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Old 01-30-2007, 05:11 PM   #16
jlliagre
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A floppy ?
What is that ?
Ooh, I see, unfortunately the thing was just declared dead: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6314251.stm
 
Old 01-30-2007, 06:24 PM   #17
KenJennings
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saikee
May I sell the most lethal booting weapon in the world to you guys - The bootable Grub floppy?

Just follow Chapter 3.1 of the Grub Manual. It involves only dd stage1 and stage2 files to a floppy. Its usage has been documented in the last link of my signature.

I recommend it because [snip... it works better! ]

You you haven't got a floppy drive you can burn a Grub bootable CD to do the same thing. The Link I mentioned aabove has listed two methods to create such a bootable Grub CD.

Get a Grub floppy and leave all your booting problems behind for good.
That actually sounds interesting. I was wondering if most contemporary BIOS today would allow booting from a USB flash drive . ( ? ) Instead of configuring a floppy (which I hardly have anymore) I'm thinking if a system can boot grub off a usb thumb drive AND I set up the drives the same way I could use the same drive to boot multiple computers and unmount/remove the drive afterwards to prevent unauthrorized others from hacking the boot setup.
 
Old 01-30-2007, 06:33 PM   #18
saikee
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I must admit that I haven't bought a floppy for the last 20 years as I recyle the old ones.

It is sad to see it go though.

As a backup to the hard disk version I have made a Grub floppy that boots all my systems in the box now including one Solaris and 2 BSD. It has a bootable Dos inside, a filing manager, a text editor, bootable Grub, several menu.lst covering over 150 selectable operating systems and the whole thing is only 55% full.

I suppose it will be the same for the Pata disk which I prefer to the Sata as the former can have 63 paartitions while the latter is limted to 15.

------------------------------
KenJennings

Grub has one weakness and that is it can't recognise a USB device.
This means we can't use Grub to boot systems installed in the USD devices.

You can think of the standard Dos can't recognised the USB devices. It can if a driver is supplied. Unfortunately the Grub lagacy as we used in Linux has been declared obsolete and the GNU/Grub folks have switched their attention to Grub2 which I couldn't make it work yet because there is no documantation.

When you boot up to a Grub screen press "c" key to drop into a Grub prompt. Try these commands
Code:
geometry (hd0)
geometry (hd1)
geometry (hd2)
etc
and you will see Grub can't find your USB devices. You have to remember at run time Grub is on its own and has no access to a Linux kernel. We can install a Linux into a USB device because the kernel repeatedly scans the usb ports.

Distros that have been booted successfully off the USb devices need a different boot loader like syslinux or tweaked specially for the application.

Last edited by saikee; 01-30-2007 at 06:45 PM.
 
Old 01-31-2007, 01:48 AM   #19
jlliagre
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Are you using an ufs aware GRUB on the floppy ? i.e. is it booting natively Solaris ?

About the media, the PCs I use do not have a floppy driver installed nor can boot on USB, so I think the best approach would be a CD-RW.
 
Old 01-31-2007, 03:51 AM   #20
saikee
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I formatted just a Dos floppy in fat16, made a /boot directory, copied all the Grub's files from a data-only hard disk partition, told Grub the root is (fd0) and did a setup in (fd0). Thereafter the floppy boots same as the Grub in the hard disk with menu for selecting over 150 systems.

As I may need to amend the menu.lst from time to time I therefore had to install a Dos inside by copying a floppy-based msdos.bs off Dos 7.1. This became a booting choice from Grub so that I can boot to the floppy as a Dos. Once this achieved I added a Dos-basee filing manager and editor.

The floppy does everything.

I shall write something about it later on but I am using Grub to hide all the extended partitions of 3 Pata before booting a Solaris or BSD. Apparently the scheme succeeded without corrupting my partition table because a Unix-based system sees only foreign extended partitions as single entities and does not realise there are 59 logical partition inside any one of them.

It is an elaborate use of Grub as I now separate 3 Dos and 5 Windows into one menu, over 140 Linux in another and the Solaris and BSD also has its own menu from me to hoop between any of them.

If a system can be booted by Grub then in a Grub prompt it can always booted manually. In such case one can obtain a Grub prompt and issue the menu.lst from a floppy.

In my case it is a Dos version of Grub's stage1 and stage2 that fires up Grub first. This dos-based Grub then chainloads the Solaris-based Grub. It is always the Solaris own Grub that boots its master.

It is a kind of a misnomer to quote a Dos-based Grub but Grub does have a set of stage1 and stage2 files for different filing types it supports and the "setup" command implements them as appropriate to the partition it resides.

Lastly in Solaris we have Grub now, right? Pressing "c" at the Grub menu can give us a Grub prompt. That Grub prompt is enough for rescuing any unbottable Solaris. Therefore if a Solaris becomes unbootable for whatever reason we can just boot up the installation CD and use Grub manually to fire up Solaris. Much of the tips I wrote on the last link of the booting tips (in my signature) are therefore applicable to Solaris. When I have a bit of time I shall add a section to it for rescuing Solaris with a Grub prompt.
 
Old 01-31-2007, 05:36 AM   #21
jlliagre
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Thanks for the explanations.

A Solaris installation CD already has a boot menu entry to launch a "rescue" O/S, so there is not even a need to go in command mode. It launches a shell allowing to investigate a broken/unbootable Solaris.

As you know, Solaris is now using grub to boot itself http://cvs.opensolaris.org/source/xr...rub/grub-0.95/ , instead of the previous proprietary system. Sun has contributed its code to the Grub project, but I don't think is has been integrated in the Grub source tree, as Grub developers are now focused on the next version (Grub2), and the previous version (Grub Legacy) is no longer being developed.

Have you tested your floppy with one of these grub aware Solaris releases (S10 update 1, 2 or 3) or Solaris Express ?
 
Old 01-31-2007, 02:59 PM   #22
saikee
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My Grub floppy boots Solaris 10.

I am pretty sure I have used Linux or Dos version of Grub floppy booting Solaris Express and older versions of Solaris 10 (without Grub) before.
 
Old 01-31-2007, 04:02 PM   #23
jlliagre
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Thanks.
I wasn't sure chainloading would work.
 
Old 01-31-2007, 04:39 PM   #24
saikee
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I haven't got any manual on Solaris. It seems to have a device fd0.

Can Solaris format a floppy in ufs format? and what would be the command to do it?

I have checked the /bin and /sbin but the man page on format does tell me much how to do it.

I like to create a bootable Grub floppy or Grub CD with Solaris if it is possible using Solaris own Grub.
 
Old 02-01-2007, 04:21 AM   #25
jlliagre
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Low-level formatting is done with the fdformat or better, rmformat.
eg. rmformat -F quick /vol/dev/aliases/floppy0
Filesystem creation is done with newfs:
eg. newfs /vol/dev/aliases/floppy0
 
  


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