On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 4:10 AM, Jim Lemon <j...@bitwrit.com.au> wrote:
> I have been trying to set up an HP nx6320 laptop with FREEDOS and Fedora
> Linux. While I have done this numerous times previously, by simply
> installing FREEDOS and then Linux, this particular box is giving me no
> end of trouble. I can install FREEDOS and it boots okay, but when I
> install Linux, it refuses to see the FAT16 partition and overwrites
> FREEDOS, or if I rewrite the partition table as msdos, FREEDOS will boot
> but not Linux. I have been trying to install SYSLINUX as a last resort,
> but if I do it from Linux, it doesn't work, and I haven't been able to
> find SYSLINUX.EXE in the FREEDOS 1.1 distribution. Does anyone know
> where SYSLINUX.EXE lives or do I have to download it myself?

On my FD 1.1 install in VirtualBox, it seems the various files
(syslinux.com, syslinux.cfg, memdisk) are in C:\FDOS\BIN, with
associated files in ..\DOC\, ..\HELP\, ..\SOURCE\ .

SysLinux seems to have been updated fairly recently (after nearly a
year of inactivity between 4.05 and 4.06). Latest is 5.01, apparently:


As far as multi-booting is concerned, I don't know why Fedora is
getting confused. They did overhaul their installer for F18, I think,
so it could just be quirks (or even outright bugs). Maybe it's GRUB2
getting confused, might have to be tweaked (though I dunno how). GRUB
can be pretty picky about how it understands things.

I suggest you try to create both FAT and ext2 (etc.) partitions from
within a single partitioning program, e.g. SPfdisk. Then format and
install them within their respective OSes, not making MBR directly
bootable (use BOOTMGR there), but instead make each local partition
bootable (superblock?). Actually, for my other PC, that's what I did,
but I also installed GRUB1 locally on the Linux ext3 partition.
Honestly, you could probably use LoadLin or Gujin or GRUB4DOS or
whatever to manually boot Linux from atop DOS, assuming at least
(minimally) your kernel (vmlinuz) and initrd are located on FAT. At
least Gujin can run from CONFIG.SYS if you want it automated.

I know this isn't exactly perfect help, but don't give up. This is
very very arcane stuff, and I don't claim to even slightly understand
it myself. "If at first you don't succeed, try try again."   ;-)

P.S. The really easy workaround would be to just boot FreeDOS via USB
(RUFUS) or run in a VM (VirtualBox). If impatient, just do that until
you get less annoyed with it all.   ;-)

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