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Old 01-27-2004, 09:30 AM   #1
rpikulski8
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Need help creating Mandrake 9.2 boot floppy


Hi - I am a rank amateur with Linux. I am trying to use an old clone Pentium 233 system to dual boot Windows 98 and Mandrake 9.2. I think I successfully installed Mandrake but had problems after the reboot.

What I discovered is that since my BIOS does not support large hard drives, a utility called EZ-Dive from Maxtor allows the BIOS to see my drives. They are an 8 GB and a 2GB. Mandrake is on the 2 GB.

Installing LILO overwrites the Master Boot Record, kills EZ-Drive and I cannot get into Mandrake. So, even though it is there, I can't boot into it. I have never been in KDE which was installed.

My questions:

1. Is it possible to create a floppy boot disk for Mandrake 9.2? If so, what is the procedure and exactly what are the keyboard commands to access the Linux partitions?

2. I do have the floppy install disk and the installation CD with rescue. I think the install floppy boots Linux prior to accessing the CD. Is this correct and if it is, can I type in a command to start 9.2 on the Hard Drive?

Because of the EZ Drive issue, I must boot Linux from the floppy. It looks like all of the boot managers overwrite the MBR unless you know of one that doesn't.

A few years ago, I tried Red Hat and was very frustrated. I want to give Linux a fair trial this time and not let my frustrations get to me.

I did search the boards and found information about the boot floppy using superformat but the solution required you to be in Linux to create the boot disk.

I am going to try to get a BIOS update but so far it looks like the cost is a little to much right now.

Thank you for any and all assistance.
 
Old 01-27-2004, 07:39 PM   #2
jailbait
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"What I discovered is that since my BIOS does not support large hard drives, a utility called EZ-Dive from Maxtor allows the BIOS to see my drives. They are an 8 GB and a 2GB. Mandrake is on the 2 GB."

Here is a thread which explores the EZ-Drive problem:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...threadid=68530

"1. Is it possible to create a floppy boot disk for Mandrake 9.2? If so, what is the procedure and exactly what are the keyboard commands to access the Linux partitions?"

Yes, the procedure is distribution independent and I use it routinely. Section 8 of the following HOWTO explains how it is done:

http://tldp.org/HOWTO/LILO.html

"I did search the boards and found information about the boot floppy using superformat but the solution required you to be in Linux to create the boot disk."

You can boot your install CD, go into rescue mode, and use the rescue mode to boot into Linux. This is awkward but it does get you into Linux so that you can then create a boot floppy.

Of all the various solutions I suggest that you reinstall Linux with the first partition being /boot so that the kernel is within range of your BIOS.

___________________________________
Be prepared. Create a LifeBoat CD.
http://users.rcn.com/srstites/LifeBo...home.page.html

Steve Stites
 
Old 01-27-2004, 10:56 PM   #3
rpikulski8
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Steve,

That thread you referenced was very helpful. I reinstalled 9.2 and had it put lilo on a floppy. I booted into Linux successfully and I'm on my way. Thank you for your assistance.

Rich
 
Old 02-14-2004, 02:01 PM   #4
jschiwal
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You might also want to create your own rescue disk. As root enter:
mkrescue --iso
This will create an iso file which you could burn to a cd. Its about 4 mb and will not fit on a floppy, but you could use it also as a boot disk if you run into a problem in the future. There also is a diagnostic program which may help you set proper append= lilo.conf entries for special cases.
 
Old 05-18-2004, 03:53 PM   #5
robertn
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I am glad you solved your problem with the good advice provided:

Here is a solution that I found for booting exclusively from a floppy:

either

1) on a functioning bootable floppy and from root on a working linux system

"lilo -vb /dev/fd0"

will allow you to access the hard drive with your linux.conf setup and actually use the hard drive to continue booting.

2) on a freshly formatted floppy (ext2) and from root on a working linux system

"mkbootdisk --device /dev/fd0 2.4.21-0.11mdk"

the last is the only required argument and is the version # of my kernel found in /boot.

this will create a standalone bootable floppy that will boot the kernel on the floppy and not the hard drive as alternative #1 will do.

robertn
 
  


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