Idiot has problem at step zero

Idiot has problem at step zero

Post by Eric Webste » Mon, 12 Oct 1998 04:00:00

I got a copy of LinuxPPC for use on my IBM Power Series 820 laptop. The
drive is bare (brand new, oddly enough), so I can't boot anything. The 820
does not allow booting from CDROM. I am trying to make a boot floppy on my
Intel WinBloz machine using RAWrite and IMAGE.PREP but when I boot the
system just locks up.

Anyone have any ideas? Am I using the wrong technique to make a boot floppy?

Yeesh! An expensive boat anchor if I can't get an OS to install!



1. Floppy reports size as zero sectors, zero tracks, zero bytes

My 3-1/2" floppy drive has stopped responding properly to requests for
its geometry.  The low-level "fdformat" utility will query the hardware,
find out that the disk has zero sectors and zero tracks, and exit (it
seems to think its work is done).  The drive doesn't show any other
problems: I can put filesystems on the floppies and mount them, and I can
splat kernels directly onto the media with "dd".  I can even do a
low-level format with "superformat" (which doesn't seem to ask for the
geometry).  The sector/track error is only an issue with "fdformat" and
with Mach---Mach always wants to check the geometry before mounting the
floppy disk.

I'm trying to figure out what is causing the problem.  In the past, the
floppy drive worked fine.  Unfortunately, I can't tell when the problem
occurred; I don't do low-level formats that often.  I can think of three

 1. My 1992 floppy drive has had a hardware failure, or is simply
    incompatible with modern hardware.  (It moved from B: to A: a while
    back, but I doubt that's the problem).
 2. My PCI motherboard's built-in floppy controller is buggy.  It's an
    Intel Zappa ED, with the Triton 82430FX chipset.  It's fairly recent.
 3. The Linux floppy driver (which Mach is using) is incompatible with
    one of the two pieces of hardware.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to proceed?  Thanks.


Derek Upham

"Ha!  Your Leaping Tiger Kung Fu is no match for my Frightened Piglet style!"

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