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Thread: Booting Knoppix from HDD

  1. #1
    James
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    Booting Knoppix from HDD

    Hi all,

    I'm a Linux newbie, I recently got my hands on Knoppix 3.1, hoping to use it on my fathers laptop, that way I could show him Linux and not have to 'do anything' to his current M$ install. However it's not the newest laptop and you have to replace the floppy drive with the CD drive, AND it can't boot from the CD Drive (drive doesn't support it). So I can't boot from floppy and have a CD drive, and can't boot from a CD.

    I wonder would it be possible to install some sort of boot loader to allow
    him to load M$ as normal but also to make some small bootable partition with the Knoppix floppy image on. It's a bit far from not 'doing anything' to his laptop but would be nice to get it on there, this is only idea I've got and no real idea how to do it.

    Any ideas or help appreciated.

    James

  2. #2
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    Re: Booting Knoppix from HDD

    Salve James

    I wonder would it be possible to install some sort of boot loader to allow him to load M$ as normal but also to make some small bootable partition with the Knoppix floppy image on.
    What Windows is on that laptop? Win9x can switch to DOS-Modus.
    With loadlin must it possible to boot Knoppix from CD.
    You must copy the content of the Knoppix-bootdisk in one directory
    .... just my ideas, but I'm using M$ since over 2 years,
    not shure how to make it exactly.

    But your problem is a very interesting one - it must be posible to
    solve it and it must be part of the Knoppix-HowTo (still to be written)

    Hope that some of the M$ users can help you about your problem.
    Greetings
    rob

  3. #3
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    I take it the drives are not hot swappable. - bummer!

    I don't know if your dad would go for this but it is possible to boot an .iso directly from the hard drive. You would have to copy the .iso image onto a DOS partition, boot with a Linux floppy and tell it where to get the boot image from. If this sounds like something you want to do post back and we can go from there.

  4. #4
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    Salve James!
    Quote Originally Posted by rickenbacherus
    I don't know if your dad would go for this but it is possible to boot an .iso directly from the hard drive.
    I agree, when the laptop has engough hdd space this is easyser and
    better than my idea!

    Another idea:
    Tell me James is your interest to see Knoppix running (no other PC
    at home) or is you interest to see it running on this laptop?
    If there where a second PC and also the laptop had an Network-card,
    you can may use a boot disc to boot via network

    When you get no other ideas from here, speak with your father if
    his laptop has still 700 MB free space. The Knoppix-iso file would
    be only read by the boot floppy and nothing installed on hd, so
    it comparable as save as to boot Knoppix from CD.

    BTW, what do you know about this laptop? Has it more than 32 MB?
    I have an second, one Libretto with 32 MB and I haven't succsess
    to run it in text-modus yet.

    Good night,
    rob

  5. #5
    James
    Guest
    Thanks for the advice Guys,

    The laptop does have the hard drive space, (only just!) and it does have 80mb of RAM (16+64) I think. I'm hoping that will be enough to get it going just to demonstrate. It has Win2k if that matters, we do have a desktop PC that doesn't seem to want to run Knoppix though, I'm looking into that as a seperate problem, with that one there appears to be a problem writing to the RAMDISK after it is created, but I need more information on the errors before I can ask for help on that.

    So I just have to create the floppy boot disk from the Knoppix cd then with the iso copied over to the hard drive boot from the floppy and go from there. Sounds easy doesn't it! I think the M$ file system is NTFS, would that still work? Or would FAT32 be better? I understand Linux can read NTFS but not write. Here that would not be a problem though as we only want to read, but would the required modules be loaded by Knoppix to 'read' a M$ NTFS partition by default? I think this is the best idea, I'll try this one first.

    As for being 'HOT SWAPPABLE' they are but I've found that M$ does not recognise the cd drive when it has booted with the floppy in place and I swap it wit the cdrom drive. I then have to reboot to use the cdrom drive, I wonder if Linux would be able to get round this. It's worth a try.

    I'm intrigued to the booting from network idea to, however the network card is pcmcia and so needs drivers to run, again it's worth a try though. I'll look into do it that way too.

    I should be able to get at least one of these ways to work! I'll post back the results when I have try after this weekend.


    Thanks again,

    James

  6. #6
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    Well- if your drives are hot swappable just do this:

    1)Make a boot floppy (hopefully there is some info on how at knoppix.net-haven't looked into it myself)

    2)boot the floppy, it will load into ram (80 MB ram should be plenty if you used the fluxbox desktop or another light one) after it's loaded (it creates what is called a 'virtual drive' because it doesn't exist physically.)

    3)Yank the floppy & shove in the cd-rom drive (& disk of course)

    4)Then at the command prompt you just enter something like this:

    linux root=/dev/hdb (replace 'b' with your cd-rom drive letter if necessary)

    that should boot it and no installation whatsoever would be required.

  7. #7
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    I did a little reading - yes you can write to a fat/16 or fat32 partition and it is possible to write to an NTFS but it isn't recommended to try it on a partition with valuable data. I gues it's still kind of experimental.

  8. #8
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    Re: Booting Knoppix from HDD

    --You can create a small partition on the HD with a copy of the boot-en.img dd'ed to it and boot from the HD with the Knoppix CD in the drive.

    --I highly recommend you use Partition Magic ( http://www.powerquest.com/partitionmagic/ ) for shrinking the Windows partition, and MAKE A BACKUP of the hard drive beforehand, as well.

    --Shrink the Windows partition by about 128MB. (Of course you could try using ' parted ' under Knoppix as well but that may be putting the cart b4 the horse. )

    --Now: In Windows with the Knoppix CD in the drive, copy the x:\knoppix\boot-en.img file to "C:\".

    --Grab a copy of Tom's Root/boot ( http://www.toms.net/rb/ ), follow the instructions provided and boot the resulting floppy.

    --Run ' fdisk /dev/hda ' from Tom's and create a Primary partition #2 ('n', 'p', '2'), of size one cylinder or 8MB, whichever is closest to the size of a 1.44 floppy. (Use the 'p' command a lot in fdisk so as to make sure things are turning out the way you expect!)

    --Also create a type 82 Swap partition ('n', 'p', '3'... 't','3','82') using the rest of available space.

    ((still in fdisk))
    'a', '2' == Activate the boot flag on partition 2.

    --After writing the new partition table to disk ('w') you may have to reboot Tom's again in order to refresh the kernel's partition table info. And don't forget to:
    ' mkswap -c /dev/hda3 ' == Inits the swap partition.

    --Now you need to dd the floppy image to your new 1-cylinder partition:

    ' dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda2 ' == Assuming this is where your 1-cyl partition is! Zeros out the partition.
    ' mkdir /mnt/c '
    ' mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/c ' == Mount the Windows C: drive

    ' dd if=/mnt/c/boot-en.img of=/dev/hda2 bs=1M ' == DD the boot-en.img to the partition

    ' reboot ' == With the Knoppix CD in the drive.

    Example of what your hard disk should look like afterwards:
    Code:
    # fdisk -l
    
    Disk /dev/hda: 255 heads, 63 sectors, 9962 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 bytes
    
       Device Boot    Start       End    Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/hda1             1       204   1638598+   b  Win95 FAT32
    /dev/hda2   *       205       206     16065   83  Linux
    /dev/hda3           207       239    265072+  82  Linux swap
    --To re-activate the Windows boot partition from Knoppix:
    ' activate /dev/hda 1 ' == EXACTLY AS SHOWN!

    --From DOS, to activate the Knoppix partition:
    ' fdisk '
    ..."2" (Set bootable partition)
    ...Set it to the first non-DOS partition. Exit fdisk, and reboot.

    --Please post results. Good luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by James
    Hi all,

    I'm a Linux newbie, I recently got my hands on Knoppix 3.1, hoping to use it on my fathers laptop, that way I could show him Linux and not have to 'do anything' to his current M$ install. However it's not the newest laptop and you have to replace the floppy drive with the CD drive, AND it can't boot from the CD Drive (drive doesn't support it). So I can't boot from floppy and have a CD drive, and can't boot from a CD.

    I wonder would it be possible to install some sort of boot loader to allow
    him to load M$ as normal but also to make some small bootable partition with the Knoppix floppy image on. It's a bit far from not 'doing anything' to his laptop but would be nice to get it on there, this is only idea I've got and no real idea how to do it.

    Any ideas or help appreciated.

    James

  9. #9
    James
    Guest

    Up and running (Kind of)

    Hi All,

    So far I have tried the following,

    Making a bootable floppy disk and 'hot swapping' the knoppix cdrom in and running from there.

    This failed because I could not make the floppy disk.

    Next I tried to copy the knoppix iso onto the hard drive and boot from there, this worked ok, except I didn't manage to get kde running properly.

    Next I tried my favorate one, thanks to Dave_Bechtel for this one. I followed your instruction and they were perfect. Thank you for clearly noting everything I had to do. I followed the instructions and although I was a little lost a few times I kept going and stuck to the instructions, luckly for me they were simple! Well anyway it worked. Now we can boot either knoppix (from cd) or m$ from the hdd, so we don't need the floppy drive.

    However I was unable to get kde working, I now think I have a problem with my knoppix disk as on more than one machine it has failed to work, there seems to be some read errors that stop the ram drive from having the correct files copied to it.

    So I'm re-downloading and am going to try again.

    I wonder if we should put these instructions in some sort of HOWTO, as they were very helpful and may help others?

    Thanks again to everyone that helped.

  10. #10
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    Re: Up and running (Kind of)

    --WOW, I'm glad you got it up and running - cuz that was pretty much all from memory! Did you end up using Partition Magic?

    --To get KDE running, try the boot parm ' knoppix xmodule=vesa screen=1024x768 ' (or 800x600) and see what happens.

    --Thx for letting the board know that it all worked out.

    Best wishes and good luck,

    D.

    Quote Originally Posted by James
    Hi All,

    So far I have tried the following,

    Making a bootable floppy disk and 'hot swapping' the knoppix cdrom in and running from there.

    This failed because I could not make the floppy disk.

    Next I tried to copy the knoppix iso onto the hard drive and boot from there, this worked ok, except I didn't manage to get kde running properly.

    Next I tried my favorate one, thanks to Dave_Bechtel for this one. I followed your instruction and they were perfect. Thank you for clearly noting everything I had to do. I followed the instructions and although I was a little lost a few times I kept going and stuck to the instructions, luckly for me they were simple! Well anyway it worked. Now we can boot either knoppix (from cd) or m$ from the hdd, so we don't need the floppy drive.

    However I was unable to get kde working, I now think I have a problem with my knoppix disk as on more than one machine it has failed to work, there seems to be some read errors that stop the ram drive from having the correct files copied to it.

    So I'm re-downloading and am going to try again.

    I wonder if we should put these instructions in some sort of HOWTO, as they were very helpful and may help others?

    Thanks again to everyone that helped.

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