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  1. #1

    Mandriva 2006 Install from USB CD Drive

    I'm at the hair-tearing stage!

    I'm trying to install this distro on a laptop with a USB CD drive. Many of the installation instructions direct me to create a boot floppy containing image hdcdrom_usb.img which is exactly for this purpose, however, this file is no longer part of the distro - last appeared in 9.2 it seems.

    I have tried booting from a floppy with cdrom.img on it, but that won't find the cd drive.

    I've updated the bios on the machine (Compaq M300) to see if I can get it to boot directly from the CD, but it won't.

    The closest I got was downloading a copy of hdcdrom_usb.img and booting from a floppy containing that. It seemed to find the cdrom drive, but then complained that the cd wasn't a valid mandriva distro - presumably because it was a FUTURE distro to 9.2!

    This seems such a basic problem, but hours of googling have not turned up an answer.

    I'd REALLY appreciate some help here.


  2. #2
    One thought I had here: is it worth trying to install Mandriva 9.2, as the hdcdrom_usb.img boot seemed to work - it just fell over because it then didn't recognise the distro CD as 9.2, because I was putting a 2006 CD in.

    Could I then upgrade 9.2 to 2006 without having to boot from the CD?

    I suppose another option would be to get an O/S on this laptop which will recognise the CD, and then copy the 2006 cd's onto the HD, and install from that?

    I would really appreciate some views here ...


  3. #3
    OK, well this forum is a bit more of a solo sport than I had imagined, but as the world just does not seem to contain a documented answer to this question (although there are many asking it) I'll keep typing.

    I think I'm getting closer. I have now managed to find some drivers at a cool site called which allow me to access the USB cdrom from DOS. I am now planning to copy the distro from CD to the HD of the laptop, and then use hd_grub.img on boot diskette to then start the install.

    Does anyone know how to copy the distro CDs (x3) onto the HD - i.e. do I just put the content of all CD's into a single directory on the c: drive?

    Secondly, many of the instructions I've found hint at the fact that it would be possible for me to compile my own kernel with the USB CDROM support built in (effectively a 2006 version of hdcdrom_usb.img). However, I just don't know where to start with this. Any hints?

    Finally, I've also got the feeling that getting grub onto the HD of the laptop would then let me boot from multiple diskettes, which would allow me to copy boot.iso onto multiple diskettes and boot that way, which may then allow me to get the install going via the USB cdrom. Any thoughts?

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4

    Talking Success!!!

    Well, at least it looks that way. Here's a summary of how far I have got:

    - downloaded a copy of ms-dos 6.2 - loaded onto diskette
    - added duse.exe to diskette (see
    - added loadlin.exe to diskette (see
    - modified autoexec.bat and config.sys to load duse (see to allow dos access to usb cdrom drive
    - booted from diskette
    - successfully recognised usb cdrom as drive E:
    - cd to E:\isolinux\alt0
    - executed the following command - this is a single command so ignore any line breaks if it wraps:

    a:\loadlin vmlinuz initrd=all.gz root=/dev/ram3 ramdisk_size=36000 automatic=method:cdrom

    This successfully started the boot process (without booting the hardware, thanks to loadlin) and the installation is now well under way.

    I sincerely hope not to be coming back to report that it broke half way through!


    P.S. Given that Mandriva appears designed to be super-user-friendly (and installing on a desktop with an IDE cdrom was a breeze), this has been outrageously difficult. Why would they take hdcdrom_usb.img away???

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