[Udpcast] bootable CD

Alain Knaff alain.knaff at lll.lu
Tue Dec 17 22:30:32 CET 2002

On Tuesday 17 December 2002 21:54, Nathaniel Sbar wrote:
> I'm trying to make a bootable UDPcast CD and I really did RTFM.  This is
> the problem I'm running into and I was hoping somebody out there could hold
> my hand.
> I wanted to add a NIC driver to the list of drivers that UDPcast
> (specifically the Intel Pro/1000 MT) uses.  The e1000.o file that I
> downloaded from Intel has the problem that it is too large to fit on the
> floppy boot disk (and yes, I did follow those instructions concerning the
> zipping and mounting of the initrd file).

You can make space by removing drivers for cards that you don't need.

Be sure to do the 'dd if=/dev/zero of=somefile ; sync ; rm somefile'
trick though, in order to zero-fill the sectors to make the image
better compressible.

> Using the same theory and instructions, I decided that I might have a
> better go of it on a bootable CD where space is not yet an issue.  First I
> just burned a CD without trying to modify it.  I tested the CD and was
> pleasantly surprised to find that not only did the CD boot properly, but it
> seemed to have the Intel Pro/1000 drivers already installed. 
> Unfortunately, those drivers couldn't detect my NIC, so I figured that the
> drivers were not recent enough to work on the particular iteration of the
> Intel 1000 NIC series in my machine.
> Well, I went on the replacement binge.  Downloaded the drivers from Intel,
> ran make to compile everything and get a nice little e1000.o driver file,
> followed the bootable floppy directions on the CD to extract and mount
> initrd, replaced the existing e1000.o file with the one I just downloaded
> and compiled, rearchived and renamed the file back to initrd (all caps like
> the original on the CD),

On the CD (both images), it's all lowercase (intird), but maybe that's
what you meant?

In any case, if you are unsure about the driver, I'd suggest you make
a bootable rescue disk of any distribution (SuSE, RedHat, ...), boot
it, and try to fiddle from there (inserting drivers stored on
floppy). It'll be a much faster turn-around time, especially if you
have 25 different drivers to try... What you can also do, is call
lspci (if it's on your rescue disk), and find out the PCI identifier
of the ethernet card, and look it up on google (or post it to the

When you've found out which driver works, you can then make the
UDpcast CD.

> copied the new initrd file to a zip disk, took the
> zip disk and the old CD to a windows machine (the only linux box on campus
> has no CD-R) copied the contents of the old CD to the windows hard drive
> minus the old initrd file, copied the new initrd file to the windows hard
> drive, and started burning.
> After making several coasters, I found that I could not make any of these
> CD's bootable even though the CD burned just fine.

Well, if I put my CD's into the microwave oven, they burn just fine
too, but they are no longer bootable after that ;-) [Sorry, couldn't

>  I am using roxio 5 as
> my burning software


> and tried a few of the options to try to make a
> bootable CD.  Just because I forgot to mention it before, yes I did change
> the boot sequence in the BIOS before trying to boot the CD.  That's all the
> information I have right now.  Can anybody tell me what I'm doing wrong. 

Well, first thing: you're trying to burn the CD on Windows. This is
known to be unreliable. It's a small wonder it succeeded to burn the
first CD all right ;-) Try to move the burner over to the Linux

Second possible problem: verify that the initrd file is called initrd
(lower case) rather than INITRD (upper case).

Ok, seriously, what you could attempt is the following (given that
Windows burned the original image just fine): try to construct the
image (the mkisofs step) on the Linux box (using the flags , then copy
the Image file to the Zip drive, and try burning directly from image
on the Windows box (the equivalent of the "cdrecord" step) rather than
to attempt to construct the image on the Windows box.

Also, when copying the files from the original CD image (the one on
the Website), do it directly on the Linux box, just in case the
Windows box somehow munges case of filenames, or inserts spurious
Control-M's in the Ascii files...

In clear:

 mkdir orig
 mount -o loop isolinux.img orig-dir
 cp -a orig-dir isolinux
 umount orig-dir

 [do whatever is needed to get the new e1000.o into the initrd file]

 mkisofs -o new-isolinux.img \
                -b isolinux.bin -c boot.cat \
                -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table \
                -m CVS \
                -R -l \

Then copy the new-isolinux.img to the Zip drive, walk over to the
Winders machine, copy it to HD, and burn it onto CD using the same
options that you used when you burned the original isolinux.

> Please help a newbie justify the GPL in a very pro windows environment and
> thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
> Nate Sbar.


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