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Old 01-19-2008, 01:51 PM   #1
BobNutfield
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Old Laptop, can't bootn from USB


Hello Everyone,

I have an old laptop that has become useless with Windows 2000. Just too slow. I would like to run Puppy Linux from a USB drive, but this old laptop does not give me the option to boot from the single USB port. I was just wondering if it was possible to create a boot floppy which can pass the boot instructions to the USB port so that I can boot Puppy.

Any help appreciated.

Bob
 
Old 01-19-2008, 03:02 PM   #2
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobNutfield View Post
Hello Everyone,

I have an old laptop that has become useless with Windows 2000. Just too slow. I would like to run Puppy Linux from a USB drive, but this old laptop does not give me the option to boot from the single USB port. I was just wondering if it was possible to create a boot floppy which can pass the boot instructions to the USB port so that I can boot Puppy.

Any help appreciated.

Bob
You could try the sbootmgr.
 
Old 01-19-2008, 03:16 PM   #3
BobNutfield
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Thanks, Gary. I checked your link but it appears to be a .DSK file which I am not at all familiar with. I suppose there a number of boot managers which I could try, but I was think I would need one thorough enough on the initial read to tell me how the USB port was being seen. For example, letting me type:

boot> root=/dev/sda

or something similar which would send the boot instructions to the USB stick.

Thank you for your help.

Bob
 
Old 01-19-2008, 03:26 PM   #4
syg00
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If the laptop is that old, the USB is going to be 1 or 1.1 - bloody slow. Why not use gparted to shrink the Win2K partition and slap puppy on the hard disk.

One of my old laptops has stopped booting from hard disk, and USB boot isn't available.
Whilst it's (still) possible to put the entire loader on floppy, what I chose to do was just put the stage1 and stage2 on as per the grub doco. Boots to the grub prompt.
At this point enter the configfile command to get the boot prompt. All automatic after that.
Presumes a good grub install somewhere - in my case still on the hard disk.

Edit:: you won't be able to use the USB for this as is needs to be on a boot addressable device.
Sorry about that. Try finding some hard disk space.

Last edited by syg00; 01-19-2008 at 03:33 PM.
 
Old 01-19-2008, 03:45 PM   #5
BobNutfield
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Thanks, Syf00. This is an old Toshiba Satillite Pro PIII 500Mhz. I have not even been able to get into the BIOS. F2 only gives me a screen of boot options (Floppy, CD, or HD). I would not even bother but I wanted to get some more life out of this old thing and Puppy runs lightening fast on it from the CD. The HD is nearly full (it's only 3GB). The wife isn't comfortable with Linux and wants me to keep the Win2K for her. Puppy fits on a 256MB usb drive, so I thought it would be good solution. I have tried a standard Linux boot disk, but I can't figure out the commands to pass the boot instructions to the USB drive.

Been away from Linux for a couple of years and will have to refresh my training on the grub config entries.

Very kind of you to responding.

Bob
 
Old 01-19-2008, 04:22 PM   #6
syg00
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Here's one description that seems to cover setting up a boot floppy with everything. Should be do-able from a liveCD.
 
Old 01-19-2008, 06:28 PM   #7
BobNutfield
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Thank you, with your help I was finally able to figure it out. I feel really stupid because it turns out that Puppy itself provides a means of creating a boot disk which searches the USB ports for a bootable Puppy. It would not find the usb port using that means, but, strangely, when I booted from the CD, as soon as it found Puppy files during the hardware probe, it passed the rest of the boot function to the USB flash drive, achieving what I wanted anyway which is running the system from the pen drive so I had the CD drive free.

However, I will apparently have to be content with switching back to windows when I want to go online because after a week of trying, I cannot get Ndiswrapper to work for this ADDON GWK150 PMCIA card (Marvelle Libertas chipset). But, oh well, 95% of the job done.

Thanks a load for your help.

Bob
 
Old 01-20-2008, 11:25 AM   #8
onebuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobNutfield View Post
Thanks, Gary. I checked your link but it appears to be a .DSK file which I am not at all familiar with. I suppose there a number of boot managers which I could try, but I was think I would need one thorough enough on the initial read to tell me how the USB port was being seen. For example, letting me type:

boot> root=/dev/sda

or something similar which would send the boot instructions to the USB stick.

Thank you for your help.

Bob
Hi,

You can read the readme;

Quote:
sbootmgr README.txt;

sbootmgr.dsk This nifty little tool allows selecting various devices to boot
from a menu, and even allows booting a CD-ROM in machines where
the BIOS doesn't support it (or it's supposed to support it, but
it just doesn't work). If you have trouble booting the
Slackware CD-ROM, you might try writing this image to a floppy,
booting it, and then selecting your CD-ROM drive as the boot
device.

The SBM installer is available as a Slackware package (called
"btmgr") in the extra/ packages collection.

----------------------------
Generic floppy image creation info:

To create a floppy disk from one of these images, use the RAWRITE command on
DOS or Windows. For example, to make the first rootdisk image (install.1),
you'd put a formatted 1.44MB floppy in your floppy drive, and then run this
command:

C:\> RAWRITE INSTALL.1 A:

There are several versions of RAWRITE provided to handle most versions of DOS
and Windows. If one version doesn't seem to work, try another.

To make the floppy images under Linux, use the "cat" command to send them to
the floppy device. This command will make the first install disk:

cat install.1 > /dev/fd0
The above will show you how to create the sbootmgr. Once you boot using the sbootmgr you should see the device that are accessible. You should see the usb device since the devices will be polled by the manager. You will be given a boot screen to use the arrow keys to move between the device(s) then once highlighted simply press <RETURN> or <ENTER>.
 
Old 01-20-2008, 03:01 PM   #9
BobNutfield
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Hi everyone.

Just one more post on this topic just in case it can help someone else. First off, many thanks to Syg00 and Gary for their help.

If one has an old computer like this and wants to get some more life out of it, here is what I did to get Puppy and running WITH a wireless PCMIA connection on a 256mb USB flash drive and boot to it.

1. This old computer will not boot from the USB port. But, I installed Puppy to the flash drive anyway and experimented with various methods of booting with a boot floppy, which still didn't work because the boot floppy usb probe did not find the drive. But I found that if I loaded the system with the CD and saved the session to the USB flash, the next time I boot from the CD, it passed the boot function to the USB drive, running Puppy from the USB drive from there on. It has worked everytime since and frees the CD drive for use.

2. I had been using a cheap PCMIA wireless card with Windows 2000 but no way could I find a linux driver for it and the driver in Win2K kept giving me the error "Invalid driver". The chipset in this card (ADDON GWK150) uses a Marvell chipset called Libertas. There are a number of Linux modules that handle this chipset for PCI desktop cards, but I could find nothing for the PCMIA wireless card. The windows driver on the CD is Mrv8335.inf. Somewhere on the net (can't remember where) I read that this card might work with the Mrv8000c.inf file (downloadable from the Marvell site.) I extracted it and the .sys file to a floppy and copied them to the home directory once Puppy was up. Using Puppy's graphical tools, I installed them from the location saved in the home directory on Puppy.

I then modprobe Ndiswrapper
ifconfig wlan0 up
ifconfig wlan0 default gw 192.168.3.3

By this time, the lights were flashing on the card, and I was able to use the graphical tools in Puppy to scan and test and then configure.

Glad I persevered because I did not think it was going to ever work with Puppy. I now have a lightening fast system on a 10 year old laptop!

Hope this information helps someone else.

Bob
 
Old 01-20-2008, 04:24 PM   #10
onebuck
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Hi,

Glad to hear you got the old girl up.
 
  


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