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Old 04-01-2004, 04:03 PM   #1
mverrilli
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Booting a CD on nonbootable bios?


I have a linux on cd utility package I need to boot up on an old machine that does not support cd booting. It's burned from a bootable iso image.

Am I able to make a floppy that will load a bootloader to boot the CD?

A long time ago I used linload or loadlin, I think, for DOS... and it would boot different disks from a command prompt. Has anyone tried this?

On the CD I have an isolinux directory with the following files:
boot.cat
initrd.img
isolinux.bin
isolinux.cfg
vmlinuz

Total size of this directory is like 7 mb.
 
Old 04-01-2004, 04:06 PM   #2
XavierP
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You'll need to make your floppy using rawrite.exe - should be a dos directory on your install disk with it in there.
 
Old 04-01-2004, 04:09 PM   #3
mverrilli
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Thanks for the quick response, but read my message again.

I am not trying to install a distribution. It is a linux utility package that runs on a bootable cd only. There are no floppy versions, no installation. The images on disk are too large for me to move to a floppy. I'm looking more for a way to boot this using a bootloader on a floppy and pointing to a cd somehow.
 
Old 04-01-2004, 04:12 PM   #4
XavierP
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What type of utility needs you to boot your pc from a cd?
 
Old 04-01-2004, 04:18 PM   #5
Pauli
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Maybe a live cd xavier?

Seesh, I thought you big mods were geniuses
 
Old 04-01-2004, 04:21 PM   #6
homey
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You could boot up with smart boot manager on a floppy disk. Then select the cdrom from the menu. It has a lot of other neat features like selecting which hard drive to boot up to.....

http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/
 
Old 04-01-2004, 04:24 PM   #7
trickykid
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pauli
Maybe a live cd xavier?

Seesh, I thought you big mods were geniuses
Come on, lets try to be a little more constructive in our posts please without the cracks please.
 
Old 04-01-2004, 04:24 PM   #8
mverrilli
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It's a specialized utility for accessing and changing some propietary software that sits on a hard disk.

The hardware setup is.. a FAT32 disk as the first disk, CDROM as a slave. Then the proprietary software on the first disk of the secondary. I must keep the first disk as FAT32, but I can put stuff on it, if necessary. But it still points to using a bootloader of some sort.
 
Old 04-01-2004, 04:27 PM   #9
Pauli
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Quote:
Originally posted by trickykid
Come on, lets try to be a little more constructive in our posts please without the cracks please.
geez. Ya can't even make a joke here without getting attacked.
 
Old 04-01-2004, 04:29 PM   #10
mverrilli
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Quote:
You could boot up with smart boot manager on a floppy disk. Then select the cdrom from the menu. It has a lot of other neat features like selecting which hard drive to boot up to.....
I tried this actually. It wouldn't boot the cd... and in fact it thought the cd was a hard disk for some reason. But I'm sure the cd is indeed bootable. Stupid old Dell.
 
Old 04-01-2004, 04:44 PM   #11
Grayscale
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Smart Boot Manager

it boots from a floppy which gives you a menu that allows you to boot to a cd or hd or whatever

http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/
 
Old 04-01-2004, 04:44 PM   #12
Grayscale
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wow. i should go kill myself. i didnt read the last post
 
Old 04-01-2004, 05:01 PM   #13
homey
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Quote:
On the CD I have an isolinux directory with the following files:
boot.cat
initrd.img
isolinux.bin
isolinux.cfg
vmlinuz
That should be bootable. Maybe you could copy the contents of the cdrom to a directory and run mkisofs using a bootable floppy image for boot emulation.

Cd into the directory where you put the stuff...

dd if=/dev/fd0 of=boot.img bs=10k count=1

mkisofs -r -b boot.img -c boot.cat -o /home/bootcd.iso

cdrecord -v speed=4 dev=0,0,0 -data /home/bootcd.iso
 
Old 04-01-2004, 05:09 PM   #14
mverrilli
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Quote:
That should be bootable. Maybe you could copy the contents of the cdrom to a directory and run mkisofs using a bootable floppy image for boot emulation.
Actually, the reason it won't boot is that the bios is too old and doesn't support cd booting (and there is no bios update, I checked, it's just an old machine).

Thanks though.
 
Old 04-01-2004, 05:18 PM   #15
mverrilli
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Posting my question reminded me of loadlin (I haven't used it since umm, 1997?). When I get home tonight, I'm going to try it out. I found some info on how use it.

What I am going to try:

1. Boot some flavor of DOS with CD drivers
2. go to d:\isolinux
3. loadlin vmlinuz root=/dev/ram rw initrd=initrd.img

No idea if the isolinux.bin file is needed for anything or not. I am thinking not... mostly because I am *guessing* that is where the boot code is kept which I am bypassing anyhow.

Seems possible to me. I just don't know how nicely loadlin is going to work with cd drivers being loaded and in use while it loads the images from the cd.

If anyone has any other ideas or comments, feel free to post. I'll respond later with my results.
 
  


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