[syslinux] RE: Strange MEMDISK problem with XP Bootfloppy images

Nazo nazosan at gmail.com
Wed Mar 15 14:21:31 PST 2006

On 3/15/06, Gordon J. Mills III <Gordon.Mills at usa.net> wrote:
> My apologies to the list. I forgot to mention that this is using PXELINUX.
> I
> am using the pxelinux package from syslinux. My tftp server is atftpd.
> Regards,
> Gordon Mills
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Gordon J. Mills III [mailto:Gordon.Mills at usa.net]
> > Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2006 3:28 PM
> > To: 'syslinux at zytor.com'
> > Subject: Strange MEMDISK problem with XP Bootfloppy images
> >
> > Hello all. I am pretty new to this list but I have looked
> > through the archives and did not see any reference to this problem.
> >
> > I have an MS-DOS boot floppy image that I am trying to load
> > using MEMDISK. The disk is simply a boot floppy made using
> > XPSP2. I have tried it on 4 different machines, all Dells.
> > PowerEdge 2650 Server, Latitude D610 Notebook, Optiplex GX280
> > Desktop and Optiplex GX520 Desktop. The boot is successful on
> > the server and laptop but somewhat unsuccessful on the
> > Optiplexes. The optiplexes have SATA drives but I don't know
> > if that makes a difference.
> >
> > I say somewhat unsuccessful because through some
> > trial-and-error I have discovered that it will successfully
> > boot the image on the 4th try. It will try to boot and return:
> >
> > Loading boot sector... booting...
> >
> > Invalid system disk
> > Replace the disk, and then press any key
> >
> > When I press the space bar to continue it goes back to the
> > beginning of the PXE boot (not a total reboot of the
> > machine). I try again and get the same. There is a bunch of
> > info on the screen and I can send a txt file of it if
> > necessary. It does note in the "count" variable which try it
> > is on. On the 4th try it is successful!
> >
> > Is this possibly a MEMDISK problem? Or is it something to do
> > with the PXE code on the card??? The network cards in the
> > optiplexes are Broadcom 57XX series. I believe it is the same
> > in the notebook. Not totally sure about the server but I
> > think it is also the same.
> >
> > Since I couldn't get that to work I tried other avenues. I
> > tried a FreeDOS bootdisk and it worked fine every time! It
> > even ran ghost which is what I wanted. Now I am just curious
> > as to why the XP/MSDOS boot disk would not work.
> >
> > Has anyone else experienced the above? Any suggestions?
> >
> > Regards,
> > Gordon Mills
> >
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> Guess he wants the text file showing all the other text (better to copy
and paste into a message I guess.)  Considering the unusual nature of this
issue, I'm guessing you should worry less about information overload, more
about insufficient information.

Anyway, sorry for asking this, but, can we be sure it's not a hardware
issue?  Unstable CPU or memory or something, or even just troubles reading
the data via the network or something?  Sorry, just, my first thought when I
hear of an inconsistant issue like this -- especially something before the
OS is even loaded -- my first inclination is to check to ensure completely
stable operation (remember, as Prime95 warns us, sometimes a system can be
completely stable during normal operation but have hardware issues that only
show up if you do certain things, and Prime95 does about all of them.)

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