WelcomeWelcome | FAQFAQ | DownloadsDownloads | WikiWiki

Author Topic: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?  (Read 21900 times)

Offline secdroid

  • WikiUser
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2009, 05:26:56 AM »
it seems like a long time, with some projects a few months of waiting is a lot better than a few days or weeks of frustration.

and this is useless to you but someone said loadlin and linld are both .com files. that may be true, although i just read yesterday one is an .exe and the other is a .com. close enough?

I'm not frustrated.  I gave it a good try and I see that others have similar problems, so I think that I've probably done all I can with this method.  It's not like I am giving TC good, modern hardware to work with.   ;)

I was the guilty party saying both were .com.  The linld is a .com (and appears abandoned), while loadlin is a .exe.

It turns out that a friend has a junkbox full of laptop hard drives, so my next attempt will be to use DSL via floppy/flash boot to install TC on an HDD.  I think that should work out fine.

I was reading the excellent tuxmachines blog this morning and came across this ingenious method of resurrecting dead laptops (DSL, but applicable to TC) -- http://jadi.net/2009/01/giving-life-back-to-an-old-laptop/

Offline curaga

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10064
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2009, 09:39:09 AM »
As far as I know grub2 is the only bootloader that even plans to have usb support.

You could try other dos usb drivers? Or, can the laptop netboot?
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline bigpcman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 719
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2009, 01:21:40 PM »
This is a topic I spent alot of time on over in puppy land. See my post there:
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=224734#224734

The big ugly problem turned out to be booting from a usb floppy using the integrated usb port. You can read all about the solution in my post. The rest of the thread is informative as well.

The bottom line is that I eventually was able to boot puppy linux 2.26 from a usb floppy combined with a usb stick.

The one remaining goal I have had is to be able to boot from the combination of a floppy and usb cardbus with a usb stick in it. I have come close but still have not found the right driver combo.
big pc man

Offline bigpcman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 719
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2009, 05:52:40 PM »
I've used the wakepup2 floppy boot image successfully. It contains quite a large number of drivers that cover a broad array of hardware. Could someone please fill me in on what the correct syntax is for the linld command, what changes to isolinux.cfg are required if any and what files must be on the sda1? For puppy it looks like this:

LINLD.COM image=%drv%vmlinuz initrd=%drv%initrd.gz cl=@linld\puppy.lin

I want it to load tc from a usb stick on sda1.

Here's a link to the wakepup2 download file:  http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?mode=attach&id=11757

Here's a link to the panasonic dos usb support files:  http://panasonic.co.jp/pcc/products/drive/cdrrw/kxlrw40an/download.html
Look in the F2H subdirectory for the drivers including ramfd.sys. The panasonic web page spells out the usage rights. However this is very old software so perhaps the rights have changed by now.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 07:47:59 PM by ^thehatsrule^ »
big pc man

Offline ^thehatsrule^

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1726
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2009, 07:43:34 PM »
[Direct link replaced with web page]

The panasonic web page spells out the usage rights. However this is very old software so perhaps the rights have changed by now.
The license is still there - that is not something one can assume, so the user is still bound by it.

Offline roberts

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7361
  • Founder Emeritus
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2009, 09:08:43 PM »
Really only need two files, bzImage and tinycore.gz copies onto pendrive.

linld image=e:\bzimage initrd=e:\tinycore.gz "cl=quiet vga=788"

That's it, works fine for me. Note if you use the cl directly then enclose in quotes and space separate boot options.

This is with a simple dos boot floppy, the panasonic usb device manager.

This system is using a very old Intel USB controller 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 (rev 01)
10+ Years Contributing to Linux Open Source Projects.

Offline roberts

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7361
  • Founder Emeritus
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2009, 09:59:56 PM »
Quote
also, i don't know what roberts has planned, but if anyone has a floppy for usb booting that is free to distribute (panasonic driver, i don't know) this may prompt an official solution in the near future. if it does, then you'll just be able to download an image and make the floppy. were you unable to use the dsl usb floppy for tinycore?

Just because software is old does not mean you can ignore its copyright. This was made for users of Panasonic products. The website that is referenced is still Copyright 2008.

I was not comfortable to distribute this when I first made a usb boot floppy for DSL-N several years ago and am still not comfortable to distribute copyrighted software.
10+ Years Contributing to Linux Open Source Projects.

Offline tobiaus

  • Suspended
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 599
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2009, 12:07:39 AM »
Just because software is old does not mean you can ignore its copyright. This was made for users of Panasonic products. The website that is referenced is still Copyright 2008.

I was not comfortable to distribute this when I first made a usb boot floppy for DSL-N several years ago and am still not comfortable to distribute copyrighted software.

oh, i wasn't implying anything of the sort! the exception to what you said is when you're given permission by the author to redistribute (usually by a readme or license file.) although this is rare in the world of freeware, and moreso in the world of proprietary drivers, it happens.

beyond that, i was hoping someone would find a free and open source solution. but only if one ever exists. heck, i won't even use opera, even though i like it. (but i won't give anyone trouble if they really want to, either.) one of the things that's always been important to me about dsl (and tc) is that they are serious enough distros in this regard. they weren't assembled by zealots, but they weren't slapped together without regard for what they were built from, either.

Offline roberts

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7361
  • Founder Emeritus
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2009, 05:47:35 AM »
The wakepup2 being distributed by the puppy forums does contain the copyrighted Panasonic driver.

It is quite easy to modify the autoexec.bat file therein to work with TC. It use seems strange to me in that you have to add a "marker", an empty, specifically named file, "usbflash" into the level-1 directory of your flash drive before the dos batch file will be useful. Many menus of boot options don't apply and would need to be changed, as well as the default, first 2 lines of the @file, which contains the "cl" boot options, should be replaced with just "quiet" and then the obvious vmlinuz with bzimage and initrd.gz with tinycore.gz.
10+ Years Contributing to Linux Open Source Projects.

Offline bigpcman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 719
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2009, 05:38:29 PM »
The wakepup2 boot floppy is as Robert said way more complicated than is needed for tc. As it turns out, here's all I needed for my dell 640 laptop:

1.) A dos boot floppy disk
2.) usbaspi.sys driver
3.) Di1000dd.sys driver (maps the usb device to a drive letter)
4.) The tc files bzimage and tinycore.gz on the usb flash drive

Here's a link to the panasonic dos usb support files:  http://panasonic.co.jp/pcc/products/drive/cdrrw/kxlrw40an/download.html
Look in the F2H subdirectory for the drivers including ramfd.sys.

Create config.sys file with:

DEVICE=HIMEM.exe
FILES=30
BUFFERS=20
device=USBASPI.SYS  /R /v
device=Di1000dd.SYS
LASTDRIVE=Z

Create autoexec.bat file with:

cls
echo Booting Tinycore Linux
linld image=c:\bzimage initrd=c:\tinycore.gz "cl=quiet vga=788 waitusb=5"

Things to keep in mind:
1.) My experience is that the usbaspi driver does not assign a drive letter so that's what Di1000dd.SYS does.
2.) The boot process can be slow because all usb components are scanned. There may be switch options to improve this, I'll look into this later.
3.) The usb flash drive must be formated fat16
4.) The flash drive letter assigned can be determined by the looking at the D1000dd.sys output message. It was c: for me.
5.) TC boot codes like waitusb=5 can be added as shown above.

Thanks Robert for your input on this matter. You had the key linld syntax that makes everything work.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
edit: Here are some useful switch codes for usbaspi:
/e EHCI, for enabling only USB 2.0 controller
/o OHCI, for enabling only add-on/onboard USB 1.1 controller
/u UHCI, for enabling integrated USB 1.1 controller

The /e option substantially reduced my boot time.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 04:58:29 PM by bigpcman »
big pc man

Offline curaga

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10064
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2009, 04:49:24 AM »
It appears that the Plop Boot Manager should be able to do that - that is, chainload an usb stick with a linux bootloader.

http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html

Quote
USB boot without BIOS support (UHCI, OHCI and EHCI)
Quote
The PLoP Boot Manager is freeware.
The Program is free to use for personal and commercial use.
The Program may not be sold.
The origin of this software must not be misrepresented; you must not claim that you wrote the original software. If you use this software in a product, an acknowledgment in the product documentation would be appreciated but is not required.


This software is provided 'as-is', without any express or implied warranty. In no event will the authors be held liable for any damages arising from the use of this software.
It's freeware, no source, but the configuration utility is gplv2.

I could not get this to work; trying on two laptops that can't boot from usb, it hangs in the other and reboots the other.

If anyone wants to try it, here's a preconfigured file to dd into a floppy, that should autoboot an usb stick:
http://rapidshare.de/files/44364812/plpbt.bin.html
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline gerits

  • WikiUser
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • http://gerits-r.be
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2009, 11:24:53 AM »
I've tried 1.4 and 2.0, I install directly from dos 6.11 ( yeah, oldschool)

None of these options work..
always getting the black screen..

Offline linus72

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Damn it Jim!
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2009, 12:46:08 PM »
Have you tried the post here a member showed me with ext3 formatted USB?
( [removed due to policy violation]/instau.html )
The trick is making grub think your installing to first harddrive, which works out great for me.

Note, my Emachines PC and my laptop cannot boot off usb.
My Emachines boots off USB using Plop bootmanager bootfloppy (plpbt.img) which comes as either a floppy or a cd. I can use either FAT32/syslinux USB or EXT3/Grub USB and both boot.

The laptop, however, will only boot the FAT32 syslinux usb using plpbt.img plop bootfloppy.
But, If I INSTALL Plop bootmanager to MBR, using (plpbtin.img), it will then boot both of them.

To put either bootmanager(plpbt.img) or bootmanager-install(plpbtin.img) on floppy
grab a clean, formatted floppy and dd'it
"dd if=/path-to-plpbt.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1440k'
So, if the floppy image was on my Desktop it would be-
"dd if=/home/bz/Desktop/plpbt.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1440k"

This really works and there are other bootmanagers too.
I have tc 1.4.3 for fat32/ext3 syslinux/grub.
basically, for ext3 usb follow the tutorial above and I have instructions inside too.
Please try it and tell me if any issues? ::)

Offline coin

  • WikiUser
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2010, 06:40:24 PM »
Quote
The trick is making grub think your installing to first harddrive, which works out great for me.
An additional constraint is trying to deal with a first harddrive that is previously partitioned SOLELY with fat16 and fat32 partitions; NO free disk space at end!
How exactly can a grub boot floppy incorporate parted (or else boot and then recognize one of the first harddrive fat16/fat32 executable parted's) ??
Unsuccessful at this so far  :'(

Offline jano

  • WikiUser
  • *
  • Posts: 37
Re: How do I boot USB via boot floppy?
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2010, 01:28:13 PM »
TC's initrd is ~10M though, so it will not fit on a conventional floppy.  Perhaps there is a bootloader that supports reading off usb devices...?  In that case you could just change the .cfg for that to read the initrd off the usb device

Maybe GAG is the answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GAG_(boot_loader)

Good luck !
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 01:33:07 PM by jano »