hard drive or even the usb cd drive assuming the kernel that is booted has support for it.
What happens when you have accidently messed up your install and cannot get the USB cd drive to work - you have nothing. If you have a partition with the files on it then you simply do the install from there.
You didnt ask about how to do something general - you asked specifically how to get the debian installation to run from that usb-cd. I said it was possible and fairly simple but suggested that there are better ways, feel free to dismiss if you wish.

If you keep the files/ISOs on the hard drive then you do not need to worry about the usb cd drive, or dialup or reinstalling - since you can do all that from the files/ISOs

Last edited by DeanLinkous; 04-16-2007 at 08:29 AM.
 
Old 04-16-2007, 08:55 AM   #9
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You could use smartbootmanager to boot both linux and cdroms. http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/
 
Old 04-16-2007, 02:55 PM   #10
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SBM is a good idea and about the best that I can think of (that I didn't think of that is)
 
Old 04-18-2007, 06:35 PM   #11
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How do i tell which entry in the menu is right?
Code:
------D FD0 0 NONE FLOPPY
------D HD0 0 NONE Harddisk
------D RD1 0 NONE Removable
------D RD2 0 NONE Removable
------D RD3 0 NONE Removable
------D RD4 0 NONE Removable
------D RD5 0 NONE Removable
------D RD6 0 NONE Removable
------D RD7 0 NONE Removable
------D RD8 0 NONE Removable
------D RD9 0 NONE Removable
------D RDA 0 NONE Removable
 
Old 04-18-2007, 07:51 PM   #12
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Okay, I just did trial an error and tried all of the options on the menu, about 25 total. All said "no operating system found" and they weren't able to boot. Any suggestions?
 
Old 04-18-2007, 10:11 PM   #13
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maybe it wont work since it is USB?
 
Old 04-18-2007, 11:25 PM   #14
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Yeah, found it not anywhere in the SMB documentation. Also have determined that BIOS is already at latest version. So still no bootable external drive.

Last edited by General; 04-18-2007 at 11:28 PM.
 
Old 04-19-2007, 03:15 AM   #15
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Did you try the manual method I mentionned?
 
  


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