Kevin Ross wrote:
Thanks again for all the further help/ suggestions. As it turns out, the Win3.1 disks are not bootable, so that idea is stillborn.From: jamesb [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Saturday, October 31, 2009 3:18 PM i'm assuming you would be able to use at least iexplorer 3 or something with win 3.1.. it sure is a challenge but definitely possible ;) (it's likely you might have to copy win32s and iexplorer on diskettes somewhere)If memory serves, Windows 3.1 didn't include any TCP/IP stack, and certainly didn't include any version of Internet Explorer (there were 3rd party TCP/IP stacks). Windows for Workgroups 3.11 was the first 16-bit Windows to include a TCP/IP stack. I don't remember what, if any, web browser it came with.
I have rummaged around and found a few old floppies from the days when it would run Slackware (i.e. before I hosed it today!). These result in a kernel panic because of the conflict between the kernel installed with today's Debian attempt and the image that the boot is expecting.
On one disk I found something that booted into the grub prompt. I did some reading up on grub and some basic commands. I didn't get very far - it reports back that there is an ext2fs loaded on /dev/hda1 which I'm assuming was root, although I am sure that when I partitioned the drive today I selected ext3. The boot loader installed today was lilo, because I changed the lilo.conf file to point to the new vmlinuz and initrd.gz files, so that is what is being used. I don't know if grub can use/ by-pass lilo? If it can then should I boot off of the hard drive on which the latest netinstal testing iso is installed (I think) successfully or from the USB drive onto which I copied it earlier?
I took the back completely off this evening and although the CD drive now spins when a CD is inserted (there's progress), it doesn't seem to boot from any CD that is inserted at power up. I am unable at present to trouble shoot whether or not that is the fault of the drive itself. However, I cannot locate the HD, and suspect that it is under a thin aluminium frame which will involve dismantling the entire casing. Under the key pad I can see the IDE ribbon and connector so can locate the HD - I just don't see a viable way of accessing it.
The laptop is a rebranded Mitac 7321 which is well described at http://bongolia.org/linux/mitac7321.php .