Questions tagged [boot]

Bootstrapping (booting) process, utilities and customisation.

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Can a stock/original Atari ST boot from a hard drive?

It has been my belief that one of the nice features of the original Atari ST is that it has support "out-of-the-box" for a hard disk drive connected via its built-in ACSI port- similar to ...
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7 votes
4 answers
436 views

Booting from SD card on a Compaq LTE 4/75 – DOS 6 works, Windows 95 doesn't

I'm in the process of restoring an old Compaq LTE Elite 4/75 laptop, which was missing its hard drive, so I thought I'd try booting using an SD-to-IDE adapter. On my main workstation I created an ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why did the BIOS load the MBR at 0x7c00?

The IVT is at 0x0000-0x03ff while the BDA is at 0x0400-0x04ff but boot sectors are loaded at 0x7c00. What was at 0x0500-0x7bff that caused this convention? I'm also curious why some MBRs relocate ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
351 views

Why did PCs for the longest time have a default "memory test" on boot which caused them to take a long time to start? [duplicate]

Not just "really back in the day", but even as late as "only a few years ago" (meaning 15-20 years), every time I started my PC, it would slowly "count through" the ...
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  • 15
1 vote
0 answers
243 views

Booting from CF [closed]

I have an older computer and want to install Linux on it. I want to do this on a CF card. I have tried many things, but get a WRITE ERROR. I get the write error when I try to install Linux ubuntu-16....
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58 votes
1 answer
11k views

Why didn't Windows 98 need the "Starting Windows 98..." screen?

In Windows 95, when you start up your computer, you see this message: Starting Windows 95... But in Windows 98, this is replaced entirely by the boot logo. Was this just for a better appearance, or ...
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18 votes
1 answer
2k views

What's the deal with Commodore's RESTORE key?

Most early microcomputers provided either a dedicated key (e.g. Apple ][), keyboard combination (e.g. PC clones), or dedicated hardware button (countless examples) to "Reset" the computer. ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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Algorithm for Apple IIe and Apple IIgs boot/start beep

What is algorithms use for boot/start sound (when turn on computer) in Apple IIe and Apple IIgs? I can't find information about Apple boot sound algorithms or where in computer ROM store either ...
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  • 485
26 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why does DOS ask for the current date and time upon booting?

In most versions of DOS, when they are started from a medium that lacks an AUTOEXEC.BAT file, the very first thing COMMAND.COM does is ask the user to confirm the current date and time: Starting PC ...
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10 votes
1 answer
813 views

Is it possible to boot C64/C128 from floppy

When powered on 1541 reads the disk for a brief moment. Is it used to boot system from floppy? Is it possible to create a bootable commodore 64 floppy?
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5 votes
1 answer
310 views

At which RAM address is the Microbee disk boot sector loaded and executed?

The Microbee was an early '80s Z80 microcomputer from Australia that was successful mostly in education. Looking at some disk image files I've downloaded I can see the disk layout seems to be very ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Atari ST series - bombs on boot

I have a faulty Atari 520STFM additional 4MB ram installed. It shows bombs on boot. I understand bombs are sort of code indicator of what is malfunctioning in the system, similar to what Guru ...
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4 votes
0 answers
149 views

What does a "DK" signature mean at the start of track 0 sector 3 of a Dragon 32/64 floppy disk?

I'm looking at disk image files for the Dragon 32 / Dragon 64 computers. The Dragon computers are very similar to the Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer "CoCo" but are not clones and are not the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
130 views

How many different standard boot sectors are there for Apple II DOS 3.3?

When formatting a blank 5¼ disk on an 8-bit Apple II using the INIT command, was there only ever one variation of the boot sector code that was written, or was it updated from time to time over the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
225 views

Determining which sectors in an Apple II floppy disk/image are used when the boot sector declares more than 1 sectors

The Apple II disk bootstrap process looks at the first byte of track zero sector zero to see how many sectors long the bootstrap code will be. It then loads these sectors at location 0x0800 and jumps ...
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8 votes
1 answer
666 views

How to make bootable CD with multiple games for CDTV

How to make a disc with multiple titles on it, available to select from a menu? Did anyone have any luck creating a bootable CDTV disc using software mentioned on English Amiga Board and is is ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Could Tandy TRS-80 Color Computers boot from disk at all?

I'm trying to find out if any of the Tandy CoCos could boot from disk. I'm thinking the answer is no but I'm having trouble confirming it. I believe that non-disk machines booted from the standard ...
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3 votes
1 answer
341 views

What is the process for TRS-80 Model I & III to boot from disk?

I can find enough mentions of bootable disks for TRS-80 Model I and Model III to be confident that they could boot from disk, but so far I'm failing to find much info on how that worked. In ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to get into Apple BASIC prompt on an Apple IIc?

I just picked up a used Apple IIc. For some reason all I get when I boot is Check Disk Drive on the screen, even with a bootable disk in the internal drive: I cannot even get the system to read the ...
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33 votes
3 answers
12k views

Why do PCs boot in 720x400 resolution?

Using my 21" Trinitron OSD, I can see that the resolution at boot is 720x400. From memory, this weird resolution is extremely uncommon if ever to be seen as a choice on software that supports ...
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5 votes
4 answers
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How does the Spectrum +3 know whether a disk is bootable or not?

I've been looking through documentation on The Sinclair/Amstrad Spectrum +3 which was the only Spectrum that came with a built-in floppy disk drive. The disk format was based on The Amstrad CPC and ...
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3 votes
2 answers
384 views

How do I navigate the boot menu in later model Spectrum emulators?

35 years ago I had an original 48K Sinclair ZX Spectrum. I never had any of the Plus or 128K models and practically never even touched one as I moved onto the Amiga quite early. I'm now playing with ...
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12 votes
1 answer
802 views

How Amiga A590 autoboot ROM and bootable floppy disk works?

Commodore A590 was a peripheral hard drive and memory expansion unit for Amiga 500/500+ computers. It provides SCSI and XT-harddrive controller and 2MB Fast Ram. Here is the Big Book of Amiga Hardware ...
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2 votes
3 answers
637 views

386 laptop: reads MBR, cannot boot DOS 6.22

I am trying to boot 386 laptop from a CF card. I've prepared image by installing DOS 6.22 in VirtualBox, and then burning image to a CF card. Image boots just fine in VirtualBox. CF card with the ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
417 views

386 PC: reads MBR, cannot boot DOS 6.22 [duplicate]

I am trying to boot 386 laptop from a CF card. I've prepared image by installing DOS 6.22 in VirtualBox, and then burning image to a CF card. Image boots just fine in VirtualBox CF card with the ...
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6 votes
3 answers
1k views

64GB compact flash not booting up in DOS

I have purchased a 64GB compact flash UDMA card and am unable to boot up in DOS. The machine I'm running has a Pentium 1.6Ghz process in it just to give you an idea about how "modern" it is compared ...
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  • 221
5 votes
1 answer
476 views

Can't boot FAT32 larger than 2GB, unlike FAT16

Why can my PC not boot FAT larger than 2GB (FAT32) in legacy mode, but FAT16 and NTFS work fine? It just gives me a non-system disk error, while booting the same (DOS boot disk) files under FAT16 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
735 views

What was the distinctive rapid clicking sound in late 1990s desktops?

I am fairly sure that this clicking wasn't just because my computer had issues, although that would be interesting to find out. I distinctly remember that the first computers I owned would make a ...
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48 votes
9 answers
12k views

Why weren't bootable game disks ever common on the IBM PC?

While for other platforms of that era (primarily, Amiga), putting a game on a bootable disk was quite a normal practice, this approach never taken off on IBM PC. Why not? I do remember people having ...
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3 votes
2 answers
598 views

SGI Octane and Octane 2 fail to boot

(Following up from Monitor for an SGI Octane?) I booted both my Octane and Octane 2 machines for the first time. I have a monitor connected via a 13W3-to-VGA adapter, but no PS2 keyboard or mouse yet....
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14 votes
2 answers
677 views

What is the minimum set of Kickstart kernel modules to allow an Amiga to boot?

Amiga OS resident modules (libraries, devices, etc...) are location-agnostic, in that it is technically possible to compile them as location-independent code to be loaded at runtime from disk, or to ...
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  • 3,596
5 votes
1 answer
9k views

Accessing a USB drive from DOS

I am setting up a new development computer with FreeDOS and can boot off the SATA or USB drive. This is my first new computer with sophisticated UEFI (I have CSM enabled). If I boot from the USB I ...
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20 votes
3 answers
3k views

What init system was used in early Linux distributions?

Nowadays there is quite some debate and controversy over whether Linux distributions should use systemd, GNU Shepherd etc. But all these systems are relatively new - for these examples dating back to ...
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  • 303
34 votes
8 answers
6k views

How to put a delay in AUTOEXEC.BAT

I have this MS-DOS 6.22 machine which maps a network drive to a SAMBA share on a Raspberry PI. The PI is powered by a USB lead from the DOS machine, so the two power up together. The mapping starts ...
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  • 493
14 votes
2 answers
855 views

Can I trigger the Amiga ROM debugger from the boot prompt?

Suppose I have an Amiga computer without any working boot disks. Is it possible to trigger the built-in ROM monitor (RomWack or SAD, see https://theamigamuseum.com/amiga-kickstart-workbench-os/guru-...
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  • 1,732
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to install System 7.5.5 on a Macintosh SE/30 using floppies?

I have a Macintosh SE/30 with a formatted Disk. I'd like to install the latest System 7 on it that will run. According to Wikipedia that should be 7.5.5. According to several sources Apple has made it ...
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25 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why do old computers perform a long memory test on every boot?

Basically any computers from the mid 90s and earlier perform a slow memory check on every single boot. The more memory there is present, the slower that process becomes, for example: https://www....
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can DOS boot to a hard drive other than HDA1?

I would like to experiment with DOS and would like to create a bootable partition on my hard drive (SDA) SATA device. I created a 1G FAT32 formatted partition on my SATA hard drive (SDA) and tried to ...
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27 votes
2 answers
3k views

How did an IBM 5150 with 16KB RAM work?

I keep reading that when it was first released, there was a variant of the IBM PC model 5150 that had only 16KB of RAM installed. From a hardware perspective, this would clearly work - the 5150 ...
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  • 12.3k
26 votes
5 answers
7k views

What makes a floppy disk bootable?

A lot of web sites describe how to create a bootable floppy disk using an existing image (via dd). But what about the image makes it bootable? I'm interested in making my own bootable floppy images ...
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  • 2,524
4 votes
0 answers
462 views

What computer (possibly a PC compatible) rendered a spinning floppy disk on the screen on a boot error?

I recall seeing an IBM PC compatible or similar system many years ago in a business environment that had a distinctive boot error screen. The system showed a spinning floppy disk on the screen, ...
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  • 529
8 votes
1 answer
737 views

Creating a PDP-11 bootable disk

I want to create my own boot disk (an image file to use with simh) from my own PDP-11 code but I don't know how the code needs to be written to the disk/file so that it boots. I can load my code using ...
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Start application after Amiga Workbench 1.3 boot sequence

I want to start an application after the boot sequence of Workbench1.3: In my case an Amiga Shell application: Where are the startup files located and what are the changes to provide this?
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  • 365
9 votes
1 answer
652 views

How can I tell if an Apple II disk image is bootable?

I have around 500 floppy disk images from an Apple II and IIgs BBS/usergroup that closed down recently. Some of the disks are bootable, but many aren't. Is there an easy way to tell if a disk boots ...
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  • 17.2k
29 votes
6 answers
25k views

Windows 98 with 2GB of RAM

I have assembled a retro-gaming PC out of an old Shuttle SN45G with a Windows 98/Windows XP dual boot. The motherboard can handle 2GB of RAM, but apparently Windows 98 can only handle 1 GiB. Windows ...
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  • 2,557
12 votes
2 answers
14k views

Windows 98 / XP Dual boot

I have acquired an old Shuttle X PC (Windows XP, Mini-DTX form factor HTPC) that works fine. As I can't do much with this form factor (I can't fit a modern motherboard in the case) and that the ...
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  • 2,557
9 votes
1 answer
842 views

Boot Macintosh Quadra 800 from System 7.6.1 CD

I dug out an old Macintosh Quadra 800 that I've had on my shelf for a long while. I'm not even sure where I got it anymore... After a quick look in my VGA adapter bucket, I found I had the needed ...
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  • 8,436
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does my Acorn RiscPC display the POST boot error?

After removing the Intel DX 486 card from my RiscPC (running RiscOS 3.6), the computer doesn't start up properly. Instead, it displays the text POST in red. What does this error message mean?
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  • 143
4 votes
1 answer
251 views

Zenith SupersPort 286e doesn't boot at all

I have acquired a Zenith SupersPort 286e without its battery but with its (seemingly working) power supply. Sadly, the computer doesn't boot at all, nothing happens when I flick the On/Off switch. ...
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  • 2,557
11 votes
1 answer
760 views

I made a sector image of a Windows 95 partition, but it won’t boot. Why?

I recently got my hands on an IBM 340 PC (100MHz Pentium, 16MB of RAM). I'm going to wipe the disk and start fresh, but I wanted to preserve the contents of the disk should I wish to restore it to its ...
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