Joined: Dec. 2007
||Posted: Jan. 23 2008,08:33
My forum registration was delayed 1.5 months, so the problem is partially solved, but I'm still open for advice.
I have a Pentium 100 MHz laptop with 24 MB RAM that I found in the trash. I'm convinced it could run DSL just fine, however there's a slight problem. The HD cabinet is gone, and the HD connector is using a non-standard physical connector. However it has (Read: had, after I modded it) a CD-ROM on the secondary IDE. So I simply removed the CD-ROM and connected a HD there.
The problem here is that the BIOS expects nothing but a CD-ROM on that IDE channel. So when I connected a HD there, BIOS refuses to identify it, even less boot it. (BIOS doesn't support CD-ROM boot either)
After a lot of searching, I found a solution that works with DOS/Windows namely the OnTrack disk manager. Using OnTrack, I was able to detect the disk in DOS, and after doing some tricks, install Windows on the HD, which I'm booting using an especially prepared floppy. (Especially prepared->Patched with an OnTrack driver which initializes the HD post-boot)
So much for that. My attempts at booting linux were less fruitful. I tried a few different options.
*Minimal linux kernel on floppy disk (That I found somwhere, forgot where now): Crashed.
*Grub on floppy: Crashed.
*Grub4dos running from DOS floppy, with or without OnTrack patch: Refused to acknowledge the very presence of the disk. (Even if DOS could read and write files from the disk)
Now, I'm pretty happy with my DOS/Windows setup. The only reason I care about this laptop in the first place is because of the OPL sound chip that it's using. What I'm missing, though, is any form of networking.
But to boil down my question: Is it possible to prepare a boot floppy that somehow initializes the HD (Which the BIOS doesn't do since it expects a CD-Rom drive there) and loads a linux kernel?