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Old 10-04-2008, 07:25 PM   #1
Ark9
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Can't get Linux to boot off CD, low spec pc, will boot from floppy


I am trying to get puppy Linux or DSL to boot from a CD on an old PC I was given by a friend, (133mhz Pentium, 46mb memory) I have set the CD as the first boot device but it doesn't recognize the disc (tells me that I haven't put a disc in). However it will boot small floppy distributions like bootE and atomic (floppy is second boot device). Any help would be good and please ask if you need any specific details, Thanks!

Last edited by Ark9; 10-04-2008 at 07:28 PM.
 
Old 10-04-2008, 08:07 PM   #2
Larry Webb
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First if you can try the cds in another computer and make sure they are copied as images and will boot. If they do then I would say you may have a cdrom that needs to be cleaned or replaced.
 
Old 10-04-2008, 08:22 PM   #3
pinniped
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Ancient CDROMs cannot read more modern CDROMs (changes in dye, more accurate focussing, more accurate tracking, more tightly packed info). Borrow another CDROM drive from a newer machine and boot from that.
 
Old 10-04-2008, 09:50 PM   #4
Ark9
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Hi, thanks for the suggestions, I have tested all the CDs, they work fine, also I just replaced the CD drive on your suggestion, it didn't change. Is it possible to have it boot from a floppy then have it get the rest of the os from a hard drive or cd? if so how?
 
Old 10-05-2008, 12:47 AM   #5
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Ancient CDROMs cannot read more modern CDROMs (changes in dye, more accurate focussing, more accurate tracking, more tightly packed info). Borrow another CDROM drive from a newer machine and boot from that.
I don't want to get into a pissing contest but I don't see how the dye or compliance (track to track) unless the older drive is not set properly would effect. Now if the blocks (4k vs 8k) are the problem then that is not the drive but the way things are handled.

Sure if you attempt to use a 2X drive with a 56X cdrom then you are probably handling 8K that was created with a newer system. An a older drive will most likely have wear therefore a compliance problem. I've used older drives with modern cd systems as long as I know how the data is handled on the cd. Most older BIOS used a 4K block while newer system BIOS use a 8K. Sometimes you will need to setup the cd (iso image) so that 4K is being used fro some older systems.
 
Old 10-05-2008, 12:59 AM   #6
pinniped
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Hmmm ... it might be an old BIOS limitation; some didn't support isolinux and you needed a slightly different ElTorito setup.

To get around the problem, use a 'Smart Boot Manager' floppy; if you have a Debian install disk you can find sbm in install/sbm.bin - just copy the image to a 1.44M floppy as usual:

cd install
dd if=sbm.bin of=/dev/fd0 bs=512

Many other distros also have an image of sbm; if you don't already have such an install CD, just hunt for an sbm image on the net.
 
  


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