RE: Boot to ext2 via DOS&Loadlin - quick howto

From: Wells, Adrian (SCH) (
Date: Sun Apr 07 2002 - 07:19:03 CEST

For your damaged MBR, try MBRTOOL.EXE from

-----Original Message-----
From: no one []
Sent: 06 April 2002 18:59
Subject: Re: Boot to ext2 via DOS&Loadlin - quick howto

On Sat, 6 Apr 2002 12:24:03 +0200 pleasently wrote:
> Jarvist wrote:
> > If you boot via lilo / floppies, can't offer much help other than
playing with
> > isapnp - though you can always boot into a full ext2 linux via
> > first (even put it into autoexec.bat if you want :^)
> Since I have 4 hard disks all with 'damaged' MBRs (or some thing),
> I need to boot ( RedHat 6.2 several insatlations, Slakwr and the best:
> fastest, lightesst, cleanest = native-oberon OS & lang) all from
> floppies.
> Some 3.5 inch some 5.25 inch.
> I failed to mkbootdisk <for fd1>. ? !
> Booting to various rdev(s) via DOS&Loadlin would be be very usefull.
> This would save me swapping fd-cables from 3.5" to 5.25"
> How do I boot into a full ext2 linux via DOS&Loadlin ?


1) Get kernel's for the distributions that you have - these can be quite big
(>1 meg for a modern distro), so if you are thinking of doing this from
floppy then you might need one floppy/distribution you want to boot.

2) But these kernels on a bootable floppy disk/dos partition.

3) Right a loadlin.cfg (simple text file), in this case called (because we
want to) redhat.cfg

For instance (where the redhat kernel is called 'redhat):


& safe it to the directory with the relelvent (in this case called 'redhat'

4) Copy loadlin.exe from mu to this directory.

5) Write a 'redhat.bat' file with something similar:
loadlin @redhat.cfg

6) Boot off this dos disk, cd to relelvent directory, type 'redhat'

Kernel will load off the dos partition into memory, then boot itself with
the root partition specified in your .cfg file... Any extra kernel options
can be specified in the .cfg file...

Hope that helps,
This is mulinux's umsdos boot method, except simply specifying a full ext2
good luck,

> PS. my friend who has to have the latest M$
> had a very long face when I brought 4 HDs for him to 'fix'
> and mulinux could read/write all (as of course could n-o), but
> M$ could not even fdisk - see them ! I'm talking about HDs
> starting with FAT partitions.
> Unfortunately MSDOS is the 'base' of PCs; via hardware,
> so it's good to be able to read/write and even boot C:
Yeah, almost all my computing gear is stuff given away as 'broken' by M$
friends, one even threw away a 2gig harddrive because disk-checker crashed
on it...
<grumble, mumble, 'cat /dev/zero > /dev/hdab', bumble)


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