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+1 for latest post (EDDY1).
I do it that way all the time - infact you can buy a ide/sata->usb converter for 20 bucks or so, remove the diskdrive and plug it into the converter and take the whole garbunkle to a machine with dvd and usb ... eeezy
I spent the afternoon working on setting up a floppy boot. Didn't turn out too well, as the disks seem to be too corrupted to mount. I got the partitions right, however (decided to erase XP as I only have 40 GB), so I don't imagine it'll be TOO much more work unless the CF29 is not PXE capable.
The target Panasonic CF-29 toughbook needs to boot and to connect to the PXE server. Older hardware often has a network card, but no BIOS support for PXE boot (there may be an option ROM slot on the network card, but the ROM is not present). This is where gPXE comes in. It boots the hardware, initialises the network card and connects to the PXE server so that the Slackware installer kernel can be downloaded.
Okay, so thank you guys very much for all of your help so far. I've made a little bit of progress. Managed to get the CF29 to boot off of some floppies just so I can poke around the OS a little. I learned CD and LS! It's not turning out to be useful in terms of actually installing the OS because the disks are a little corrupted. So I've decided to go the net boot route.
The problem is this: I can't make a boot usb! I tried downloading a program to do it for me, using a usb disk and a install dvd .iso, but my other computer wasn't able to boot from it. So how do you guys go about making your boot usbs? Keep in mind that I have to do this from windows.
(P.S. Maybe this was the wrong thing to do, but I used fdisk to partition the usb so there's one partition for booting and one partition for data storage. Or course, windows can only see the first one. No idea why.)
I don't see any reason why you make it so complicated. The first thing to try is to look if the laptop can in fact do a PXE boot. You should have an option in your BIOS for that. If it is possible you have nothing more to do then to set PXE as first boot device, connect it to your main machine via Ethernet cable, boot your main machine from the Slackware DVD (or a USB device with the Slackware installer) and follow the advice from AlienBob in post #10.
Actually, I would really be surprised if this machine would not be able to do a PXE boot.
In that case you might want to use a program like Rawrite32 to do the transferring the usbboot.img file to a USB device, instead of 'dd'.
Here's the problem... Rawwrite is designed to floppies. I run RawWrite 0.7 for windows and it says "no floppies detected." It doesn't give me the option to write to a USB drive. I think that means I have to use dd, which is a little more dangerous and probably not as easy to use. What kind of syntax do I use?
I imagine it might look like this, but I'm not sure...
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.4,DD-WRT micro plus ssh,lfs-6.6,Fedora 15,Fedora 16
perhaps, but if i'm not mistaken you really shouldn't have to use DD to create a bootable USB, something like unetbootin should work fine, since a bootable usb is usually a squashfs volume sitting on a vfat partition, or something of that nature, so really it's just a matter of copying the files, making the disk bootable with fdisk, then installing syslinux into the device's boot sector.
I have downloaded the reference manual for the Panasonic CF-29 series. There is a BIOS boot option for PCI LAN (see attached image). The BIOS Setup Utility is accessed by using F2.
If you change this to be be the first boot device, you will likely enable PXE boot.
Do as TobiSGD and AlienBob have already described in posts #24 and #10.
1. Connect the CF-29 to another computer that can boot the Slackware install media with a crossover ethernet cable.
2. Boot the other computer so that it becomes a PXE server.
3. Boot the CF-29.
4. Conduct the installation.