Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2002 7:32 AM
Subject: Re: REPOST:ez-bios;loadlin;_umsdos.gz
> > Early Pentium, w/2 HDs-514MB w/only one FAT16 partition and a WD 8.4 GB-
> > Partitions C(A), E,F,G all about 2 Gigs
> > Big drive has EZ-BIOS from WD cuz bios won't recognize above 2.1 gigs.
> > All partitions currently FAT16. Running Win3.1/Dos6.1 on C: with a
> Ugh! *Horrendous* waste of space there. Every tiny 1-byte file eats
> 32KB of disk space. FAT16 *sucks* on big hard drives.
True, but he is using an OS that only understands FAT-16. It would be very
wasteful to put an DMS-DOS installation of Linux (like ZipSlack) in one of
these things though. Since you obviously are comfortable managing multiple
partitions, why not use a Linux that installs into a native EXT2 partition
like the "full" Slackware distro?
If you feel you need all these OS's, You can (and I have) put Linux,
Win9x-FAT32, WinNT, DOS-6+Win3.1 all on the same computer, in either the
same drive or different drives but in separate partitions, booting into all
of them from a boot menu (in my case using LiLo bootloader, but Partition
Magic should work as well). Linux is a nice addition to this situation
because it is the only OS that can read all these filesystems!
> > I want to be choose 4 boot options-4 OSs-4.0 slackware, win3.1, dos 6.1
> > and win 95, which I must install on this box. Currently, I have a dos
> It's not easy to get Win95 to coexist with older DOS versions. It
> is possible to get Win3.1 to run under Win95 DOS! That however
> requires some magical incantations. :) I think I knew how to do it
> five years ago, but I can't remember all of it now.
I wouldn't do it! Put them in separate partitions.
> > Have slackware zipsplit (name?) files for slackware 4.0 and some VMWare
> > builds which I think are compatible already saved on G: above.
> > Also have P-Magic 3.0; 7.0
> > EZ-BIOS says it cannot be used with linux OSs, but zipslack split says
> > it will install under a DOS directory without repartitioning. From
> The issue is that Linux uses its own drivers. DOS and derivatives
> rely upon the BIOS drivers. You can try it, but if EZ-BIOS says it
> cannot be used with Linux, I would tend to believe that. And yes,
> ZipSlack is Linux.
Linux uses it's own drivers once the kernel loads. The issue is will the
boot loader know what to do with EZ-BIOS. Linux "Lilo" does work with
Ontracks Disk Manager which is a similar product. Current versions may or
may not work with EZ-BIOS (consult the LiLo Docs) If you use "loadlin" from
EZ-BIOS enabled DOS, it should work, but I've never tried it. If Partition
Magic can load the kernel directly (not chain to another bootloader like
LiLo) then it should work as well since it obviously works with EZ-BIOS. I
never used PM so I don't know for sure.
> > It would seem the easiest solution is to run the linux under a dos 6.1
> > directory, say partition E and then use the autoexec file to choose a
> > loadlin boot option, a win3.1 option, a straight dos 6.1 option and a
> No; read on.
> > win95 option. I haven't yet checked whether win95 can be setup to
> > with these other OSs (god I've been trying to learn alot of new stuff).
> Maybe that's part of the problem. :) Don't bite more than you can
> chew. Like I said, years ago I had enough DOS expertise to do all
> of the DOS part. Now I have enough Slackware experience to handle
> the GNU/Linux part.
> NB: Since gaining that Slackware experience I have lost interest in
> DOS and Windows. You can do anything you need to do in Slackware,
> given enough effort.
> > But the question remains, even if I install the dos compatible slackware
> > build and use loadlin the box still has to reboot into linux and this
> > problem with the ez-bios, correct?
> I would expect so.
With Zipslack, it easy to try it out and see.
I still would recommend putting a "normal" native filesystem linux on a
separate partition though. If you have to go with a version that embeds
itself in a DOS partition, in your case I would go with a Linux distribution
that uses a 'loopback filesystem' instead of DMS-DOS, this way the you
benefit from FAT16 being faster without suffering from it's space
wastefulness since the loopback filesystem puts Linux in one big DOS file
anyway. This makes it very easy to move/copy around as well.
> > I was thinking of using VMWare to run these different OS's but one
> > says that VMWare can only start a windows session under linux and not
> > vice versa.
I've never used it, but I guess it's pretty amazing. I understand that it
runs all OS's at the same time and allows you to quickly switch between
them. You can see why you need a powerful computer to make use of it.
> I wouldn't know about that, but IAC you won't do very well with
> something that big on old hardware like that. VMWare was made for
> people with lots of spare CPU cycles. You don't have 'em. :)
> > I can wipe the smaller drive, since I have it backed up on the big C:,
> > such that I could use the smaller drive exclusively for one of these
> > OS's if push comes to shove. I am really beginning to get overwhelmed by
> > all this new stuff. I don't think the smaller drive is going to be big
> > enough to run linux, especially if I want x-windows.
How about using the small drive for your DOS/Win31 stuff and the big one for
Win9x-FAT32 and Linux? I did this once on a computer with the BIOS
limitations you have, as long as you have small boot partitions in the front
(less than 540 Meg) sections of the disk for both OS's, you can boot WITHOUT
EZ-BIOS! Once Win9x and Linux kernels boot, they both ignore the BIOS and
load their own drivers anyway. If this method is of interest to you, let me
know and I'll give you more details.