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Spinman

[Problem] Type Name of Command Interpreter

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Trying to boot my laptop from a PCMCIA ATA Flash Card in order to install W98SE onto a new hard drive.

(laptop is Itronix XC-6250-PRO, which does not have an internal floppy drive or internal CD drive). The bios supports booting from a PCMCIA Card (either ATA Flash or CF).

Using a laptop already running W98SE, I have used FDISK to create a partition [1.2g, the card's capacity] and set the partition as active.

Using Windows Explorer, I have formatted the card (FAT32) and installed the system files. (Don't think that I need to use FAT).

When I reboot, the bios informs me that it is booting from the PCMCIA card - and after a few moments, receive message "Type the name of the command interpreter (e.g., C:\Windows\Command.com)".

I assume that this message is generated by the hidden bootstrap files on the PCMCIA card, and not by the bios itself. So, it appears that the system is recognizing the card, starts to boot from it, but can't / won't load command.com to finish the process.

I have tried entering just "command.com" and "X:\command.com" using drive letters a - z, but nothing worked.

I have googled the message, and received suggestions about possible MBR or corrupt disk issues.

Using FDISK to setup a new partition, I would have thought that would have resolved any possible MBR issues. Running Scandisk on the card completes with no errors identified.

After booting from HD, I can insert the card and access it from both windows and dos. The command.com and bootstrap files are still present on the card. So it's not a readability issue, per se.

Note: After using the DOS sys command to install the system files on the card, I get a message that the card can't boot due to I/O errors.

Note: After using the DOS format command to format the disk and install the system files on the card, I get a message that the card can't boot due to I/O errors.

Only when I format and install system files using Windows Explorer, will the machine begin to boot from the PCMCIA card - until I get the type name and location of the command interpreter message. Strange. Hardware incompatability issue? Does Dos format in FAT32 or just FAT? Does DOS format support a 1.2g capacity? In as much as it is W98 DOS v 7 - I assume no issue with Fat32 and 1.2g.

Wondering if I purchase a CF card and reader to try this process - would I get the same results - or possibly get me over this hurdle? Do I need a type I or type II CF to emulate the ATA card?

Appreciate thoughts -

Edited by Spinman

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I assume that this message is generated by the hidden bootstrap files on the PCMCIA card, and not by the bios itself.
This is the message of the MSDOS.SYS, the DOS kernel.

What version of DOS kernel are you using? Anything below 7.1 does not support FAT32 nor large disks and strange boot arrangements.

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Did you tried to disable the internal hard drive ?

What i'll do:

I'll disable the internal hard drive, boot from a dos floppy then fdisk to remove all partition then reboot then fdisk /mbr then reboot then fdisk to create a new FAT partition then reboot then copy system files on the drive with sys c: if c: is the drive letter of the drive.

Hope it'll help.

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You should have command.com in a known location. The message is comming from io.sys, and it's because it can not find comspec. If you don't have a config.sys on your bootable medium, create one, and point it at the real shell, eg command.com or 4dos.com

W

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The correct procedure is the one that is not working, at the moment, i.e. fdisk and Format the card, sys files onto it.

It is possible that some of the limits that on some PCs/motherboards apply to USB flash drives do apply on PCMCIA CF card booting.

These include:

FAT16 and not FAT32

FAT16 06 (BIGDOS) and not 0E (V-FAT)

Volume size, maybe the 1,2 Gb is too big and finds some kind of "barrier".

What I would try first:

1) Fdisk the card using Freedos FDISK with one active primary partition about 500 Mb FAT16

http://www.23cc.com/free-fdisk/

2) Format the card using the /s switch (that copies the system files)

If it does not work, post again, there is another way by making a virtual drive (image file) and binary copying it to the CF card, and another one by using a bootloader to boot to a disk image in RAM.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz

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I'd try to boot from DOS 7.1 (Windows 98SE) floppy and look if the flash card disk is visible, what is the letter assigned to it and if there is really X:\COMMAND.COM.

Petr

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If it does not work, post again, there is another way by making a virtual drive (image file) and binary copying it to the CF card, and another one by using a bootloader to boot to a disk image in RAM.

jaclaz

Mmmmm interesting which bootloader would you suggest, I have had a look at memdisk in booting 98 from ram.

Spinman perhaps by looking at the error level of comspec, might give you an idea of which drive it is booting from.

ECHO %COMSPEC% ¦ CHOICE /C:ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ > NUL

IF ERRORLEVEL 1 SET BOOTDRV=A

etc etc

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Mmmmm interesting which bootloader would you suggest, I have had a look at memdisk in booting 98 from ram.

Without doubt Grub4dos, as it has BOTH the abilities of booting from RAM with internal commands AND by using memdisk, + a bunch of VERY interesting "direct booting" features, possibility of integration with NTLDR, and to be used (GRLDR) as a no-emulation bootsector for CD's. :)

Have a look at these threads on 911CD:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=16980

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=18231

Search foor "Grub4dos" on the board for more.

jaclaz

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Mmmmm interesting which bootloader would you suggest, I have had a look at memdisk in booting 98 from ram.

Without doubt Grub4dos, as it has BOTH the abilities of booting from RAM with internal commands AND by using memdisk, + a bunch of VERY interesting "direct booting" features, possibility of integration with NTLDR, and to be used (GRLDR) as a no-emulation bootsector for CD's. :)

Have a look at these threads on 911CD:

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=16980

http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=18231

Search foor "Grub4dos" on the board for more.

jaclaz

Very useful info, although I cannot seem to get grub4dos documentation "server not found" http://newdos.yginfo.net/grubdos.htm

Thank you for the links

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@oscardog

The one you have is a very old link, of the time when the project was really at an early stage.

Valid links are listed here:

http://www.boot-land.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=14#

There is not much documentation on it, most info can be found in readme.txt inside package, the syntax is the same unless differently stated, of GRUB:

http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/

Additional info can be "extracted" from my posts on 911CD forum.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz

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@oscardog

The one you have is a very old link, of the time when the project was really at an early stage.

Valid links are listed here:

http://www.boot-land.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=14#

There is not much documentation on it, most info can be found in readme.txt inside package, the syntax is the same unless differently stated, of GRUB:

http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/

Additional info can be "extracted" from my posts on 911CD forum.

jaclaz

Many thanks, it is very much appreciated

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Happy to be of help. :)

Please do post results of your tests.

jaclaz

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