How to make a bootable compact flash

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Hi, I have a PC104 system. It does not have either a floppy or a CD
drive, it has a compact flash drive a: built in and an add on board
for a compact flash card (like used in cameras) for drive c:.

It comes with a defunct dos clone called GSDOS. Someone before me made
a MSDOS bootable flash drive. Now with that I can sys: from that
bios/drive a: flash and make bootable drives in the c: CF drive. And I
can then do the same for other a: flash drives by using the c: drive.

My problem is I would like to try freedos and drdos and others. These
systems typically come with 1.4meg floppy and cd image files. I don't
know how to make a bootable compact flash. The only non-dos access to
the cf drives I have is via a USB/compact flash dongle for my winxp
system.  I can copy files onto the CF from windows, but the hidden,
system areas, partition info, boot records etc also need to be inited.

It is a chicken and egg thing. Once I have a bootable DOS drive I can
sys copy onto other dos drives. But I do not have a bootable DOS
system than can access the USB/CF dongle. I have a linux system but no
compact flash reader/writer hardware.


Any ideas?

Thanks, Steve
There is no "x" in my email address.

Re: How to make a bootable compact flash


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We can send you a 8M CF with opendos (freedos?) on it.  You just have
to pay for $5 shipping.

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Re: How to make a bootable compact flash

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Thanks, that is a good offer. Who are "we" and how do I get the CF?
Also, I would like to know how to get the necessary program to make a
bootable CF via a sandisk USB/CF interface running on winxp.


There is no "x" in my email address.

Re: How to make a bootable compact flash


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You don't want to sys through USB, since the boot device would be
incorrect.  We use IDE-CF adapter to sys from floppy.  That way, the
boot device would be same as running from your PC104 (hopefully,
primary master).  You might have to try secondary master.  However, if
your board can boot from either CF, perhaps it does not matter.  Dos is
not as picky about primary vs. secondary.  If you only need to do it
once, then we can just send you the CF.  If you need to do it more than
once, then you should get the adapter as well.  See:

http://cfd.info-for.us

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Re: How to make a bootable compact flash
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Do you have a drive letter for the CF in WINDOWS? If so, assuming the
CF is on G:, use FreeDOS sys (from a bootable FreeDOS floppy in A: for
example) and just do "sys g:".

If you don't have WINDOWS and only Linux, you might get something out
of DOSEMU, if you set things up right.


Right,

                        MartinS

Re: How to make a bootable compact flash


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How windows map the drive is completely irrelevant.

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The OP has USB drive, FreeDOS knows nothing about USB at all.  You must
be running FreeDOS to "sys".

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That will map into the linux drivers (IDE or FDC), which will carefully
protect the user from messing up the boot sector.

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Re: How to make a bootable compact flash

On 2005-06-19 Martin S said:

   > The OP has USB drive, FreeDOS knows nothing about USB at all.

Yes.  This is the crux of the entire problem.

In order to use -ANY- peripheral device connected to a USB port
from true DOS, you -MUST- install a third-party, DOS-based USB
software driver.

True DOS knows nothing about USB ports, and can't access them
without a driver.

There are several USB software drivers available for DOS.  Try
one or two, until you find one that recognizes the presence of
the USB drive.

Google for 'USB + DOS' (without the quotes).

Once you've installed an appropriate DOS USB driver, it will
then be necessary to partition, format, and sys the USB drive.

Make certain that you do this with the O.S. that you'll be
using on the drive.  Don't try to do it with a Mikro$loth
product.

Frankly, I wouldn't fsck around with FreeDOS at all.  DR-DOS
version 7.xx is free, is much better than FreeDOS, and is a
hell of a lot more stable.

http://www.drdosprojects.de

Have fun!
 

Re: How to make a bootable compact flash

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Unless your BIOS supports USB drives, in which case no drivers are
needed.  Most newer machines do include BIOS support for USB
mass-storage devices, and can even boot from them.

--
Charles Dye     snipped-for-privacy@highfiber.com


Re: How to make a bootable compact flash

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Its worse than that. My laptop runs winxp and does not have a floppy
drive. For some reason the iso image does not boot from DVD/CD. But
even if it did, freedos does not know how to use usb to get to the
flash drive.

winxp does not allow me to access the "hard drives" hidden areas, so
the freedos sys command does not work under the dos console for winxp.

So with winxp I can copy files, but not make the cf bootable. I have
to start with msdos, and use the freedos sys command. However, I have
apparently hit a bug in freedos where it boots but does not load
config.sys or fdconfig.sys. SO I am stuck.

Thanks, Steve

There is no "x" in my email address.

Re: How to make a bootable compact flash


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Do you have access to a desktop, or do you have to do this on a laptop?
 Again, it depends on whether you are doing it once or many times.  We
can either send you the CF or the adapter for you to do it.  Once you
have the bootable CF, you can sys and/or copy another from the PC104
board.

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Even if it does, you will sys the XP system files and crash with the
rest of freedos.  You have to boot from a clean freedos to "sys".

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Same problem, you have to boot from freedos, not msdos.  You are mixing
apples and oranges.

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I believe you.  I have loaded freedos on 8M CF from 5 floppies.  You
can't mix any files with msdos or windows, since they have the same
file names very often.  That's why our highly skilled engineer have to
charge you $1 per floppy (for swapping and waiting).

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Re: How to make a bootable compact flash

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Hi, I don't know why a desktop PC will help, and in any case I don't
have a desktop with a cf reader. I have the files "extracted" from the
floppy images on the iso CD.

I agree, if I have one good cf I can clone it all I want.
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Why is this true? If I boot msdos, change to the c: drive for freedos,
change my path for freedos....SYS works, and does set up the system to
boot freedos. I do have to make sure command.com is the freedos one,
not the msdos one. Sys is just a dos program that does physical writes
to a media, right? The new drive does boot, and seems to run freedos
OK. The only problem I have not overcome is that it is not loading
either config.sys or fdconfig.sys while freedos is booting.
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I will gladly pay you for a CF, tell me how (maybe email me?). Have
you checked to see if your version actually loads stuff from
config.sys, when booted from the CF?

Thanks for the suggestions.

There is no "x" in my email address.

Re: How to make a bootable compact flash


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Sys is building the new io.sys and dos.sys from the running system. In
this case, you will be building a msdos boot images with freedos
command.com

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Yes, we load drivers from config.sys.  I will send you a paypal
request.

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Re: How to make a bootable compact flash

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I don't see how this can be true. Sys pokes through executing memory
and figures out how to write a fresh io.sys and  msdos.sys? How could
it do that. Also sys for freedos has to know where kernel.sys is for
it to succeed. And I think kernel.sys is the replacement for both
io.sys and msdos.sys.

I do not know where the bootstrap code comes from, especially if this
was a newly formatted CF drive. I would guess that it was built into
the sys executable?

I am sure that you are right, if I could boot from freedos and write
the CF from freedos, it would be what you have which apparently works.
What I have been trying to do (and document) is how to boot from
another dos and make a freedos bootable disk. I have not succeeded.

Thanks for the help, and please email me so I can buy a bootable CF
from you..


There is no "x" in my email address.

Re: How to make a bootable compact flash


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No it isn't. I dare say you haven't ever used FreeDOS SYS.COM. It sure
puts KERNEL.SYS on my floppies and not MSDOS.SYS or IO.SYS.


Right,

                        MartinS

Re: How to make a bootable compact flash


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All I am saying is that we downloaded 5 floppies.  Boot from the floppy
and installed it on our IDE-CF adapter with 8M CF.  If you don't
believe me, check our customers' review on ebay (search for IDE-CF) or
go to our web at:

http://cfd.info-for.us

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