(sort of) new user with boot issues

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(sort of) new user with boot issues

FreeDOS - User mailing list
I haven't used FreeDOS since I had an old IBM ThinkPad laptop and I
needed a DOS based solution to set up the hibernate space. It worked
perfectly for that, although not all features were ever made to work.
The laptop was retired years ago from hard use.

So, I have a need to run a DOS based utility to flash a SCSI card BIOS.
I guess that eliminates the use of an emulator under Linux because of
the security risks of that from a non-root user.

I can't boot from a USB-based mass storage device with this desktop's
BIOS. No option is provided for it in the BIOS menu. My floppy drive
died years ago and was retired, so that option is out as well.

My hard drives are 2TB and 3TB, respectively. The "legacy" CD-ROM
complained about my "Drive is too large to handle" and said something
about the first 8GB being usable. Is it possible for me to move around
my Linux partitions, time-consuming but trivial, to open up space below
8GB and hope grub can find the GPT based partition that I set aside for
the purpose?

And even then, exactly what is the grub syntax for the FreeDOS partition
and the "chainloader" command? "+1" doesn't work, even with the
"--force" switch. Is there a magical file that I can use with the
"chainloader" command that I'm missing?

If I have that "chainloader" command, I can also use grub to boot
FreeDOS from the USB mass storage device by clever use of the "drivemap"
command.

(Another problem with this is Google yields 8 year old answers with
"grub legacy" syntax.)


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Re: (sort of) new user with boot issues

Jerome Shidel
Hi Curtis,

Since you are using a multi-boot system, there is something you will probably want to NOT do during the installation of FreeDOS 1.2. You won't want to the boot sector overwritten. So, be sure to run the installer in Advanced Mode and tell it not to do it. It makes a backup of the current one you could restore. But, why go through the extra headaches. You can enter advanced mode two ways. Exit installer and relaunch as "setup adv" or at any time the installer is waiting for you to press a key, press CTRL+C and switch to/from advanced mode.

As for your grub chainload question, I can't be of much help there. I haven't done any multi-boot  stuff in years. All my machines are either dedicated Macs or Linux Boxes. Some virtual machines. But, no multi-boot.

I do recall someone recently posted some detailed information on doing that in this or the devel group.

> On Jun 20, 2017, at 6:32 PM, Curtis R Anderson via Freedos-user <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I haven't used FreeDOS since I had an old IBM ThinkPad laptop and I needed a DOS based solution to set up the hibernate space. It worked perfectly for that, although not all features were ever made to work. The laptop was retired years ago from hard use.
>
> So, I have a need to run a DOS based utility to flash a SCSI card BIOS. I guess that eliminates the use of an emulator under Linux because of the security risks of that from a non-root user.
>
> I can't boot from a USB-based mass storage device with this desktop's BIOS. No option is provided for it in the BIOS menu. My floppy drive died years ago and was retired, so that option is out as well.
>
> My hard drives are 2TB and 3TB, respectively. The "legacy" CD-ROM complained about my "Drive is too large to handle" and said something about the first 8GB being usable. Is it possible for me to move around my Linux partitions, time-consuming but trivial, to open up space below 8GB and hope grub can find the GPT based partition that I set aside for the purpose?
>
> And even then, exactly what is the grub syntax for the FreeDOS partition and the "chainloader" command? "+1" doesn't work, even with the "--force" switch. Is there a magical file that I can use with the "chainloader" command that I'm missing?
>
> If I have that "chainloader" command, I can also use grub to boot FreeDOS from the USB mass storage device by clever use of the "drivemap" command.
>
> (Another problem with this is Google yields 8 year old answers with "grub legacy" syntax.)
>
>
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Re: (sort of) new user with boot issues

Rugxulo
In reply to this post by FreeDOS - User mailing list
Hi,

On Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 5:32 PM, Curtis R Anderson via Freedos-user
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> So, I have a need to run a DOS based utility to flash a SCSI card BIOS.
>
> I can't boot from a USB-based mass storage device with this desktop's BIOS.
> No option is provided for it in the BIOS menu.

Use PLoP boot manager:

"You can start the boot manager from floppy, CD, network and there are
many more ways to start the boot manager. You can install the boot
manager on your hard disk."

https://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagers.html

> My floppy drive died years ago and was retired, so that option is out as well.

Buy a USB floppy drive:

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=usb+floppy+drive

> My hard drives are 2TB and 3TB, respectively. The "legacy" CD-ROM complained
> about my "Drive is too large to handle" and said something about the first
> 8GB being usable.

Not sure exactly, not something I'm intimately familiar with. So I can
only provide hints (guesses).

* https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/BIOS_Update
* https://wiki.debian.org/FlashBIOS

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Re: (sort of) new user with boot issues

Rugxulo
Hi again,

On Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 6:36 PM, Rugxulo <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Not sure exactly, not something I'm intimately familiar with. So I can
> only provide hints (guesses).

Found some more (hopefully useful) links:

* https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Flashing_BIOS_from_Linux

* http://web.archive.org/web/20160322142625/http://diddy.boot-land.net/grub4dos/files/menu.htm
* https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/GRUB2_Quick_Start

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Re: (sort of) new user with boot issues

FreeDOS - User mailing list
In reply to this post by Jerome Shidel
On 06/20/2017 07:08 PM, Jerome Shidel wrote:
> Hi Curtis,
>
> Since you are using a multi-boot system, there is something you will probably want to NOT do during the installation of FreeDOS 1.2. You won't want to the boot sector overwritten. So, be sure to run the installer in Advanced Mode and tell it not to do it. It makes a backup of the current one you could restore. But, why go through the extra headaches. You can enter advanced mode two ways. Exit installer and relaunch as "setup adv" or at any time the installer is waiting for you to press a key, press CTRL+C and switch to/from advanced mode.

That was moot, as the FreeDOS loader never found the "Microsoft basic
data" partition I created beyond the 8GB limit. I still don't know if
the loader can even detect GPT partitions on a BIOS (not UEFI) computer.

> As for your grub chainload question, I can't be of much help there. I haven't done any multi-boot  stuff in years. All my machines are either dedicated Macs or Linux Boxes. Some virtual machines. But, no multi-boot.
>
> I do recall someone recently posted some detailed information on doing that in this or the devel group.

But, I did solve my problem.

I said I couldn't (directly) boot from a mass storage device because of
lack of BIOS support. (The only reason the BIOS detects USB mass storage
devices is to flash the motherboard's BIOS.) But, I could get grub to
boot in an indirect fashion. My fragment of grub.cfg (for grub version
2.02~beta3) appears as this:

menuentry "FreeDOS                   (from memory card)" {
         insmod  chain
         set root=(hd2)
         chainloader --force +1
}

Change the number in the (hd2) to the number of fixed hard drives
installed in your system. (I haven't taken the --force flag out yet)

The purpose of all this rigamarole was to upgrade the BIOS in my Adapted
29320 U320 PCI Express card. When I booted FreeDOS with no memory
managers (as recommended in the documentation in the flash update
utility), I ran the utility to back up the old BIOS and flash the newest
one onto the card. That was performed flawlessly, which is a tribute to
the hard work of the FreeDOS team.

For completeness, I could see about the network (NVIDIA nForce) and
sound (AC97) support. But I not going to lose sleep if those don't work.


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