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Old 04-12-2004, 11:19 PM   #1
tehnewbeh
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Exclamation WARNING: Newb Question! (MuLinux &


Hi. I am a .

I used to run linux off of Live CD's but, so i am very familiar with the interface, etc. However, recently i picked up an old Pentium 1 and decided to try out one of the tiny linux distros. Specifically, MuLinux. This was certainly going to be a little awkward since i had never actually installed a distro before. I had installed fedora on the HD using another computer, but then realized it wouldnt probably run on such an old machine. After a lot (SEVERE understatement), i now have a nicely formatted Hard drive. However, now it boots to "grub", and even after formatting (i thought completely) its still there. I make a MuLinux install floppy (ran makefi.bat), but when i put it in, it gives me a non system disk error, because aparently grub needs a disk to boot from. Is there a way to install Mulinux from grub? or is there an easy way to remove it so i can install it?

Please help.
 
Old 04-13-2004, 01:29 AM   #2
slakmagik
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Seems like I had to edit the boot floppy batch files because they were screwed up. Sounds like the floppy isn't bootable. As far as the boot sector, formatting won't cover that - if you want to ditch grub you need to 'fdisk /mbr' with a DOS disk or 'dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/foo bs=512 count=1' - I think, but check the syntax by googling or something because I've never zeroed a boot sector... on purpose.
 
Old 04-13-2004, 04:15 AM   #3
motub
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Can you set the BIOS of this computer to boot from the floppy? Sounds to me like it's still trying to boot from the HDD (which is currently borked, but that won't matter as the MuLinux install should overwrite GRUB when its own bootloader is installed).

But otherwise, yes, a DOS floppy (or Win98, or WinME) should do to reformat the MBR if that would do you any good (which I don't see how it would, as that won't make the floppy boot if the BIOS is set to boot from the HDD).

Hope this helps.
 
Old 04-13-2004, 04:31 AM   #4
slakmagik
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If it's giving a 'non-system disk' error only when he puts in the floppy, then his BIOS is set right and is trying to boot the floppy - the floppy's just not bootable. Maybe need to replace a bad floppy, redo a wrong bootfloppy creation process or, like I think I dimly recall, edit the scripts which are wrong. (Might have Mu's bootfloppies mixed up with some other distros, though.)

I never much liked Mu, incidentally. I've got a P100 with 32megs running ZipSlack - much nicer. Depending on the box's specs, you could probably do better. (Not saying Mu's bad, but it's more a 486- distro than a Pentium+.) Motub made me think, though: does the Pentium have a bootable CD-ROM? Even mine's got that and installing from CD beats installing from floppies. Then you'd probably need to play with the BIOS.
 
Old 04-13-2004, 04:57 AM   #5
motub
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Gotta admit, I'd suggest Slack as well, It definitely will run (Slack runs on everything, doesn't it? Plus the min requirements listed on the site is a 386, so... ) and is certainly the most stable, full-featured, and well-documented distro you could hope to put on a box like that (or almost any box, for that matter).

And you definitely can install Slack from floppies .

But if you really want to stick with MuLinux, is there anything in the installation FAQ that might help you figure out what's wrong with the boot disk?
 
Old 04-13-2004, 02:50 PM   #6
tehnewbeh
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Slack on floppies? w00t! :P

Wait, how many floppies will this take?

I dont have 40+ floppies lying around

EDIT: Okay 2 more questions...

1. I tried fdisk /mbr it didnt work.
2. Do i do the DD /dev/blah... thing in grub?


Last edited by tehnewbeh; 04-13-2004 at 03:52 PM.
 
Old 04-14-2004, 03:05 AM   #7
slakmagik
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Approximately a zillion. You don't have a CD drive at all? Even if it's not bootable, you can install from it if you boot from a couple of floppies.

What do you mean by 'didn't work'? If it was under a DOS5 or possibly over something, then it wouldn't. Otherwise, I'm not sure.

As far as the 'dd', like I say, my syntax may be wrong. Do it from anything bootable with the 'dd' command on it. You talk about grub like it's a system - I don't know grub but, as far as I know, it's just basically a loader. And grub being there isn't really an issue. If you install another distro and tell it to, it'll just overwrite the bootsector when it's time to install its loader. Or at least it should. Sometimes things get weird - search around this site and see what turns up. Booting issues are very common.
 
Old 04-14-2004, 05:07 AM   #8
motub
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GRUB is a bootloader, like LiLO. It is not a system. It was installed to the Master Boot Record (MBR) of your HDD when you installed RedHat on that drive. The fdisk /mbr should have removed it, but that is no help whatsoever, as there is no bootable partition on that HDD anyway (and even if there was, there's no OS to boot from).

This is why I believe that you are booting to HDD in your BIOS rather than from floppy (which is what you need to do)-- because GRUB is not on the floppy in any way, shape, or form, and if you're seeing anything relating to it, the system is reading the HDD, which it shouldn't be doing.

So please check your BIOS, usually accessed by hitting the 'Delete' key on the very first screen of the boot process (called the POST), when you can see the PC detecting your hard drives and counting your memory. You often have to be quick-ish to access the BIOS before the option has moved on. Your computer may use a different key (usually if it's a branded PC, like Compaq or HP or something), and if so, there is often a message on the first POST screen telling you to use F10 or whatever the key might be. But Delete is standard.

Once in the BIOS, it's usually the second menu entry (sorry, offhand don't remember what it's called-- something like Advanced BIOS options, I think), which should allow you to change the boot order of devices. Even an old PC will allow you to change the setting to attempt to boot from the floppy before attempting to boot from the HDD; later machines also include the option to boot from CD or DVD, but your PC may be from before CD's even existed (given that it's a Pentium 1 PC), so you likely do not have that option, but you do need to boot from the floppy drive and not the HDD.

Once that is solved, digiot has indicated that there may be problems with the MuLinux boot floppy itself. That is something you'd have to investigate, once you actually attempt to boot the floppy and see what error message you get (and tell us what it is, or see if it's on the MuLinux FAQ that I linked to above).

If you want to try ZipSlack instead, it appears that:

1) you will need to install DOS (or Windows) on the HDD (according to this Slackware page).

2) you will need a lot of floppies. Now, a box of 10 floppies is not expensive, and not hard to get, so the fact that you "don't have 40 floppies lying around" shouldn't be a big deal, but then again you don't say what is your location, so maybe it is a big deal. I don't know. But how many do you actually need? Let's find out.

On the
GetZipSlack page on the Slackware site, it says that you need the file ZIPSLACK.ZIP from the CD, and possibly the bootdisk.img file (which will take up one diskette for itself).

But of course, you can't get ZIPSLACK.ZIP from the CD; has Slackware broken it up to floppy-size on the mirrors?

This is Slackware, so I'm betting they have. Again, I don't know where you're located, but as you can see, I'm in the Netherlands, so I'm going to check one of the mirrors in Holland.

Going to ftp://ftp.nluug.nl/pub/os/Linux/dist...-9.1/zipslack/ shows me that you'd need 2 floppies so far; one for bootdisk.img, and one for the various tools (RAWRITE and fourmeg) if you need those, which you probably do. How much memory does this machine have, anyway?

It also shows me that ZIPSLACK.ZIP is like 41MB, so unless you have an Internet connection on this machine, you're out of luck for the all-in-one file... but... there's a directory here called "/split". Inside that directory are some files and a README, which says:

Quote:
This is ZipSlack split into smaller Zip files that can fit on floppy disks.
These might be useful for installing on a laptop with only a floppy disk for
input, or to make downloading a little easier. To install, extract *all* of
the .zip files in C:\, D:\, or some other top-level DOS/Windows drive directory.
The archives will make their own C:\linux directory.

Then, just follow the usual ZipSlack directions to get it going.

Have fun!

P.
I knew it . I love Slack; they leave no one behind .

There are 30 files, thus 30 floppies. So 4 boxes of floppies should do you, as you need 1 or two extra-- one to boot the PC, one with the tools if you are going to be making the bootdisk from a DOS partition and/or have only 4MB of RAM, as indicated on the GetZipSlack page; and you'll have 8 left over for general usage.

I know it sounds like a big pain, but please keep in mind that this is a very old machine, and the only thing that's going to install with ease on it is DOS and Windows 3.1 (which also came on floppies iirc). If you don't have a CD-ROM drive in that machine, even Windows 95 would be a chore. But when you're done, you have a full, current Slackware install, which is far and away better than the DOS/Windows versions that you could easily slap on there.

Hope this helps.
 
Old 04-14-2004, 11:30 AM   #9
tehnewbeh
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w00t!

found my zip drive

Last edited by tehnewbeh; 04-14-2004 at 11:36 AM.
 
  


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