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Old 03-30-2008, 12:01 AM   #1
actmnophn
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frugal install on usb cf - dual boot xp


I have a live cd of puppy linux. and i want it to be able to boot from it when it is plugged in if i select that option.
Is there a way to boot from usb cf on a system that does not boot from usb.
What i was able so far to figure out is if i had a floppy I can boot wakepup and it will search and find the puppy files. I was also able to install grub as an option in boot.ini. but i dont think grub is capable of booting from a source which might change (sdb/sdc/ etc..) and the flash disk is not always the same. Wakepup is a dos floppy so i don't think i will be able to boot it as a partition of my hd.

unless i hide the xp part when dos boots and unhide it when i want xp, but i realy realy do not want to do that.
is there anyway of telling grub to search for the puppy files each time? or is there a simpler way of booting from a cf on a sys that does not support it?
the wakepup image is just an autoexec.bat that searxhes for a marker file and runs loadlin.com. is there a way of doing that from grub or ntldr?

Last edited by actmnophn; 03-30-2008 at 12:03 AM.
 
Old 03-30-2008, 02:29 AM   #2
jakykong
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Why doesn't your system support booting from USB?

I would check for BIOS updates on the manufacturer's website, or maybe look in the CMOS configuration program (usually a key like F8 or Del when the computer first turns on, and the particular key will show on the screen) for some boot options along those lines. I haven't seen a computer that's unable to boot from USB that has USB in quite a while.

Failing that, AFAIK grub is pretty much static (as you said), but you could put the boot floppy you mentioned as the first partition on the drive (it would have to be the first -- DOS can't access more than the first 504MB or so of the drive) and boot that way. Grub could be used to select which partition to boot from, in that configuration.

Hope it helps!
 
Old 03-31-2008, 08:46 AM   #3
actmnophn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakykong View Post
Why doesn't your system support booting from USB?

I would check for BIOS updates on the manufacturer's website, or maybe look in the CMOS configuration program (usually a key like F8 or Del when the computer first turns on, and the particular key will show on the screen) for some boot options along those lines. I haven't seen a computer that's unable to boot from USB that has USB in quite a while.
acctually, you are right partially. I just realised my bios does support usb. Not in any real way for booting tho. yesterday, I plugged in my wireless kb/mouse and was using it. when I realised it was controlling grub, I was able to make selections using a usb keyboard. I went back to the bios , not a word about usb. Not usb keyboard, usb zip, nothing. then i checked again. If there is a usb drive plugged in it is added in the boot order list when hardrive selection is expanded.
the problem here is if you move the usb up before the real harddisk and reboot it can and will bot from usb. but when you unplug it, and want to boot from usb next time it is after the harddrive again.
basically everytime you want to boot from usb, unless all boots since putting usb before the hardisk were with usb plugged in, you need to enter setup change boot order again and save changes then reboot.
I dont call that "bootable" but it is recognized.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakykong View Post
Failing that, AFAIK grub is pretty much static (as you said), but you could put the boot floppy you mentioned as the first partition on the drive (it would have to be the first -- DOS can't access more than the first 504MB or so of the drive) and boot that way. Grub could be used to select which partition to boot from, in that configuration.

Hope it helps!
I made the partition that was already at the end of the hd bootable, and "installed" freedos using sys a: c: (c: bec the first part is ntfs and not recognized by fdos) I think it was getting stuck with the usb drivers of wakepup. but based on my new discovery I can skip that whole part. i am not sure but i think laodlin works from fdos. I'll find out later i guess

Thanks alot for all the help (not just in this post but the whole forum)
 
Old 03-31-2008, 09:07 AM   #4
actmnophn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakykong View Post
I would check for BIOS updates on the manufacturer's website, ...
I've read and expereinced that HP (thats the laptop i have, its not my fault) will send you to the wrong bios update possibly doing severe damage. I tried it too, and made sure to get the right one, not the one they seny me to by checking my computer, and when i tried to flash it, it checked and said its for the wrong bios. anyway it was only to fix something about the battery usage.

I forgot, its even worse (or I am just plain dumb) if you press esc when its booting it gives a list of choices to boot from. Say the hardrive was set to boot before cdrom, you can press esc and select cd. but the usb is considered a hd so it shows up in the list as "+harddrive". the + meaning it is expandable, supposedly, but there is no way to convince it to show you any choices about the harddrive, i tried everything i can think of. I dont know why they would make such a dumb bios.

thanks again.
 
  


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