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Old 11-07-2007, 11:44 PM   #1
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Real Newbie - Getting Live CD to Work

I am trying to start learning Linux and getting comfortable. My machine is a Windows based machine I have downloaded Knoppix and Ubuntu for a live CD burn. In Windows I use a burning software called Nero that I burn these onto specifying that it should be a boot CD (I also did this without specifying that the CD should be a bootable also) When I restart my computer (after hitting F12 to boot from the CD) the CD boots but I go into DR DOS, for some reason I donít thing that is where I should be. I see a few files and directories and I try to run them but I get some German language Screens which I canít understand.

Any ideas


Old 11-08-2007, 12:24 AM   #2
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I don't quite understand.
Apparently you burned it successfully - make sure you burned the image to the cd, and not literally the image as a file to the cd. - If you open the cd in the explorer you should see a whole bunch of files, and not the iso.

What could happen with knoppix is that it starts up, but for some reason it can't start the x-server. What you see is not DOS - in fact the only way you could be thrown into DOS is if you have win95 or earlier installed. If you get a command prompt you could try to type "startx" to start the graphical system. Why it is german I have no clue - maybe you downloaded a german version?

Have you tried the Ubuntu live cd yet?

Last edited by oskar; 11-08-2007 at 12:25 AM.
Old 11-08-2007, 12:48 AM   #3
Simon Bridge
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In Windows I use a burning software called Nero that I burn these onto specifying that it should be a boot CD (I also did this without specifying that the CD should be a bootable also)
It should not be a boot CD - all that option does is put the windows system files in there and it will boot to a DOS prompt or recovery or something.

Compare - create a blank boot CD and try booting from that. See?

Now.. the info you need to show is the name of the ISO's you burned and where you got them from. Then which distro you are attempting to boot. But it does sound like you have the "make boot disk" turned on even when you think you don't.

This is the trouble with legacy-proprietory software - it is hard to know what the thing is doing behind your back.

Ubuntu 7.10 comes with the wubi installer... if you open it in windows, you should be able to run wubi.exe (or something...) and Ubuntu installs like a windows app. No partitioning, no live-mode. (It is still best to do a full install.)

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 11-08-2007 at 12:49 AM.
Old 11-08-2007, 12:50 AM   #4
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A few thoughts:

- there is, as far as I know, any "German version" of Knoppix - usually the software is either in english locale only, or selects the locale you want (like in Ubuntu live-cd boot menu you can select your preferred language)
- when burning a disc image (.iso for example) to a disc you don't have to select it to be bootable or not; you don't even have the choice - all that information is stored into the image, so you just burn it as an image, not as regular data burn
- Nero can do the job, but you must use the menus to select the specific option to burn image file onto a disc, or said in another way, make disc out of an image. All it asks you is the image file name and a blank disk - everything else should be "in the image". For easiness I recommend using "ImgBurn", a cost-free very small program for Windows that is made to write images onto disks. It's usage is as easy as launching it, clicking "Open", selecting image file and clicking "Burn" (with disc in tray).
- When booting a Linux CD you'll usually get either a boot menu (a menu where you can select different options, like "try live-cd", "test cd for defects", "select language", ...) or a command-line and some instructions to start (like "type 'setup' and hit Enter to continue or use some options ...)
- a disc burned from a disc image should not contain the single image file; instead there should be all the contents of the image file (loads of files, usually), and this is how you can tell if you burnt it as normal data (only the image file) or as an image (the contents of the image)

If you feel you didn't succeed, retry with ImgBurn and it should work out.
Old 11-08-2007, 09:46 AM   #5
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I'm pretty sure the CD was not burned correctly. I created a few nice coasters the first time I tried this. For Nero or whatever software you are using, Google the program name plus "create CD image" or "iso" and find instructions on how to do this.
Old 11-08-2007, 01:07 PM   #6
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I had this happen when I tried to burn Kubuntu awhile back with Nero. It basically copies the .iso to the cd and puts DR DOS on it, that is why I don't usually recommend nero to burn linux cds
Old 11-08-2007, 05:15 PM   #7
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Hi from another novice; I downloaded "InfraRecorder" which was recommended for image burns. Its easy to use, and worked well.
There is good documentation in "" site on getting started in linux.
My live 7.10 didn't work, while booting it put me into a shell with some mask exception report so I have since live booted Mandriva successfully.
Now to get up the nerve to partition my HD.
Old 11-08-2007, 08:59 PM   #8
Simon Bridge
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This is amazing... the default nero install always used to work for me. Has it changed recently?
Old 11-08-2007, 11:47 PM   #9
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Thnax everyone I got it to work finally

I would like to thank all of you for helping. I finally got a bootable disk for Ubuntu ( I am to tired to start on the other downloads ).

I finally got it using Imgburn (I downloaded the other suggested burn software).

Interestingly, Knoppix has documentation specifcially on burning using Nero's differnt versions:

Haven't had time to try it yet but I will for some of the other verisons of Linux I want to test.

Once again thanx for everyones help
Old 11-09-2007, 06:44 AM   #10
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Knoppix notes

Compare the Wiki reference above, to the following old advice included on most Knoppix mirror sites:
knoppix_cd_mit_nero_brennen.txt (don't be fooled by the title, there are instructions in both languages).

While I think the Wiki is newer & definitely more comprehensive, note that the common thread is finding "Burn Image" in Nero.

Checking the CD
Here is the top dir. of my Knoppix 5.1 CD:
$ ls -l /media/cdrom
total 42
-r-xr-xr-x 1 root root    54 2001-06-17 03:50 autorun.bat
-r-xr-xr-x 1 root root    45 2003-02-22 21:23 autorun.inf
-r-xr-xr-x 1 root root   967 2004-05-01 15:35 autorun.pif
dr-xr-xr-x 3 root root  2048 2006-05-29 15:07 boot
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 32606 2006-02-21 17:33 cdrom.ico
-r--r--r-- 1 root root  1868 2006-09-07 17:54 index.html
dr-xr-xr-x 4 root root  4096 2007-01-03 18:57 KNOPPIX
Note the dir. "KNOPPIX", if you see that, you almost certainly have burned a good CD.

I have been using Knoppix for 4 or 5 years, & during that time there have always been separate German & English vers. of the .iso:
Images ending in -EN.iso are booting in english by default, -DE.iso is the german
version. You can switch languages on the boot commandline using the lang= option.
from the README at (where you can also see the .iso names)


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