Re: [PARPORT] Re: Backpack Bantam, Contura 410CX & RH5.2

Cameron Parle (
Sat, 16 Jan 1999 21:59:07 +1100

> This is not really a PARIDE issue anymore, but I would like to get to the
> bottom of this situation where you can boot from _factory_ diskettes
> but not from floppies you make yourself.

Agreed on both points.

>If you take the factory
> floppy and dd it off to a file and back to a new floppy, does that disk
> boot ?

Yes. The Contura _will_ boot from the following:

- Factory RH5.0 and COL1.3 boot floppies.
- Floppy-to-floppy copies of factory RH5.0 and COL1.3 boot floppies.
- Floppy-to-disk-to-floppy copies of factory RH5.0 and COL 1.3 boot
- Various MS-DOS, DR-DOS, Win95, Win98, OS/2 & QNX boot floppies.

It just _won't_ boot from a Linux floppy having an original source
_other than_ a factory boot floppy (at least for RH5.0 & COL1.3). My
desktop hasn't had the slightest problem booting from any floppy for any
OS I doodle with.

The Contura's problem is 100% reproducible and looks as follows:

Loading initrd.img....Boot failed

The drive's green activity light remains hard-on and there's a horrible
graunching sound. The only way to fix that state is to do a complete

> At least the way you've described things, this can be nothing other than
> a problem with your floppy drive :-(

This certainly seems to be the 'what', but it's the 'why' I can't
fathom. Intensive Compaq hardware diagnostics don't find any errors and
I'm running the latest BIOS. Sometimes floppy drives become slightly
misaligned, but my testing done on both the Contura and the desktop rule
out the likelihood of that. Linux tends to test laptops more than most
other x86 OSs, so it may just be 'one of those things' :-(
> Try the sequence above, and then read the new floppy back in to a second
> image file. Use cksum on the two files - do you get the same results ?

Checksums have always been 100% ok.

Cameron Parle

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Sat 16 Jan 1999 - 06:16:59 EST