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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).


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Old 09-18-2003, 03:30 PM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2003
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inspiron 3000 booting with usb support

Heres my situation. I have an inspiron 3000 with a floppy drive (no cdrom). It has no OS on the HDD. So the only means boot now is via floppy. My goal is to transfer zipslack over to the harddrive. Currently I have zipslack saved onto a flashcard (which is read via a usb flashcard reader). So I need a boot floppy that has usb support. Heres the kicker, I dont have a working linux installation that has a floppy drive on it. Save knoppix live cd, but apparently mkboot has issues with the read only filesystem. So I need to find an image for a boot disk or a small linux distribution that fits on a floppy, and either A) supports USB or B) has a package system that will let me install usb support on it.

Another Option that always gets brought up is Network boot. Heres the trouble though, my dongle is broken, so thats a no go for pcmcia nic. However I do have a wireless card with the PRISM II chipset. So my other option is a boot disk with PRISM II support. These do exist however none work in my case. Coyote has a wireless AP script package, but its 2+ megs large and not going to fit on a floppy. There is also UnWireAP over at source forge which is a Wireless-AP-on-a-floppy this is the ansawer to everything I need, but when ever I boot up with the floppy I get the error message "BOOT FAILED" and nothing more. Thus adding insult to injury...

As you can see I'm in quite a predicamin, if you have any suggestions please do tell. Thanks in advance!
Old 09-22-2003, 09:31 PM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Dublin, Ireland
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Whew, funky...

I've net installed over wireless before, but not with Linux, just OpenBSD and FreeBSD. Weird eh? Gentoo will handle that card, but they don't do boot floppies, at least, not that I know of.

Patrick doesn't make a boot kernel with usb mass storage support enough to get at the flashcard reader.

Honestly... this is a bit of a mess:

compile 2.4.21 by hand, optimize for i486 to keep the image small, and just put in support for: a) board chipset, b) ramdisk support, c) usb mass storage support... actually you may just want to grab the default .config for usb.i and add to it mass storage support, then go through the boot/root 2 disk festival which should get you to the ability to install...

You can just replace the kernel image on a dd'ed usb.i boot disk with your custom kernel image and rock and roll...




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