NASLite Network Attached Storage

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:43 pm 
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I noticed a few people have asked how to install NASLite+ to make it boot off one of the hard drives. Here is how I did it on my system. It may or may not work for you!

Don't forget to back up any files on the disk first, you may loose data following these steps.

Hardware needed:
Computer with floppy, cd, and at least one hard drive for NASLite+
Another computer with Windows

Software needed:
Partion manager - I used an old version of Partition Magic, anything that can make DOS and Linux partitions and format them should work.

DOS boot floppy with CD support from http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm I used DOS 6.22.

syslinux-3.11.zip from http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/

Trial version of Magic ISO program from http://www.magiciso.com/

and of course NASLite+

I have an old Micron 200MHz system with a BIOS that won't boot from cd, so I set out to find a way to boot NASLite+ from the hard drive instead. Here's what I did.....

1. Downloaded NASLite+ and burned ISO image to a CD and verify it will boot on another computer

2. On the computer I was going to install NASLite+ on I partitioned the first hard drive as follows:
1st primary partion with Linux file system using all but 10-20MB of the disk.
2nd primary partion set to FAT and marked as bootable and active. This was at the "end" of the disk. The disk drive was only 2.5GB. I don't know if DOS will still boot on a "big" hard drive if the partion is way at the end, but the Linux partion has to be the first partition or NASLite+ will not recognize it. If you have the option of making the first partion at the end of the disk instead of the beginning it might work better, but I haven't tried this. My first partition(linux) was at the beginning of the disk.

3. Format both partitions using your partion manager.

4. Get syslinux-3.11.zip from http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/. Unzip the file and copy syslinux.com from the syslinux-3.11/dos directory onto your DOS boot floppy.

5. Get the trial version of Magic ISO from http://www.magiciso.com/ and install it on your Windows computer. With the NASLite+ CD in your Windows computer, start Magic ISO and open the /BOOT/BOOT.IMG file on the NASLite+ CD. Magic ISO should expand boot.img and show the following files:
LDLINUX.SYS
NASLITE.01
NASLITE.02
NASLITE.MSG
NASLITE.SCR
SYSLINUX.CFG

Extract these files to your windows computer and then burn them to another CD as data. (not bootable)
Put the data CD containing the above files into your NASLite+ computer cd drive.

6. Put the DOS boot floppy into your NASLite+ machine and boot to DOS.

7. Type the following commands at the A:\> prompt
sys c:
syslinux c:

The first command makes the hard drive bootable and the syslinux command will install files that will make it able to boot linux images.

If you get errors here it probably means you didn't format the C: drive. From the A:\> prompt type
format c:
Then do the above 2 commands.

8. change to the cd drive on the NASLite+ computer. On mine the DOS boot floppy made the cd rom drive R:
cd r:

9. copy all the files on the CD except the LDLINUX.SYS file. This is a syslinux file and when you did step 7 it was put on the disk for you as a hidden system file.
copy naslite.* c:
copy syslinux.cfg c:

Type dir /a c: and you should see the files listed above along with command.com and a couple other .sys files

10. remove the dos boot floppy and the data CD and reboot the NASLite+ computer.

It should now boot to the NASLite+ initial screen.
Enter your registration code and set your options and save to floppy (still need the floppy). You can remove the IDE CD drive from the NASLite+ computer now and add another disk if desired.

When I first tried this, I put DOS in the first partition. NASLite+ noted that there were 2 partitions on the drive when it prints out the linux starting text, but it wouldn't mount the 2nd partion with the linux file system. It showed something like "Not Usable" (don't remember exact message) on the disk drive list. If you get this kind of error you probably put the dos partion as the first primary partition instead of the 2nd. The linux partion has to be the first primary partion for NASLite to mount it.

I'm interrested in hearing other people's experience with "bigger" hard drives, so if you get it to work with a big drive, let the rest of us know what you did.

Steve


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:08 am
Posts: 225
truely excellent.

i like many use naslite not because im to cheap to buy naslite + but just like you i can justify more expensive hardware just to boot from CD.

Can we have a sysops/admins response to this howto before lots of people start messing about (i.e. it seems to me that this could be automated fairly easily and perhaps given as an unsupported Naslite option)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:57 pm 
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The process above will work as advertised, provided the BIOS can boot from the partitioned drive. It is important to note however that the interface will not stop you from formatting the "boot" drive, thus loosing the OS.

My advice is, if you need the 4 IDE channels for storage, boot the USB version via the supplied kicker floppy. That should work even on very old machines with an add-on USB card.


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 Post subject: Iomega 100 MB Zip Disk
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:58 pm 
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Posts: 31
I've spend countless hours trying to get NASLite+ to boot from a 100 MB Iomega Zip Disk, using bits and pieces of these instructions about booting to a hard drive.

Main question I need the answer to:

1. Do I need both Linux and DOS partitions on the zip disk? If so, what files/folders need to be on each partition?

2. Has anyone done this? Am I wasting my time - will this not work?

Back story: I have 3 HDDs in my PC and want to add a fourth. I'm currently booting to the CD-ROM, which must be removed for the 4th HDD. My BIOS unfortunately does not support booting from a USB flash drive or a USB CD-ROM drive - that would have been too easy. I also tried putting a CD-ROM on a PCI IDE controller, but, again, my BIOS does not support booting to that. So, I'm currently trying to boot to a SCSI Iomega 100 MB Zip drive, because my BIOS does support booting to a PCI SCSI adapter (I'm using an Adaptec AHA-2940AU). The zip disk is being accessed upon boot so I've narrowed the problem down to the fact that my files (or more likely partitions) are not matching my CD.

I'm using NASLite+ 1.5.

Please help.

Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:56 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:18 pm
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Location: North Carolina, USA
If you're booting from a zip drive you only want a dos partition on the zip disk. Use a FAT or FAT32 partition. I put 2 partitions on the hard drive so I could use the Linux partition in NASLite. You will not be using the zip disk as a shared drive, so you only need one partition.

What you are trying to do is make a bootable dos zip disk, which will then load and start the NASLite+ kernel using the syslinux program. So you need to get the dos boot files onto the zip disk, which will allow it to boot (maybe!). And then get the NASLite kernel files on the zip disk so syslinux can read them.

I haven't tried this with a zip drive, but it should work if you can actually boot from the zip drive. My main concern is you may not be able to boot from a zip drive, even if the bios supports it. If you boot from a DOS floppy and then do sys z: where z: is your zip drive letter, can you then boot the machine and get a dos prompt using the zip disk only?

You can start from step 4 of the directions once you format the zip drive. When the DOS boot floppy starts up, it will have to see the zip drive and assign it a drive letter. In step 7 and 9 change the c: to the drive letter of the zip drive.

Let us know if you get it to work, or run into problems.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:10 am 
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Thanks for the prompt reply, smeyer.

I will try your suggestion this evening, although I'm doubtful I will be able to access the zip drive from booting to a DOS floppy.

Yesterday, as a workaround to that, I formatted a floppy disk in XP and checked the option to make it a system disk. I then copied all of those files/folders to a blank (FAT) zip disk. Is this equivalent of booting to the DOS floppy and typing format z: /s (or issuing the sys command)? I'm not sure, we will see. A main obvious difference is the fact that the files are generated from different Operating systems (DOS 6.22 and XP).

If I can offer constructive criticism, I was able to extract the files from the boot.img but not by your instructions. The method was a little different. Perhaps because I'm using a different version of that trial software. I'll try it again and let you know (and other readers) what I had to do to get the files.

Thanks again, I'll update this evening. I really want to get this to work so I can add my 4th HDD.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:25 pm 
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Location: North Carolina, USA
I did find the MagicISO program hard to understand, so there may be an easier way to extract the files.

Just copying files from a DOS/XP boot disk won't work. There are hidden system files on the disk that won't be copied, and the boot sector on the disk is changed when you issue the sys command. Also the XP boot files are different than the DOS files. I don't know if syslinux will work with the XP boot files since they don't boot to a command prompt.

If you still have your Iomega CDs, you may have driver files you need for dos to see the zip drive. Look in the Drivers folder on the Iomega CD and copy the DOS folder to your boot floppy. Once you get a dos prompt after booting with a dos floppy, you can run guest.exe to start the Iomega software. Then you should be able to access the drive.

If you don't have the Iomega cd, you're going to have to search for old drivers on the web since Iomega decided they're not going to provide support for their older equipment anymore. :cry:

Just curious, if you have 3 hard drives, why not make a small boot partition on one of them like I did instead of messing with the zip disk?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:27 am 
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smeyer,

I found the iomega DOS drivers, with guest.exe. booted to the DOS 6.22 floppy, swapped floppies to run guest.exe and give me d: (it found the 100 MB zip disk), fdisk'ed the zip disk (created a primary partition, max size) then formatted it (it made the file system FAT 16, of course) and finally issued the sys and syslinux commands on the zip disk (d:). sys and syslinux both completed successfully (no errors). afterwards, i copied all of those files over from the boot folder (except for the one you said not to), from the CD to the zip disk. i was becoming hopeful until i booted to the zip disk and saw...

;

no kidding, a semi colon. just sits there with a blinking underscore cursor.

any ideas? Tony, any ideas?

thanks again for helping me with this, smeyer, and your writeup on the hard drive stuff.

i can always do the hard drive method, i just thought this would be a little more elegant (if i can ever get it to work).


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:19 am 
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Did you get the "loading kernel" and a bunch of dots message or does it just give the ; with nothing typed out before it?

That might be the syslinux prompt, which means it didn't find the syslinux.cfg file. Did you copy the files to d:\ or d:\bootimage? They should be in d:\ and you shouldn't have any directory folders.

At the ; prompt, if you type the following what happens?

kernel NASLITE.01 rw root=/dev/ram0 initrd=NASLITE.02

That's the command syslinux uses to start NASLite+ in the syslinux.cfg file.
If it says it couldn't find a file you probably have them in a sub directory. If that is the case, then this command should start NASLite:

kernel bootimg/NASLITE.01 rw root=/dev/ram0 initrd=bootimg/NASLITE.02

replace bootimg with whatever you called that directory. If that works then just move the files out of bootimg and into the d:\ directory.
I think you're getting close!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:16 pm 
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No "loading kernel" with dots. Just a semicolon.

Good point, that it might be a prompt. I didn't try typing anything, but I do recall a blinking cursor, so that is definitely indicative of a prompt.

If I recall, all the files from boot.img are on the zip disk (in the root, not in a folder):

NASLITE.01
NASLITE.02
NASLITE.MSG
NASLITE.SCR
SYSLINUX.CFG
LDLINUX.SYS (not copied, made from the syslinux command)

I'll double-check that they are all there, and I'll compare the file sizes vs. the ones extracted on my XP machine.

I'll also try those commands.

Yeah, definitely getting close, hopefully it will be running tonight. Again, I'll keep you posted. I can't thank you enough for the one-on-one help.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 5:21 pm 
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A couple other things to try....

1. disconnect the internal hard drives and cd drives. This will make sure you're not booting from some leftover stuff on one of them. Only the zip drive and floppy drive should be left connected. If there are other devices on the SCSI bus, make sure it's still terminated properly when you disconnect them.

2. Check if you can boot to a dos prompt with a zip disk. Format another zip disk and then using the dos floppy + guest.exe boot to dos and just do sys d:. Then see if that zip disk will boot to a dos A:\> prompt or if you still get the ;. If you get to the dos prompt that tells you it's possible to boot from the zip drive without syslinux installed and that it's a syslinux problem. If you still get the ; prompt, you either have an auotexec.bat/config.sys problem, or you can't boot from the zip drive.

3. If you still get the ; prompt even without syslinux on the zip disk, try typing a dos command like dir and see what happens. Or type quit or exit or just hit return. That will tell you if you're in command.com or not, and may give you some informative error message (or it may just sit there!). Somewhere along the line you should have seen a "Starting MS-DOS" message on the screen. Check your autoexec.bat and config.sys files on the zip disk to make sure nothing there looks strange or is expecting the user to type something.

4. edit the syslinux.cfg file on your original zip disk and change the line that has PROMPT 0 to PROMPT 1. This tells syslinux to display a boot: prompt to allow you to select from various choices. Of course only NASLite will be displayed! If you get the boot: prompt and NASLite is displayed, then that tells you syslinux is loading ok and reading the syslinux.cfg file properly. You should be able to type NASLite at the boot: prompt and press return to boot up NASLite. You can then change back to PROMPT 0.

5. edit the syslinux.cfg file and change the NASLite.01 and NASLite.02 to all lowercase or all uppercase. It shouldn't matter, but it might be a problem. Also make sure the last line in the file only has a return on it. There should be one blank line under the DISPLAY line with nothing on it.

6. Make sure the BIOS has NUMLOCK and CAPSLOCK turned off at boot. These could mess up syslinux.

All that should keep you busy for a little while!

Let us know how it turns out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:07 pm 
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1. only the zip drive and floppy drive are connected to the PC.

2. i booted to the DOS 6.22 floppy, removed the partition, created a primary partition, formatted the zip disk, then issued "sys" on it (which completed successfully, it said "system transferred"). booted to the zip disk and i still get a semicolon. i noticed you mentioned autoexec.bat and config.sys. the only file copied after running "sys" on my zip disk is command.com. as a test, i also issued the "sys" command on a fdisk'ed/formatted hard drive and it only has command.com as well. update: there are also hidden files, drvspace.bin, io.sys, and msdos.sys.

should an autoexec and config have been put on there as well from issuing the sys command? are you sure you used the sys command from that DOS 6.22 floppy, not elsewhere?

regarding the semicolon, it's not a prompt, because no matter what i type (a character, or the enter key), every time i hit a key, the floppy drive and zip drive both access the disk for a split second (LED turns on then off). also, another semicolon is displayed for every character i type. so, if i hit a bunch of keys, i get a bunch of semicolons, "clicks" (from the two drives), and LED flashes. weird..

something else I just tried was making a "MS-DOS" boot disk in XP, and copying those files to the zip disk, to try basically what you suggested, in a different fashion. this disk does include autoexec.bat and config.sys. i put those files on the zip disk, booted to it, and same thing, semicolon. i'm beginning to think it's just not possible to boot to the zip disk, although it's hard to admit defeat after so much time has been spent. my BIOS lists the option "SCSI Boot Device", though. perhaps it means HDD, if so it would have been nice for them to specify HDD instead of "Device". it's an Asus K7V motherboard, FWIW.

or, maybe it's related to SCSI misconfiguration. i only have the adaptec controller and the zip drive. both are terminated (adaptec via the control+a config, and zip drive via a jumper). the cable does not have a terminator block on it though, but I'm not sure I even need one. also, i'm doubtful it's SCSI-related because I'm able to access the drive, format it, fdisk, etc.

I also have an option for LS-120 (which I think is a "super disk"). Maybe I'll pick up one of those and use it as a replacement for the CD as well as the floppy configuration files? heh, sounds like more fun.

any last thoughts?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:05 pm 
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Unfortunately it looks like you can't really boot from the zip disk. What you did is put a minimal dos system on the zip drive, and the computer couldn't even boot that.

The autoexec.bat and config.sys are "extra" files that you don't need for a minimal boot from floppy. Yep, I used the sys from the DOS floppy.

Did you ever get the "Starting MS-DOS" message?

I'm guessing that since it's a SCSI drive that after DOS gets so far it needs whatever guest.exe provides to continue. With the Iomega install CD should be an "install to DOS" option using the Windows/DOS install folder. Boot using the DOS floppy, run guest.exe so the zip drive looks like the c: drive, and then run the Iomega install to DOS option. This should put some files on the zip disk and create a config.sys file with the zip disk drivers.

After that, try booting from the zip again.

You may have to go with the 2 partitions on the hard drive route if this doesn't work.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:32 am 
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Nope, I never got the Starting MS-DOS message.

If I actually had the Iomega CD, I'd be able to try your latest suggestions, but I don't. I bought this zip drive at Goodwill the other day, without the CD, of course. Maybe I can find a CD there in the media section, though.

And I checked the Iomega support site and they no longer have older stuff available for download. It's very disappointing. I understand they don't "support" legacy devices, but they should at least keep the files available.

Does anyone have an old Iomega CD and would be kind enough to make an ISO, or zip up certain files/folders, for me? It looks like there's a DOSSTUFF directory with an INSTALL executable in it, so that's most likely all I need. The files I currently have are from driverguide.com and do not include the DOSSTUFF directory or the INSTALL executable.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 11:33 am 
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Did some web searching and it looks like you can use guest.exe in the autoexec.bat file on the zip drive to do the same thing as the SCSIDRVR.SYS file. You would have to copy guest.exe, guest.ini, aspipc16.sys, aspippm1.sys, and nibble.ilm to your zip drive and create an autoexec.bat with

guest.exe

as it's only line.

The other things I found were that dos may not boot from SCSI if it thinks a hard drive is installed on ide. I know you took the hard drives out, but can you set all the hard drives to none or not present in BIOS? Also make sure your boot sequence is SCSI first in BIOS.

Lastly there was one note that said the SCSI id of the zip drive had to be set to zero for it to be the C: drive at boot. I think the default Iomega factory setting is 4. Other places said it needed to be 5 or 6. And still others said it doesn't matter????

Try changing the SCSI id to zero and see if it makes a difference.

Since you're not getting the "Starting MS-DOS" message I'm thinking the bios might be looking for a specific SCSI id to boot from. Anything in your BIOS which lets you select the id to boot from? While you're in the BIOS I would turn off/disable everything you don't need - sound card, printer ports, power management, etc to make sure they're not causing some sort of problem. Also make sure the SCSI card is not sharing interrupts with something else.

Maybe the semicolon prompt is the SCSI bootrom asking for a SCSI id. Try typing 4 and see what happens.

Found this site which has a download of the SCSIDRVR.SYS file + others you'll need, along with example config.sys and autoexec.bat files
http://www.pcnineoneone.com/howto/zipboot.html

Down at the bottom before the list of files is a link to download a file which contains scsidrvr.sys and other files. The example was for booting from a floppy and being able to see the zip drive.

You would have to manually copy the files to the zip drive vs using the install tool. I would also edit the config.sys and autoexec.bat to remove any drive references and change the zip drive letter to c: instead of x:


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