I have an external 500gb usb drive with a bootable full install of slackware 12.2, and it also contains all the sets, patches, and extras for 12.2 in /usr/src, along with some other non slackware packages, like gparted, and I use it for rescue, backup, installation, etc.
I used this disk with no errors, setting up 12.2 on my mother's dell, a pentium 4.
However, my mom has an older gateway as well (a pentium 2) that she keeps around because it has M$ Publisher on it, and sometimes a student emails her a Publisher document, and she has to use her old sluggish beast to open it up.
I have not found an open source solution to open Publisher docs in Linux, so I have been trying to follow http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Migrate_Windows
to migrate the her xp installation on her old box to a vdi to use with virtualbox.
My first obstacle is that the cd drive in the old machine is non-functioning. My second obstacle is that her machine dates back to the days before the bios supported booting from usb.
I have never had the time to mess with network booting, and don't know how to set up a bootp server, so sticking with what I know, I thought I could install lilo on a floppy, and have it configured to boot my external usb.
Originally, lilo was installed on the mbr of the usb, but for this project, I went ahead, using the pentium 4, and reinstalled the lilo boot loader on a floppy. I did this by mounting my external usb drive (which shows up as /dev/sda) and then binding /sys, /proc, and /dev to it, and chrooting into the external usb install. Then I modified lilo.conf and reran lilo.
It worked, and now the external hard drive only boots on the pentium 4 when I have the floppy inserted into /dev/fd0.
However, when I plug the external drive into the pentium 2's usb, and insert the floppy and try to boot, it never makes it to the lilo prompt, and just displays 10 lines of L 07 07 07 07 07 07 07 07 07...
The boot order is correctly set in bios to try the floppy first. I thought I might have problems with the smp kernel on such an old system, and thought I might have to go back to huge.s, but I'm not even making it to the prompt...
Does anyone have any advice as to how to hurdle these obstacles?