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Thread: ISO boot from FAT/NTFS/USB (GRUB.exe, grldr from boot.ini)

  1. #11
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    Re: Knoppix34.iso boot from a single NTFS partition

    Quote Originally Posted by j.drake
    Phase 1: I would like to boot from a USB key, in my case, it's /dev/sda1/. There is a lot of info on the WIKI and this forum about doing that with previous versions, but I couldn't find anything relevant to version 3.4. I think bootfloppies are pointless.
    As far as I know, the Knoppix CD can access USB keys and other 1394 peripherals after having mounted the loopback file (/knoppix/knoppix). Now what you are trying to do is different, you want the kernel (linux24) and the ramdisk (minirt24.gz) to be able to access the content of the USB dongle to mount the loopback file. This means that the kernel and the ramdisk should have the ressources to mount a USB device and the filesystem in it, and also the script (linuxrc) to to look for the loopback file. I am not sure if that is already the case, but if not it could probably be done. If I remember right the minirt24.gz ramdisk of the Knoppix 2.3 CD (which is a compressed ext2 filesystem) doesn't include any scsi driver, and I think that a USB dongle is seen as such a device. Now the question is: how can it be done and if someone have already done it, where can it be found ? This is quite similar to what I am trying to achieve right now... execpt that I am looking for a boot from a single NTFS partition already hosting XP and with a minimum of changes and risk for the user.

    Quote Originally Posted by j.drake
    Phase 2: I would like to integrate my cheatcodes into this boot image if possible. The idea being that if I want Windows running, I simply leave out the USB key and boot with the stock Windows XP bootloader. When I want Knoppix, I simply plug in the USB key, reboot, go get a beer, and when I come back from the kitchen, my knoppix 3.4/2.6 desktop is up and
    waiting for me, printer file installed and apps in my PH available to me. IOW, I want to integrate the following cheatcode line"knoppix26 home=/dev/hdb5 myconfig=scan bootfrom=/dev/hdb5".
    This could be done by using the proper boot loader (lilo or preferably grub) on your USB dongle and using the right boot parameters after the kernel command line, assuming that your BIOS can boot on a USB device. If not you can use grub.exe from the dos, or grldr (grub version which can be started from the NT/XP boot loader using a extra line in the boot.ini). Grldr can be located on either a fat16/32 or NTFS partition.

    Quote Originally Posted by j.drake
    Phase 3: When I can afford a 1 GB USB thumbdrive or larger (probably much larger), I want to integrate the Knoppix image, PH, configuration file and data into the thumbdrive as well, so that I can have access to my entire system, apps, preferences and data available to me from any x86 PC I can find with a USB port.
    If the 1) can be done, then just add the loopback file system image in your dongle fat32 partition, add the right cheatcode and go drink your beer...

    BTW: have you seen this: http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtop...t=5257&start=0

    Hoping this will help a little bit... Cheers, Gilles

  2. #12
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    JD -- Here's some ideas for you. Happy to be a guinea pig. I expect you or someone else will catch some errors.

    So, you set your BIOS's boot order to boot first off the USB key, then off the hard disk. If it doesn't find a USB key, it boots into Windows. That what you're looking for?

    Do you have a spare partition that's formatted any other way than NTFS? Because my experiments indicate that Knoppix won't boot from NTFS without the CD in the drive (it's accessed at that "Accessing KNOPPIX CDROM at..." line). It will boot without the CD from ext2 for sure, probably FAT32, ext3, and ReiserFS as well (not tested).

    So, say you have hda2 formatted as ext2 (or anything else but NTFS). You create a /KNOPPIX directory on it and copy the big 679MB /KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX file off the CD to it.

    Next, connect your USB key and run Knoppix from the CD. Get root in a console. If the USB key's not formatted, format it:

    mkfs -t vfat /dev/sda1

    Then, mount it -- mount /mnt/sda1

    Copy the following files from the /boot/isolinux directory on the Knoppix CD (which is already mounted as /cdrom if you're running from the live CD) to the USB key:

    boot.cat
    german.kbd
    linux24
    logo.16
    minirt24.gz
    isolinux.cfg
    boot.msg
    linux26
    memtest
    minirt26.gz

    Change the name of "isolinux.cfg" to "syslinux.cfg".

    Say you want to use kernel 2.6. Edit syslinux.cfg so the first 2 lines read:

    DEFAULT linux26
    APPEND lang=us noapm vga=791 initrd=minirt26.gz fromhd=/dev/hda2 alsa

    (Substitute your cheat codes, but leave the reference to "initrd=" and leave the "fromhd=" line -- that's what tells Knoppix to boot from hda2/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX.)

    Finally, umount your USB key and make it bootable with syslinux:

    umount /mnt/sda1
    syslinux /dev/sda1


    (A new file, "ldlinux.sys", should be on the key now.)

    Test it. It should boot to the familiar Knoppix boot screen. Since you've added all your cheatcodes to "syslinux.cfg" all you have to do is press Enter -- or wait for the default timeout. I'm posting from Knoppix run that way now.

  3. #13
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    Boot from a USB key dongle

    JD: in the same order, if you have an extra non-ntfs partition to store your loop back file system image (cd/knoppix/knoppix), you can use the autoexec.bat of a dos formatted and active partition on your dongle to run grub.exe and start knoppix. Cheers, Gilles

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek
    JD -- Here's some ideas for you. Happy to be a guinea pig. I expect you or someone else will catch some errors.

    So, you set your BIOS's boot order to boot first off the USB key, then off the hard disk. If it doesn't find a USB key, it boots into Windows. That what you're looking for?

    Do you have a spare partition that's formatted any other way than NTFS? Because my experiments indicate that Knoppix won't boot from NTFS without the CD in the drive (it's accessed at that "Accessing KNOPPIX CDROM at..." line). It will boot without the CD from ext2 for sure, probably FAT32, ext3, and ReiserFS as well (not tested).
    Yes, more details here: http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtop...?p=53297#53297 , but that's what I want. Just like it currently boots into Windows if Knoppix CD is not present - I want to do the same with the USB key and fromhd cheatcode. As you can see in the linked post, my persistent home hdb5 is ext2, and I have a FAT32 at hdb1.

    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek
    So, say you have hda2 formatted as ext2 (or anything else but NTFS). You create a /KNOPPIX directory on it and copy the big 679MB /KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX file off the CD to it.

    Next, connect your USB key and run Knoppix from the CD. Get root in a console. If the USB key's not formatted, format it:

    mkfs -t vfat /dev/sda1

    Then, mount it -- mount /mnt/sda1
    So far, I've done all that.

    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek
    Copy the following files from the /boot/isolinux directory on the Knoppix CD (which is already mounted as /cdrom if you're running from the live CD) to the USB key:

    boot.cat
    german.kbd
    linux24
    logo.16
    minirt24.gz
    isolinux.cfg
    boot.msg
    linux26
    memtest
    minirt26.gz

    Change the name of "isolinux.cfg" to "syslinux.cfg".

    Say you want to use kernel 2.6. Edit syslinux.cfg so the first 2 lines read:

    DEFAULT linux26
    APPEND lang=us noapm vga=791 initrd=minirt26.gz fromhd=/dev/hda2 alsa

    (Substitute your cheat codes, but leave the reference to "initrd=" and leave the "fromhd=" line -- that's what tells Knoppix to boot from hda2/KNOPPIX/KNOPPIX.)

    Finally, umount your USB key and make it bootable with syslinux:

    umount /mnt/sda1
    syslinux /dev/sda1


    (A new file, "ldlinux.sys", should be on the key now.)
    AHA! That's the missing step I need! Just out of curiosity why german.kbd?

    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek
    Test it. It should boot to the familiar Knoppix boot screen. Since you've added all your cheatcodes to "syslinux.cfg" all you have to do is press Enter -- or wait for the default timeout. I'm posting from Knoppix run that way now.
    Thank you so very, very much, sir. I cannot wait to try it out.

    jd

  5. #15
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    Well, I'm back. On reboot, white characters against a black screen "error loading operating system" (before the knoppix boot screen). Well, at least I know that the boot order in BIOS is working.

    I retraced my steps and fixed some mistakes, but the same result. Only thing of note occurred when I followed these steps:

    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek
    Finally, umount your USB key and make it bootable with syslinux:

    umount /mnt/sda1
    syslinux /dev/sda1

    (A new file, "ldlinux.sys", should be on the key now.)
    I received the following prompt after that step:

    "Total number of sectors not a multiple of sectors per track! Add mtools_skip_check=1 to your .mtoolsrc to skip this test"

    The first time, I assumed it was advisory and blew it off, but it happened again. Also, there was no "ldlinux.sys" file visible with the others when I issued an ls command.

    While I have you here, a few other questions:
    1. In the syslinux.cfg edit I did, I left in a few default values (for the ramdisk size and the like) and did not add the "alsa". I changed the ones you indicated and added the ones you indicated, as well as my own. From what you said, I assume that was ok. As for the alsa, I just left it out because I never use that cheatcode. Sound OK?

    2. Is there any way to stop the linuxtag thing from popping up in Konqueror, and the knoppix icon on the desktop that points to all the linuxtag stuff? I'd prefer to leave that out

    I know there's a way to deal with kmix popping up, so I'll lok for that myself unless you happen to know off the top of your head.


    Thank you so much for your efforts. When this gets debugged, I'd like to update the WIKI with this for poor man's install and USB booting in version 3.4, because it's very outdated. May I attribute your contribution to you?

    jd

  6. #16
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    You do realize that I'm just Googling for info, trying stuff out, and reporting back -- i.e. I'm making this all up I go along?

    Try doing exactly what the error message says -- make a /root/.mtoolsrc file that contains the line "mtools_skip_check=1" and see if that works. If it doesn't, try pulling everything off your thumbdrive that you want to save, reformat it in Knoppix using vfat, and try syslinux again. (I don't think it matters if you run syslinux before or after you copy files onto the drive.)

    I think that many of the parameters that are in the default "isolinux.cfg" file (like the ramdisk size) are also set by the startup script in the miniroot image.

    I think that the bare minimum you have to copy to the thumbdrive are the kernel and miniroot image pair you plan to use, boot.cat, boot.msg, logo.16, and isolinux.cfg.

    You can keep konqueror from popping up by deleting ~/.kde/Autostart/showindex.desktop from your persistent home. I think the way to keep kmix and the Knoppix icon from coming back is to start up the KDE Control Center, go to KDE Components > Session Manager, and enable "Restore manually saved session". You'll find a new entry near the bottom of the K Menu called "Save Session". Click on it when your desktop's set the way you want.

  7. #17
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    Knoppix 3.4 boot from a USB dongle

    Please find below an other way to boot Knoppix 3.4 boot from a USB dongle:
    1) Create a Fat (16) partition on your USB dongle and make if active so you your BIOS will boot from it. You can use fdisk.exe, partition magic, or qtparted from linux/knoppix ...
    2) install a dos boot on it: fdisk/mbr to install the master boot record, and sys.com to transfert the system io.sys, msdos.sys and command.com.
    3) create in the root of the USB dongle an empty config.sys and create an autoexec.bat with 1 line like grub.exe.
    4) in the root of the USB dongle, copy the grub.exe and create a file /boot/grub/menu.lst with a content like this, x being your fat partition on your hard drive: (type "root (hd, " + tab at the grub prompt to have a list of the partitions, grub has autocompletion...)
    title Knoppix 3.4 kernel 2.4
    kernel (hd,x)/knoppix/linux24 ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us quiet BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix lang=us
    initrd (hd,x)/knoppix/minirt24.gz
    boot
    5) copy the linux24, minirt24.gz and knoppix files from the CD into /knoppix of the fat partition of your hard drive
    This should work as well as the other option proposed by eco2geek.
    Grub will nevertheless boot from the net, in case your network card doesn't do PXE and will also boot from a floppy disk image which can be very useful if you don't have a floppy drive in your laptop...
    Cheers, Gilles
    PS: you can download temporarily grub.exe from this link: http://s94592085.onlinehome.us/grub/grub.exe

  8. #18
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    Gilles:

    - Is there a web site about your version of GRUB? Did you compile it yourself? (Topologilinux's version of GRUB only works in NTFS.)

    - When I was trying to get syslinux to work, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to transfer the DOS system to my USB key to make it boot to DOS. I've got several Win9x boot floppies laying around, but there's no DOS driver for my USB key (Memorex thumbdrive). Do you know of a generic one?

    - I couldn't find a precompiled syslinux binary for DOS that worked. Puppy Linux has an old one up on their download page, but it didn't work. I was happy to find that it worked fine from Knoppix. Do you know where I could get a current precompiled syslinux binary for DOS?

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek
    Gilles:
    - Is there a web site about your version of GRUB? Did you compile it yourself? (Topologilinux's version of GRUB only works in NTFS.)
    Yes there is a couple of websites: https://savannah.gnu.org/projects/grub/ and http://denbbs.angelskyarea.com/YaBB.cgi?board=discuss
    But I recompiled grub myself to include several patches all together: Grub-0.95+dos/ntfs patch+network patch
    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek
    - When I was trying to get syslinux to work, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to transfer the DOS system to my USB key to make it boot to DOS. I've got several Win9x boot floppies laying around, but there's no DOS driver for my USB key (Memorex thumbdrive). Do you know of a generic one?
    You may try this link: http://denbbs.angelskyarea.com/YaBB....num=1087878145
    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek
    - I couldn't find a precompiled syslinux binary for DOS that worked. Puppy Linux has an old one up on their download page, but it didn't work. I was happy to find that it worked fine from Knoppix. Do you know where I could get a current precompiled syslinux binary for DOS?
    Have a look here: http://syslinux.zytor.com/memdisk.php
    But I am not sure to understand your question. Syslinux is compiled for x86 and is usually started at boot time from the (PXE) BIOS via the CD/HD/Floppy/Network/... A hard way to do it from DOS would be to use grub.exe to load a floppy disk image which contains a syslinux boot...

    But generally speaking, the goal of grub is to be a generic boot loader. Via floppy emulation you can almost boot everything. Network and NTFS boot are very usefull. Binaries for DOS, CD/Floppy/HD boot sectors make it very versatile. Recently the capability to boot from the CD when the bios doesn't support it has been added. Well, there is a lot of activities around Grub these days and the next big challenge will be to get all these great patches merged and accepted by Okuji for the next official release of Grub !
    Hope this will help... Gilles

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by eco2geek
    You do realize that I'm just Googling for info, trying stuff out, and reporting back -- i.e. I'm making this all up I go along?

    Try doing exactly what the error message says -- make a /root/.mtoolsrc file that contains the line "mtools_skip_check=1" and see if that works. If it doesn't, try pulling everything off your thumbdrive that you want to save, reformat it in Knoppix using vfat, and try syslinux again. (I don't think it matters if you run syslinux before or after you copy files onto the drive.)
    Sure, as far as I can tell from searching around, I haven't found anyone who had done this and published a method, at least not for version 3.4. No question it's possible, easy perhaps, for people with more BASH experience than me. Problem is, the error message doesn't describe how. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that a filename beginning with a dot is hidden, so I obviously haven't seen it before, and had no idea on Earth where to "find" the file they suggested that I edit. Second, I'll look around to see if I can figure out how to edit a hidden file - I think I will be able to - we'll see. But third, I was really more interested in the fact that there might be diagnostic value in the message.

    At any rate, you have by far more skill and insight on this than I. I'm doing the best I can fumbling my way in the dark. Believe me, I have about 4-5 hours invested in Google searches here and elsewhere, and I try my best not to trouble anyone else with my issues until I hit a brick wall.

    I'm going to play around with the suggestions both of you offered. I have a couple of USB drives to play with, so I'll try some permutations out. Eco2geek, you obviously got it working with your method, so I'm focusing on it first. I think I understand it - your instructions are detailed and clear, and you were kind enough to educate me on the process Thanks againd to you and Gilles for your suggestions and assistance. I'm sure I'll get it working. In fact, I'm rather intrigued by Gilles' fixed that eliminate the need for the USB altogether, and once I get the USB working, I'll probably check them out.

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