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pipeline109 08-11-2004 08:39 PM

It's not easy to walk in floppy boots
I am trying to install Debian using a rescue floppy and a CD image burned (correctly) on my friend's Mac. The CD will not boot by itself, so I am using a rescue floppy. I know the disk is burned correctly because I lifted the rescue image off the CD.

My questions are: 1) What exactly makes a CD "bootable" and what does its directory structure have to look like; 2) How do I know what the "/dev" name is for my burner and how do I tell the boot loader to look there?

I tried "linux.bin root=/dev/scd1" and "linux.bin root=/dev/hdc" in the boot loader, (which I believe is caled "SYSLINUX",) both result in a "kernel panic."

Exact message:

VFS: cannot find root device
Kenel Panic: VFS: unable to mount root fs on

[what is at the end of the line depends on what I type at boot:]

vrln 08-12-2004 05:36 AM

Why not do a network install with the new Debian installer rc1? It is available as a floppy version and should work ok.

jomen 08-12-2004 06:37 AM

If you want to install Debian - I don't know if the rescue-CD or floppy will do you any good - because that assumes that there is alredy something to rescue - meaning, there needs to be an installation already, for which you can use the rescue CD to boot into it.

If there is already an installation - the parameter you would need to give it must tell the boot loader the location of your / (root) filesystem - this would be on a harddisk - so it needs to be something like "rescue root=/dev/hda1" if your / partition is on /dev/hda1 (the first partition on the first drive on the primary ide-channel...)

pipeline109 08-12-2004 10:42 AM

vrln, I do have a netinst image around in case the one I'm using fails, but I don't know how to make that into a bootable CD.

jomen, the installation manual and some other Debian docs recommend installation by rescue floppy.

jomen 08-12-2004 12:24 PM

I know - what I don't know is: what kind of rescue-floppy you use - but I suppose it's o.k.

BTW: there is a help-function available via the function-keys F1 ...F4 or so...

I should get to your question, because it seems you have mistaken something there - with the install from rescue-floppy.
It just occured to me, when I was remembering how I used this rescue-floppy...
If you want to use it to get your install started: you do not have to give anything on the command-line.
If you just hit enter on the promt, it will start the installation-process, starting with menus to select your keyboard-layout and language and then going through partition and formatting your harddrive.
After that you might want to use the CD you have to continue installation from there - that is the point where you may need to tell the setup-program, where your cd-drive is and what its name is...

In all the options from the install-menu is one point, which says: "start a shell" or something like that...
If the installer can't find your cd-drive by itself - you can use this shell to examine, what the drive is seen as...
you could do:

dmesg --to show the messages the kernel gave during bootup - you will probably find your cdrom mentioned there

ls -l /proc/ide


ls -l /proc/scsi

...depending what the kernel sees it as, you will see your drive there
if it is an ide-drive, it will probably be recognized as /dev/hd?

The naming goes like this:

/dev/hda is first drive on primary controller
/dev/hdb is second drive on primary controller
/dev/hdc is first drive on secondary controller
/dev/hdd is second drive on secondary controller

If you have a fast internet-connection, all this will not be needed - you just need to know the things neccessary to get your internet-connection up - the installer will use it to get all the stuff from the net.

I have had the experience, that any Debian-installation went very smoothly; you just need to know some basic things, like how devices are named, how you mount some device somewhere and the data to connect to the internet

There are surely ways to get bootable install CDs for debian - it seems you dont have one or burnt it just as a data-CD - how to create bootable media depends on what program you use to do it.
Basically if you want a bootable CD - it needs to have some bootloader on it in the correct place - the bootsector of the CD

pipeline109 08-12-2004 12:53 PM

another problem: kernel location
I did find a floppy image called root.bin. I put that on a disc and inserted it when it said, "insert root floppy" and that worked.

But now I have another problem. I went through partitioning and am now ready to install the kernel. The program said, "enter the directory that contains the images-1.44 directory needed to install the kernel and modules." And later, "the installation medium is mounted under /instmnt." Such a directory does exist, so I enter the path. I get this error message:

"/instmnt//dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3023-2002-05-21/ does not contain the file images-1.44/resue.bin needed to install the kernel and modules"

That is the path I entered, except it added the "instmnt" part. I tried it with and without the "images-1.44" subdirectory. The program apparently reads dots out of filenames. Strange part is, I know there's a file there called rescue.bin. I found it when I was looking for floppy images in win98.

So what am I doing wrong?

jomen 08-12-2004 05:27 PM

"/instmnt//dists/woody/main/disks-i386/3023-2002-05-21/ does not contain the file images-1.44/resue.bin needed to install the kernel and modules"

This path does not look right! - It has two slashes in it (after instmnt)! - That has got to be wrong...
it tells you that it is looking for the other floppies with the needed software - wherever they might be - probably somwhere on your CD!

Debian has - on their website - very detailed instructions on how to go about to install it.
I relly do not know, what kind of floppy you have - and what this particular one expects you to have ready to continue and complete the installation.

As pipeline109 said, they have several ways to do an installation - one of them is by using a netinst image (don't know if it is for a floppy or CD)

I suggest reading their instructions and then you decide which way you want to go - and download the needed files...!
I'm sure - all that is needed is a floppy to get you started - the rest can be done via the internet - if you have a fast connection (not like me on a 56k dialup-link).

If you do not want to do this - I'm curious and therefore I would like to have the image you are using on your floppy - eigther you send it to me or you tell me, where exactly you got it. I could then try it and tell exactly, what to do...

pipeline109 08-12-2004 07:56 PM

Danke schoen fuer deine zeit, Herr Jomen.

The path was from a sort of drop-down menu of all the directories in the CD. So dists/ is a directory on the CD and the others are subdirectories of that. Like I said before, it added the "/instmnt//" stuff itself.

The problem might be that drivers.tgz is in the wrong place. It did ask for the directory "images-1.44". The name makes me think it is full of floppy images. The files that are there include driver-[1..4].bin.

I got this image from a mirror

using the US download.

jomen 08-13-2004 02:28 PM

War das schon das Ende dieses Threads? - Or not ?... you got this CD which is not bootable - and you got the 2 floppies.

I downloaded the rescue.bin and root.bin and made floppies myself and tested the install procedure:

rescue-foppy boots and wants root-floppy
then asks for keyboard
then assists you in partitioning and formatting
then initializes and mounts the partitions you created - or that where already present
then wants to "Install Kernel and Driver-modules"
it tries to find what it needs for this - for this it presents you with a menu of available devices - from which you can choose the one where your CD is - which in turn should contain somewhere the file which is needed - "drivers.tgz" - it even scans for this file - so you do not have to give it the exact location
This was the point where I could not continue - since I did not have the correct CD - I only have one from the "SARGE"- distribution when it was in testing...

On your CD there is all the documentation you need - any OS and any webbrowser will do to read it.
On the "SARGE"-CD I have there is a Readme-file in /install/README.sbm which might be interesting to you - since you cannot boot your CD - maybe you do not even have to use floppies after all...

There is also a file boot.bat which you can use to boot the CD off DOS or DOS-Mode from Windows - even if the CD itself does not boot...

Ich muß üben, englisch zu schreiben - and it was not that much time - want to install Debian on another partition to see how it is - now that I have not used it any more for two years...

Debian/GNU ist eine gute Wahl!

pipeline109 08-13-2004 05:17 PM

What I meant was, it does not see rescue.bin or drivers.tgz. They are in different directories, but the system doesn't seem to see either. I might try making floppies out of the driver files or staring with a brand-new image.

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