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

Nazo nazosan at gmail.com
Thu Mar 16 08:17:18 PST 2006

On 3/16/06, Gordon J. Mills III <Gordon.Mills at usa.net> wrote:
> NAZO Wrote:
> >>>>>>>
>         I understand.  The hardware thing was just me checking, kind of
> like
> how one of my word processing teachers back in high school used to joke
> that
> when someone reported a computer problem her first response was to ask
> "did
> you check to make sure it's plugged in?"  It's easy to forget the
> fundamental little things in favor of the big things like the question "is
> my PSU broken?" may kind of overshadow one like "is the plug loose in the
> socket?"
>         That said, what does the XP disk do that FreeDOS won't?  Have you
> tried using another MSDOS based disk with the same files (you can probably
> still grab an image from bootdisk.com, but, the site isn't what it used to
> be so it's getting more useless every day)?  I'm thinking you can toss
> anything that won't work in FreeDOS on a different (hopefully more cleanly
> made) MSDOS disk and it will likely work where the one you have issues
> with
> fails.  Actually, any floppy image made from Windows 95b (or 98) up should
> work (or even DOS 6.22 if you don't need FAT32 or large drive support in
> fdisk since the 6.22 version doesn't support that I think.)
>         My guess is Mr. Anvin is correct.  I'm willing to bet that the
> generated floppy probably has issues in it's boot sector or
> something.  The
> main thing is, the fact that it had to retry made me think first of what
> you
> might get if you had an unreliable medium, but, then, you are running via
> network, so I discarded the first thought in favor of a more hardware
> related thing.  If he is correct, it seems very likely to me that if you
> could attempt [SYS/EXT/ISO]Linux with the same memdisk and boot floppy
> image
> and, in theory, it should probably reproduce the issue since it seems like
> it's after it switches to memdisk that the problem shows up.  If nothing
> else, should it show up only in PXELinux, that sounds like a pretty
> important detail to me.
> <<<<<<<<<
> I happen to have some images of win95 and win98 boot disks. I gave them a
> try. The win95 took 4 tries to boot also. The win98 never booted. Perhaps
> there is a problem with that image, I didn't try it as a floppy.
> I definitely understand your arguments about looking at other
> causes...."don't rule out the impossible". I decided to send this problem
> to
> the list to see if anyone else had experienced this problem. I did not
> find
> anything on google. Also I figured it might be something in MEMDISK that
> Mr.
> Anvin might recognize and quickly fix. It looks like neither is the case.
> That said, so far there is nothing that the FreeDOS disk won't do that
> MS-DOS will. I only wanted to get it to PXE a DOS disk to run ghost at the
> moment. Like I said, I only submitted it to the list to see if there was
> some info I could get on it (and of course that it got under my skin and I
> wanted to get it to work). Also, if it was some issue with MEMDISK then
> Mr.
> Anvin could fix it. Obviously he feels that it is not a problem with
> and the problem lies somewhere else.
> Anyhow, its been good to get some more info on the problem.
> Thanks to all.
> Regards,
> Gordon
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> Ok, glad to hear you can achieve your intentions perfectly with FreeDOS
instead.  It used to not support things like FAT32, but, now it does, so, I
tend to agree that there is very little you can't do with FreeDOS that you
could with MS-DOS (I think there were still some things to do with 32-bit
computing or something, but, can't remember much for certain since I don't
use FreeDOS, or even MS-DOS very much anymore thanks to linux live distros
for my repairs.)

Don't forget to give the same version of memdisk and the same image files a
shot on ISOLinux, or SYS/EXTLinux if the harddrive can be used for testing.
 Probably can't hurt to try other versions of memdisk, though I suspect it
hasn't had to change much really.

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