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Install fedora on a PC that cannot boot from CDROM

Posted on 2004-03-20
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I have a very old x86 workstation from the early 90s. The system was very nice when I got it. The systems sepcs are -
400 mhz CPU
128 MB RAM
20GB HDD
3.5 inch floppy drive
etc.

The problem is that it won't boot from a CD-ROM. I need to know how to write a bootable floppy for it, so I can start the installation program. The system is currently running Windows 98.

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Question by:Arrummzen
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by:Arrummzen
ID: 10643049
By the way. I want to install Fedora Core 2, Test 1. There is a program on the CD-ROM called RawWrite, I think thats what I need to use. I can get it to write foppys, but none of them booted correctly, I just got a blank screen.

The system is an Gateway 2000
P5-166 XL.

It has been upgraded many times.

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Expert Comment

by:anupnellip
ID: 10643078
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by:Arrummzen
ID: 10643168
Will that work with Fedora Core 2, test 1?

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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by:anupnellip
ID: 10643185
YES it will work !
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by:Arrummzen
ID: 10643197
Well, I booted. But I got an error about it not being able to find the CDROM. I supose I need to do something special to get it to work?

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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by:Arrummzen
ID: 10643232
Is there anyway I can just boot to a BASH prompt, and then start the installation from there?

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 10644674
You can use a win9X boot floppy with CD support and go to the  CD/dosutils folder and run "autoboot". I think. It used to work on the RH distros before.
/RID
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by:Arrummzen
ID: 10644968
That didn't work. I got a copy of BSD to boot that has Linux binary compatability. Is there anyway I can launch the install from it?

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzne
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by:Gns
ID: 10648095
What type of CD drive is that... And how is it connected?

-- Glenn
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by:rfr1tz
ID: 10651628
Type "setup" from /dosutils. (not autoboot as stated above)



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by:Arrummzen
ID: 10710352
Type "setup" from /dosutils. (not autoboot as stated above)

On what OS? BSD?

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
0
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by:rid
ID: 10711190
The original suggestion wan assuming a boot to DOS/win9X (from floppy to obtain CD access). You don't need a Linux-compatible O/S for the install to be started.
/RID
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by:karlwilbur
ID: 10727103
Are you trying to install froma CD-R?  If so, Are you sure that your CD drive can read a CD-R. I ahve had a lot of trouble with using 2x, 4x and even 16x CD drives that cannot read a CD-R.  

To handle this, I'd just swap out the old drive with something newer temporarily (just for the install), then boot from floppy and everything went just fine.

-Karl
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by:Arrummzen
ID: 10750547
Is there no Fedora boot floppy?

I can't seem to access the disk from DOS, only from Windows and BSD....

Yea, im trying to use is CD-R, but if the drive can read the CD-R for Windows, and BSD, why not for DOS?

Could I put the HDD into another computer, install Fedora, then put it back in the one that won't boot from the CD, and then run Fedoa?

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Expert Comment

by:karlwilbur
ID: 10750616
Yes, there is.  Well, a boot image on the CD. You can also download a 1.4MB boot image.

http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/core/1/i386/os/images/bootdisk.img

You'll need a utility to write a disk image to a floppy.  I use RawWrite:

http://uranus.it.swin.edu.au/~jn/linux/rawwritewin-0.7.zip

It goes like this:

1) Boot into Windows
2) Download bootdisk.img using above link
3) Download RawWrite using above link
4) Unzip RawWrite if a location of your chioce (I use C:/Program Files/RawWrite/)
5) Insert a floppy into your floppy drive (It does not ahve to be blank but any data on the floppy will be destroyed)
6) Run RawWrite
7) Select the "Write" tab (should be selected by default)
8) Point RawWrite at the bootdick.img file
9) Click the "Write" button
10) reboot to your new Fedora Boot Floppy.
11) Insert your Fedora Installation Disk #1 in the CD drive
12) When prompted tell the startup program that you'll be installing from a CD.
13) Select you packages.
14) Install packages.
15) Preheat oven to 350
16) Remove frozen pizza from plastic wrapper
17) Place pizza on center rack
18) Remove installation disk #1 and insert disk #2
19) Cook pizza 10-14 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
20) Take pizza out of oven and let cool to desired temp
21) Remove disk #2 and insert disk #3
22) Cut and eat pizza...ummmm.
23) Reboot
24) Select your new fedora install from the Grub/Lilo menu.

Yes, you could put your drive in another system and install there then put the drive back.  I am pretty sure that Fedora uses a i386 kernel and not an optimized i686 or something so you should have a problem.

If you are able to read CD-Rs from Windiows then you problem is not reading CD-Rs.

-Karl
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by:Arrummzen
ID: 10772166
Sory, im taking so long to resolve this qestion. I need to get access to a computer with a floppy drive and some time to test the solution. I have not abandend the question.

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
0
 
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 10810042
I have the same problem with the RedHat 7 Disk. It won't load because I have a differnt version. I have Fedora Core 2, not Core 1. Is there anyway to "override" the version check?

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:karlwilbur
ID: 10810677
Did you try the boot disk image above?
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 10818864
Yes. it won't work with Fedora Core 2 Test 1. Its for Fedora Core 1.

I need a core 2 boot disk or a way to curcomvent the version checking.

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
0
 
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 10855819
If no one has any further ideas on how to solve this problem (like a method to override the version check), I will ask to have this question closed soon).

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
laurent_wozniak earned 250 total points
ID: 11178204
Hello,

I have the same problem on my old PC.

I've found a solution, at least to boot, I do not have completed the installation due to disk space pb (I only have half of your disk space).

The idea is to use hard drive boot method from Fedora Core 1 with Fedora Core 2 data.
go to
http://download.fedora.redhat.com/pub/fedora/linux/core/1/i386/os/dosutils/
get:
autoboot.bat, loadlin.exe

So, let's explain the solution:
- You must have a bootable dos partition on your hard drive (you can use a floppy method installation to create this).
- create a "boot" directory in this partition
- copy autoboot.bat, loadlin.exe in this directory
- create a "autoboot" directory inside "boot"
- copy from Fedora Core 2 CD 1 the content of "isolinux" directory to "autoboot"
- boot with the dos partition, in dos mode of course.
- commands to execute:
  cd boot
  autoboot.bat
- start installing Fedora Core 2 from CD ...

Hope this will work for you.
Cheers,
Laurent
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 11218184
Well it took a long time but it is finaly working. Thank you for your time.

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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