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Old 03-30-2004, 09:49 PM   #1
HadroLepton
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: germany
Posts: 14

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mkdosfs generates invalid boot sector


(i'm n00b in linux, but not in computing in general)

using fedora core 1

SHORT VERSION:

i format a fat32 partition using mkdosfs. the partition is about 8 GB
mkdosfs -v -F 32 /dev/hda1

ranish partman (dos partition tool) will tell me that the boot sector of the partition is invalid.

is this a bug in mkdosfs or do i need to do something else to get a valid boot sector?


LONG VERSION:

summary of what i am trying to do
i want to be able to create a bootable (nt) fat32 partition from linux. the partition should be the first primary partition and is about 8 GB in size.

here is a step by step explanation of what i am doing
1. use fdisk to create the partition and set the type to fat32 (lba).
2. use mkdosfs to format the partition to fat32.
3. use ms-sys to make the boot sector bootable. (search for ms-sys in google, sorry forum wont let me post url)
4. unzip win2k to partition
this partition will not boot.

here is the mkdosfs command line i used
mkdosfs -v /dev/hda1
mkdosfs -v -F 32 /dev/hda1
with or without -F 32 the result is the same. contrary to the note in the manpage mkdosfs seems to know that it should use fat32.

and in contrast another attempt to achieve the same goal
1. use fdisk to create the partition and set the type to fat32 (lba).
2. boot to dos. format the partition using ranish partman (dos partition manager tool) (search for ranish in google)
3. back to linux. use ms-sys to make bootable
4. unzip win2k to partition
this partition will boot

it seems like mkdosfs is generating invalid boot sectors. ranish partman is reporting that the partition formatted by mkdosfs is having an invalid boot sector. it won't boot. yet files are written and read from the partition without problems.

did i miss something? help please

Last edited by HadroLepton; 03-31-2004 at 03:14 AM.
 
Old 03-31-2004, 01:40 AM   #2
iluvatar
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: netherlands
Distribution: debian
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do you want a dual boot between linux/win2k? if so, just let windows installation create the partition and install on it. windows will screw up your mbr (won't let you boot anything else than windows) but with a linux rescue cd / floppy you can re-install the boot loader and configure that to boot either windows or linux

greetz,
-= iluvatar =-
 
Old 03-31-2004, 03:04 AM   #3
HadroLepton
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: germany
Posts: 14

Original Poster
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thanks for your suggestion but that is not what i'm looking for. setting up a dual boot is no problem for me. i am quite familiar with the intricacies of the master boot record, the boot sector and boot managers.

my long term goal is to be able to create a linux boot cd with which i can save/restore windows (using zip rather than partition image tools). to do so i will have to be able to create a partition from scratch and make it bootable.

the theorie is like this:
install windows, setup settings.
boot to linux and zip the whole thing, save the zip.
*time passes by...*
windows gets screwed up (however severe, up to losing entire partition)
boot to linux, recreate the partition, unzip windows. make the partition bootable.

as i wrote above i have done this successfully almost entirely under linux. the only thing i haven't got right is the formatting using mkdosfs. as said it creates a file system which is working correct. i can copy files to the partition and read them. but the boot sector is invalid and thus i cannot boot from the partition.
 
Old 03-31-2004, 03:17 AM   #4
Demonbane
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 1,796

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I've had a look at this ms-sys program, this is whats on their project page:
Quote:
5. Known problems
-----------------

There have been reports about unbootable FAT32 partitions created with
"mformat -F c:". One workaround is to use gnu parted to create the
partition instead. Since version 1.1.3 ms-sys has the switch -p which
is supposed to fix this problem. The problem has also been reported on
partitions formatted with mkdosfs and mkfs.vfat.
see if it helps
 
Old 03-31-2004, 03:26 AM   #5
iluvatar
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: netherlands
Distribution: debian
Posts: 403

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if you install windows (and let windows do the partition / format) and after that you copy the whole partition (with 'dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/<my file>' command), it should copy the boot sector too. but a note on windows 2000: it will store some pc specific info wich can't just be copied to other pc's. you first have to 'prepare' windows for this. this can be done (it is used with a M$ RIS "Remote Installation Server"). read this M$ howto it can be helpfull...

greetz,
-= iluvatar =-
 
Old 03-31-2004, 12:36 PM   #6
HadroLepton
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: germany
Posts: 14

Original Poster
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w00t that worked!!

the mkfs from parted is producing valid boot sectors

will try the -p switch later on an invalid boot sector to see if ms-sys can fix it

thanks Demonbane
 
Old 10-28-2010, 12:26 PM   #7
zhaopei
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Registered: May 2010
Posts: 2

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hi, i am heading for the same goal as you, and have got the same problem, and googled this thread. It has been 6 years.... However, this post still helped me, thanks.
 
  


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