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Thread: Persistent Cheat Codes

  1. #1
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    Persistent Cheat Codes

    Hi Folks,

    Can anyone tell me if there is a method to automatically enter Cheat Codes so I don't have to key 'knoppix home=...... config=...... fromhd=........' every time I boot Knoppix (4.0.2 CD)?

    I'm a newbie running Knoppix with the Poor Man's Installation on older PII and PIII computers.

    Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

    ........ dbar

  2. #2
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    Re: Persistent Cheat Codes

    Quote Originally Posted by dbar
    ...I'm a newbie running Knoppix with the Poor Man's Installation on older PII and PIII computers. ...
    If you are using the PMI, this means that you are already booting Knoppix from the hdd
    and that you are already using a different bootloader than the one on the CD.
    If you are using grub, I will suggest you to modify the grub config menu.lst file.
    If you are using lilo, I will suggest you to modify the lilo.conf file and then run lilo to commit the changes.
    Best Regards,
    Gilles

  3. #3
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    Persistent Cheat Codes

    Gilles, many thanks for your reply.

    Unless I'm missing something entirely here (which would not be unusual in my case), I'm not using either GRUB or lilo to boot Knoppix. I boot Knoppix from the CD, and at the boot prompt type in "knoppix home=/dev/hda5 config=/dev/hda5 fromhd=/dev/hda1". The Knoppix CD image co-exists in a file on hda1 (fat32) with some installed version of Windows, usually 98. Persistant Home resides on hda5 (fat32) as a file.

    After more than 40 years at a typewriter / keyboard, I am sorry to say, I have only been able to get (almost) 2 1/2 fingers involved in the typing process ... and here lies my problem. Knoppix is wonderful. I love everything about it. The way I have it set up now suites my purpose to a tee ... except having to type in those cheat codes every time I boot it. So, without using using grub or lilo, is there a way to modify the Knoppix CD boot process to include the cheat codes so I can avoid typing them in every time?

    Regards,
    dbar

  4. #4
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    dbar,

    I don't know of a way, without grub or lilo, to do what you want.

    However, it appears you are using the very basic PMI that has the Knoppix image on hard disk but still uses the CD to boot. Gilles was referring to a more sophisticated 'WinPartition' PMI that uses the hard disk for booting as well. This removes the need for the CD, as well as saving you typing cheat codes every time you boot. In order to work it does need a special version of Grub, which works with Windows. You do not have to worry about disk partitioning or upsetting Master Boot Records or the Windows system. You copy some files and adjust your Windows boot up files and away you go. If you are competant with Windows Explorer, can download files from the Internet and can edit text files, you can do it.

    I would point you at the Wiki page on how to do this, but it is a little out of date.

    Let me know if you are interested and I will attempt to provide some instructions for Windows 98 for you.

    ICPUG

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICPUG
    I don't know of a way, without grub or lilo, to do what you want.
    Until I saw your response worded exactly that way, I didn't think I knew any way either, short of remastering. But there actually is an easy way, and it's a tool I use on most of my systems:

    I like installing a boot loader other than grub or lilo. I've used Smart Boot Manager on some systems that would not boot from CD, but I like XOSL a lot more and find it has a lot more features. And it includes SBM code to give the CD boot on systems that don't support it or don't get it right. One of the features of XOSL is that it can type in things at boot time. I use this, for example, to have one menu item that boot Windows and another that boots to the command prompt only (I don't have to wait for the exact point in the boot sequence or remember which function key I need to use that way). If you nstall XOSL on a system (give it it's own tiny 2-4 meg partition), then you could have a menu system that included things like:
    Code:
    1. Windows
    2. Debian
    3. CD in drive #1
    4. CD in drive #2
    5. CD in drive #1 with Knoppix startup arguments
    6. Floppy
    7. DOS command prompt only
    So a simple XOSL install would give this feature without remastering and provide other utility too.

  6. #6
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    Oh dear! My wording was not quite correct. When I said:

    I don't know of a way, without grub or lilo, to do what you want.

    I meant

    I don't know of a way, without a boot manager, to do what you want.

    In mitigation of my error, I would point out that dbar mentioned Grub and Lilo, so I repeated what the user was comfortable with.

    In my time trying to determine a foolproof method, for newbies and worriers like me, to dual boot Knoppix and Windows I investigated a number of boot managers. Grub, Lilo, Smart Boot Manager, Loadlin amongst them. I finally settled on Grub as my preferred option, especially the customised versions from the Grub4Dos project. As I said, I am a worrier. From all I read, I deemed Grub to be the most versatile, still actively supported and the least likely to screw up my system. Something that dare not happen to a newbie who wants to try and move away from Windows by trying Linux, but not lose their capability to run Windows.

    I had not heard of XOSL so I did some Googling. XOSL is just another boot manager. I found the following two statements about XOSL in the documentation I found.

    Currently XOSL can only be installed to FAT16 or FAT32 partitions (provided that your version of DOS supports it).

    No good for NTFS users then

    The MBR (first sector of a hard disk) contains an IPL (Initial Program Loader, or whatever you want to call it) and a partition table. When XOSL is installed, it replaces the existing IPL, with one to load XOSL.

    Messing about with an MBR, along with introducing new partitions, is, in my opinion, too much of a risk to screwing up the Windows system.

    Consequently XOSL is no good to me on two counts already. It may be a perfectly good option for those who are happy to bit twiddle with their hard drives - but too much of a risk for me.

    The grub files from the Grub4Dos project do not need new partitions, do not mess with the MBR and are really easy to install - just copy a file to the right place.

    I realise that were I to do a full hard disk installation of Debian Linux, or some such, then I would have to do something different - but that is not what is asked for in this thread.

    ICPUG

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICPUG
    I had not heard of XOSL so I did some Googling. XOSL is just another boot manager.
    Yes, it's a boot manager. Name stands for eXtended Operating System Loader. "Just another Boot Manager" is a bit of an understatement though, it's a very capable and powerful boot manager.

    Quote Originally Posted by ICPUG
    Currently XOSL can only be installed to FAT16 or FAT32 partitions (provided that your version of DOS supports it).

    No good for NTFS users then
    No, you're coming to the wrong conclusion there. By the same logic you would also say that it's not good for Linux users or anyone other than DOS and old windows versions users. While XOSL can install to a Windows partition, I find it best to give it it's own small (2 meg) partition on the disk. From there it can boot any OS, and it can do a lot of things that Microsoft pretends can't be done, like boot Windows from a logical drive on an extended partition on the second, third or forth hard drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by ICPUG
    The MBR (first sector of a hard disk) contains an IPL (Initial Program Loader, or whatever you want to call it) and a partition table. When XOSL is installed, it replaces the existing IPL, with one to load XOSL.
    Absolutely. Just as Lilo and Grub do if you elect to install them to the MBR (as most users do). On thing I find real nice about XOSL is that you install it once and then you are pretty much done, unless some other OS (like anything from Microsoft, or letting lilo or grub install to the MBR) overwrites the MBR. But XOSL does prepare for that and makes a backup copy of the MBR, do it is very easy to restore XOSL with all of your curent configurations, should any program fecide to stomp on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ICPUG
    Messing about with an MBR, along with introducing new partitions, is, in my opinion, too much of a risk to screwing up the Windows system.
    Well, as you say, that's your opnion. In my experience it's never caused a problem and likely has avoided many. I see plenty of cases here where people install Lilo or Grub and let it install to the MBR, then can't get WinXP to boot again. When I install Linux I always tell the installer to install the Linux boot loader to the Linux partition. On booting XOSL, if told to select Linux, can then call the Linux boot loader from it's own partition. I never have to mess with a grub configuration file or worse, reconfigure Lilo and reinstall it to the MBR. I can have two or more different linux systems on the same computer and don't have to reconfigure any of their boot programs as I add or remove OSs, since each boot loader stays on the Linux partition with it's OS and only has to deal with loading that OS (as opposed to writing Grub to the IPL on the MBR, which then needs to have config files that show all of the OSs available). The bottom line is that a Windows system with XOSL as a boot laoder is much less likely to ever have boot problems after Installing or removing a Linux system on another partition than one without it that needs Grub or Lilo,

    Quote Originally Posted by ICPUG
    Consequently XOSL is no good to me on two counts already.
    You seem to be on a bit of a cursade here to put this solution down, but I believe I have responded to both of your counts already.

    Quote Originally Posted by ICPUG
    It may be a perfectly good option for those who are happy to bit twiddle with their hard drives - but too much of a risk for me.
    As already stated it is in no way any more risky than Lilo or Grub and in many ways less risky. But you sure don't have to use it if you don't want. I would just ask that you not invet undue FUD about any alterntive than your own personal religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by ICPUG
    The grub files from the Grub4Dos project do not need new partitions, do not mess with the MBR and are really easy to install - just copy a file to the right place.

    I realise that were I to do a full hard disk installation of Debian Linux, or some such, then I would have to do something different - but that is not what is asked for in this thread.

    ICPUG
    And Grub, if not installed to the Linux partition, does overwrite the windows boot code. I'm happy with XOSL.

    But my real reason for presenting my first post in this thread, beyond the poor wording on your part that only the boot loader that you use could solve the problem, is that XOSL is far more powerful than most boot loaders in this area too. While many boot loaders can indeed pass along a few arguments when they start an OS, XOSL is the only one that I know that can further interact with the OS while it boots. It can watch the Keyboard buffer and stuff in keystrokes as the OS is ready to accept them. In this way it can do far more than Grub can as it boots an OS.

    Use it or ignore it as you see fit, but please don't spread Fear, Uncertainily, and Doubt against a very good tool just because it is one that you don't have experience with.

    And while XOSL can boot Linux systems (it just does this by calling the Linux boot loader installed to the Linux partition), it can boot Windows or any other OS that is suitable for the 8086 PC platform (including OS2, Unix, and more, as well as any OS on a bootable CD or other media). There have been articles about people booting over 30 different OS on the same PC with it. You don't have to fool with manually editing configuration files like you do with Lilo or Grub. And you don't have to learn yet another boot loader if you want to work with another OS, or figure out how to make that system's boot loader and the Linux boot loader co-exist. You learn one good, clean and easy tool and then you have the right tool for booting any system. Knowing and using one easy but powerful tool strikes me as much safer than letting any OS that want to overwrite the IPL code in the MBR.

    By the way, it includes the SBM code for booting from CDs even on systems that don't support CD booting. And it includes a partition and format too right in the boot manager (Ranish), so it becomes extremely simple to work with partitioning when you need to, two other things that you don't have if you let Grub take over the MBR.

  8. #8
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    What have I done to incur the wrath of Harry?

    I happen to have a differing opinion regarding the level of risk involved in disk partioning and altering the MBR and I am accused of spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, (FUD). There are enough posts in these forums to show that a number of users have had problems when overwriting the MBR. Additionally, newbies from a Windows environment do not always know how to answer the partitioning questions, (how many and size for example), let alone overcome the problems Windows may throw up, (like saving little bits at the end of a partition that seem impervious to the defragmentation process - making the partition extremely difficult to subdivide). This is not FUD. It has been reported and so I consider it a potential risk. Windows does throw up all sorts of obstacles and it is not FUD when I mention potential effects. Also, the majority of Windows users are not as clever as Harry, and this has to be considered when presenting solutions to their problems.

    I am not 'on a bit of a crusade here to put this solution (XOSL) down'. I have the same concern about LILO or full Grub install, when used simply to boot the Knoppix ISO or cloop file from a CD or hard drive, which is what was originally asked for. Apart from a full Linux install, where I have already said I would have to do something different, I am intrigued by XOSL in another way. Would it somehow boot a USB Flash Memory stick when the BIOS will not boot from it? That would be useful.

    If Harry's response had simply been a difference of opinion I might have let sleeping dogs lie. However, being called a liar is not something I will tolerate.

    Harry said:

    ICPUG wrote:

    The grub files from the Grub4Dos project do not need new partitions, do not mess with the MBR and are really easy to install - just copy a file to the right place.

    I realise that were I to do a full hard disk installation of Debian Linux, or some such, then I would have to do something different - but that is not what is asked for in this thread.


    And Grub, if not installed to the Linux partition, does overwrite the windows boot code. I'm happy with XOSL.
    While full Grub install will overwrite Windows boot code, I was clearly talking about the grub files from Grub4DOS, (grub.exe for Windows 9x and DOS; grldr for Windows XP). It is simply not true that these files will overwrite Windows boot code and to suggest otherwise is your own brand of FUD, Harry.

    I guess whatever Harry thinks of my different opinions, it does not matter. dbar seems to have gone anyway!

    ICPUG

  9. #9
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    Hi ICPUG;

    WOW! What have I started here? My apologies for disappearing for so long amid all the opinion crunching.

    ICPUG, I'll take you up on your offer of providing me with instructions for downloading and installing that special Windows GRUB version that won't mess up my HD or MBR ... if you're still willing to help.

    Umpteen family members and friends (newer newbies than I) who I have introduced to Knoppix, also eagerly await your reply.

    Harry, I'm not taking sides here. I just want a way for me and mine to slap in the Knoppix CD, boot up the computer, hit Enter and enjoy Knoppix the way I left it last time it was run with all the config changes, settings and documents intact.

    If there was anyway Knoppix could start up like Puppy using the pup001 file, that would be great.

    dbar

  10. #10
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    Hi dbar,

    Glad to see you have returned. I have been away a few days so I hope you have not given up on me.

    I will have a look at getting those instructions for you. I have done the instructions for another distro (Puppy). I have Knoppix working. It is just I have not written the instructions! Give me some time and I will be back!

    ICPUG

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