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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, laszlo@issho.org
Jiyugaoka, Tokyo

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