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Thread: HD install boot floppy

  1. #1

    HD install boot floppy

    Hey Knoppers,

    Ive installed 3.3 on the hd as a debian installation. That all went peachy. The problem is i cant work out how to build a boot floppy for it. The reason im not using the bootloader is that i have 3 windows installations on hidden partitions and i dont have any spare primary partitions. How can i create a bootdisk so i can boot into Knoppix (debian)?

    Ive tried searching the net and cant find anything simple enough to follow. Im pc experienced since the days of 286's but relatively new to linux. any ideas are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    i should also add that i cant run knoppix from the cd as after much wrangling with the cheatcodes thinking it was a video problem, it turned out to be a dodgy image. I checked the md5 checksum and its not as it should. the actual iso ive got is faulty, i got it off a magazine and have no way of downloading something that large off the net. The actual install went flawlessly though, i just cant boot to it!

  3. #3
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Portland, OR USA
    H'mm, the installer should have asked if you wanted to create a boot floppy when you installed Knoppix.

    In any case, try the mkboot command (run "man mkboot" for more info).

  4. #4
    thanks for taking the time to reply.

    sorry if im being thick, but how can i run that command if i cant boot into linux?

    can i run it from the boot prompt on the cd?

    remember i cant actually boot into knoppix from the cd as its faulty, but it only crashes when it tries to load X, so i can run things from the boot prompt.

  5. #5
    something that just struck me:

    i can make a floppy that boots to the cd ok, can i modify that to point to my knoppix/debian installation on hda7?

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    The cd boot disk is distinctly different from a boot disk used to boot a 'real' filesystem (as opposed to a compressed filesystem that is uncompressed on-the-fly).

    The boot disk is created at the end of the install script, you probably went too quick and only later did you realise ...

    The easiest fix would be to install again. Unless you wanted to learn a bit about rescuing a system.

  7. #7
    yes i would love to get some tips on rescuing a system, ive always learned best by breaking and fixing, breaking and fixing.

  8. #8
    well ran the installer again, and realised that there must have been a problem with the burn as i reburned the iso, and although it had the same problem as before running it from cd, at least the debian installer prompted for creation of the bootdisk this time.

    and i must say, after 6 months of being on fedora core 1, debian kills it. seems less klunky and more stable, not to mention running quicker, even though fedora was starting to zip after kde 3.2 and kernel 2.6.

    thanks for everyones input.

  9. #9
    Senior Member registered user
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Portland, OR USA
    Well, I apologize for the flippant answer. Here's a better one.

    The question was: I didn't make a boot floppy when I installed Knoppix to my hard drive. Can I make one while running the live CD?

    The answer is: Yes, if you know which partition you installed Knoppix on. (And if your version of Knoppix -- 3.3? -- includes GRUB...dunno that much about LILO.)

    An icon to your Knoppix hard disk partition should be on your desktop when running from the live CD. If you still don't know which partition it's on, find out using QTParted. For the purposes of this example, I'm using "hdb2" as the partition Knoppix is installed on. Replace "hdb2" in this example with yours. Do this as root.

    1. Format a floppy: mke2fs /dev/fd0

    2. Create some directories and copy some GRUB files to the floppy:
    cd /mnt/floppy
    mkdir boot
    cd boot
    mkdir grub
    cd /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc
    cp stage1 /mnt/floppy/boot/grub
    cp stage2 /mnt/floppy/boot/grub

    3. Create a text file named "menu.lst" and save it to the /boot/grub directory on your floppy. Mine looks like this (I'm using the latest version of Knoppix, so if you're using an earlier one, edit as necessary -- examine the files in your hard disk's /boot directory to find the right kernel and initrd names -- as noted above, you should be able to mount it while running the live CD):
    # ---------------------------------
    # GRUB boot menu configuration file
    # ---------------------------------
    # Pretty colors
    color cyan/blue white/blue
    # Boot automatically after 20 secs.
    timeout 20
    # By default, boot the first entry.
    default 0
    # Fallback to the third entry.
    fallback 2
    # For booting Knoppix (kernel 2.6.5)
    title Knoppix v3.4 (kernel 2.6.5)
    root (hd1,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.5 root=/dev/hdb2 vga=773 ro hdc=ide-scsi
    #initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.6.5
    # For booting Knoppix (kernel 2.4.26)
    title Knoppix v3.4 (kernel 2.4.26)
    root (hd1,1)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.26 root=/dev/hdb2 vga=773 ro hdc=ide-scsi
    #initrd /boot/initrd.img-2.4.26
    # For booting Windows XP
    title Windows XP
    rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    chainloader  +1
    Note: GRUB refers to hard disk partitions a bit differently than Linux does. It starts numbering at 0. For example, hda1 would be (hd0,0). hda2 would be (hd0,1), and so on. hdb1 is (hd1,0), hdb2 is (hd1,1), and so on. In my example, Knoppix is installed on hdb2, or (hd1,1) in GRUB parlance. Windows is installed on hda1, or (hd0,0) to GRUB.

    The "hdc=ide-scsi" part tells the kernel to see my CD-RW drive, hdc, as a SCSI device. If you don't have one, omit that part. Or if yours is really hdb, edit it to read "hdb=ide-scsi".

    4. Now, make the floppy boot to GRUB:
    /sbin/grub --batch >>EOT
    root (fd0)
    setup (fd0)
    Now you should be able to boot to Knoppix with your new boot floppy.

    Clear as mud? This is all straight from the GRUB manual.

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