1.4.2 boot floppy won't boot

1.4.2 boot floppy won't boot

Post by William Gr » Sat, 16 Sep 2000 04:00:00

I have an old 486 w/ 8megs ram and Vesa local bus.  It currently
has win95 on it.  I downloaded the 1.4.2 boot floppy image (boot1.fs)
and used rawrite.exe to put it on a floppy.  When I boot with it
the system accesses the floppy, then reboots again without any error
messages or anything.  I tried a different floppy and writing the floppy
from a different drive, with the same result.  I definitly used binary
mode to xfer the floppy image.  Any ideas?



"Sigourney Weaver is pretty cool, he really kicks ass in all those
alien movies, even if he does look a little like a chick."


1.4.2 boot floppy won't boot

Post by David Christense » Mon, 18 Sep 2000 04:00:00


Quote:> I have an old 486 w/ 8megs ram and Vesa local bus.
> ... 1.4.2 boot floppy image ... reboots again ...

Try stripping down your box to just the motherboard, floppy disk drive,
and video card.  Double-check any and all jumpers, DIP switches, and/or
BIOS settings.  Writing them down is a useful exercise.  I assume you
understand FDD cables (old-style cables had one motherboard connector at
one end, two primary drive connectors at the other end, and two
secondary drive connectors in the middle -- you want primary)?  Verify
it boots off a DOS disk.  Then try booting BSD.  If it boots DOS and
BSD, you can add one piece of hardware at a time.  If it boots DOS but
not BSD, then I'd guess you have a bogus boot image.  Have someone with
a NetBSD box (myself?) create (and verify) a boot floppy for you.

Does your BIOS allow you to boot from CD-ROM?  Maybe a new drive/IO
controller card (like http://www.siig.com/ide/eide_master_isa___io.html)
and/or ATAPI CDROM drive, both with El Torito support, are what you
need?  I used this tactic to resurrect an old 386 and turn it into a 1+
GB file server and dial-up gateway.

I bought or traded for more disk drives (6) than I have computers (2),
put the drives into removable drawers, installed one or more OS's on
each drive, and can now play musical chairs with OS's and boxes on my
LAN.  It's well worth the investment.  I use the 66MHz IDE drive tray
made by InClose Designs (beware of knock-off brands):


ucsc = UC Santa Cruz?  If you're near Silicon Valley, you can pick up
the 1.4.2 NetBSD CD's for $18 at Daemon News Mall
(http://mall.daemonnews.org/), used 500 MB drives for ~$20 at Weird
Stuff Warehouse (http://www.weirdstuff.com/), and the controller card
for ~$70 (?) and drive bays for ~$25 (~$12 drawer only) at Fry's

David Christensen


1. Newbie: CONFIGURE'd boot floppy - won't boot

I successfully performed a UMSDOS install of the Slackware distribution
(from floppy disks A,AP,Q,U) on my laptop:
   Epson 4SLC/25  (486 25MHz)
   4Mb RAM
   120 MB HD

After the installation completed, it prompted me to create a boot floppy,
which I did (and have re-tried several times, but to no avail).

This boot floppy does not boot - the computer goes through the POST, spins
the floppy once, then just sits there dead in the water.

BTW, I formatted this floppy under DOS both with and without /S;  it didn't
make any difference.

BTW also, I am trying to use the idekern kernel (at least until I can get
a regular boot off my boot floppy).

Any ideas?  The Installation-HOWTO isn't very specific about this kind of

Question:  If I were to boot using the installation boot/root disks, and
           did an "ls" on this troubled boot floppy, what (if anything)
           should I see?

Many thanks!


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