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Re: Potato install fails to load ROOT image

Stuart Ballard <sballard@netreach.net> writes:

> Sorry to reply to myself, but I've come to the conclusion after further
> testing that my floppy drive is 100% busted and I'm not going to be able
> to do anything useful off it. I also can't (practically) replace it. I
> do have a fully functioning RedHat 5.2 installation on the machine and a
> fast network connection, but it's one big partition plus swap. Is there
> any way I can get debian onto this puppy?

CD?  Install from DOS? Those would be easiest. But I'll assume those
won't work.

> I'm thinking of things along the lines of
> # cd /
> # mkdir redhat
> # mv * redhat
> # /redhat/usr/bin/tar zxvf redhat/base_2.2.tar.gz

Ouch. Do you have a free partition to play with?  YOu only need, uh,
150MB or so.

> But then...
> - How do I get a kernel?

Install from harddisk option, is documented.

The problem is going to be starting the system.  I don't know what to
say about this.  Hmm.  It might be possible to gunzip and loop mount
root.bin and then chroot into it, invoking the busybox init.  Never
tried it though.

> - How do I make the system bootable (is LILO in the default
> install?)

Yup, sure.

> [Possible answer: mv /redhat/boot /boot, and just boot off the old
> kernel - how much else would have to be preserved, though?]

doesn't much matter...

> - How do I get into the installation system? (presumably base_2.2
> doesn't extract to a fully functional distribution, or we wouldn't have
> an installation program at all...)

See above.

> Note that due to the aforementioned fast network connection, there is no
> problem getting stuff onto this machine, and it already has linux on an
> ext2 filesystem, so it should be among the easier cases of this kind of
> installation. On the other hand, the absence of a working floppy is
> going to make life hard.

Yeah, that's why non-sucky arches like powerpc/sparc etc have
openfirmware and better support for fully network installation.

> One *possible* workaround would be that, since the floppy drive is more
> "temperamental" than 100% broken, I might be able to get the rescue
> floppy, at least, to boot. If I can do this, I can of course enter
> "rescue" mode and mount my existing / partition as root, but (at least
> according to the installation guide) you can't install from a partition
> onto the same partition.

Or, again, if you have disk space to play with, make a little dos
partition, then boot from a dos disk and run the loadlin option...

> What I'm trying to say is, "Er, help?"

Good luck!

.....Adam Di Carlo....adam@onShore.com.....<URL:http://www.onShore.com/>

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