Booting MEPIS CD When Machine Does Not Support It

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Some machines have problems with bootable CDs for a variety of reasons. Fortunately there are ways around such problems. With nowadays flash sizes, you can simply create a bootable MEPIS USB key. And here are two other solutions:

Many have found Smart Boot Manager to be their ideal solution. It is very small and can be installed on a floppy or on your hard drive and is operating system independent. When your machine boots with it, Smart Boot Manager scans disks and partitions looking for bootable systems. Bootable CDs will be detected too, if they are already in the drive. Then it is simply a matter of selecting the desired boot partition or CD.

Smart Boot Manager is available at: http://btmgr.webframe.org/ in several packages, one of them being sbminst.exe. which can be used to easily create a boot floppy. You can review its features here: http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/about.html

A second more involved technique involves using loadlin, an old but still very viable Linux boot loader that runs in DOS. It is available from lots of sources, but be sure you download the complete 1.6c loadlin package and not just the update patch to upgrade older versions to 1.6c. You can get version 1.6c-0.4 in .tar.gz form at: http://http.us.debian.org/debian/pool/main/l/loadlin/

You can also obtain it in a Debian deb package from the Debian unstable sources with apt-get or simply download it from here: http://packages.debian.org/loadlin

To use loadlin for booting the MEPIS CD, add the loadlin.exe file to a Windows 98 boot floppy and then follow these steps (SimplyMEPIS 2004.03 was used for this example):

  1. Boot using the Windows 98 boot floppy with CD support.
  2. Insert the MEPIS CD into the drive.
  3. Log onto the MEPIS CD.
  4. Execute this command at the DOS prompt:
a:\loadlin \boot\vmlinuz2 initrd=/boot/initrd.gz 

Using that command, the MEPIS CD will boot using the default 2.6.7 kernel. If boot problems exist using that kernel, change vmlinuz2 to just vmlinuz and the MEPIS CD will boot using the more proven 2.4.26 kernel.

Another way: create boot diskettes and load the CD after you boot from the diskettes.

See also: Installing without a CD


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