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Old 05-15-2002, 08:15 PM   #1
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Registered: May 2002
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Question dual booting with no floppy - possible?

I just bought a sony vaio grx570 which came with a CD but no floppy drive (actually, I've just come to assume everything would come with a floppy, so it didn't occur to me to look closely enough to realize this was just an "optional" device - oops).

I'll probably get one - but in the meantime I'm wondering if it's possible to dual boot.

I currently have Windows XP on one partition. I repartitioned the other partition & installed RedHat 7.2. The problem is, since I have no floppy drive, I can't reboot into linux to do the usual

>dd if=\dev\hda? of=bootsect.lnx bs=512 count=1

What I did was install software on my Windows XP partition allowing it to read ext2/ext3 filesystems, downloaded a "dd.exe" for dos, and tried to run the above command from the command prompt. But this doesn't work. I guess the ext2 reader for windows isn't able to extract all of the device information it needs... but I'm fairly ignorant about this.

Does anyone know how I can do this without a floppy? Can one create a "boot CDrom" with a CD burner instead of a boot floppy?

Or do I need to go back & redo everything with lilo (or GRUB which I've never tried before) controlling the boot process instead of XP?

I appreciate any help you can give me.
Old 05-15-2002, 10:16 PM   #2
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Stevens Point, WI
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0 (P4 2.8 w/ HT, Radeon 9700 Pro, 80 GB/120GB HDDs)
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In the Red Hat 7.2 install you can choose the option to upgrade, then you can change your boot loader, to either lilo or grub (I prefer grub because it looks a little nicer), and set your default partition and all that stuff, then when you get to the packages just don't select anything, or just select one thing, I can't remember if ti will let you finish the process without selecting one package or not.... And I'm pretty sure that you can make a boot disk on a CD, although I don't know how you would do it and I have never done it, but since the RH 7.2 install cd's are bootable it must be possible to do something like that to boot into linux.
Old 05-19-2002, 04:00 AM   #3
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Oh yeah, no problem. Boot disk on CD is pretty much same as floppy. If you go to your favorite FTP and find the same files that are on the boot floppy, then you burn them to your CD instead of boot floppy, and viola! Boot CD. Oh, and if they are .img files then you will need; in windows: rawrite.exe or in Linux any program that can burn ISO's. Check out for rawrite, or you can go to slackware's ftp's for ZipSlack, I saw it there too. I am pretty sure eroaster will burn .img but I am not at home or on a linux box to find out. I am sure you can find a prog that does. This is all assuming you have a CD Burner, I hope you do.
Old 05-19-2002, 04:07 AM   #4
Registered: Feb 2002
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If you have RH installation cd, it can work as a boot floppy. Just choose the "rescue" mode.
Old 05-19-2002, 04:11 AM   #5
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Oh yeah! Good one
Old 05-20-2002, 03:59 AM   #6
Registered: Mar 2002
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My preference is to boot with lilo - no disks, yet still get the choice.
Old 05-20-2002, 04:55 AM   #7
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: middle east- Lebanon- sidon (or saida if u like) city
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if u alreay installed R.H. linux boot from the RH CD and then type linux rescue. wait until u get to the prompt
then type @ the promt :

1- chroot /mnt/sysimage (the directory name is mentioned after booting the cd. type it as is).

2- type lilo then reboot.
Old 05-05-2003, 02:01 PM   #8
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I have the same problem. I'm trying to get it to work with Debian though, and I do have a floppy drive, it's just a stupid external USB one (I do not like my new laptop at all), so I don't think Debian is recognizing it, since it tells me I either have no disk in or it's write-protected, yet the floppy drive light doesn't flash and it makes no noise.
The Debian 3.0 cd doesn't seem to work as a boot disk like the Red Hat one does.
IS there somewhere where I can download a boot disk? I didn't think that would work. If not, is there any way to write a .bin file myself with the Linux boot sector in it?
My cd burner is also a USB one, so creating a boot cd, however you'd do that, wouldn't work either.
I don't really know much about this stuff, so I'm leary to try different ways of doing it. I'm so afraid that I won't be able to get back into Windows. If anybody is familiar with the Debian installation process and can walk me through another way of dual-booting it with Win2k, that would be great. Thanks,
--- Jen


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