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How to boot Gentoo LiveCD with a non-booting CD-ROM or BIOS!
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vargen
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 11:34 am    Post subject: How to boot Gentoo LiveCD with a non-booting CD-ROM or BIOS! Reply with quote

This is a litte HOWTO? explaining how you could install Gentoo from a Live-CD (whitout having a autobooting CD-ROM) in a few simple steps..

1.
first of all go to http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/index.php3?body=download.html and download Smart Bootmanager http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/3.7/sbminst.exe For current windows/dos-users and http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/3.7/sbminst For current other linuxdist-users or http://btmgr.sourceforge.net/3.7/btmgr-3.7-1.i386.rpm for RedHat-users.

Now in the following lines don't write the ' just write the word/words between them!

2.
for windows/dos-users: in windows press 'start', press 'run', write 'command' (cmd in XP) go to the directory you downloaded sbminst.exe to and insert a blank diskette in FD0 (your first diskette station) write 'sbminst -d 0' (that's a zero) voila!

for linuxusers: I guess you know how to mount your FD0? else rtfm!
do the same as windows users, insert a blank floppy then write sbminst -d 0 or possibly sbminst -d /mnt/fd0 or where you mounted your diskette station.


2.
reboot the computer with the diskette still in the drive and your Gentoo Live-CD in your CD-ROM

3.
Now a little blue menu should pop up allowing you to select 'CDROM' from a list, press TAB then press 'Run it!' and watch your Live-cd start.. now read the Installation Guide found at http://www.gentoo.org/main/en/docs.xml and continue from there..
Tip! non-english keyboard user? when you get to the 'boot:'-promt type 'gentoo dokeymap' to be able to select your language in the rest of the installation.

Easy huh! :) (thinking of all the hours I spent trying to make a boot-diskette for Gentoo, now we don't have to!!)


Glad if I could help someone /vargen
if you still have questions, mail me at vargen@home.se

UPDATE:
Since I got about 10 mails about Smart BootManager isn't a good bootmanager because it doesn't support _all_ CDROM's I will answer it here: If you read the about-page on their homepage they say that it works on _almost_ every cd-rom.. ATAPI, SCSI or PCMCIA.. even those cdrom's that isn't bootable even if the BIOS is.. and my litte mini-HOWTO was thought as the _easiest_ way to do it.. not one that works for that little percentage(1%?) that can't use Smart BootManager.. You could also try the http://home.earthlink.net/~jonfos/bootdisk.html but I don't think it has more support than Smart BootManager


(Maybe you should make this one sticky?)
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Last edited by vargen on Sat Jun 28, 2003 2:15 pm; edited 7 times in total
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sisyphus
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 12:47 pm    Post subject: Nice one. Thanks Reply with quote

Useful bit of kit that.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some people have been unable to use smartboot manager to boot their cdrom, but it does work for many :)
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vargen
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes.. some people do.. but if you read the about-page on their homepage they say that it works on _almost_ every cd-rom.. ATAPI, SCSI or PCMCIA.. even those cdrom's that isn't bootable even if the BIOS is.. and my litte mini-HOWTO was thought as the _easiest_ way to do it.. not one that works for that little percentage(1%?) that can't use Smart BootManager..
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sisyphus
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it lets me boot a LiveCD on my Tosh Tecra, I'll offer to have the developers babies (and burn my collection of TRB floppies :)).
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vargen
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm not the developer.. but I still hope it works for you.. it worked for my Acer Extensa 711TE and my Escom p133 so.. good luck..
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2003 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved to Documentation, Tips & Tricks, thanks to puggy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2003 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More than a sticky, I think it should be in the installation guide, and both the windows and the Linux version (maybe with some Gentoo personalizations) should be on the installation disk. Good work.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm saddened to know that I am in the unlucky 1%
:cry:
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valhlalla wrote:
I'm saddened to know that I am in the unlucky 1%
:cry:

Don't wory. I have tried it on 6 of my computers here at my house (1 being a lappy). Only 3 worked, and they were newer systems (>500 MHz). Out of the 2 pentium2's, only one worked. It failed on the p1 lappy and a 900 MHz pentium3 (I think).
So, after 6 tests, it worked for only 50% of my hardware :(, but it would be important to note that the pentium2 that this method DID work on is now running Gentoo Linux :-D.
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vargen
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How exactly didn't it work.. I have notice later on in the process that it sometimes works the second time you try connecting to the cd-rom via the boot manager, the first time you get an error but the second time.. I'll take a pic next time it happens to me..

I have done it on a p1 lappy and a 850 Mhz Pentium3.. so.. I might see another problem in your failure... try again ;) and again ;)

I have also noticed that if you don't write protect the diskette you need to make a new one for every 'puter you boot up.. I even had to make a new diskette on one computer even though it was write protected, no cdrom was shown..

Maybe it's the program.. I don't know, all I know is that if you don't see a cdrom reboot, smae thing? make a new diskette.. If you see one and get an error when you retry try again right after the first one (no rebooting)

hapyy installation :o)
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Valhlalla
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How exactly didn't it work...


My cdroms do not show up at all :(
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vargen
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

try making a new bootdisk.. have you looked in the whole list? if you have lots if devices they end up in the bottom of the list.. also.. sometimes the CD-ROM may get another name.. so try using the devices you see.. ;)
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an option in the menu to rescan drives and partitions. When you do that, everything should appear on the menu and ask to save to diskette. I have tried more than once on the computers that didn't work, but it's important to note that I did use "exotic hardware". Basically, from what it looks like, >50% experience success with this method, so it's worth a shot.

As for the other low end computer that it didn't work on, it's now running Win98se and is in the room of a beautiful girl my age. Of course, I made sure the network card wouldn't work so she'd have to call me to help her install stuff, but that's a longer story.
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vargen
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

evil man.. :twisted:
anyway, it must work for mor then 50% if you believe the creators homepage.. now I know you two guys that have had problems with it.. everyone else that has been in touch with me have got it working..
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those wondering what specifically I couldn't get it to work on:

  1. an old pentium with serial ports and hardware brands I have never seen before
  2. an old lappy that was windows-only and again, with hardware I had never seen before
  3. a newer pentium4 system that I didn't get to play on much. I didn't get system specks or anything, but I think the hd may have been RAID...

All of these were going to be windows computers anyway, so it didn't hurt that the mentioned method didn't work on them. In fact, it only helped me :). I got to spend 2 hours at a beautiful girl's house setting up her network and computer (edit: in her room). I know, that's normally only a 10 minute job, but I made sure to give her a broken network card so that it would take longer. Also, a little bug in the network protocols that made it try to go through a non-existent proxy helped take up more time ;). Ah, the joys of being a nerd! :twisted:
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vargen
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

would've been more interesting to hear what CDROM's it was.. since at least the P4 have auto-booting cd-rom in the BIOS..
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2003 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had a few problems using the manager off a floppy, however. i have found that installing to the MBR often works then the floppy fails. So I just keep a dos boot disk with that program on it, and run -d 128 to install to the drive, reboot without the flooppy, and all is well.

and since grub re-writes the mbr anyway, nothing is left over.
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vargen
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2003 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great to hear that it works for you.. but it shouldn't be a difference..
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My system that did not work has a scsi cd & cd-r (old sonys i think) and a crappy non-booting adaptec card. Not much of a surprise it dosn't work really.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:12 am    Post subject: worked Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm saddened to know that I am in the unlucky 1%


It worked for my old Packard Bell 166mhz!! I'm spellbound! - wow hehe
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: How to boot Gentoo LiveCD with a non-booting CD-ROM or B Reply with quote

vargen wrote:
...

for linuxusers: I guess you know how to mount your FD0? else rtfm!
do the same as windows users, insert a blank floppy then write sbminst -d 0 or possibly sbminst -d /mnt/fd0 or where you mounted your diskette station....


I think it must be:
Code:
/dev/fd0


just for newbies
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:56 am    Post subject: SBM doesn't work for me Reply with quote

I have spent the evening trying to get a Stage1 LiveCD running on my PII-400MHz system. I must say, I'm getting quite frustrated at this point that it won't boot.

ASUS P2B motherboard, BIOS v. 1012
Adaptec 2940U/UW SCSI card
Yamaha 8/8/24 RW SCSI CD-ROM drive
Quantum Atlas IV SCSI 9GB drive

This system *does* support bootable CDROM's -- I can successfully boot all sorts of win32 and Linux CDs -- except for this %$%^ Gentoo LiveCD! I have successfully used this same CD for installing on other IDE based systems.

However on this box, I get:

ISOLINUX 2.02 2003-02-13 isolinux: Loading spec packet failed, trying to wing it...
isolinux: Failed to locate CD-ROM device; boot failed.

I have tried various suggestions, including upgrading my BIOS and creating a Smart Boot Manager disk. However, for some strange reason the SBM disk does not detect my CD-ROM drive! It shows everything else, including the SCSI disk... but no CD-ROM drive!

As you can imagine this is immensely frustrating. It appears from the forums that quite a few others have the same "isolinux" error message. Thus I'm quite puzzled, annoyed and disappointed that such a funamental boot issue is not being solved in isolinux...

Grrrrrrr,
--Stuart
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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2004 5:43 pm    Post subject: How to boot old Dell's with SBMINST Reply with quote

This thread is a little stale, but as it helped me work this problem, I thought I'd update it with a missing piece of information.

I was working the problem of trying to install Gentoo on some old Dell's (GXi 5200's) which don't boot off the CDROM. I tried sbminst as a result of this thread, but found these machines give the "AA" error message code that no one seems to have an answer to. I tried all the flavors of Zool as a boot disk, but could not succeed in subsequently booting any of the Gentoo LiveCD's. I succeeded in getting both Debian and Slackware to install, and could probably have managed to install Gentoo from there, but that sort of defeats the whole purpose.

So I read through a long series of threads on the btmgr email list (this appears to be the original utility name for which sbminst is a later pseudonym. This list goes back to the 2000-2002 time frame, when the author of btmgr appears to have been still supporting it. I don't believe he does any longer. Anyway, it was a great deal of work going through the list, because sometime in 2003 it became swamped with porn spam (which appears to have killed the list). But in there somewhere I ran into the missing clue: its not a problem with the code, or the BIOS, but with the hardware. Dell was apparently using some really crappy non-standard drives. All I did to get around the problem was hang a more modern one off one of the ide connectors as a slave. SBMINST saw it and booted off it without any difficulty at all.

I know its not an optimal solution, but at least it works. And - you only have to do it once.

-Jeff
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 6:02 am    Post subject: -bash: sbminst: command not found Reply with quote

I would like to make a sbminst floppy on my working gentoo computer to make a old non cd bootable computer boot live cd and become a server. I have read the manual. I downloaded sbminst.bin from the link above and placed it in a off shoot of my home dir called server. I mounted my floppy and ran sbminst.
Code:
parsons server# mount /mnt/floppy
parsons server # sbminst -t us  -d /mnt/floppy
-bash: sbminst: command not found
parsons server # sbminst -t us  -d /mnt/floppy
-bash: sbminst: command not found
parsons server # sbminst -d /mnt/fd0
-bash: sbminst: command not found
parsons server # sbminst -d 0
-bash: sbminst: command not found
parsons server #               

What am i doing wrong?
Does it need to be in my bin directory?
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