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Old 09-02-2007, 03:56 PM   #1
tizwaz
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last hope


Ok this is my problem, I have an old system which does not support booting from the cdrom in the bios. I want to install linux, (ubuntu) onto this system, my question is simple enough, How? I have tried a device boot loader but it still does not see the cdrom.
I also tried the wubi ubuntu installer and I got cd loader probs...

This question has been posted on 3 other linux forums and I got no help there so can you guys help me???? if not then I guess I am staying with windows xp,
 
Old 09-02-2007, 04:10 PM   #2
saikee
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Think you better to stay with XP.

Since your PC is so old that it can't be boot from a CD rom and so anything goes wrong with your XP your PC is as good as death because no XP installation CD can rescue you, should make any mistake in dual booting both systems.

If the PC is so old that doesn't support booting from a CD rom you are unlikely to have enough memory to run Linux.

If you have no suitable bootable media then then there is a lot of work to put Linux into your system and boot it. It is possible but requires skill which as a new comer you will have big problem to follow through. In any case this can only be done with some distros which you may not like anyway as you have set your eye on Ubuntu.

Last edited by saikee; 09-02-2007 at 04:12 PM.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 04:14 PM   #3
stress_junkie
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I found this.
ftp://slackware.cs.utah.edu/pub/slac...mgr/README.TXT
That will describe how to use a boot manager on a floppy disk to boot a CD-ROM, even when the BIOS does not support booting from the CD-ROM. You could use that to boot any CD-ROM based distribution.

Last edited by stress_junkie; 09-02-2007 at 04:15 PM.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 04:25 PM   #4
Junior Hacker
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Why would you restrict your choice to only Ubuntu?
When there is Debian which is pretty much the same, and you can do a net install of Debian using various methods to start it. I'm using Windows XP Pro right now with both Debian testing and Ubuntu all at the same time using Vmware in Windows. I haven't had Ubuntu all that long, but I don't see too many differences other than the fact I installed only a KDE desktop in Debian and Ubuntu comes with Gnome and a bunch of games installed by default.
I'm currently cruising synaptic, a package manager, and they have the same packages available in default repositories. You can setup sudo in Debian and dress it up to look and feel just like it was Ubuntu. Ubuntu is just Debian with a couple customizations.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 04:34 PM   #5
stress_junkie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior Hacker View Post
Why would you restrict your choice to only Ubuntu?
When there is Debian which is pretty much the same, and you can do a net install of Debian using various methods to start it. I'm using Windows XP Pro right now with both Debian testing and Ubuntu all at the same time using Vmware in Windows. I haven't had Ubuntu all that long, but I don't see too many differences other than the fact I installed only a KDE desktop in Debian and Ubuntu comes with Gnome and a bunch of games installed by default.
I'm currently cruising synaptic, a package manager, and they have the same packages available in default repositories. You can setup sudo in Debian and dress it up to look and feel just like it was Ubuntu. Ubuntu is just Debian with a couple customizations.
His problem has nothing to do with Ubuntu. He never said that he was restricting his options to Ubuntu. Ubuntu was only mentioned as one of the examples that he tried. His problem is that he cannot boot from the CD-ROM drive. His only boot options are to boot from a floppy disk or an internal hard disk. This is a restriction in his BIOS.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 04:44 PM   #6
Larry Webb
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Tell us something about the size of your PC - memory? - hd? - processor speed? - etc. It'll be a lot easier to give a little advice knowing the opponent. If you are running XP I'm surprised it won't boot from the cd.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 05:20 PM   #7
Junior Hacker
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Quote:
Ok this is my problem, I have an old system which does not support booting from the cdrom in the bios. I want to install linux, (ubuntu) onto this system, my question is simple enough, How? I have tried a device boot loader but it still does not see the cdrom.
I also tried the wubi ubuntu installer and I got cd loader probs...

This question has been posted on 3 other linux forums and I got no help there so can you guys help me???? if not then I guess I am staying with windows xp,
Quote:
His problem has nothing to do with Ubuntu. He never said that he was restricting his options to Ubuntu. Ubuntu was only mentioned as one of the examples that he tried
Pardon me, I guess I didn't quite comprehend what I read. Maybe age?
 
Old 09-02-2007, 06:14 PM   #8
saikee
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Do we know the OP has a floppy drive?

There are Dos programs that can be issued from a floppy to pass the booting to a CD rom but I have been told it doesn't always work, even it works on mine.

To boot a Linux iso directly from a hard disk isn't difficult but it may not always work because the installer may have been written to fetch the system files from a CD rom so no CD rom the installer just stops and waits. The main tasks of booting an iso are

(a) mount the iso file on a loop back device so that the internal files may be amended.
(b) Switch the boot loader isolinux to Grub, as the former is for iso9660 filing system (iso) on a CD whereas the latter is the normal boot loader booting from a hard disk.

It is obviously nearly impossible if a newcomer has no Linux and would not be able to mount an iso on a loop back device available in Linux. However one can expand the iso in a MS Windows as shown here.

I still think it is a big challenge for a newcomer to substitute isolinux boot loader with Grub.

It would be far better if the OP has ram then download VMware and run Linux as a guest system in the virtual machine manager layer, although it is rather unlikely a PC that cannot boot a CD rom is populated with enough ram to run VMware.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 06:24 PM   #9
nirj
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Hi tizwaz,

I had a similar issue with an old thinkpad laptop. If you have a floppy drive, I would recommend doing the following. Download Smart Boot Manager (http://sourceforge.net/projects/btmgr/) and install it to a floppy with 'sbminst.' Boot the floppy on your computer, and navigate through the boot menu and highlight the entry called 'Harddisk'. Then press [Tab] > System Settings > Install Smart Boot Manager and it'll ask you if you want to install it to your harddrive (HD0). Do so, and if it succeeds, reboot the PC with the smart boot manager floppy out of the drive, and instead of booting windows it'll boot smart boot manager. Place the Ubuntu CDROM in the drive, and look for the 'CDROM' entry in the boot menu and choose it. If you don't see this entry, try pressing Ctrl+H or Ctrl+I and it should show up. To boot Windows with this bootloader, choose the entry called 'Primary 1' under 'Harddisk' (assuming Windows is installed to your first partition, which it probably is).

While installing Ubuntu it will ask you if you want to install a bootloader. Doing so to the MBR will wipe Smart Boot Manager and you'd have to reinstall it with the sbminst floppy if you wanted CDROM booting. I would suggest installing the boot loader to the partition you're installing Ubuntu to. You can then access Ubuntu's bootloader by choosing your linux partition from Smart Boot Manager's boot menu.

Hope this helped,
Nir
 
Old 09-02-2007, 07:02 PM   #10
Junior Hacker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nirj View Post
I would suggest installing the boot loader to the partition you're installing Ubuntu to.
I found out the hard way that Ubuntu feisty fawn does not give you this option, or does not inform you on how-to, it just went ahead and installed the boot loader to the MBR. I have a boot manager in it's own partition that controls the MBR, Ubuntu wiped out the boot manager's partition, and thus also wiped out all reference to about 13 other partitions containing other operating systems. I had to re-install my boot manager and recover all the lost partitions after installing Ubuntu in it's own partition.
I was not impressed.
 
Old 09-02-2007, 07:57 PM   #11
nirj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior Hacker View Post
I found out the hard way that Ubuntu feisty fawn does not give you this option, or does not inform you on how-to, it just went ahead and installed the boot loader to the MBR. I have a boot manager in it's own partition that controls the MBR, Ubuntu wiped out the boot manager's partition, and thus also wiped out all reference to about 13 other partitions containing other operating systems. I had to re-install my boot manager and recover all the lost partitions after installing Ubuntu in it's own partition.
I was not impressed.
In that case, don't install the boot loader through the Installer. Once the Installer has finished, open a terminal and run 'grub' as root:

$ sudo su
# grub

then at the grub prompt:

grub> root(hd0,2)
grub> setup (hd0,2)

replace (hd0,2) with the correct partition. hd0 means the first hard drive installed in the system, (hd1 would be the secondary, etc), and the number after refers to the partition number, minus 1:

(hd0,1) = /dev/hda2
(hd0,3) = /dev/hda4
(hd1,2) = /dev/hdb3

Thanks for letting me know, Junior Hacker.
 
Old 09-03-2007, 08:17 AM   #12
tizwaz
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Hey Guys,

Thanks for the responses, ok here is my system spec.

Bios dated 2000
CPU 500mhz
RAM 512mb
Drives = 10 gig maxtor and 80 gig samsung
Cd writer
Floppy 1.44mb

It is running XP pro, how? easy it had millenium and I just put in XP cd and ran update from inside millenium so far so good !

I have tried several ways to get the cd to boot :::

rawritewin but with sbm but it still does not see the cdrom in the boot device list.

Wubi as a direct installer from within windows, but it stops and says it cannot read from cd boot loader?? which is confusing as the ISO came from inside Wubi as a downloaded file ???

I also tried moving the cdrom to ide 1 as was suggested by someone but it still wont attempt to boot from it...

In the Bios all is ok, it shows all devices including the cdrom but does not give any options to change the boot device...

Now, Why am I using such a low spec box???? good question,,, well I am a linux newbie and I would really like to try linux as I am very very fuffed off with windows, this old system is a test bed system for me and yes I do have another system which will boot and run live distros but I do not want to install linux on there until I have some more knowledge about it..I value my data on the higher spec system...

All I want to do is install linux on the old box so I can learn more about and how to use linux...
 
Old 09-03-2007, 08:25 AM   #13
stress_junkie
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tizwaz, thanks for the information about your machine. That machine is certainly capable of running Linux. You have plenty of RAM. Screen updates under X will be a bit slow but your machine should be excellent for learning. IMO you shouldn't be asked to justify your choice of machine anyway. Lots of people who just want to see what Linux is like will choose an old machine to experiment.

I would again suggest that you try that floppy disk boot loader from the Slackware site. The Slackware tools are very good. The user interface tends to be a bit primitive but who cares if it works?

If it DOESN'T work then post back and I will look around to see if there are any distributions that have a floppy disk to perform a network installation. Does your machine have a network card and does it have a connection to the Internet?

Then there is one more alternative. There are some distributions of Linux that run under Windows. You install Linux as if it were a Windows application. So one way or another we can get Linux installed on your machine.

Last edited by stress_junkie; 09-03-2007 at 08:42 AM.
 
Old 09-03-2007, 08:40 AM   #14
tizwaz
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Hey stress junkie,,

Thanks for the reply, quick

Yes I do have an internet connection and it is dsl so speed not an issue
and as I said I did try wubi but u know wubi for the noobie
I will look on the slackware site to see if I can find anything but I am a total noobie in linux so I am not too sure of what I am looking at.
My goal is to one day leave windows and move to linux, I am just finding the start a bit tough..

Thanks for you help
 
Old 09-03-2007, 08:52 AM   #15
stress_junkie
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Getting started was tough for me too. Back in 1995 when I started with Linux there wasn't even public Internet access so I would spend weeks trying to figure things out. If I didn't need it for learning UNIX I would have given up. (I got Linux at computer shows on CD-ROMs from Walnut Creek.)

The Slackware mirror that I listed has a file called sbootmgr.dsk. Download that and one of the RAWRITE.EXE files. Then take a floppy disk, format it under Windows, and use RAWRITE to copy the image file to the floppy disk.
Code:
RAWRITE sbootmgr.dsk A:
Then put a Linux CD into the CD-ROM drive and reboot the machine with the floppy disk in the floppy drive. If the computer is set up to boot from the floppy disk then the sbootmgr will boot. Hopefully it will allow you to boot from the CD-ROM drive.

Last edited by stress_junkie; 09-03-2007 at 09:08 AM.
 
  


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