misc‎ > ‎


|                          LAPTOP LIMBO                              |
Installing Redhat linux version 7.2 on a Toshiba Portege 3010CT laptop 
without either a boot floppy drive or a boot cdrom drive.

	Ram : 32 MB
	HDD : 4.2 GB
	O/S : Windows 98
	Acc : Power cable, Dock, PCMCIA-cdrom, USB-floppy.

I wanted a laptop with 2 partitions running windows on one and linux on 
the other.

This document was written after the event ... it is a transcription of 
my handwritten notes so I could easily have forgotten a crucial step 
(like "ALWAYS ... no wait ... NEVER type \rm -rf * as root".)

0. Read, read, read ... then read some more.

1. Obtain a copy of fips and copy it to the harddisk.

2. Defragment the harddisk.
(This is important and maximises the chance of success at step 6.)

3. Reboot into DOS mode. 
(This was trickier than I thought. Hold down the  &  keys and 
then turn on the power (then you can press F1) --- otherwise you need a 
215 millisecond reaction time. You can then select "safe mode dos".)

4. Run "chkdsk"

5. Run "scandsk"

6. Run "fips" and make the changes you want.
(I chose 2.5GB for Windows and 1.6GB for linux. Type "c" to check that 
everything is OK. Type "y" to write to disk. This, of course, is the 
*REALLY* exciting part ... apparently the normal practice is to run 
"fips" from a floppy disk, however this laptop didn't have a boot floppy 
or boot cd so I bit-the-bullet and it worked.)

7. Reboot immediately into DOS mode and run "fips -t" to check that all 
went well. (If not discard the HD---I did warn you!)

8. Copy the contents of the Redhat 7.2 disk #1 into a directory called 
"c:\redhat". (I guess I did another reboot into Windows and used the 
pcmcia/ide cdrom supplied with the laptop.)

*** I got the following 3 steps from Ben Edgington's site --- thanks 
heaps Ben!  Ben actually describes how to dual boot from the windows 
partition using "loadlin" but I really just wanted it to bootstrap the 
Redhat installation process.***

9. Create a file called "c:\redhat\linux.bat" which contains:
	c:\redhat\dosutils\loadlin c:\redhat\linux root=/dev/hda2
(Of course you need to replace "hda2" with your linux boot partition name 
which you find with "fdisk -l". I initially tried using fdisk myself to 
format the appropriate linux partitions but since I didn't really know 
what I was doing I eventually let the redhat installer do it automagically.)

10. Move "c:\config.sys" to "c:\config.sys_orig" and create "c:\config.sys" 
	menudefault=linux, 60



11. Move "c:\autoexec.bat" to "c:\autoexec.bat_orig" and create 
"c:\autoexec.bat" containing:
	goto %config%

	call c:\redhat\linux.bat


12. Reboot into "safe mode dos" and cd into "c:\redhat\dosutils" and 
	run autoboot.bat
(This should start the redhat installation process. Of course the crucial 
point comes when you are asked to "INSTALL A BOOT LOADER" ... this will 
overwrite the master boot record and possibly turn your laptop into a 
chunk of molten magnesium. If you are feeling nervous you can say no at 
this point. Luckily, all went well for me.)

You will need to move the saved "autoexec.bat_orig", "config.sys_orig", and 
"msdos.sys_orig" back to their original names and probably delete the 
"c:\redhat" directory.

Ralph Buchholz