[rescue] Sun Kit Needed for EE Student Here

Don Y dgy at DakotaCom.Net
Thu May 4 19:59:28 CDT 2006

der Mouse wrote:
>>> I suspect your problem was the BIOS doing your thinking for you.
> Quite possibly.  But it certainly wasn't obvious what I needed to set
> to what to make it stop.

Have you tried manually configuring the disk geometry?
("User" option)

>>> I can usually get any disk to at least *boot* from even ancient
>>> BIOS'es -- long enough for the real OS to start up and "fix" the
>>> problem.
> Wanna come visit me? :-)  If this can be fixed, I'd love to know how.

Heh heh heh... while it's probably 10C cooler there, I'm not sure
I'm up for the 3 hour plane ride!  :<

The fact that you can use the disk AFTER booting from some
other drive means the OS that you are loading isn't impaired
by the BIOS's brain damage.  I would:
- make sure you have the latest BIOS that the machine will support
- if there is an option to detect disk geometry, see what it says
- if there is an AUTO disk geometry, try that (see if it fills
   in the CHS/LBA values for you -- if you don't have a "detect"
- try LBA mode and see if you can install boot blocks (heck, just
   try using a DOS fdisk and see if the data "sticks")
- look at the geometry that your OS lists in the probe().  Use
   this for CHS parameters (limiting the CHS values as required
   to comply with BIOS limitations -- like C < 1024, etc.)
The most annoying part of this process is that many tools make
assumptions that get confused in these scenarios.  (E.g., an old
FBSD installer had a bug that caused it to keep revising its
idea of disk geometry each time you ran through the routine.)
The quick and easy test is to boot from a DOS floppy, FDISK
to create a partition.  Then format c: and sys c:   If this
now boots, you should be able to use this BIOS configuration
to install your OS of choice...

>> Generally just create a /boot partition (or OS equivalent) that you
>> locate under 1GB, and you'll be just fine.
> That wouldn't help here.  The BIOS was wedging when it first touched
> the disk, during its enumeration of the attached IDE devices, long
> before it starts looking anywhere for bootblocks.  Before even the
> execution of the BIOS code in addon PCI cards.

Can you get to the SETUP menu (or whatever your machine calls
it)?  As I said, don't let your BIOS do the thinking...  :<

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