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Old 01-15-2003, 09:42 AM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2003
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Linux Boot Floppy Went Bad on W2K-Linux Dual Boot

I have a Win2K/Red Hat 7.0 Linux dual boot machine where Win2K boots by default and Linux boots when I insert a Linux boot floppy disk.

Unfortunately, I didn't back up the Linux boot floppy disk and it is now unreadable. I installed Linux a while ago and don't remember the steps I took -- but shouldn't I be able to read the Linux boot floppy disk using a Win2K command prompt? Typing dir a: in the Win2K command prompt window yields "The volume does not contain a recognized file system."

When I try to use the floppy to boot Linux, I get an error 0x407 at the beginning of the boot process and the disk drive makes screeching noises. I'm pretty sure the disk is bad.

The installation of Red Hat Linux is sitting on a FAT32 drive in 2 files:

redhat.img (2GB)
rh-swap.img (32MB)

I have tried using a new boot floppy created by rawrite from the Linux CD, but none of the obvious options work (eg. the rescue option). When I put the new boot floppy in and restart the computer, I see "LI" at the top of the screen and the computer hangs. These are the first two characters of LILO, which appears when I put in the old boot floppy.

I have also booted from the Linux CD and tried the rescue option from there but I cannot find the hard drive and fdisk -l shows an empty list.

Is there a way for me to recreate the boot floppy so I can boot Linux again or have I permanently orphaned my Linux installation?

Thank you in advance for any advice/help.

Old 01-15-2003, 10:40 AM   #2
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Debian Galaxy
Distribution: Debian
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"I didn't back up the Linux boot floppy disk and it is now unreadable" equals "I didn't buy anything today, but I lost 10 bones." Makes no sense.

You should boot Linux using NT bootloader. Here's how:
Old 01-15-2003, 10:52 AM   #3
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Registered: Jan 2003
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Thank you for the reply.

Using the NT boot loader is an option I decided not to take when I installed Linux a few years ago (for better or for worse). When I configured the machine, I decided to have the Linux files live on a FAT32 drive and use a floppy disk to boot to Linux and without the floppy disk, the machine would boot to Win2K.

Now that the floppy disk has gone bad, maybe the option I took wasn't the best. Certainly, if I had made a second copy of the floppy disk, I would also not be in the situation I'm in now.

I would still prefer to continue to boot Linux from a floppy and not make any changes to boot.ini on the Windows hard drive. Is this now impossible because the floppy disk contained specific information about the Linux installation? Or can I use rawrite to recreate the floppy disk? I've tried this without much success.

Thank you again for your help.



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