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Re: Weird issue trying to boot Dell 2450 ...

Yes, if you can find a compatible newer drive, that is the easiest 
way to go. A firmware update, as Matt suggested, probably won't do 
it. The issue is the laser in the drive itself. It would be tuned 
for the CD-R wavelengths, and that's a hardware issue. That's why 
CD-RW disks don't work - they're made for a different type of laser.

As for booting off of the hard disk, that's a different problem. It 
should be quite straightforward to track down, if you're interested 
in the effort. 

Assuming that you're using GRUB, the question would be how far do you 
get before you see any messages (or do you see any messages at all)? 
I.e. are you getting through the master boot block (which contains 
the partition table), through to the first stage bootstrap, or any 
of the subsequent stages? If you aren't seeing even a "GR", then 
you're not getting through the MBR, IIRC.

GRUB has issues with older BIOSes, so it may be an incompatibility 
there. There are many alternatives available. syslinux is one. If 
you could get that going, you'd be able to boot up a kernel. 
Presumeably that would work, if you've been able to install Fedora 
on your system via some mechanism.

syslinux, on an active FAT partition, is pretty simple and may be 
worth looking at.


On Monday 04 February 2008 12:13:54 pm Klaus Steden wrote:
> Hmmm, I wonder ... it might be easier just to swap out the drive
> for a different (newer) one, if I can find one lying around.
> However ... I'm still a little baffled as to why it won't boot the
> hard drive directly, either.
> Klaus
> On 2/4/08 11:00 AM, "Matt Fahrner" <Matt Fahrner coat com>did etch
> on stone
> tablets:
> > There might be a firmware image that you can use to upgrade the
> > CD drive. I've been able to get CD readers to recognize
> > additional media by getting the latest firmware in (or in some
> > cases, hacked firmwares)...
> >
> > - Matt
> >
> > Klaus Steden wrote:
> >> Yeah, the CD is fine (I can read it elsewhere), so I think
> >> you¹re right about it not being able to read CD-RWs. I wouldn¹t
> >> be surprised, this machine is quite old (Pentium 3!!)
> >>
> >> cheers,
> >> Klaus
> >>
> >> On 2/1/08 11:31 PM, "dwight at supercomputer.org"
> >> <dwight supercomputer org>did etch on stone tablets:
> >>
> >>     Many older systems have CD-ROM drives that only support
> >> CD-R format. They won't recognize a CD-RW disk. That would be
> >> the first thing that I'd check. I used to have a system like
> >> that.
> >>
> >>     The key question here is whether Fedora ir CentOS will even
> >> read the CD that you have. If it is indeed a media
> >> incompatibility, then no OS will be able to read it. If the CD
> >> can indeed be read, then I'd suspect a BIOS issue.
> >>
> >>        -dwight-
> >>
> >>     On Thursday 31 January 2008 11:23:27 am Klaus Steden wrote:
> >>>  Hi there,
> >>>
> >>>  I've encountered a strange issue trying to bootstrap an old
> >>> Dell 2450. It will boot from floppy, it will boot from a Dell
> >>> provisioning CD, but it won't boot from a CentOS disc (neither
> >>> the LiveCD nor a CentOS 4.5 ISO), and it won't boot its own
> >>> hard drive.
> >>>
> >>>  I'm working around it using a boot floppy (!! how vintage) to
> >>>  bootstrap the OS into loading, but I'm baffled as to why it
> >>> won't load itself by any other means. When Windows 2003 was
> >>> installed, it booted off the hard drive fine, so I know it
> >>> -can- do it ... but I have no clue why it won't load Linux on
> >>> its own.
> >>>
> >>>  Has anyone ever had an experience like this with a machine,
> >>> Dell or otherwise? It's running Fedora Core 6, so it's a
> >>> fairly current OS, and has no issues when the OS is actually
> >>> loaded.
> >>>
> >>>  I'm okay with it booting off the floppy but that seems like
> >>> kind of a ghetto solution, so I'd rather not have to if I
> >>> don't have to.
> >>>
> >>>  thanks,
> >>>  Klaus
> >>>
> >>>  _______________________________________________
> >>>  Kickstart-list mailing list
> >>>  Kickstart-list redhat com
> >>>  https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/kickstart-list
> _______________________________________________
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