Toshiba Satellite T1910CS notebook
The following is advice for anyone who runs
into the syslinux problem (rescue disk doesn't
boot, computer screen displays "boot failed")
when trying to install a Debian installation
from floppies (maybe some other distributions,
as well). The machine here is a Toshiba
Satellite T1910CS, 486, 110M HD, 8MB ram .
1) Download resc1400.bin from Debian via ftp.
2) dd that file to a floppy.
3) mount the floppy and copy the files named
"linux" (kernel) and "root.bin" (ramdisk image)
to a local hard disk or some other medium.
I understand that some people prefer to use
mtools for this task. I just mounted the floppy
as msdos and copied the files out that way.
4) dd "linux" to a floppy. dd "root.bin" to
the same floppy using an offset of 720 or so, e.g.,
dd if=root.bin of=/dev/fd0 bs=1k seek=720
(for a floppy disk at /dev/fd0 . the value for
seek needs to be a bit larger than the size of
the kernel file being installed).
5) use the rdev command as follows:
rdev /dev/fd0 /dev/fd0
rdev -r /dev/fd0 49872
*** The resulting floppy will boot the
machine you are trying to install Debian to.
You will be asked to insert a root disk.
Here you just hit the return key and
follow the instructions for the first
part of the installation.
When you are asked for the driver disk
you put a floppy which contains drv1400.bin
(also from Debian via ftp).
You may have to enter /dev/fd0/ if asked
by the program where the device driver
*** Note: Things should proceed from here
without problem except for one important
point. When you attempt to install the
"base" files (from Devian via ftp) via
nfs, hard disk, floppy, etc., you will be
asked to insert "the rescue disk" in the floppy
drive to start up the process. Here, the
program is looking for files in resc1400.bin
other than "linux" or "ramdisk". In order to
satisfy the program and move on to the next
step in the installation, you have to insert
a floppy which has the downloaded resc1400.bin
dd 'ed to it (one that most people can boot
from in the first place - with syslinux in it).
Once you do that you can move on.
In all you will need a regular rescue disk,
a stripped rescue disk (w/ kernel and ramdisk
files, prepared w/ redev), a driver disk and
Tony Laszlo, firstname.lastname@example.org