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Old 08-26-2007, 06:54 PM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2007
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Question Cant boot from Ubuntu live CD, no grub prompt

Hello all! I am a newbie to this community and am having a vexing problem.
I have a laptop, a Dell Latitude D820 that I got from
Emperor Linux last year with Fedora 5 installed. I have a DVD of
Ubuntu Feisty Fawn and I want to remove fedora 5 and put ubuntu on, but I'm finding that I cant boot from the CDROM/DVD drive.
I mounted the cdrom drive and looked at a README file on the
Ubuntu DVD that tells you how you can address this problem:

About the Smart Boot Manager image

The file `sbm.bin' that is available in this directory may be useful
to you if you are not able to directly boot the first CD because your
BIOS may be too old and may not support ISOLINUX.

Then, instead of booting on the CD directly, you create a Smart Boot
Manager floppy image by using the sbm.bin disk image. You can create this
floppy with rawrite (under DOS) or with dd (under Linux). Now you can
boot on this floppy disk and it will detect your CDROM and let you boot
on it bypassing any BIOS limitation.

What is SBM ?

Smart Boot Manager or briefly SmartBtmgr (SBM), is an OS independent
Boot Manager - a program that is loaded by the bios before any
operating system and allows you to choose which operating system to

SBM is included in Debian in two ways, the package bmconf allows us to
install and configure an old version of SBM and sbm wich is the latest
version of SBM with an installer.

What's the use of SBM on the CD then ?

SBM includes an IDE driver that allows us to boot the cds even on
machines with a BIOS that wouldn't support booting from CD, provided our
CDROM is an IDE one, that is, so you can make a SBM floppy and boot from
it and then tell it to boot from your CDROM.

Also, there are some cases where the BIOS would allow booting from the CD
but isolinux fails to boot from there, in this case you can either boot
using a CD other than the first, as the others don't use isolinux, or you
can make a SBM floppy and boot from this floppy and then tell SBM to boot
your CDROM.

How do you make a SBM floppy ?

If you have SBM installed on a box you can run sbminst. Otherwise you can
put the sbm.bin floppy image that we provide with our cds onto a floppy
just like you would do with a rescue image.

So I think what this is saying is that I can copy this binary image
sbm.bin to a floppy disk, boot from that, then that would allow me to
boot from the CDROM. Problem is, I only have a cdrom drive, no floppy.
Anyway, I'm not even sure my assumption is correct, I'm actually quite
a bit of a noob when it comes to this kind of stuff.
EmperorLinux has their own customized grub screen, I may call them
tomorrow to see what kind of bios they've put there.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Old 08-27-2007, 07:57 AM   #2
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Japan
Distribution: CentOS 7.1
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With the live cd's normally you do not have a boot loader like grub running due to these being on the master boot record. I would think that you inspect your bios. Quite often it happens that the bios can support booting from a cd but due to the order of priorities, you may not be able to do so. Go in the bios and make sure that you select priorities of booting to be cd rom then hard disk. If it is hard disk then cd rom it would not read the cd because it found a useable boot image on the hard drive by passing the cd. I think that should do the trick.


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