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Booting off a external dvd drive if bios doesnt have boot off usb option

Posted on 2006-11-13
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have a toshiba satellite pro a60 ( it doesn't have boot off usb .. it has some predefined lan boot and other stuff )
I also have a external asus DRV1608P2S drive ...
my built in hdc: MATSHITADVD-RAM UJ-820S, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive is slow .. and most of the times doesn't read the dvd's so I can't always boot of it when it's hot .. so I have this asus thingy with firewire and usb 2.0 .. which is much faster and better too :) .. I got windows and linux fedora core 6 installed .. and I was wondering if there is any way I can make grub  boot of whatever cd/dvd is  in my external drive as a option in menu.lst ! .. I've tried hitting C in grub and doing a rootnoverify( and pressed TAB .. but it only showd me fd0 ( I don't have a floppy disk .. but I've tried that one too .. doesn't work ) .. and hd0 ! . .

kernel:   Vendor: ASUS      Model: DRW-1608P2S       Rev: 1.39
kernel:   Type:   CD-ROM                             ANSI SCSI revision: 00
kernel:   Vendor: WDC WD20  Model: 0BB-00AUA1        Rev: 0000
kernel:   Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 00

After linux finishes booting .. /dev/scd0 appears .. so .. any way I can make it like .. boot windows install cd .. or mandriva's boot cd .. or anything that should be a bootable cd .. I'd like to use it as I'd use my own internal dvd .. ! ..


Thanks in Advance. Patricia.

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Question by:patriciaeldridge
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22 Comments
 
LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17936487
If the BIOS can't boot to USB, no. Toshiba do have PCCard external drives that should boot, though.
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Author Comment

by:patriciaeldridge
ID: 17936654
Even if it has, it doesn't show them in the bios !
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17937072
Some toshiba's don't show the boot options within the BIOS, you need to either select what you want to boot to within the windows control panel, or use a key during startup that will list the boot options, but this startup key I wouldn't know. You should be able to find it in the manual though. Maybe it does also boot to USB devices, but again often the devices to which you can boot to aren't named what you would expect them to be named. I suggest you check the manual.

I can't find the manual online so I can't help much there.
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Author Comment

by:patriciaeldridge
ID: 17937361
the key is F10 in my toshiba and has the same options ... hdd .. fdd ( I don't have one ) .. lan .. or the internal dvd-rw .. and that's it ... doing this in windows control panel wouldn't be nice .. some users use linux .. this isn't fair that toshiba to make windows a favorite just for this thing .. anyway .. so .. if there is no boot option .. I can't boot of usb ? .. not too good .. a thing that comes in my mind would be a kernel that would support this usb .. ( a mkinitrd with preloaded modules ) .. but grub doesn't allow initrd before the kernel .. but .. there must be a way ( norootverify( only shows fd0 and hd0 ) ..
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 17939580
If Grub doesn't have drivers for firewire or USB included, it must use BIOS. If BIOS doesn't allow for USB boot, then I guess you can't do this. Perhaps the better solution is to get a replacement DVD or CD drive for the laptop?
/RID
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Author Comment

by:patriciaeldridge
ID: 17940208
That's not an option .. well .. grub doesn't have drivers .. ok .. so there must be a way to include some from linux's kernel ! :) ..
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17940941
I know that linux is usually not well supported by the manufacturers, and I also find that bad. Just a simple example, HP has this online chat, when you have a problem with HP products, you can try resolving the problem via online chat with an HP support person. The problem here is that only works with internet explorer and active-X, so you need m$ stuff. Of course if you look at it from the other side, that's OK, as you only get problems when using m$ OS's! :)
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 17940982
hehe! :)
/RID
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Author Comment

by:patriciaeldridge
ID: 17942269
So, is there any way to make grub install the drivers to detect the drive first .. and then boot off it ? :) even if there is something to make every dvd/cd I make to create a special boot disk part thingy :D
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17946098
No.
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Author Comment

by:patriciaeldridge
ID: 17946392
This is not good, not good at all ! Grrr. What makes this booting part so special ? Why can't I boot after loading the drivers with mkinitrd and a kernel .. ?
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17946530
Grub comes before the kernel and driver modules are loaded. It is therefore at the mercy of your BIOS.
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Author Comment

by:patriciaeldridge
ID: 17948234
Of course .. but once it's loaded .. I can make a custom kernel and driver modules for it to load .. .. and again .. can't I init the boot sequence once I load the drivers ? if not .. why ? .. what makes the boot sequence so special ?
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17949531
How are you going to get grub to load from a USB device if the PC can't boot from USB device in the first place?
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Author Comment

by:patriciaeldridge
ID: 17949806
well .. I'm thinking ... grub does a "kernel" command and a "initrd" one .. usually .. the kernel holds the stuff .. but initrd is executed first .. and it doesn't allow me to execute initrd/kernel .. it always wants kernel/initrd .. I made a initrd with preloaded modules for my external stuff .. q: .. why can't I get back to the booting menu' after I loaded the drivers .. so I can use them there ! :) .. that's what I don't get .. why isn't there a program to load the drivers .. and then to show menus ! .. at least .. generic drivers for external stuff .. anyway .. you got the idea I hope ..
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17953744
I've been trying to get something similar to work myself, but never could. There are some tools which allow you to boot to "non-bootable" IDE devices, but the BIOS must at least see that device and you have to actually boot from a floppy or HD first, and it only works for IDE and PCCard devicese. This is for when you use an old PC with IDE CD-ROM but there is no option within the BIOS to boot from CD-ROM. But there is no USB support, and as this bootmanager is from 2002 I don't think you'll find any update for it...

http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/about.html
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Author Comment

by:patriciaeldridge
ID: 17954621
Well ok. I can boot from my hdd or my cdrom ! .. that's not the problem. I can make a /boot partition for grub to load stuff from my own hdd. The hdd/cdrom is ide ( but I'm running them through a usb/ide device ). They appear as scsi emulation as you can see. ( download area for btmgr doesn't work. ). Tried it allready. There are no drivers in that thingy. and I still don't think there's no way to make a bootloader load some drivers for what I want ( like mkinitrd does ) and then boot of any drive it finds.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17955143
You can also get the bootmanager above if you get the UBCD, it is included there.

http://ultimatebootcd.com
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Author Comment

by:patriciaeldridge
ID: 17955189
so .. the main question .. if the bios doesn't show the drive .. is there any boot manager that can load drivers first .. and then show the options !? ..
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LVL 88

Accepted Solution

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rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 17955230
Nothing I could find, and I was looking for a long time. Sometimes I thought I found a way, but then I was allways dissappointed. Maybe eventually something will be found that can do that.
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Author Comment

by:patriciaeldridge
ID: 17955247
Ok, thanks for your time, and patience :) The beer is on the house if we'll ever meet :)
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17955394
Cheers!
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