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Thanks for the suggestions.. FreeDOS did not work as well. It just won't boot anything else. I am considering formatting the drive from Mandriva & then starting fresh. Hopefully then ...
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  1. #21
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    Thanks for the suggestions..

    FreeDOS did not work as well. It just won't boot anything else. I am considering formatting the drive from Mandriva & then starting fresh. Hopefully then it will recognize the XP install CD?

    In the meantime, I am trying to use the ms-sys utility in Linux to fix MBR.

    Thanks..

  2. #22
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    zizzu,

    Personally I don't believe your Cd drive failing to boot a scertain CD has anything to do with Mandriva. If you have told the Bios to boot the external USB hard disk first then may be you have forgotten to restore CD drive as the 2nd booting media.

    Booting the CD drive in the front end of a booting queue is strictly a matter from the Bios and never the business of any operating system.

    ------------
    Casper,

    If you don't attack others contributing information to the thread then there would be no need for you to waste any time.

    This post is about booting a Linux from an external USB hard disk.

    I offered my experience by saying it is not possible with Grub. I even offered the way to prove it with Grub's geometry command.

    This was rejected by you without any technical basis.

    I feel sorry that the issue was pursued further and I couldn't do anything about it. That is all.

    I also make absolutely certain the my advice is useful before I dare to contribute into a post where you are answering.

    I do believe I can contribute because I have installed and are running 140+ distro in a PC. Needless to say I have tried various ways to boot them from external hard disks too. In other word I have been there before!

    If you guys think about it and watch the kerenl booting up process you will see even Linux kernel itself "needs" drivers for detecting USB1 and USB2 devices. Grub Legacy is no longer maintained after V 0.97 and without driver Grub at run time and without access to a kernel cannot recognise a USB hard disk. This is not a matter of personal opinion but a fact.

    Users have use other means to boot a Linux installed in a USB device.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by zizzu
    FreeDOS did not work as well. It just won't boot anything else. I am considering formatting the drive from Mandriva & then starting fresh. Hopefully then it will recognize the XP install CD?

    In the meantime, I am trying to use the ms-sys utility in Linux to fix MBR.

    Thanks..
    if your machine boots up from Mandriva LiveCD, it means nothing is wrong with CD Drive or boot device priority. there are a lot of cases where Windows installation CDs didn't work. but i must say that this is a really weird case. Nero and FreeDos CD had always worked.

    last option--- SuperGRUB CD. boot up from it and re-write Windows MBR.






    Casper
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  4. #24
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    Yep.. it's a really weird case. And what I was afraid of, happened. Super Grub did not work as well.

    I've pulled all files & email from the laptop. I think I will format the drive & try restoring with the Toshiba rescue CDs. Which also did not work.

    If you have any more suggestions, I will definitely give them a shot. Cheers & thanks.

  5. #25
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    Go into your Toshiba's bios and select "load bios defaults" and reboot. Then If it doesn't boot, set the bios to boot from the Cd-rom only and disable all other boot device options Including the "boot from other device" option. This should force the machine to boot from any bootable CD.

  6. #26
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    There is no option for load BIOS defaults or the option to boot from CD-ROM only. The way I have the boot order set up now is CDROM->FDD->HDD->PXE. It only allows to change the order of these four.

    Do you know of anyway to fix mbr from Linux? Thanks..

  7. #27
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    Can you describe the actual problem?

    You said the BIOS has been set to boot from

    CDROM->FDD->HDD->PXE

    Then it should boot to the CD first. It is doesn't did you get an error message or the laptop simply skip the CDROM?

    Your post shows that you have a floppy drive. Can you not download a Dos floppy image (anything above Dos 6) from Disk.com and run
    Code:
    fdisk /mbr
    ?
    MS system has a common MBR and the one in Dos also works for XP.

    The way I understand your problem now is the laptop only boots a certain number of CDs but not all, including XP own installation CD.

  8. #28
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    i agree with saikee. something is wrong with BIOS only. as i already suggested, if you have Floppy Drive, download Windows98 Bootable Floppy from www.bootdisk.com and boot from it.
    execute 'fdisk /mbr'.





    Casper
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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  9. #29
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    Guys, finally! A boot CD from bootdisk.com worked. My laptop is back up & all good. I ran the fdisk /mbr & it was fixed in no time. I still don't understand wh many of the other boot cd's did not work. Could it be possible that iso images should only be downloaded to the C drive & not the desktop? I think I read something about that along the way.

    Thanks all for your advice & patience. Now that I know more, I think I will be able to get a dual boot system finally going. Cheers..

  10. #30
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    If you want a quick fix you can make a partition in the laptop disk to host the /boot directory of Mandriva and refer the "root" statement of Grub to this new partition.

    The "root=/dev/xxx" parameter of the "kernel" statement still points to the external disk. This effectively make Grub boot initially from an internal disk and "source" the kernel there. The kernel once takes over will load the remaining files from the external drive. If there is no synchonising error Mandriva should boot up.

    It is a half way house and requires a Linux partition to be made in the laptop which may be objectionable to some users.

    Another fix is to install a distro that has been rigged for external hard disk installation. Puppy is a good one to try.

    You will find Puppy using Grub if you put it inside an internal disk. For external disk it switches to syslinux as the boot loader. You will find most distros booting from external disks invariably go this route. The installation icon of Puppy will guide you through.

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