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Author Topic: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?  (Read 4657 times)

Offline Anubis

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Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« on: April 11, 2011, 06:19:53 AM »
I have a way of installing Dos 7.1 on a FAT32  partition on a 32GB usb drive.
My question is how to install Tinycore on it either using something like dos2lin (installing tinycore on the FAT32 partition itself, or spliting the usb drive into two 16GB while maintaining the capability of dualbooting.

We are using a tool that is being migrated from DOS to linux but we cannot use only linux as legacy support is requiered.

It it comes to worst, I guess we will have to use one 16GB usb drive for DOS and another for Tinycore.

Offline Guy

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Re: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 06:53:39 AM »
Yes

You can make two partitions on the usb drive. Make the first one fat32 for Dos 7.1, and the second one Ext2 for Tiny Core.

An easy way to do this is to download Parted Magic, and use that for partitioning. Ensure you partition the usb drive and not the hard drive on the computer. You will lose all data.
http://digitalincursion.net/parted-magic/

Install Dos 7.1 on the first partition. You may need to set the flag as Active, which is the same as Boot, when using Parted Magic.

Then install Tiny Core on the second partition. Probably easiest using HD/USB Install from the Control Panel.

Install a bootloader for duel booting.
Many people see what is. Some people see what can be, and make a difference.

Offline Anubis

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Re: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 08:58:16 AM »
Hi and thanks Guy,
I should make tinycore run from a cd i assume correct?
what kind of boot loader should i use? GRUB, LILO or something else?
Do you know of the name of what I should use thru the application installer?

Offline tinypoodle

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Re: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 09:15:14 AM »
If you have a bootable DOS partition, it is most simple to have TC peacefully coexist on it.
Just download bzImage and tinycore.gz from "distribution files" and use any DOS based Linux bootloader, e.g. http://busybox.net/~vda/linld/  ;)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 09:26:23 AM by tinypoodle »
"Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster." Niklaus Wirth - A Plea for Lean Software (1995)

Offline tinypoodle

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Re: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2011, 09:23:12 AM »
An easy way to do this is to download Parted Magic, and use that for partitioning. Ensure you partition the usb drive and not the hard drive on the computer. You will lose all data.
http://digitalincursion.net/parted-magic/

Hmm, gparted.tcz has worked fine for me for lossfree partitioning.
Of course that would require a way to load the extension and its dependencies is first ensured.
"Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster." Niklaus Wirth - A Plea for Lean Software (1995)

Offline beerstein

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Re: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 05:44:16 AM »
Hey:
I agree it is a good idea to make the FAT 32 the first primary partition. Than you might even add a small seperate /boot partition as ext3 and then the main ext3 partition for your /home ; /opt and /tce.
The first primary partition needs to be boot or active

For partitioning I use a small distro which boots fast and has gparted built in. I do not like PartitionMagic because it takes almost forever to boot and load on my computers.

BTW: There is a good partitioning tool for DOS available on the web. It is called "diskgen" - take a look at this one too. It lets you play with MBR and so on you even may create "unformatted linux" partitions. (83) and (swap)

Then you need to install DOS first and after that you boot TC from CD with: tinycore tce=hda1  home=hda1  opt=hda1

Then try to use the panels HD/USB install. The content of /boot on the CD must go into the /boot partition or /boot folder - if you partitioned your USB stick with a /boot you will have a separate partition for your boot area.
If not- you need to create a /boot folder and copy the content of the live CD into it. Do not forget to create a /grub folder within /boot.

As long as the live version from the CD is running you need to connect to the web and load and install grub. There is an extension grub0.97 which I like. grub 2 is more complicated. Do not even think of using Lilo.

Then you use the info from the wiki (frugal install paragraph 6) on how to install grub.
grub will recognize your dos system and include it. But you need to put a line into your menu.lst to make it visible in your grub boot menu.

title DOS on partition sdax
rootnoverify (hd0,x)
chainloader +1

May be somebody else can help and tell us, whether you also can make partitions for home, opt and swap? In this case you need to work with 3 primary partitions and all other partitions will be logical partitions within the extended (4th) partition.


t(w)o be(ers) or not t(w)o be(ers) that is the question

Offline Anubis

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Re: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 05:53:09 AM »
Beerstein, Thanks for all the info. ;D

Will try it later once at home.

Offline tinypoodle

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Re: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 06:59:53 AM »
Then you need to install DOS first and after that you boot TC from CD with: tinycore tce=hda1  home=hda1  opt=hda1
:o

Such would be an absolute no-no on a FAT* partition.
However, backup/restore mechanism works fine.

Quote
Do not even think of using Lilo.

And why exactly not?   ::)
"Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster." Niklaus Wirth - A Plea for Lean Software (1995)

Offline tikbalang

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Re: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 07:30:02 AM »
i multiboot DOS, tinycore and other minimalist linux on fat32 partition using grub4dos, loadlin.exe and linld.com. the problem lies in reconciling DOS and USB. DOS is not usb-aware so you need external drivers. i would suggest Grub4DOS to load a bootable floppy image of your DOS. it has to have the necessary files and scripts to load the usb drivers, otherwise, it would default to the first seen fat32 partition as C:\.

in some cases, plop bootmanager can boot DOS in usb but it only allows read-only mode. plop has to be started from a separated disk since it boots the mbr of the partition.

the rest of the linux OS has no problem multibooting since i have them configured as nomadic frugal and can even be transferred easily to any partition with some minor changes in menu.lst of Grub4DOS.

Offline Guy

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Re: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 07:31:48 AM »
It is not a good idea to put a swap partition on a usb drive. usb drives can be written to a limited number of times (thousands) and then they fail. Having a swap partition will mean that it is written to a huge amount, so it wont last very long.

You decide whether to have persistent /home and /opt. If you do, this will also shorten the life of the usb drive. The other option is to use backup. However, this may result in taking a long time to start up and shut down, depending on how much you have in backup. You could use persistent /home and /opt, and just replace the usb drive when it fails.

I will explain it another way. If you use persistent home and opt, every time you save something, it is written to the usb drive. (If you use Firefox internet browser, it writes a lot of cache to the /home directory, unless you change settings.) If you use backup, when you save something, it is saved to ram. It is not written to the usb drive until you run backup, normally when you turn off the computer.

Use ext2 filesystem. This is not a journalling filesystem, and the usb drive will last longer.

If you use Grub, or most other bootloaders, the usb drive may be sda1 in one computer, or usb slot, and sdb1, sdc1 or sdd1, in another computer or usb slot. So you can't include anything in the bootloader with reference to the partition. For example, you can't have tce=sda1. It can be used this way. Tinycore will find the tce directory. It is just not ideal. You can't have persistent home or opt. If you install using the HD/USB install in Tinycore's control panel, it will be identified by its UUID number, using extlinux. This is the same in every computer, so you can have tce=UUID number. You can also have persistent home and opt. I suggest you install one using this method, just to see. But I don't know how to install it like this and set it up to duel boot. You could research this. There may also be others that know.

FAT32 needs to be on the first partition if you want to access it with Windows. Windows may not be able to access any other partition.

Windows operating systems need the partition to be Active or Boot, in order to start the operating system. In most situations (not all), Linux does not. You can only have one Active partition on a drive.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 02:57:57 PM by Guy »
Many people see what is. Some people see what can be, and make a difference.

Offline ossm1db

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Re: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2011, 09:00:17 AM »
The tcvd feature of Tiny Core is very nice when using a FAT-formatted USB drive, and is ideal for cases such as yours.

Offline beerstein

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Re: Is it possible to create a dual boot DOS/Tinycore USB drive?
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2011, 02:52:49 AM »
Then you need to install DOS first and after that you boot TC from CD with: tinycore tce=hda1  home=hda1  opt=hda1
:o

Such would be an absolute no-no on a FAT* partition.
However, backup/restore mechanism works fine.

sorry for that - I ment putting this on hda2 (the ext3 partition)
I agree - no linux folders on FAT partitions!

Quote
Do not even think of using Lilo.

And why exactly not?   ::)

GRUB is a bit saver than Lilo and in the old days Iearned that Lilo could not work
on a dos partition, but grub did.
t(w)o be(ers) or not t(w)o be(ers) that is the question