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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 09-10-2008, 02:31 PM   #1
dublinus
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Which boot disk image should I use to boot an external hard drive?


Hi,

I have a Toshiba Portege M200 tablet, which has neither a CD drive nor an option to boot from a flash drive/external hard drive. Luckily, it has an SD card slot which I can boot from. Unfortunately, it can't actually boot from the card. It looks for a file called "$tosfd00.vfd" on the SD card, which should be a floppy image and boots from that. I'm trying to install openSUSE, but can't figure out how. I managed to boot the openSUSE installer, but couldn't finish an ftp install(the computer would just hang for a while, then start all over!).

So, does anyone know of a floppy image that could help me boot from a flash drive, or maybe just load an installer(any flavor will do, I'm a bit desperate)? If not, any suggestions?

Thanks,
Dublinus
 
Old 09-11-2008, 01:27 AM   #2
gankoji
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the best way to do what you want to do is to load a bootable .iso format image onto an SD card and boot from there. If you don't like that option, take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Torito_(CD-ROM_standard) for more information on boot strapping. You'll find that lots of linux distributions support liveCD formats, which are CD .iso's (<700MB) which can easily fit on an appropriately sized SD card. For SD card booting, you will likely have already run into a specialized boot loader on your computer for doing so. If you take an .iso file, and use a linux command similar to dd (read up on the man pages and iso standards for byte size, count and all that jazz first!), then you can write the iso to a bootable partition on the SD card and use that to install.

Creating the bootable partition on an SD card is a lot less complicated than it sounds. If you have a friend with a linux computer, it goes much faster. In linux, take the SD card and use fdisk to make a partition about the size of your iso, and set the bootable flag. (fdisk has good menu explanations to make your time doing so a bit easier) If you don't have a linux box handy, then you can check out partition magic or some other windows program to help you in making the SD card suitable for installation of your OS. Best of luck!
 
Old 09-18-2008, 04:02 PM   #3
dublinus
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gankoji: Thanks a lot for the advice! Unfortunately, I can't boot from the SD card. I can only boot from a floppy image on the SD card, so making the SD card bootable won't work for me.

Again, thanks for the reply.
 
Old 09-18-2008, 05:49 PM   #4
gankoji
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Hmm, sorry to hear that that didn't work out for you. If you can get a floppy image on the SD card to boot for you, then your best bet is to find an older version of linux (such as a floppy version of slackware) or one of the newer small distributions (like DSL or arch) and find their bootup floppy images. once you obtain one of those, you can boot it and use the running kernel to mount your flash drive and copy whatever files you need to to the device, and do your install from there.
 
Old 09-18-2008, 10:52 PM   #5
dublinus
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gankoji: I'm a bit new to all this, but what you mentioned really seams to be promising. The problem is that I don't know what to do after the boot. In fact, I already have booted linux. I think I can mount and copy files, but how do I make a drive, the internal hard drive for example, bootable? Also, I booted a small distribution of linux that is used as a "recovery disk", so I would like to know of a different floppy distribution would be any better.

Thanks again for your responses

dublinus
 
Old 09-19-2008, 09:12 PM   #6
gankoji
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Unfortunately, since you have a tablet pc your options are a bit limited as far as getting linux onto it goes. I need to find a few things out about yoru computer and what you've done so far.

What OS is on their now? Have you checked your BIOS configuration to see if there is a flag to allow USB booting? When you tried to put a CD iso on your SD card did you do a block write or did you drag and drop it? Anything else that you think might be pertinent would be helpful here.

[edit] Also, what distro of linux did you put on the floppy image? And where did you read/see that your SD booter only allows floppy image booting?[/edit]

Last edited by gankoji; 09-19-2008 at 09:14 PM.
 
Old 09-25-2008, 02:41 PM   #7
dublinus
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gankoji,

There is no OS on there now. The internal HDD is formatted. I have checked the BIOS, and no I cannot boot from a USB drive. I already tried that. When I wanted to boot, I copied the files over onto the SD drive, I did not use a program like dd or anything like that. Also, just to clarify, it's a floppy image, not CD image.

I used a simple distribution that seems to be made specifically for the M200. Here's a page about the M200:

http://www.adebenham.com/laptop/toshiba_m200.html

scroll down to "SD Slot", and there's a link there to the floppy image.

By the way, sorry for not answering right away. School just started and I've been preparing for that.

Thanks,

dublinus
 
Old 09-26-2008, 02:15 PM   #8
gankoji
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No big worries about that, we all get busy from time to time. I'll have to take a further look at the website you mentioned above, but that will have to wait until tonight since I'm still at work. Good on ya for sticking with this problem though, and I'll do my best to help you solve this issue since you have to gusto to go through with it it seems. for now, what you should do (if you haven't done so already) is take a look at the manuals for the distribution you have and note the way that it installs itself. There should be a way to simply take the files from the SD card after you've booted from it and install them to the hard drive. Once you've done that and have a working linux distro on the hard drive, we can hopefully get you up to date with the rest of the things you'll need to run that computer succesfully. I'll get back to you tonight with more info, hopefully :-).
 
Old 09-29-2008, 01:32 AM   #9
gankoji
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Having taken a look at the site you posted above, I have to say that there are really only two ways for you to go about this. Either you can continue with the SD card floppy image boot and use that to bootstrap to a USB key, or you can retry the network install option. If you have another computer handy that can fun an ftp server, then i suggest that you use it to do a network install. you can find all sorts of information on PXE booting and network installation procedures through google. The same goes with USB bootstrapping. I'm afraid that I'm no expert in either of these areas so this will be where I pass the torch onto you in hopes that you'll either figure it out or find someone else who can better help you. Best of luck.
 
  


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