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Old 11-13-2008, 04:50 PM   #1
Oxagast
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Location: Mocksville, NC, USA
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Install debian on Toshiba Satellite 105CS


Hi, I have a really old Toshiba Satellite 105CS. 40MB memory, 75MHz Pentium, and only a 1.44MB floppy drive. The hard drive died for it, and the only spare laptop hard drive I have is a 60GB drive. Problem being, the old BIOS obviously won't support a drive this large, but I've heard there are ways to get around this. But I can't get it to boot. What I did was put it in another laptop with a CD drive and installed Debian on it, which installed grub, then I swapped the drives back, but it won't boot on the Toshiba. It comes up and says:

Code:
GRUB Loading stage1.5.


GRUB loading, please wait...
Error 18
I read that error 18 means that it tries to read a block beyond what the BIOS supports. It says that you can circumvent it by creating a /boot partition within the first 1023 cyl of the drive. But when I installed, I don't think it installed a /boot partition, I believe it's on the / partition which is probably quite large considering the size of the drive. Is there any way I can make it work how it is, or will I have to go back and reinstall the whole thing creating a separate /boot partition, and if so, is there anything else I need to take into consideration when doing this? Could I create a boot floppy of some kind to test if it works at all?

Any help would be great,
Thanks
 
Old 11-13-2008, 05:01 PM   #2
pinniped
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The easiest thing to do is reinstall; this time create a 1 or 2GB partition at the start of the disk to be used for the /boot directory. Most of the rest of the drive can be '/' and you can leave maybe 100MB for swap.

[edit] A 1GB partition for /boot should be fine; in fact 200MB would probably meet all your needs. On my machine I see I only have 44MB of files in /boot and that includes multiple kernels and initrd files. Each kernel is about 2MB and each initrd file is about 6MB.

Last edited by pinniped; 11-13-2008 at 05:05 PM.
 
Old 11-13-2008, 05:05 PM   #3
Oxagast
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Will 1 or 2GB even be addressable by a BIOS this old? It may only support addressing up to 512MB or so, I'm not really sure. I think the old hard drive was something like 500MB. Is the only thing that matters is the /boot partition being less than 1023 cyl?
 
Old 11-13-2008, 05:06 PM   #4
pinniped
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There were many changes in max disk size and all sorts of BIOS limitations in the mid-1990s. See my edit above - a 200MB partition should be more than enough.
 
  


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