PCMCIA+UMSDOS boot/root floppies for Slackware?

PCMCIA+UMSDOS boot/root floppies for Slackware?

Post by Ken Mandelbe » Mon, 02 Sep 1996 04:00:00

You seem to get a choice of either PCMCIA support OR UMSDOS
support with the slackware 3.10 root disks.

Has anyone done a PCMCIA and UMSDOS root floppy?


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1. Boot + root or boot/root floppies: how??

My root ext2 partition has had a long run, and it finally needs a defrag, so I
want to make boot/root floppies that are capable of running defrag.  (Defrag
fyi doesn't run on a mounted fs).

The Bootdisk.HOWTO is hopelessly outdated (it proudly proclaims support for
kernel 1.2.0!) and was pretty much unhelpful.  I want to hopefully get about 2
megs of stuff on 1 disk, and this seems feasible with compression and the use
of a ramdisk.  I've tried to use yard, Bootkit, CatRescue, etc. to no avail,
although yard seems to be the closest to being able to give me what I want: a
basic filesystem, with my 1.3.79 kernel on it, and e2defrag.  Yard works fine
in building the filesystem in the ramdisk and compressing it, and even succeeds
in dd'ing the compressed kernel and filesystem to disk.  Then it says:
Doing some rdev's...
and after a brief delay a slew of floppy errors beginning with
"floppy0: not current!"
splatter across my screen.  Then yard happily reports "Done." and exits.
When I boot with that floppy the kernel loads, VFS says to put in the root disk
so I just hit return since it's a boot/root disk, and the kernel panics with
something about MSDOS filesystem. (??)  My limited knowledge of boot/root disks
tells me that the problem is one of the rdevs that failed was telling the
kernel where to find the root filesystem on the floppy.  (I could be wrong...)
But I haven't had success in making those rdev's work right, I even tried going
through the perl scripts and doing them roughly by hand.

So, two things: first, does anyone recognize the above floppy error?  (If so
how do I fix it?)  And, am I right and it's the failed rdev's that are the
problem or is something else going on?

One diagnostic: my floppy drive (or possibly the floppy controller) is
sometimes problematic because it can't write to the last two tracks on a disk.
However the first 78 are reliable and I don't think this is related to the
problem because a) I have a set of Slackware boot and root disks which I made
on this floppy drive following the Slackware instructions, that work fine--I
can't use them because they don't have e2defrag or even the libraries necessary
to run e2defrag; b) the compressed filesystem+kernel takes up far less than the
first 78 tracks on the disk, maybe two-thirds of the disk tops.

I think I can do it on 2 disks (although I haven't succeeded yet) but this
compression thing is driving me crazy and I'm determined to do it that way now.

Thx in advance
Cory Dodt

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