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Old 04-27-2004, 04:50 AM   #1
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Whistler, Canada
Distribution: Debian, Fedora
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Question how do I make a VIA NIC driver disk from mboard mfrs cd 4 use in RH8 network install

Hi ..

I have a new desktop without an OS, and a old laptop which runs RH8. The new computer has no cd drive - only a floppy and a VIA Rhine family onboard NIC. The new motherboard is an ECS L7VMM3 with an AMD Athlon CPU.

I setup the laptop as an installation server and a bootnet.img floppy to do a RH8 network installation (which has worked for me in the past - but not with this new hardware). The installation started in the normal way and got through the language, keyboard, NFS image pages. It did not get past the "Devices" " Which driver should I try?.." page .. My VIA Rhine driver was not in the short list of supported NIC drivers.

So, I compiled the driver file (Rhinefet.o) from the tarball in the Linux directory of my new motherboard's manufacturer's CD. I'm pretty sure I have the right driver. I reattempted the installation and typed "Linux dd" at the prompt and inserted a floppy with my Rhinefet.o file on it. The installation bombed again and with a message "this is not a valid driver disk for this release of RedHat... "

Ive been trying to read up on this, and it seems that I must compile the new driver into a custom kernel for it to work. Is this right?
Do I then boot the new kernel and make a new bootnet floppy using that new kernel?
Will I still need to put the Rhinefet.o driver on a separate floppy and type "linux dd" at the installation prompt?
Will the new VIA Rhine driver mess up the driver for the NIC on my Laptop once I run my new custom kernel as the installation server - or do I make the bootnet disk with the custom kernel, and then reboot the laptop with the original kernel to run the installation server?

Any help will be much appreciated.
PS.The rest of my network seems to be fine.

Last edited by garthw; 04-27-2004 at 07:48 PM.
Old 04-29-2004, 04:07 AM   #2
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Whistler, Canada
Distribution: Debian, Fedora
Posts: 10

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I got the answer ..

I got this answer on the VIA support forum - and it works fine - Here it is for anyone who needs it ..

"There is a drivers floppy image in the images directory in the installation tree (on the RH installation CD). It is drvnet.img. It has a bootload of drivers on it. one of which is the via-rhine., Anaconda (redhat installtion prog) is looking for a specific disk format to find driver modules.

make a floppy from drvnet.img and feed it to the box when asked for a driver diskette. "

All I can maybe add is - when you make the floppy from the drvnet.img remember to use the 'dd' command .. not 'cp', 'mv' or any other ..

Last edited by garthw; 04-29-2004 at 04:11 AM.


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