[K12OSN] HD boot-Format 1722kb floppy on Fedora Core 2

"Terrell Prudé, Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Sat Oct 9 21:48:00 UTC 2004

Krsnendu dasa wrote:

>I am trying to set up booting from the hard drive on K12LTSP using Toms's
>boot disk. When I run the install on one of my servers (K12LTSP4.01) the
>floppies don't verify. I heard some floppy drives/ systems just don't work.
>So I tried it on another box (K12LTSP 4.1.0) and I get the message "Device
>not found" Does anyone have advice how to format 1722kb floppies using
>Fedora Core 2. This seems to be the sticking point.
>Perhaps there is another way to do this. If there is a 1.44 MB boot image
>that will allow me to format my HD so I can copy the etherboot image that
>might be easier. If someone can send an image that I can copy direct to 1.44
>floppy that would be fantastic! :-)
>Other suggestions welcome.
>Background: I have been using floppies to boot my client computers but have
>found them a. unreliable (many floppy disk errors) b. the floppy drive is
>used up by the boot floppy because c. if the kids take the floppies out they
>lose them.
>Etherboot BootROM nics are too expensive to get. I already have the hard
>drives and have no other use for them. I have about 8-9 like this
>My new terminals have PXE on the motherboard NIC. Much easier:>)

There is indeed another way to do this (gotta love Free Software!).  I 
have a couple of 32MB Pentium I terminals here that boot to K12LTSP from 
the hard disk.  My NICs are 3Com 3C905 and Realtek 8129.  No floppy 
needed for these babies.  :-)  Basically, you simply cat the EtherBoot 
floppy to your hard disk.  Here's how I did it.

Make your EtherBoot boot floppy.  Grab something like Damn Small Linux 
(http://www.damnsmalllinux.org) and burn the ISO image to  a CD-R.  Boot 
your terminal with it.  D.S.L. has actually been shown to allow GUI 
access in 16MB DRAM on a 486!!  
(http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/486.html)  Of course, I would recommend 
no less than 32MB on the clients.

Once you're booted, pop your EtherBoot boot floppy in and do this:

  root at box# cat /dev/fd0 /dev/hda

What this will do is copy the contents of your EtherBoot floppy right to 
the hard disk, starting from Sector 0,0,1, thus over-writing your MBR 
and partition table (kiss that Windows 95 installation goodbye!  :-D ).  
Your computer will from then on boot from the EtherBoot code every time, 
just like from a really, Really, REALLY fast, HUUUUUGE "boot floppy."  
The above command assumes an IDE disk, since that tends to describe most 
older 486/Pentiums.  For SCSI disks, just replace "/dev/hda" with 
"/dev/sda"; D.S.L. correctly recognized my Adaptec 2930U, even though 
there's nothing on it.  Of course all of this assumes that you have only 
one disk drive of any sort in the box, or if there's also a CD-ROM 
drive, that the hard disk (if IDE) is the primary master; CD-ROMs should 
ideally be the secondary master, if present.


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