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Trying to install Linux but boots to DOS

Posted on 2008-10-06
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I am VERY new to Linux.

I've downloaded 2 distributions (CentOS and SUSE).  After burning the iso file to CD and booting I end up at a DOS prompt.  I'm not sure why.  I've tried on 2 different servers.  It looks like the install can't find a file system.  Do I need to create my own partitions before the iso boot will work?
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Question by:Whah
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by:cuziyq
ID: 22651805
When you say DOS prompt, what does it say on the screen?  Nothing but a blinking cursor?  Does it say "C:\>" with a blinking cursor, or does it say something like "boot:" or "root (/):"

Could be different problems depending on what you see.
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by:omarfarid
ID: 22651816
were you able to boot from the cd/dvd?
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Author Comment

by:Whah
ID: 22651921
cuziyq:  It's at an A:\> prompt.  I can cd to the CD-ROM drive and see the iso.  I also have access to other commands.

omarfarid:  I've configured the BIOS to boot from CD and it looks like it begins to but then dumps me at DOS.

On one of the servers I've tried there is a message that reads:  

No fat32 volumes found
usage:  ntfsread.exe -u
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by:omarfarid
ID: 22651956
booting from a linux cd will never get you to a dos prompt. from what you described it is similar to a rescue cd for windows. Any chance that you have another cd drive from which booting is taking place?
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cuziyq earned 500 total points
ID: 22651995
There are only two explanations for seeing an A:> prompt.

Either there is a bootable DOS floppy in the A: drive (rare these days to even encounter a machine that has a floppy drive).

-- or --

You burned the CD using Nero or Roxio by creating a new Bootable CD/DVD project and dragging the ISO over to it rather than using the image burn feature.

The latter is a common mistake.  Check to see if that's what you did.
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Author Comment

by:Whah
ID: 22652056
cuziyq:  This is exactly what I did.  I'm going to run the Image Burn and see if that resolves the issue.
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by:omarfarid
ID: 22652101
Usually when you download an iso file and you double click on it, the CD burning s/w will start and then you proceed with it.
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Expert Comment

by:jools
ID: 22652176
Looks like the problem is here;
> It's at an A:\> prompt.  I can cd to the CD-ROM drive and see the iso.

You shouldnt see the iso, the iso is the CD image.

Burn the image again, try omarfarid's suggestion, double clicking should work if the extension is associated with the burning software, if not you will have to start the cd software and open the image file manually.
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