Unable to boot Slackware 12 disc

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Mark Iszler

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Jul 15, 2007, 12:21:49 AM7/15/07
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Hi everyone,

I have been unable to boot the install discs for recent Slackware
versions (11 & 12) in my somewhat older machine. It is a Pentium 3 800
MHz (vintage 2000) Gateway brand computer. It sort of baffles me
because I have a copy of Slackware 10.1 that boots just fine. Also, the
Slackware 11 & 12 discs boot just fine in other (newer) computers.
The type of disc doesn't seem to make any difference either (DVD+R in
this case). For Slackware 11 I downloaded the first install CD image
and burned it to CD-R when I couldn't get the DVD to work. No luck
there either. The best that I can guess is that this computer's BIOS
just doesn't like something about the boot record written on these
discs. Was this somehow changed in recent versions of ISOLINUX?

Anyway, to get around this problem was relatively easy for Slackware
11 since I could write a boot disc image to a floppy and boot that
way. But since I can't do that for Slackware 12, I need to find an
alternative. First, I tried writing the sbttomgr.dsk to a floppy in
order to boot the DVD. No luck. It just gave me a terse error
message with a code that I don't remember now. My next attempt was
to use Loadlin by copying the desired kernel image and what I thought
was the correct ramdisk image (D:\isolinux\initrd.img) to a partition
on which I can boot DOS. I am using a loadlin parameter file with
the following entries:
bzImage
vga=0
root=/dev/ram
rw
initrd=initrd.img

When I run Loadlin I get the following messages and booting stops:
RAMDISK: Compressed image found at block 0
invalid compressed format (err=1)
UDF-fs: No partition found (1)
(1,0):ocfs2_fill_super:561 ERROR: superblock probe failed!
VFS: Cannot open root device "ram" or unknown-block(1,0)
Please append a correct "root=" boot option
Kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on
unknown-block(1,0)

Any help would be appreciated.

Mark Iszler

Henrik Carlqvist

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Jul 15, 2007, 4:53:59 AM7/15/07
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Mark Iszler <isz...@midrivers.com> wrote:
> I have been unable to boot the install discs for recent Slackware
> versions (11 & 12) in my somewhat older machine.

> It sort of baffles me because I have a copy of Slackware 10.1 that boots


> just fine. Also, the Slackware 11 & 12 discs boot just fine in other
> (newer) computers.

> Was this somehow changed in recent versions of ISOLINUX?

In the directory isolinux on the Slackware CDs and DVDs there is a file
README.TXT which explains how to create your own bootable iso image. For
Slackware 10.1 the command was:

mkisofs -o /tmp/slackware.iso \
-R -J -V "Slackware Install" \
-x ./bootdisks \
-x ./extra \
-x ./slackware/gnome \
-x ./pasture \
-x ./patches \
-x ./rootdisks \
-x ./source \
-x ./zipslack \
-hide-rr-moved \
-v -d -N -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table \ -sort
isolinux/iso.sort \
-b isolinux/isolinux.bin \
-c isolinux/isolinux.boot \
-A "Slackware Install CD" .

For Slackware 12 the command was:

mkisofs -o /tmp/slackware-dvd.iso \
-R -J -A "Slackware Install" \
-hide-rr-moved \
-v -d -N \
-no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 32 -boot-info-table \ -sort
isolinux/iso.sort \
-b isolinux/isolinux.bin \
-c isolinux/isolinux.boot \
-V "SlackDVD" .

I think that the important difference is the value for the -boot-load-size
argument.

A little later in the README.TXT with Slackware 10.1 comes the following
text:

-8<----------------------------------------
Techincally the --boot-load-size should be a lot bigger, like 20 or so
in order to hold the isolinux.bin boot block. However, setting it to
4 causes it to load on more BIOSes. I don't know why, but I've had so
many people report this to me that I'm inclined to believe it. But, if
the resulting discs don't boot in your machine and you find that using
a more correct value here fixes it, please let me know! If it's going
to be broken for some BIOSes either way, I'd rather be correct.
-8<----------------------------------------

regards Henrik
--
The address in the header is only to prevent spam. My real address is:
hc1(at)poolhem.se Examples of addresses which go to spammers:
root@localhost postmaster@localhost

Mark Iszler

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Jul 15, 2007, 8:40:31 PM7/15/07
to
Henrik Carlqvist wrote:
>
> I think that the important difference is the value for the -boot-load-size
> argument.
>
> A little later in the README.TXT with Slackware 10.1 comes the following
> text:
>
> -8<----------------------------------------
> Techincally the --boot-load-size should be a lot bigger, like 20 or so
> in order to hold the isolinux.bin boot block. However, setting it to
> 4 causes it to load on more BIOSes. I don't know why, but I've had so
> many people report this to me that I'm inclined to believe it. But, if
> the resulting discs don't boot in your machine and you find that using
> a more correct value here fixes it, please let me know! If it's going
> to be broken for some BIOSes either way, I'd rather be correct.
> -8<----------------------------------------
>
> regards Henrik


I had never used mkisofs to create bootable iso images before so I
didn't understand many of the command line parameters used for that
purpose. Now I think I understand a little about -boot-load-size.
Your suggestion worked great. (By the way, I did use a value of 4.)

Thanks!

Mark Iszler

Manuel Otto

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Aug 9, 2007, 9:02:31 AM8/9/07
to

Thanks from me too!

Took me quite a few wasted dvd's before I fount this topic.

I also used a value of -boot-load-size 4; -boot-load-size 32 did not
work on a 1999 machine, nor on an other machine with BIOS date April
2001.

This was the first time in 11 years of computing I experienced a
problem with bootable media on ANY machine.

I wonder if -boot-load-size 4 will NOT make it boot on some other
machines? Slackware 10.2 install cd just booted fine, why these
changes?

Manuel

notbob

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Aug 9, 2007, 9:23:32 AM8/9/07
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On 2007-07-15, Henrik Carlqvist <Henrik.C...@deadspam.com> wrote:

> -v -d -N -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table \ -sort

> -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 32 -boot-info-table \ -sort

> I think that the important difference is the value for the -boot-load-size
> argument.

> Techincally the --boot-load-size should be a lot bigger, like 20 or so

As if this whole discussion isn't cryptic enough, what cockamamie
universe enables the logic that 20 is bigger than 32, so lets use 4?

nb ...I need coffee

Manuel Otto

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Aug 9, 2007, 5:34:54 PM8/9/07
to

He said:

"Techincally the --boot-load-size should be a lot bigger (bigger then
4), like 20 (to be precise: 24) or so in order to hold the
isolinux.bin boot block".

32 didn't work for me, so I tried 4, and that did work.

Did a google search
http://www.google.com/search?q=boot-load-size&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

And the third link:
http://www.planetamd64.com/lofiversion/index.php?t12660.html

says: "The '-boot-load-size' option gives the number of 512-byte
sectors to load from the boot image. This should be a multiple of 4".

But now it gets weird...

The isolinux.bin file on the DVD has a size of 10.932 (10.932 divided
by 512 = 21.3515625) bytes, so the value should by 24 (the first
multiple of 4 after 21).

I'm confused too. The only can think of that it is true that
cd's/dvd's on some machienes don't boot with high values like 32, but
that the burn software somehow works a round that?

Manuel

Message has been deleted

Manuel Otto

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Aug 11, 2007, 10:12:10 AM8/11/07
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On Sat, 11 Aug 2007 01:27:54 -0000, ljb <lba...@pobox.com.nospam>
wrote:

>not-fo...@adress.is.invalid wrote:
>> ...


>> Thanks from me too!
>>
>> Took me quite a few wasted dvd's before I fount this topic.
>>
>> I also used a value of -boot-load-size 4; -boot-load-size 32 did not
>> work on a 1999 machine, nor on an other machine with BIOS date April
>> 2001.
>>
>> This was the first time in 11 years of computing I experienced a
>> problem with bootable media on ANY machine.
>>
>> I wonder if -boot-load-size 4 will NOT make it boot on some other
>> machines? Slackware 10.2 install cd just booted fine, why these
>> changes?
>

>A machine I have that "-boot-load-size 32" would not work on is from 2001.
>But I also have a machine from 1999 which boots either size just fine.
>
>I have found no machines that won't boot the -boot-load-size 4.
>Nevertheless, I expect -boot-load-size 32 is the new Slackware standard,
>because 4 is "wrong" and he would rather be "right".

Thanks for your information.

About 'right' and 'wrong' is what I thought too.

I really hope there will be someone who can explain how it's working,
and why it works with -boot-load-size 4, while it is not suppost to
work with that setting.

Then maybe the issue can ve solved for once and for all...

B.Yanc...@gmail.com

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Aug 13, 2007, 8:25:22 AM8/13/07
to
On Jul 15, 7:21 am, Mark Iszler <isz...@midrivers.com> wrote:

> Anyway, to get around this problem was relatively easy for Slackware
> 11 since I could write a boot disc image to a floppy and boot that
> way. But since I can't do that for Slackware 12, I need to find an
> alternative. First, I tried writing the sbttomgr.dsk to a floppy in
> order to boot the DVD. No luck. It just gave me a terse error
> message with a code that I don't remember now. My next attempt was
> to use Loadlin by copying the desired kernel image and what I thought
> was the correct ramdisk image (D:\isolinux\initrd.img) to a partition
> on which I can boot DOS.

I was able to install Slackware from harddisk, my only working boot
choice is floppy.
I pushed all the Slackware DVD stuff into /s12 directory on my running
Slackware 10.2 box
and added the following into /setc/lilo.conf

image= /s12/kernels/hugesmp.s/bzImage
initrd= /s12/isolinux/initrd.img
append="load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 rw SLACK_KERNEL=hugesmp.s"
label= install

then /sbin/lilo and reboot. Now we take "install"choice from lilo
menu. Next, with a command prompt from Slackware installer I pushed
all my Slackware 10.2 things into /old directory and started
installation with setup. We must
not format of course partition with /s12 and /old directories and
choose something like
Install packages from harddisk partition. It's a bit tricky but not in
fact difficult. I am just writing about that because we don't need
for boot from removable media to start installation.

---
Bogdan

Michael Black

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Aug 13, 2007, 10:37:44 AM8/13/07
to
I couldn't boot from either Slack 11 or 12, though I'd never had a problem
before that.

I went the easy root, made a floppy disk with the smart boot manager, it's
documented on the dvd, and that got things started fine.

Michael

B.Yanc...@gmail.com

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Aug 14, 2007, 11:09:39 AM8/14/07
to
On Aug 13, 5:37 pm, et...@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Michael Black) wrote:
>
> I couldn't boot from either Slack 11 or 12, though I'd never had a problem
> before that.

My case is much easy, with my Award Medallion v6.0 BIOS (2002) I could
not boot any
bootable CD, but the BIOS has this feature.

>
> I went the easy root, made a floppy disk with the smart boot manager, it's
> documented on the dvd, and that got things started fine.
>
> Michael

This also works to me with Slackware 10.2 CD, perhaps now this is my
emergency boot choice, I have no DVD drive, and grabbed Slackware 12.0
DVD onto local harddisk from a remote host.

---
Bogdan

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