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I have a box that only has an internal HD. It needs to have Slackware 9 on it. Installing from USB doesn't work because, though the box can boot from the CD, the Slackware 9 installation program doesn't recognize the USB drive as a source for installation.
I have made an NFS server on another Slackware box on my network, and have put the entire Slack9 CD there. I cannot access the NFS share because the network drivers do not load from boot, and since I cannot mount the CD I can't setup the network manually.
The solution, as I see it, is to either book from 4 floppies (rootdisk, install 1, install 2, and network.dsk) but that is a pain because floppy drive access to this system is inconvenient (in the server room) and I have to install multiple instances of Slackware across multiple systems.
The other solution is to combine all of those images onto a CD rom, which I CAN boot from the workstation itself. If I can somehow boot all of those disks from a CD, it SHOULD be able to find the drivers because it has deposited them onto the RAMdisk or mounted the network.dsk...right? Thanks for any advice you can offer. This is a very frustrating situation.
Not to be a smart-ass, but personally, I'd run out to your local Staples, and spend $20 each for some cheap IDE cdrom drives, especially if you've got multiple systems to install. Floppies are terrible! Another option is to get yourself a copy of BART, connect to the network using this MS-DOS network floppy (which supports TONS of cards) and copy the install files to a temporary partition on your hard drive. http://www.nu2.nu/bootdisk/network/
The thing is these are a proprietary rack mounted format of PC called Clearcubes, and they only have one IDE bus, no floppy, and only have space in the rack for one IDE drive...which has to be the HD. So yeah, I thought of that, and it's not really workable.
The BART thing I'll have to try. Though the idea was to have all of this workable from a USB CDROM drive. The problem with the floppy is the floppy we currently have won't run off of the workstation portion of the Clearcube because it draws too much power, so I'm going out today to buy a USB floppy with it's own power supply.
It would be great if I could do the stuff I mentioned with the custom Slack CD, mainly due to convenience. I have about 15 of these things to install, and the method of copying the install files to the HD is VERY SLOW (we're doing this now with a custom modified win98se disk). Installing from NFS would be great because I could start the NFS install and just boot the CD in the next Clearcube, start the install, wash, rinse, repeat.