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Old 04-07-2007, 06:44 PM   #1
shinobi_dude
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Lightbulb Is making GRUB use USB device possible with NO BIOS support?!


Here's the deal; I have a USB Key with a working Linux install, that's not the issue here.

Problem is, The BIOS on this computer isn't, and can't be made USB boot compatible.

I have successfully installed GRUB next to Windows with boot.ini, and that part works currently.

What I can't solve currently, is how to make GRUB fire up some sort of USB drivers, so as to reach the USB key.

I don't have a floppy drive, and this computer doesn't read CD-R that well. And that would pretty much ruin the fun of using a USB key too boot with at that.

I need grub to install USB drivers in pre-os mode, whatever that's called in technical terms.

Grub is installed in the C:\grub\ folder, wich seems to be default.

I've searched these forums, but none match my request exactly, or they can do with floppies, or assume you already have Linux running.
 
Old 04-07-2007, 07:59 PM   #2
Simon Bridge
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AFAIK: you need the bios support to do this with GRUB. The alternative is writing your own BIOS. Have you tried updating your bios?

However, some folk have used this:
http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=269145

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 04-07-2007 at 08:01 PM.
 
Old 04-09-2007, 04:54 AM   #3
shinobi_dude
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As it was written, can't be done on this computer.
Made 2001, Company selling them doesn't have BIOSes older than 2002.
 
Old 04-09-2007, 06:12 AM   #4
Simon Bridge
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Did you follow the link? You can arainge to boot a distro from a usb disk if you use a boot CD as well. (The fw who wrote the howto used windows to make the boot cd... gah!) After boot, the distro runs from the usb drive and you can remove the cd. The only trouble is, you gotta carry the cd around as well as the drive.
 
Old 04-09-2007, 07:58 AM   #5
saikee
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I think the best answer I could give is direct from the horse's mouth. That is to ask Grub if it can detect the USB device.

The OP claim to have Grub installed so in a Grub prompt one can type commands
Code:
geometry (hd0)
geometry (hd0)
geometry (hd1)
geometry (hd2)
etc
to see if the USB disk is recognised.

If Grub, unassisted by a Linux kernel, at boot time cannot see the USB device then it is flogging a dead horse to expect the USB bootable.
 
Old 04-09-2007, 11:41 AM   #6
alred
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if you must use the linux system on that usb key with this computer , its worth trying to create a small linux partition just for holding the /boot directory ... but you may need to copy some of your linux boot related files from your usb linux system to your on disk /boot directory and configure the grub configuration file accordingly ...

can try this arrangment if you want ... as long as you are sure that you can still revert back to the original state of this xp(i assume) computer ...


.
 
Old 04-10-2007, 01:44 AM   #7
shinobi_dude
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I asked at another forum, and I got somewhere at least.

I added this to the grub config:

title DSL from USB
root (hd0,0)
kernel /grub/vmlinuz fromusb
initrd /grub/initrd.gz

And it's loading files I added from the usb key, actually its loading the entire kernel and a bunch of settings.

But it won't search the usb properly, it tries to load from the CD instead, even though I use that bootcode.

Any thoughts?
 
Old 04-10-2007, 02:22 AM   #8
Simon Bridge
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You have yet to respond to posts #4 and #5. Please do so. However, it sounds like you need a boot kernel on the hard-drive.
 
Old 04-10-2007, 03:12 AM   #9
shinobi_dude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saikee
I think the best answer I could give is direct from the horse's mouth. That is to ask Grub if it can detect the USB device.

The OP claim to have Grub installed so in a Grub prompt one can type commands
Code:
geometry (hd0)
geometry (hd0)
geometry (hd1)
geometry (hd2)
etc
to see if the USB disk is recognised.

If Grub, unassisted by a Linux kernel, at boot time cannot see the USB device then it is flogging a dead horse to expect the USB bootable.
Grub doesn't detect anything but the IDE at boot, I assume it relies on Bios drivers.
 
Old 04-10-2007, 03:16 AM   #10
shinobi_dude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge
Did you follow the link? You can arainge to boot a distro from a usb disk if you use a boot CD as well. (The fw who wrote the howto used windows to make the boot cd... gah!) After boot, the distro runs from the usb drive and you can remove the cd. The only trouble is, you gotta carry the cd around as well as the drive.
No cd burner here, this isn't a problem back home, but there I wouldn't need the cd to begin with =)

But right now I am sitting by a laptop from 2001, with a 2x dvd reader, 1,1ghz p3, and 248mb ram (8mb vram shared)

The company making it has stopped supporting it, and the legacy folder on their homepage only has bioses for computers 2002 and up, besides, I wouldn't know what model this laptop is, the bios doesn't display any of the codes the page offers.
The original buyer of this laptop is dead. The sticker on the back showing the model number is blank, and it contains all kinds of customised SiS chipsets, no drivers fit and I have to run the gpu in safe mode even in Linux.

It's a mess.
 
Old 04-10-2007, 03:28 AM   #11
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
The sticker on the back showing the model number is blank, and it contains all kinds of customised SiS chipsets, no drivers fit and I have to run the gpu in safe mode even in Linux.
So actually installing linux to this machine would be the best option for you? Any reason to keep the old windows stuff in there?

If DSL (live) will actually run on this thing? - you can supply result of fdisk -l and lspci?
 
Old 04-10-2007, 03:28 AM   #12
shinobi_dude
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The guy on the link is using isolinux, and Im trying to use grub btw.
grub works without reformating, wich is good for my purposes.

I'm not sure if this formatting would be ok, but I borrowed some text from the link..
This is what I wrote as a second entry for grub:

title DSL from USB 2
root (hd0,0)
kernel /grub/vmlinuz fromusb
initrd /sdc/boot/initrd.gz

Would that be correct? Or is initrd the one loading usb drivers?

Should I possibly use another root command and use (what will probably be) the usb drive (hd3,0) (wingrub tells me thats the usb)
 
Old 04-10-2007, 04:43 AM   #13
alred
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this seems to work in my case but using linux grub from linux partition ... probably you can have a look at that ...

i get the boot floppy image , extract the needed booting files onto linux grub directory ... downloaded dsl 3.3 iso and extract the directory /KNOPPIX onto my usb memory card ...

able to boot this dsl from linux grub on the disk ...

as you are using windows , probably you can try searching the wiki on dsl sites for some clues ...


.
 
Old 04-10-2007, 05:47 AM   #14
Simon Bridge
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Well, since you absolutely insist on using grub, good luck.
 
Old 04-10-2007, 07:04 AM   #15
alred
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there have to be a way to put linux partition and grub things on his windows disk even without functioning cdrom and floppy on that windows machine and he also mentioned usb key ... i'm not sure how will that play together with the rest ... probably i will get myself a usb key shortly ...

and the things that i tried is straight forward downloading , extracting and dumping ... no cdroms and floppies involved except that i'm doing it in linux ... i believe its still bootable alone if use it on other machines ...

one more thing ... i cant say anything beyond /KNOPPIX directory which is more in-depth utilizations of dsl as i currently treat it as another philips head(the shorter one , not even the standard length) ...


//btw ... i am now deleting everything and put back my original docutments to this usb memory ... ^_^


.

[UPDATE ::] can also try http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...41#post2705041


.

Last edited by alred; 04-10-2007 at 07:39 AM.
 
  


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