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Old 03-02-2005, 12:16 AM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2005
Location: College Station
Distribution: Gentoo, Slackware
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Starting Linux on HDD from boot CD

I'm so tempted to use that "newbie" emote for myself...

I have a system that I bought off a friend 2 weeks back that I've been wanting to try some different distro's of Linux on. I have a problem, though. It's a dual proc PII/III mobo (two PIII 550's on it) with IDE and SCSI onboard (AIC7somethingsomething). It seems that the onboard SCSI combined with the BIOS makes it not like to see the single IDE HDD that I have in it (I realized here, no automagical setting things up for me). When it starts up, if I tell the BIOS there is supposed to be an IDE HDD, it just gets stuck in what I assume to be a loop looking for the HDD; "DETECTING PRIMARY MASTER - PRESS F4 TO SKIP". F4 doesn't skip. To get around this, I just don't tell the BIOS that there is a HDD, easy 'nuff.

So, I've gotten around the problem booting, but... this means that even after I've installed Mandrake (and later Slackware), I have to use a boot CD (the UBCD) and from it tell it where the kernel is on my HDD (/dev/hda1 for Mandrake). SUPER. Mandrake fails to load some stuff when it starts up, but slackware doesn't seem to have any problems when I start it, even though I still do. They both boot into the basic command line (darkstar@root or whatever for slackware). While I don't dislike the command line, sometimes having a gui to go to is nice. See, since I'm not booting through Grub or Lilo, I'm assuming that certain information isn't getting passed (like, that playing around with KDE would be nice). "xwmconfig" is set for KDE, I can't "startx" I get an error that's along the lines of "make sure you don't already have an X session running". "kicker" gets an error that the system can't determine my DISPLAY.

So, really, I'm looking for one of two things.

1) A way to get myself to boot from CD (I know, I'm a fool for not having a floppy drive) that has grub/lilo and will bring me into a slightly more user friendly environment (a GUI) that will help me slowly wade into the deeper parts of linux command line use
2) A jumping off point to tell what services I have running, editing files/services, installing extra software from CD/web, etc from the command line. I don't like editing files too much from command line to (vi?), but with alt+(F1/F2/F3/F4) to other sessions it doesn't hamper my multi-tasking (ADD) too much.

The more I think about it, the more I think 2 is the better option ... but I want my GUI damnit >_< Oh yeah, knoppix runs fine from CD. After testing it on the system to make sure all the hardware worked (saw the HDD just fine, and all the files on it) I played a few games in those wee morning hours of tiredness.
Old 03-02-2005, 05:57 AM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Waiheke NZ
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Um ... just checking... have you edited the cmos setup?

That "detecting primary ide hdd" message sounds like a bootup message.

Anyhoo - for option 1 (booting offa CD) have a gander at:

But really, what you want is to boot into hda1 from the start - and that sounds like bios config to me.


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