1. This forum section is a read-only archive which contains old newsgroup posts. If you wish to post a query, please do so in one of our main forum sections (here). This way you will get a faster, better response from the members on Motherboard Point.

Detecting CDROM drive from FreeDOS boot floppy

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Allan Adler, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    As I mentioned in another thread about problems with a HP Pavilion 6635,
    it is for some reason not possible to boot the machine from its CDROM
    drive, even though it is possible in SETUP to place the CDROM first in
    the devices to try to boot from. The machine is presently running
    RedHat 7.1 Linux, which I was only able to install with great difficulty:
    I found it necessary to boot from a DOS or Windows boot disk, which was able
    to detect the CDROM drive as drive F: (or maybe it was K:, I forget), and then
    I was able to change directory to that drive and cause a certain program
    on the CD to execute. This was a couple of years ago and details are not
    fresh in my mind. When I wanted to upgrade to a more recent version of
    Linux, I discovered that the machine not only could not boot from the CDROM
    drive but that now a boot diskette could not detect the CD drive.

    I now have a FreeDOS boot diskette containing QBASIC. It also can't detect
    the CDROM drive. What I'm wondering is whether there is a QBASIC program that
    will make FreeDOS detect the CDROM drive and make it possible to change
    directories to it, so that I can try to install an upgrade of the operating
    system.
     
    Allan Adler, Jul 17, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Was it ever able to boot from CDROM?
    Is the CD you're trying to use actually bootable?
    Is the CD drive "ATAPI compliant"?

    Does the CD still work during normal use?
    If not, did you remember to plug it back in when you took the machine apart
    screw-by-screw to check the mouse connections?
    CDROMs usually need a driver.
    Oakcdrom.sys is a fairly popular and generic one.
    Mscdex.exe is usually required too. (This is an MS-DOS prog)
    For you FreeDOS types it would probably be Shsucdx.exe

    You'd need to add the progs to the floppy, and add some lines in your
    autoexec.bat and config.sys files, unless they're already there, but
    commented out with "rem" or ";".
    Forget QB for this one. It's not a magic cure-all. I only used it for the mouse
    problem because it and the demo prog would fit on a boot floppy.
     
    MasterBlaster, Jul 17, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    As long as I've owned this machine, it has not been able to boot from the
    CDROM. I think the Ubuntu Live CD and an installation CD for RedHat 9 or
    for RedHat 6.3 ought to be bootable. The one for RH 6.3 has been used on
    other machines. I don't know how to find out whether the CD drive is ATAPI
    compliant. I just know that I use it all the time on this same HP Pavilion
    for reading and burning CD's under Linux.

    There is probably some way to ask Linux whether it is an ATAPI drive without
    having to be an expert on Linux. I didn't unplug the CD drive when I examined
    the inside of the machine. I only moved the power supply out of the way
    without unplugging it. All connections are intact.
    OK, I downloaded oakcdrom.sys and shsucdx.exe and will try them out.
    Hopefully I can do so without having to mess with autoexec.bat and
    config.sys at this stage. Maybe to boot that will become necessary.
    At this stage, I'll be glad just to detect the CD drive and change
    directory to it.

    While I was googling these programs, I noticed some websites that say that
    oakcdrom.sys is part of a Windows boot disk. So maybe that is why I was
    originally able to detect the cdrom drive with a boot disk. I don't remember
    why I wasn't able to use the same boot disk when I wanted to upgrade, but
    it may have had something to do with the fact that the HD no longer had
    any trace of Windows on it and that the floppy complained about it.
     
    Allan Adler, Jul 17, 2006
    #3
  4. Allan Adler

    Jeremy Boden Guest

    .
    [snip]
    I am loathe to reveal this, as it will probably just cause confusion.

    It is possible to make a Windows 98 "recovery disk"; this includes
    oakcdrom and the really important DOS commands in a compressed form.
    When you boot from the diskette it unpacks all this crud into a RAM
    drive (which is allocated the next drive letter). If you then stick in a
    disk in the CDROM it will be allocated the next available drive letter.

    So...
    If you have two partitions on one hard disk, for example, allocated as
    C: & D:
    Your RAM partition will be called E:
    Your CD will be called F:
    etc

    I really think you would do better to get a new motherboard - as yours
    clearly has no option to boot from CD.
     
    Jeremy Boden, Jul 17, 2006
    #4
  5. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    I installed them on the FreeDOS boot floppy and also created the
    files autoexec.bat and config.sys by using emacs to copy and modify
    the appropriate lines from the file readme.txt that is produced when
    the file cdrom.exe (which is what I got when I downloaded oakcdrom.sys)
    is executed. Then I booted from the floppy and it worked fine: it immediately
    recognized the CDROM drive and the Ubuntu Live CD in it. I didn't like the
    fact that it called the CDROM drive C:. I'd like to be able to assign some
    other letter, like K:. Anyway, I changed to C: drive (i.e. the CDROM drive)
    and tried to execute start.exe, which presumably boots the Ubuntu Live
    system. Apparently this file is only meant to execute under Windows, since
    I got an error message to the effect that it could not be executed in DOS
    mode. So, to continue with this approach, I need a way to create a Windows
    boot disk with the necessary drivers. I probably don't have the one I used
    a few years ago any more.
     
    Allan Adler, Jul 18, 2006
    #5
  6. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    I think your explanations are pretty clear.
    Can you do this without having Windows installed? E.g. can you download one?
    The only time I ever need to boot from CD is when I'm upgrading the
    operating system. I think this particular computer will support at
    least the Fedora 2 operating system, if I can get it to boot. I have
    other computers that will boot from a CD if I need to for some other
    purpose; they just don't have the system resources to support versions
    of RedHat Linux later than 7.1. If more recent versions of Linux still
    have installation CD's that will boot under Windows, and I would guess
    that they do, then the approach that I'm taking seems as though it ought
    to work, in principle, to let me do upgrades of the operating system, even
    if I have to hold my nose while I'm doing it. So, I don't think I *need*
    to get another motherboard.

    On the other hand, I'm interested in the implications of the hypothetical
    problem of getting another motherboard, particularly what seems to be the
    suggestion that it is possible to change the motherboard on this
    HP Pavilion 6635 and otherwise to keep the computer as it is. I'm not
    sure I'd know even how to begin figuring out what motherboard would
    be able to fit precisely into this computer case. Also, I have never taken
    the PC apart sufficiently to know whether it is even possible to remove
    the motherboard in order to replace it; I once had a PC which could not
    be upgraded because the motherboard was riveted in position with metal
    rivets. These are the lowest level mechanical concerns. Beyond that,
    most hardware I've ever worked with is not very clearly documented,
    and whatever documentation there is might only be available after purchase,
    with only a 30 day warranty in case I'm not absolutely delighted with it,
    which isn't much time to discover what other idiosyncrasies it might have,
    apart from the one I'm hoping to eliminate by getting a new motherboard,
    including possible incompatibilities with the other hardware in the machine.

    Apart from that, I don't have much discretionary capital. On the other
    hand, people are always throwing computers away and I'm interested in
    learning how to scavenge them. That might do nothing to help with this
    particular computer, but I might either find a better system that way
    or else manage to put one together out of parts I find. I don't know
    how one keeps a lid on the clutter of all the computers and parts one
    obtains, hoping that one of them will eventually fit another one,
    particularly in a small apartment. But having all these parts would
    provide a lot of motivation for learning how to look up documentation
    for them online and how to make sense of the documentation.

    One concern I have about scavenging discarded PC's is that I've
    heard that stuff people throw away sometimes has bedbugs, which I don't
    want to bring into the apartment.
     
    Allan Adler, Jul 18, 2006
    #6
  7. Hmmm... when floppy booted, does the hard drive even show up?
    dir c:
    dir d:
    dir e:
    ....etc.
    The DOS floppy might not be able to recognize hard disks over a certain size,
    (just how big is yours) and sees the CD as the only installed drive.
    In autoexec.bat, after the /D:cdxxxxx part, add /L:K
    Good golly, Miss Molly! First a DOS boot disk creator that won't run under DOS,
    then a Linux system that needs Windows???
    Back to http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm

    Down to "Non-Windows Based Image Files W/ImageApp" and pick
    Win98 or Win98SE. Unzip it somewhere, put a blank floppy in the drive,
    and run FIRM WIN98C.IMG A: -w (for the 98 version).

    Yes, I just tried the 98 version here.
    It booted just fine, but couldn't find my CDROM.

    I used the included edit.com to open its config.sys,
    changed:
    DEVICE=cd1.SYS /D:tomato
    to :
    DEVICE=cd2.SYS /D:tomato
    ....so it would have a different group of CD definitions to look at, and it found it.
    You might have to try all 4 versions. Who knows.
    It saw my hard drive okay (only a 6GB).
    It also assigned the CDROM to R:, so you should be happy.
     
    MasterBlaster, Jul 18, 2006
    #7
  8. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    OK, I downloaded it. I think that when you write
    FIRM WIN98C.IMG A: -w
    you mean that the command should be executed under (FREE)DOS or WINDOWS.
    I think that means that FIRM.COM and WIN98C.IMG (which are produced by
    unzipping win98c.zip) can't both reside on a floppy, since WIN98C.IMG
    is already the size of a floppy. Therefore, I would have to do this on
    my FREEDOS machine, which I don't think has a version of UNZIP installed.
    Pending the acquisition of UNZIP from somewhere for FREEDOS, I tried to
    do the work on the HP Pavilion under Linux instead. I copied win98c.zip
    to the HP Pavilion and unzipped it. Then I executed
    dd bs=1474560 if=WIN98C.IMG of=/dev/fd0
    which caused the file WIN98C.IMG to be mapped onto the floppy disk.
    Then I booted the floppy and found lots of nice things on the disk
    and it also detected the CDROM drive without any modification to config.sys.

    Then I changed to the cdrom drive r: and executed start. I got the same
    error message about being unable to execute the file start.exe in DOS mode.
    So, this windows boot floppy is apparently really a DOS boot floppy.

    The picky little detail that matters may be the -w at the end of your
    recommended
    FIRM WIN98C.IMG A: -w
    i.e. maybe the -w means that the MBR of the floppy should be written with
    something that says it is really a Windows diskette. In other words,
    maybe WIN98C.IMG really is just a DOS diskette image, and all the information
    about how to tell it to be a Windows diskette resides inside the program
    FIRM.COM.

    If that information is available in another image, I can just use the Linux
    dd command to write it to the MBR of the diskette, with something like
    dd bs=1k if=mbr.img of=/dev/fd0
    But where is that information? Perhaps in the source code for FIRM.COM,
    wherever that is?
     
    Allan Adler, Jul 19, 2006
    #8
  9. Allan Adler

    Jeremy Boden Guest

    Note that the partition table (and MBR) is of a standard format for
    *ALL* (well almost) operating systems. Note that the MBR contains no
    information about OS's - it does contain codes indicating what kind of
    file system is on each partition (e.g. FAT16, ext2, NTFS etc).

    Note: Windows 98 IS DOS based; this is why the "recovery diskette" boots
    into DOS. But I doubt that this helps you; you have your system booted
    as DOS and can read a CD - and that's it!

    I suppose you could investigate putting lilo onto a diskette and chain
    loading the mbr of your bootable CD - but that would be very complicated
    for you.
     
    Jeremy Boden, Jul 19, 2006
    #9
  10. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    OK. Thanks for the clarification.
    So, you're saying that MasterBlaster's suggestion (i.e. to use win98c.zip
    as a remedy for the inability of Ubuntu's start.exe to run in DOS mode)
    can't work?
    I might be able to copy the mbr of the CD to the mbr of the floppy using the
    Linux dd command. Why do you think that would enable Ubuntu's start.exe to run?
     
    Allan Adler, Jul 20, 2006
    #10
  11. While taking out the garbage at work, a thought suddenly appeared.... why exactly
    are we trying to run an Ubuntu CD (or is it Fedora 2 now?), from a boot floppy?
    Weren't we just temporarily using the floppy to diagnose the mouse problem?

    RedHat obviously has the needed drivers to recognize the CD drive (you already
    said you use it), and I don't remember you saying that the install won't run from
    Linux, only that when you first installed the current version, you had to use a boot
    floppy because the system wouldn't boot directly to the CD.

    And according to Google, about a year ago you explained:

    - I changed to k: and changed directory to dosutils and uttered the magic
    - words: loadlin autoboot\vmlinuz initrd=autoboot\initrd.img and, behold,
    - RedHat 7.1 installed itself and is now running on the machine.

    The current CD just has a "Start.exe" for installing? How very Windowish!
     
    MasterBlaster, Jul 20, 2006
    #11
  12. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    I was very impressed by the fact that the use of a boot floppy can circumvent
    problems that seem otherwise intractable.

    I'm trying to run a Live Ubuntu CD, as opposed to a Fedora 2 installation
    CD, because I'm not ready to commit to installing Fedora 2 until I check
    a few more details about the hardware and back up the computer again. By
    way of contrast, one can run Live Ubuntu without risking any modifications
    to the system. I was assuming that a Fedora 2 installation disk and a Live
    Ubunto disk would not present essentially different problems on this
    particular machine. It appears that I was mistaken.

    Anyway, this refutes my earlier assertion in reply to Jeremy Boden that I
    never need to boot from a CD except to upgrade my system: trying out a
    Live Ubunto CD is not an instance of upgrading my system. That being the
    case, I'll ask on a Linux group about his suggestion that one might be
    able to do something with LILO (or GRUB) to "chain boot" (whatever that
    means) from the CDROM.
    That's right: Linux can mount the CD drive. It can also run Linux executables
    residing on the CD drive. I don't know whether the programs that execute when
    one first boots from the installation CD (on a machine that will boot from
    the CD) are Linux executables. I'm inclined to doubt it.
    I received the Ubuntu CDs (1 installation CD, 1 Live Ubunto CD) without
    any documentation whatsoever. When I examined the Live Ubuntu CD, I just
    assumed that the only executable in sight was the relevant one, particularly
    since it has the suggestive name "start.exe". I don't actually know that
    start.exe is the right thing to execute.

    Last night, I put the Live Ubuntu CD in the CDROM drive of the FREEDOS
    machine, which can boot from from the CDROM, and it had no trouble starting
    up Ubuntu (although it eventually got caught in an infinite installation loop
    due to inadequate memory). I'm kind of confused by that, since we already know
    that read.exe won't execute in DOS mode. So whatever happens when the system
    boots from the Live Ubuntu CD must be prior to executing start.exe.

    I'm starting my HP Pavilion now in Linux and am about to examine the
    Ubuntu CD again. The top directory has a file named autorun.ini, which
    I'm guessing gets executed on bootup the same way that autoexec.bat gets
    executed in DOS. It contains the lines
    open=start.exe
    icon=start.exe

    That suggests that start.exe is the right thing to execute and that may
    have had something to do with my original decision to focus on it.

    You asked earlier whether the CDROM drive of the HP Pavilion is an ATAPI
    drive. It is. In Linux, I executed:
    dmesg | grep -i atapi
    and got (among other things):
    LITE-ON LTR-52327S, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
    (I guess that means it can also read DVD's, which I didn't know).
    That would probably also work on the Fedora 2 installation CD, according to
    the Fedora 2 book from Howard Sams.

    In one of your earlier postings, you mentioned that you had looked up
    information about the HP Pavilion hardware by looking at the HP website.
    Exactly where did you find your information? Maybe if I send them email,
    they can tell me: (1) whether it is really impossible to boot from a CDROM,
    or whether they have a remedy; (2) what boards I could use to upgrade the
    motherboard in this particular computer case, if I'm so inclined, and details
    about their sizes according to whatever standards are used to describe
    motherboards.
     
    Allan Adler, Jul 20, 2006
    #12
  13. Which version, and who comes up with these release names????

    Warty Warthog
    Hoary Hedgehog
    Breezy Badger
    Dapper Drake
    Edgy Eft
    I guess you've already browsed through this site?
    http://www.ubuntu.com/

    Maybe ask over here...
    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/

    Or search the mailing list archives (could take days)...
    https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-users/
    Dapper Drake at...
    https://help.ubuntu.com/

    with a tab for Breezy Badger...
    https://help.ubuntu.com/5.10/
    Sounds logical. Maybe it's hard-coded to start some other program that's
    returning the "Dos mode" message.
    Ooooooo... flipping through those Ubuntu.com pages while writing this, and found...

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/I386

    If your BIOS does not support booting from a CD-ROM drive, you can use a
    Smart Boot Manager http://linux.simple.be/tools/sbm floppy to boot the CD.
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...dlc=en&product=57651&lang=en&docname=bph05426
     
    MasterBlaster, Jul 21, 2006
    #13
  14. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    I don't know.

    I found a website that explains how to do it using syslinux, something
    called smart boot manager and something else. I downloaded it and am
    trying to make sense of it. It looks pretty cool, but I'm not well prepared
    to understand it.
    Thanks. It seems to be the same thing I downloaded but maybe in a form
    that is easier for me to use. I've downloaded it and will dd it to a
    floppy tomorrow.
    Thanks.

    Now that I've had more time to reflect on what I'm doing, I realize that
    I can't simply put the Fedora 2 installation CD in the drive and boot it
    by the methods we have agreed ought to work, even if I am certain about
    the hardware and have backed up the system again. The reason is that I
    know from experience that trying to install an upgrade of RedHat 7.1
    can fail in a way that also irreparably destroys the resident
    RedHat 7.1. That is what happened to the third PC I mentioned in
    my earlier postings, the one presently running RedHat 6.3 without X:
    I had tried to upgrade to RedHat 9.1, dropped the CD in the drive,
    and as I proceeded with the installation, it trashed my Linux partitions
    and THEN informed me that there were reasons why the hardware did not
    support RedHat 9.1. When I tried to reinstall RedHat 7.1 from the
    CD I had originally used to install it, it failed to find certain things
    on the CD and couldn't complete the installation, so I couldn't restore
    the machine to its former state; apparently the installation CD had become
    damaged in the years that I had it. Fortunately, I still had a RedHat 6.3
    installation CD and used that to install RedHat 6.3 without X. I'm
    presently using it occasionally to try out stuff from the book Linux
    Device Drivers, 2d ed, and not using the machine for anything else
    since I don't want to have to worry about screwing anything else up
    while experimenting with device drivers. The machine presently running
    FREEDOS formerly had RedHat 7.1 on it but one day the system mysteriously
    crashed and Linux became unbootable. Because of the damaged RedHat 7.1 CD,
    I couldn't reinstall it, and for a while had RedHat 6.3 installed
    on it. Then I decided I'd rather use the machine to experiment with
    FREEDOS and that is the way it stands now. Someone told me that the
    failure of RH 7.1 on that machine was probably due to a memory problem,
    but I don't know any way to confirm that.

    Anyway, before I try to upgrade the HP Pavilion to Fedora 2, I want to
    make sure that I have at least RedHat 7.1 running on one of these two
    machines and that I have tried out the backups of my HP Pavilion on
    the alternative RedHat 7.1 or greater. That way, if I destroy the
    system on my HP Pavilion, I know I not only have backups of my system
    but can also use them. That will make the destruction of the HP Pavilion's
    RH7.1 less of a crisis while I figure out how to fix it. Accordingly,
    I've been searching the web for a website that has a RedHat installation
    CD for RH 7.1 or better that I can download for free. On the other hand,
    I already know that both the FREEDOS machine and the machine presently
    running RH 6.3 will not support RH 9 (it failed on what is now the FREEDOS
    machine, but didn't destroy the system in the process), so I shouldn't
    download anything too much more advanced than RH 7.1 for this purpose.

    On my own machines, I can only download over the phone lines at no more
    than 56k/sec, which is too slow for downloading a CD image: it would take
    so long that my ISP would time me out in the middle of the download. A
    friend of mine is visiting me and has wi-fi on a PC running Windows XP.
    Usually it is fast at downloading, but when I tried to download a
    CD image of RedHat 7.3 from
    ftp://mirror.umbc.edu/pub/umbc/umbc-redhat-1.1.iso
    it would only download at a rate of about 38k/sec or so. Unfortunately,
    Windows seems to shut down after being left alone for 15 minutes or so
    and I don't know whether anything can be done about that. The
    umbc website (http://www.umbc.edu/oit/sans/core/umbc-redhat/obsolete)
    has a background of warnings not to use this because it is obsolete,
    but I'm ignoring them. I'd be interested in knowing about a site that
    can download faster.

    Once I download it, I will burn it to a CD on the Windows system and
    try it out on the FREEDOS machine or the RH 6.3 machine.

    The machine I'm writing this from is another alternative, in principle:
    it is also running RedHat 7.1 and is a Dell Latitude CsX. The reason I
    don't really consider it an alternative which can support the backup
    CD's from the HP Pavilion is that I once dropped its AC adaptor which
    caused damage to the cord that goes from the rectangular box to the
    laptop. Unfortunately, the damage is almost exactly at the place where
    the cord enters the box. I asked on sci.electronics.misc and got some
    encouraging answers, but was discouraged when someone pointed out that
    if I try to repair it, the fluid in the box that keeps it from overheating
    will leak out. I called Dell about replacing the AC adaptor and was told
    by one agent that it would cost $60 to replace (plus S&H) and by another
    agent that it would cost $80. I decided it probably wasn't worth it,
    since there must be a used Dell Latitude CsX selling for less than that
    or some kind of place that sells used parts that has one cheaply. However,
    I don't actually know of a place that will do it. One person on
    sci.electronics.misc in the UK offered to send me one if I would reimburse
    him for S&H, but then changed his mind when he contemplated the issue
    of exchanging dollars for Euros.

    One reason I got the HP Pavilion was to provide an alternative to the
    Dell Latitude CsX which had the extremely undesirable feature that it
    could not be backed up: its CD drive was read-only. I struggled with
    this problem for years, constantly worried that the machine would die
    with all my information on it. I asked some friends who are pretty
    knowledgeable for help but got nowhere. We also tried putting the machines
    on a network, without success. Then I learned about flash drives last year.
    It turned out that the Dell Latitude CsX has a USB port. I eventually
    figured out how to mount the flash drive under Linux and was able to
    back up the laptop in increments of 250 MB, which for a 4 GB drive didn't
    take very long. Now I think flash drives are the best thing since sliced bread.
    Since then, I've considered the Dell Latitude CsX expendable, particularly
    in view of the damaged AC adaptor. But if I can replace the AC Adaptor
    cheaply, the Dell Latitude can be the part of the solution for a change,
    instead of the problem. The reason I'm able to use it now to log in is that
    my friend has a different model Dell Latitude and its AC Adaptor works fine
    with my machine, even if it might be screwing up the battery. When my friend
    leaves, if I can't figure out how to get my own AC Adaptor into exactly
    the unique shape in which it will conduct electricity, the machine
    that presently runs FREEDOS can probably be called into service for that
    purpose: I used to use it to dialup my ISP when I had RH 6.3 running on it.
    The same probably applies to the HP Pavilion or the machine presently
    running RH 6.3, but I don't know that for a fact because I haven't used
    them for that with the operating systems they are running. Apart from that,
    I don't want to put the HP Pavilion on the internet, since I don't want
    to worry about it getting hacked into.
     
    Allan Adler, Jul 24, 2006
    #14
  15. Allan Adler

    Jeremy Boden Guest

    Just give up. Any time someone tries to help, you bring up some fresh
    irrelevancy.
     
    Jeremy Boden, Jul 24, 2006
    #15
  16. I got one from http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/download.html
    I grabbed the 2 binary files for DOS (I admit it, I'm a DOS lover):

    Binary DOS : sbminst.exe (Support file: cwsdpmi.exe)

    Then put yet another floppy in, ran (as found in the Documentation section):

    sbminst -t us -d 0

    That's "-t us" as in Theme US, followed by "-d 0" as in Drive Zero (install to
    first available floppy). Only took a few seconds. I think it replaces the floppy's
    boot sector with its own program, as the stuff that was on the floppy was no
    longer accessible.

    Just for fun, I dragged out a 486/dx4-100 I have in my pile, no hard drive,
    32 megs RAM, a floppy and a CD. Booted to the BIOS to verify it couldn't
    boot to CD (only C,A or A,C), then popped in the new boot floppy, popped
    in an obviously home-made WinXP Pro CD I also found in that wonderful
    dumpster, and rebooted.

    The floppy's SBM program came up, I picked the option of booting to the CD,
    verified my choice, and XP happily started its install procedure, but it got mad
    because I didn't have the right CPUID response or something, and quit.
    Silly XP, doesn't like 486's?

    At least that proves that it will boot a system with no "boot to CD" option.
    I don't suppose RH has free CDs and free shipping like the Ubuntu guys?
     
    MasterBlaster, Jul 24, 2006
    #16
  17. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    That's what I got earlier.
    That's encouraging. When I read the documentation earlier, I thought I
    was going to have to figure out how to write theme files.
    I'll try it later today.

    Regarding my attempts to download a UMBC RH7.3 Linux distribution CD,
    in order to install it on another machine as added insurance prior to
    upgrading the HP Pavilion: recall that the only machine on which I could
    possibly do this was my friend's Windows XP laptop with wi-fi, but that
    that machine kept shutting down after being left alone for more than 15
    minutes or so. It turns out that this shut-down feature can be disabled.
    After doing so, I let the machine run for 5 or 6 hours while I slept and
    when I checked on it at 5am, the entire file umbc-redhat-1.1.iso had
    downloaded.

    That's the good news. The bad news is that neither I nor my friend knows
    enough about Windows XP to burn the CD with this image. When I put a blank
    CD in the drive, a window pops up which gives me the following options:
    (1) Open writable CD folder using Windows Explorer
    (2) Burn a CD using Windows Media Player
    (3) Format using Sonic DLA
    (4) Add Files using Sonic RecordNow Data
    (5) Burn CD using MUSICMATCH Burner Plus
    (6) Create CD using Corel Photo Album 6
    (7) Take no action.

    The goal is not to make the nearly 700 MB file umbc-redhat-1.1.iso
    (actually, I saved it as umbcrh11.iso to avoid confusing Windows, just
    in case) a file on the CD but to do the equivalent of the Linux cdrecord
    command, so that the file actually becomes bytewise the entire CD.
    Is that possible?

    If not, the only alternative is to find some way of splitting the file
    umbcrh11.iso into smaller pieces that I can fit onto a 256 MB flash drive,
    carry them over to the HP Pavilion, reassemble them and burn the CD there
    with cdrecord. Is there any way to do that under Windows?

    On the Windows XP machine, one can get a DOS prompt. So, maybe there is
    a free (FREE)DOS program that will do a binary split of such a large file
    and maybe I can run the program under Windows XP with a DOS prompt.
    Do you know of one? I've been using Google to search for one but haven't
    found what I'm looking for. To be explicit, it is the following: a program
    that will take a file and split it into files of a specified size which,
    when then arrive on the HP Pavilion, can be reassembled into an identical
    copy of the original file using the cat command under Linux, i.e.
    cat piece1 piece2 .... > replica_of_original_file.
     
    Allan Adler, Jul 25, 2006
    #17
  18. http://shareware.pcmag.com/category.php[id]111[SiteID]pcmag

    The first one on the page is a file splitter, though I haven't tried it.
    I only point to that site because it also has Splitv10 :

    http://shareware.pcmag.com/product.php[id]25871[cid]111[SiteID]pcmag

    which I *do* have, and use on occasion, and it's only 30kb.

    Or, just go to that first page, and type "split" in the search box, to get a more
    manageable 13 pages of results. Click on the "size" header a couple of times
    to sort from smallest to biggest, and download a few.

    I'm not sure if the ones that don't say "for Windows" will work under XP (it isn't a
    *real* DOS prompt, so they might not). Try a bunch, I'm sure something will.

    You could even write your own using Qbasic, but these ones work a LOT faster.
     
    MasterBlaster, Jul 26, 2006
    #18
  19. Allan Adler

    Allan Adler Guest

    Thanks, I'll check these out.

    Following your suggestions, I tried out

    sbminst -t us -d 0

    on the FREEDOS machine, since I didn't want to risk anything on the
    HP Pavilion, and it worked fine. I rebooted the floppy and was able
    to tell the boot manager to boot Ubuntu Live from the CDROM drive.
    Of course, the FREEDOS machine can already boot from the CDROM drive.

    Then I took the floppy out and inserted it in the drive for the
    HP Pavilion and booted. This time, the menu for the boot manager
    didn't show the CDROM drive, so it was impossible to boot from it.

    Maybe when Smart Boot Manager is installed with
    sbminst -t us -d 0
    on the floppy, it has to be done on the machine on which it is going to
    be used and can't necessarily be used on any other machine.

    I'll make another DOS boot floppy that can detect the CDROM drive and
    install Smart Boot Manager on it from the HP Pavilion and see whether
    I have any better luck. On the other hand, you mentioned that installing
    SBM overwrote files on your floppy and that might have included whatever
    was able to detect the CDROM drive in my case. I tried booting a FREEDOS
    floppy on the HP Pavilion and then looking at the floppy I had made with
    SMB on it and got gibberish for its directory. I tried to recycle the
    SMB floppy by having FREEDOS format it with the /s option, which it did,
    but it also reported 7 bad allocation units on the diskette. I don't know
    if that is part of the problem. I also copied sbminst.exe and the other
    supporting exe file you mentioned to it and, on the HP Pavilion, again
    executed: sbminst -t us -d 0
    and then rebooted. The behavior was unchanged, but I have to admit that
    I hadn't completely restored it to its original condition when I installed
    sbm on it, since I hadn't included the stuff that had originally enabled
    the floppy to detect the cdrom drive. So, to be thorough, I have to try
    it once more, and with a floppy in better condition.

    This pertains to the problem of booting the Ubuntu Live CD on the
    HP Pavilion, which I don't absolutely have to do. As soon as I'm ready
    to upgrade the operating system, I can probably use the FREEDOS disk that
    can detect the CDROM drive and install the same way that I installed RH 7.1
    a couple of years ago. However, it would be nice to know definitely whether
    chain booting is impossible on the HP Pavilion or not. There are other ways
    to use the Smart Boot Manager, including from a Linux boot floppy with
    syslinux installed on it. I still don't understand how to do it, but maybe
    it will prove to be more flexible.
     
    Allan Adler, Jul 26, 2006
    #19
  20. Try rebooting a few times, with and without the CD in the drive.
    It didn't always see the CDROM here, either.

    Oh, never mind the rebooting... apparently, hitting Ctrl+I (not L) in SBM will
    "rescan" the drives. Maybe I should read *all* the docs first. :)
    Mine said it had 2 files, totalling 3.6GB, and some huge folders too.
    One heck of a big floppy disk!

    Did a W95 "quick" format, it said I had some bad sectors. I did a "full" reformat,
    reinstalled SBM, and now it shows as empty, with no filenames, weird or not.
     
    MasterBlaster, Jul 26, 2006
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.