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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These are the instructions from the GNU Grub Manual 0.97 and I must be as thick as a brick because I cannot make heads nor tails:

"To take the files stage1 and stage2" (?) what or where is stage1 and 2?
"from the image directory" ---(?) Where do I find the image directory?
"and write them to the first and
second block of the floppy----(?) is this a choice I have to make or does this
happen automatically?


To create a GRUB boot floppy, you need to take the files stage1 and stage2 from the image directory, and write them to the first and the second block of the floppy disk, respectively.

Caution: This procedure will destroy any data currently stored on the floppy.

On a UNIX-like operating system, that is done with the following commands:

# cd /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc ---------------------(#)does the pound sign cause
not to be read/info purposes only?

# dd if=stage1 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=1
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
# dd if=stage2 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 seek=1
153+1 records in
153+1 records out
#

The device file name may be different. Consult the manual for your OS.

I have a confession to make. The only time I use Linux (Ubuntu) is when billy g's abortion
crashes-I don't mean that, it's not an abortion; it works and then it breaks and then I take my live Linux cd and am up and running in less time it's amazing, it takes sometimes 3 hours to reinstall Windows and all its security patches. I now own (have in my possession)
5 different flavors of linux and everyone sees and recognizes the configuration of this particular computer. I'm on the internet immediately. And I just bought an Hewlett Packard
printer so that I can have print/scan/fax capabilities (had a Dell/Lexmark before) now I just
have to figure out how to install the drivers that I've downloaded - hey I just figured out that dev stands for device. Anyway if someone if you would be so kind as to give me some
pointers on the floppy instructs - and if its been written more clearly somewhere else just point to it. Thanks
 

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You can "source" the stage1 and stage2 files from a Linux Live CD that supposrts Grub. From experience you will find Grub in 75% of the Live CDs.

Just boot up a Live CD, drop into the terminal and type
Code:
find / -name stage1
The Linux will then report where it is hiding it. Stage1 and stage2 are usually held together in the same subdirectory. However that directory can change slightly by the distro that implements Grub.

For example many distros (like Red Hat family Fedora for example) store the original Grub in /usr/share/grub/i386-pc.
You will find Suse stores them in /us/lib/grub/i386-suse and
the majority distros just put hem in /usr/lib/grub/i386-pc

You then change directory to it so that you can call up stage1 and stage2 locally to execute the two commands of
Code:
dd if=stage1 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=1
dd if=stage2 of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 seek=1
Your confusion is just being an irregular Linux user and so can't tell the "#" being a command prompt sign and the lines

1+0 records in
1+0 records out

and

153+1 records in
153+1 records out

are just the Linux response to the two dd commands.

The 1st dd command means to "data dump", using input file from stage1, to output on device floppy drive zero, using the block size 512 bytes and do it once.

The 2nd dd command means the same thing for the stage2 except to place it after the first block. The number of records in stage2 can vary according to the version of Grub.

It is a PC standard that every Bios from a PC reads the first 512 bytes of a hard disk if it has to boot it. The above constitutes no more than writing the binary pattern of stage1 and stage2 onto a floppy.

------------

Just a minor comment

What you are producing is a bootable Grub floppy that is not attached to any operating system. As such the bootable Grub floppy, which is regarded as an unformatted disk by many operating systems, is the most lethal weapon in the PC industry. There is no operating system that a Grub floppy cannot boot.

In using a bootable Grub floppy you get only a command prompt and use it as a "mini" operating system. Read the Grun Manual and you will find a Grub prompt can do the following

(1) find out the disks order for booting priority
(2) List the partitions in every hard disk
(3) read any of the text files (boot loader configurations) in Linux and many other operating systems too.
(4) display the Linux boot loader configuration to tell you how the Linux is being booted
(5) "chainload" (or boot up) any PC system that has been installed
(6) hide and unhide partitions, so that Dos, Win9x, Xp and Vista can operating together in the same hard disk.
(7) change the hard disk booting order on-the-fly, hence a Vista installed in disk 1 can be booted in disk 4 position
(8) To boot any Linux manually even if it is booted by Lilo and not Grub
(9) TO boot a LInux even if it has no boot loader installed
(10) etc.............................

I repeat "there is no PC operating system a Grub floppy cannot boot". You can walk up to a PC that you have never see before. If it has a floppy drive you can use the Grub floppy to find out what systems are inside by the partition type numbers and then proceed to boot them up one by one even if there is no Linux inside, say a XP or a Vista machice.

Would anybody dare to call you thick when you are about to acquire the most lethal booting weapon in PC?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Probably the biggest reason for not being a regular user is all the cryptic codes and acronyms.
I get very little time on the computer and when I can sit down for a few minutes I have to choose between trying to figure out how to get into and out of ... or just load windows and do it. I bought a printer a week or so ago because the one I have is no go as far as Linux. Anyway I've lost the instructions to install the Linux drivers so now I have to back track and find them and I have just enough time to write this and print out the instructions you gave
and tomorrow I'll spend my 15 burning a floppy. Not whining just tired.

I have read and reread everything I can find that you have written and have printed out most of it so that when I'm booted into Ubuntu I have your instructions in front of me. Thanks for taking the time to answer and believe you me just learning that dd meant data dump made my day.
I'll let you know when I've successfully created a bootable floppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The only Live CD I have is Ubuntu and when I enter: find / -name stage1
it gives me back no such file.
 

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Try
Code:
sudo find / -name stage1
The standard Ubuntu disallows a root log in and so system-related commands are not accessible by ordinary users. You need to invoke the root privileges by typing "su" and follow by the root password. Alternatively pre-fix every terminal command with "sudo" as suggested above.

There are other Live CD allowing you to log in as root but Debian based distros don't do that as standard.
 
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