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Old 05-04-2005, 01:19 PM   #1
0perat0r
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booting from a floppy question


After several issues with GRUB, I have decided to boot directly from a floppy. I created the GRUB floppy, and it is working out just fine. However, I like to know if there is a way to avoid typing out several lines just to boot, i.e.:

root (hd1,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.4.21-15.0.4.EL ro root=LABEL=/ hdd=ide-scsi
initrd /initrd-2.4.21-15.0.4.EL.img
boot

These lines are directly from my grub.conf file, (except for the boot command, of course). Is there any way I can alter this boot floppy to automatically boot into Linux without my having to type all of this out?

Thanks
 
Old 05-04-2005, 03:41 PM   #2
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That is a very abreviated menu.lst so surely you created that on the floppy? A menu.lst will give the menu and boot it after a specified time in the line timeout.
 
Old 05-04-2005, 11:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. So, the menu.lst should have been created when I created the GRUB floppy in Linux? I used the following commands:

dd if=/boot/grub/stage1 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=1
dd if=/boot/grub/stage2 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 seek=1

It appered that the creation of the boot disk was successful. Is the menu.lst regulalry included when the floppy is created? If not how do I create it? If it is there, how do I access it?

Thanks again
 
Old 05-05-2005, 02:20 AM   #4
TigerOC
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Edit the menu.lst so that it points to the correct boot partition as above then dd that file to the floppy. I have a howto on making a grub boot floppy and cd on my site. I know it works with Debian but not sure about other distros.

Last edited by TigerOC; 05-05-2005 at 02:21 AM.
 
Old 05-05-2005, 02:09 PM   #5
0perat0r
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Thanks, I'm going to try the method on your site. I'm new to the dd command, and I don't really understand all of the options. I looked at the man entry, but I have to admit I was a little lost. For instance what exactly are count and seek? I understand (somewhat) what if and of do, but count, seek and bs are a little mystifying. Any help is appreciated, thanks.
 
Old 05-05-2005, 02:23 PM   #6
homey
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If you want the grub menu on the floppy, use the following commands.
Note: the folder /media/floppy is for my Fedora 3 box , it may need to be /mnt/floppy on your system
Code:
fdformat /dev/fd0H1440
mke2fs /dev/fd0
mount -t ext2 /dev/fd0 /media/floppy
grub-install --root-directory=/media/floppy '(fd0)'
cp /boot/grub/grub.conf /media/floppy/boot/grub/grub.conf
umount /media/floppy
 
Old 05-05-2005, 03:25 PM   #7
TigerOC
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That's a good point from homey because Debian doesn't use grub.conf. This is why I said that the guide on my site is quite Debian specific and may not work on other distro's.
Perhaps we can also solve your problem with grub on the system so that you can use that. If it's configured correctly to work off a floppy then it'll work on the system as well. Tend to use floppy booting if you want to retain the M$ boot loader or as a backup if the drive fails or mbr gets over-written.
 
Old 05-05-2005, 05:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for your replies, they are very helpful. Tiger, your method posted on your site and it worked beautifully on both my RH systems. Everything copied over, and I was able to alter the grub.conf appropriately for my dual-boot system.
I had restored the MBR for the Windoze OS, because I had encountered some problems with grub, even after several installs. It works fine off of the floppy, however. I noticed that the menu.lst file was updated automatically, as soon as I updated and saved grub.conf. Anyway, thanks very much Tiger (and everyone) for the fix and the insight.
 
Old 05-06-2005, 02:18 AM   #9
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Good to hear a positive result and pleasure to help.

Rob aka TigerOC
 
Old 05-06-2005, 02:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by 0perat0r
I had restored the MBR for the Windoze OS, because I had encountered some problems with grub, even after several installs. It works fine off of the floppy, however.
Of course you could use the windows loader to dual-boot - go back and have a look at that link you posted the other day on that other thread.
No reason it shouldn't work on any version of ntldr. Save wearing out a floppy
 
Old 05-06-2005, 01:49 PM   #11
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Don't worry, I've made 5 copies Are there less difficulties using the Windows boot loader than with using GRUB? I had entertained using the Windows loader, and I may go back to it. The floppies are fine for the moment, and I have my hands full right now supporting the 5 different systems I run here at home. For instance, this week an upgrade of Win XP Home to Win XP Pro went horribly wrong, so I've basically had to rebuild parts of the OS. Funny, I've never had issues upgrading any of the Linux kernels...go figure I know I've just scratched the surface, but Linux/UNIX-based systems seem to be about 100 times more stable. Maybe I'm just frustrated after years of wrestling with MS products.
 
Old 05-06-2005, 03:23 PM   #12
TigerOC
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Quote:
Originally posted by 0perat0r
For instance, this week an upgrade of Win XP Home to Win XP Pro went horribly wrong, so I've basically had to rebuild parts of the OS. Funny, I've never had issues upgrading any of the Linux kernels...go figure I know I've just scratched the surface, but Linux/UNIX-based systems seem to be about 100 times more stable. Maybe I'm just frustrated after years of wrestling with MS products.
Linux has been built from a solid logical base which separates the various entities which makes it so stable (when a part goes awol it doesn't take everything with it) while on the dark side they cobbled and patched together a system which should be built from the beginning again. Once you start getting to know the Linux system you start to realise what a superb concept and structure it is.
 
Old 05-06-2005, 11:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by 0perat0r
Are there less difficulties using the Windows boot loader than with using GRUB? I had entertained using the Windows loader, and I may go back to it. The floppies are fine for the moment, and I have my hands full right now supporting the 5 different systems I run here at home.
The best option is grub in the MBR of the primary boot disk. (mmm - more flame-bait there, methinks)
Re your comment about multiple machines; I prefer to have all my machines booting the same way (i.e., I happen to have at least one Linux on every machine, and use grub).

I can never understand how people have so many problems with grub.
Once set up correctly, issues generally only arise when it gets clobbered by some brian-dead installer. Principally our mates at Redmond, but a fair selection of the Linux GUI installers can also be desribed likewise.
I don't allow any installer to install a boot-loader if I can make the choice - otherwise (including after a Windoze re-install), I merely re-install grub manually, and take care of things myself.

Plenty of Linux users seem to have a philosophical problem with allowing Windoze on their machines at all, let alone using ntldr. I use it at work, and have it as an option on this laptop - used with grub, the issues are minimal. But if you are going to the trouble of maintaining menu.lst (aka grub.conf), why not use it as the primary loader ???.
 
Old 05-09-2005, 01:25 PM   #14
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I need Windoze too, as a necessary evil. Also, most PC games are written for Microsoft OSs. I use GRUB on a laptop that runs Linux only, which works fine. The machine in question is my main system which needs to run Windows. GRUB was installed when I installed LInux on the system which had an existing XP install. I had a few problems with it as I mentioned, which does not seem to be uncommon, considering the amount of posts in here about GRUB issues. Let's face it, these two operating systems were never meant to play nice together.
Linux is fun and is a powerful OS, but it takes a lot of time (especially for the neophyte) to research and configure. My impression is that i's not really meant for the casual user. Geeks do better with Linux, and it is appealing to that personality type. The Windows system is "mission-critical" for me, so I'm done experimenting for now. The option to boot from a floppy works fine. I'm also considering making a boot CD to achieve the same purpose.
 
  


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