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Old 03-24-2004, 04:40 AM   #1
peter1608
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Novic questions - boot loader and floppy disk mount


I am a total novice when it comes to Linux, though I do have some limited DOS/Windows experience.

I have decided to try and learn about Linux, so I bought a book with a distro of Fedora in the back. I chose Fedora on the basis of the basis of the clarity of the book rather than any inherent quality of the software, on which I am not qualified to comment.

Well, it's installed and running, (with the GRUB boot loader to choose between Linux and W98) but with several glitches. During installation I accepted all the default options. As I am working entirely on my own, with no friends or colleagues to guide me (not that I don't have friends, just that they're not into Linux!) I expect I shall be returning here frequently to try and iron out these problems, but for starters:---

1: The BIOS is set to boot from CDROM, and this worked ok for the installation of LINUX. But now it seems to always boot from the boot loader, irrespective of the BIOS setting. How can I restore the CDROM boot?

2: I read that you have to mount and unmount floppy disks before using them. Well, mount is ok, either from the GNOME desktop or through the command 'mount /mnt/floppy' but unmount always fails with an error message along the lines of 'device is busy' As far as I know it is not - I have closed down all floppy based activity, but the only way I can unmount it is to reboot the system. What am I doing wrong?

3: Boot is agonisingly slow, and one of the start up actions eventually returns the message 'FAILED'. How do I track what is going wrong?

Thanks for any help.

Peter
 
Old 03-24-2004, 07:53 AM   #2
arrruken
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1.If in the bios, your cdrom is your first boot device, then you can boot from cd's. Searching of the devices happens before the boot loader now matter where the boot loader is installed. I suspect you have a problem with either the cd or the cd-rom drive, providing you are sure that the cd-rom is the first boot device.
2. Im assuming when you say you are trying to unmount the floppy, you are using the "umount" command and not "unmount", but make sure you are. You can specify to force an unmount by typing "umount -f /dev/whatever. Beyond that, I dont have any floppy drives in any of my pc's so youre on your own, but that should work.
3.All system messages are in /var/log. On my system, the files is simply called "messages". There may be other files for different things, such as boot,etc. Take a look at some of the files in there to find out which one is the one youre looking for. As far as the boot being slow, its probably the system waiting for a device that isnt there or is unresponsive, youll have to check the log and we can try to tell you how to fix it.
 
Old 03-24-2004, 08:03 AM   #3
UltimaGuy
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Here are my suggestions :

1) As previously explained, BIOS is totally independant of the boot manager, so recheck your settings.

2) Try this instead of using right-click on the floppy :
a) Open a terminal(Also called as a console)
b) Type mount /mnt/floppy for mounting your floppy
c) Do all the copying either using a shell or Konqueror/Nautilus
d) If you're using shell for copying, change to your home directory by typing cd <enter> . If your using konqueror/nautilus, click on Home and get back to your home folder
e) In your original console, type umount /mnt/floppy
f) Remove the floppy only after the prompt returns in the console and the light stops blinking in the floppy drive.

3) Check out the name of that service, then as root type ntsysv in your console. Turn off that service in the list displayed.

Any more problems, post here
 
Old 03-25-2004, 03:28 AM   #4
peter1608
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Registered: Mar 2004
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Thanks for the comments

Last night I changed the BIOS to boot first from Floppy, which worked ok. Then when I changed it back to CDROM that worked too. Yes, it was definitely set to CDROM in the first place, not hard disk, but whatever was the glitch seems now to be past.

As for floppy u(n)mount, this was still failing with a dialogue box which said "Nautilus was unable to unmount the selected volume". Clicking on details gave the message "umount: mnt/floppy: Device is busy". I tried closing Nautilus, resetting it to my home area first, etc., but to no avail. In an apparently unrelated issue, I had been overzealous in clearing files from my home area and had removed the the 'Start Here' icon in the desktop. To give myself a clean start I removed my user login and created a new one. Hey presto - now with the 'Start Here' icon resored umount seems to work. Does this make any sense?

As for the slow boot, the point at which it stops is when the status message is "Bringing up interface eth0". It waits far what seems like a couple of minutes then responds "[FAILED]" and continues. Any idea what this means, and what I can do to get around it?

Peter
 
Old 03-25-2004, 10:59 AM   #5
arrruken
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It sounds like it is trying to use dhcp, and for whatever reason isnt working right then. How do you recieve your i.p. address. static or dhcp? Also what distro are you using?(so we can tell you how to turn that off)
 
Old 03-25-2004, 12:48 PM   #6
peter1608
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Not sure that I do receive an ip address - it's an old second hand machine that I'm using for practice without internet access (though it maybe has a network card from the previous owner???). And if I do have one, I don't know how I receive it!

Distro is Fedora.

Thanks
 
Old 03-25-2004, 06:41 PM   #7
peter1608
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Registered: Mar 2004
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OK, I did a bit of probing and found an option on the GNOME menu via System Tools --> Network Device Controls. This led me to a profile of eth0, which I deleted and rebooted - no effect.

Next I went in via Start Here --> System Settings --> Network. This led me to apparently the same dialogue box, but this time when I deleted eth0 and rebooted it stayed deleted!

Early days - I've only rebooted once but maybe it's solved. Have I done anything silly here?

(Off for the weekend now - back to the keyboard on Monday)
 
  


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