Re: Weird used computer
From: Robert Heller (heller_at_deepsoft.com)
Date: Sun, 16 May 2004 17:48:48 +0200
Allan Adler <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
In a message on 16 May 2004 11:23:34 -0400, wrote :
AA> Allan Adler <email@example.com> writes:
AA> > Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. I'm having the necessary keyboard,
AA> > mouse and monitor sent to me.
AA> They have arrived and I've put the computer together. The computer,
AA> an HP Pavilion with a Celeron processor, originally had Windows XP
AA> on it but the vendor wiped the hard drive clean since he didn't feel
AA> he had the right to sell the machine with the Windows XP that the original
AA> owner had installed. I didn't mind, since I intended to install Linux on it
AA> anyway. As soon as I put the machine together, I put the Linux installation
AA> CD in the CDROM drive (actually, a CDRW) and tried to boot. To my surprise,
AA> the machine would not boot from the CDROM drive and there was nothing like
AA> the usual message on bootup telling me to hit DEL to go into setup, where
AA> I might have been able to explicitly tell it to boot from the CDROM drive.
AA> I did manage to install RedHat 7.2 on the machine in the following way:
AA> I had an old Win95 bootable floppy and managed to boot the machine from
AA> that. It detected the CDROM drive and told me it was drive k:. I changed
AA> to k: and changed directory to dosutils and then executed
AA> loadlin autoboot\vmlinuz initrd=autoboot\initrd.img
AA> whereupon it started the installation from the CDROM and that ran
AA> to completion. So, now there is one hard drive with Linux on it,
AA> one floppy drive and one CDRW that I can't boot from. It boots ok
AA> from the hard drive.
AA> I'm under the impression that if I want to be able to boot from the
AA> CDROM, and I do since that will make it easier to do emergency repairs
AA> on the system, I have to modify the BIOS. I have no idea how to do that,
AA> particularly under Linux. Also, I don't like it that I don't get the
AA> option of doing setup with DEL or F2 on bootup. How do I change that?
Some *older* BIOS's cannot boot from the CD-ROM. You should *always* be
able to boot from the floppy. Which it seems that it will do. Note
that on the RedHat (and Fedora) CDs is a directory named 'images' which
contains a *floppy* boot image. It might also have a MS-DOS program
that can be used to copy this image to the floppy. This floppy can be
used for rescue purposes or for installation.
It is odd that there is no 'go to setup' mode. It is possible that this
feature was disabled (some totally paranoid types do disable it and/or
put in a BIOS password). Since the 'default' is always to enable this,
it should be possible to re-instate the default:
1) open the case
2) disconnect the CMOS/BIOS battery
3) wait 10-20 seconds
4) reconnect the CMOS/BIOS battery
The machine will now boot with the BIOS defaults.
You might still not be able to boot from the CD-ROM drive, if the BIOS
is too old.
AA> Allan Adler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
AA> * Disclaimer: I am a guest and *not* a member of the MIT CSAIL. My actions and
AA> * comments do not reflect in any way on MIT. Also, I am nowhere near Boston.