Questions tagged [boot]

Bootstrapping (booting) process, utilities and customisation.

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How to use dd command to write a PC booter floppy image to a USB flash drive?

I have some PC booter images from new homebrew games by this Japanese developer: http://inufuto.web.fc2.com/8bit/ As I know, those images have a 360k size, and are self-bootable by the old IBM PC (...
Igor Peruchi's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

Can Linux boot beyond 1023 cylinders on old BIOS?

I have a 386 with 4GB drive (7769/16/63). It's a Compaq from 1992 so it does not have any translation options in BIOS. DOS is installed on the first 1023 cylinders (essentially the maximum size it can ...
eesz34's user avatar
  • 561
13 votes
4 answers
4k views

What actions, besides a hard power-off, did a blank screen with a blinking cursor allow?

I remember that, in the old days, a serious boot error could manifest in a screen like the above. (I have no idea if this may still happen. I haven't seen it for years, so I assume it is legacy as of ...
gaazkam's user avatar
  • 239
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Where to obtain 3c509b empty boot ROM chip?

I'm planning to write iPXE to boot ROM of my 3c509b to enable HTTP booting on my old computer. What is the type of the ROM chip and where would you obtain it? It's 28 pin connector, please see picture ...
Zouppen's user avatar
  • 213
9 votes
2 answers
876 views

How to change what program Apple ProDOS 'starts' when booting

I finally have my Apple //e booting from my SCSI2SD but I'm missing something regarding how ProDOS knows what program to start when it boots. As I understand it, ProDOS will look for the first .SYSTEM ...
Geo...'s user avatar
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11 votes
9 answers
3k views

What is the best way to set up multiple operating systems on a retro PC?

I have an old Pentium II computer, and I would like to set it up as a retro gaming machine, but I would also like to play around with old distributions of Linux, OS/2 and other operating systems. What ...
Tibi's user avatar
  • 331
7 votes
2 answers
348 views

Reviving a Mac Mini (PowerPc) - Not booting correctly: video is out of sync, blinking, usb boot not enabled

I come from superuser.com where I asked this, but was told to post here for further help https://superuser.com/questions/1772907/mac-mini-g4-powerpc-wont-boot-how-can-i-reset-it-to-factory-defaults?...
Mauricio Gracia Gutierrez's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
696 views

How do I diagnose a "system board error" on IBM Thinkpad 600E?

I have an IBM Thinkpad 600E that won't boot up. I used ctrl + alt + ins to boot into a screen with some diagnostic tools. Memory test passes HD test passes SystemBoard test FAILS with Dev = 1 ERR = ...
Cool Pontiac's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
422 views

Old IBM ThinkPad laptop gets stuck booting Windows on a weird screen. How to proceed?

I’m trying to breathe life into an old IBM ThinkPad Pentium II. I think it runs Windows NT or Windows 98 or whatever came after that It turns on fine and asks me to enter the year and date which I do. ...
Cool Pontiac's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
345 views

Need help restoring the OS of an "AST Premium Exec 386SX/20" laptop

I have an AST Premium Exec 386SX/20 Model 63V laptop minus a floppy drive and hard disk. Otherwise the 1991 vintage machine is fully functional (and in excellent condition, so it's definitely worth ...
Wossname's user avatar
  • 171
6 votes
1 answer
281 views

Boot and run OS/2 1.x from floppy to run a few command-line tools

How (by doing which steps) can I boot and run OS/2 1.x from a boot floppy, without installing it to a hard drive? As a way to do this, is it possible to go to the command prompt from within the ...
pts's user avatar
  • 1,485
3 votes
0 answers
735 views

FreeDOS and USB support

I have an old Fujitsu LifeBook that I want to install Windows 98 on. I burned a Windows 98 CD and verified it works, but the LifeBook's CD drive cant seem to read it. I do know the CD drive works, as ...
Keltari's user avatar
  • 503
27 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why did the Nintendo GameBoy Color make the name of any game to have a specific checksum?

Inside of the GBCs Cartridge header there is the metadata for the game and the Nintendo logo. The program that runs on boot (the BIOS or Boot ROM) checks the checksum of the Nintendo logo, and always ...
Missing User's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
930 views

Why do Windows 98 and ME boot disks use EBD.CAB and the RAMDrive?

Starting from Windows 98, Microsoft RAMDrive was introduced into Emergency Boot Disks (EBDs). A:\README.TXT contains the following explanation: Without creating the RAMdrive, we would not have enough ...
Fred Qian's user avatar
  • 212
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why would installing a 486DX2 make the system freeze for minutes on boot?

In the mid-1990s, a friend of mine had one of those Compaq Presario desktop PCs that had an integrated CRT SVGA display built in the same cabinet as the CPU, in a similar fashion as the early iMacs. ...
mkay's user avatar
  • 699
3 votes
1 answer
712 views

Windows NT drive recovery without ERD or backups

I have decided to take on this project to help another company that has been using a Windows NT system to run some of their critical field equipment. Unfortunately there is now an error which appears ...
james lavigne's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
3k views

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 ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.5k
8 votes
4 answers
939 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 ...
Dmitry Brant's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
Anthony's user avatar
  • 455
-1 votes
3 answers
378 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 ...
Edon's user avatar
  • 15
1 vote
0 answers
396 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....
user22722's user avatar
64 votes
1 answer
12k 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 ...
no ai please's user avatar
  • 1,123
20 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. ...
Brian H's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
Châu's user avatar
  • 515
26 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
user3840170's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
970 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?
Bartek Malysz's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
349 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,636
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

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 ...
Bartek Malysz's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
174 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,636
1 vote
1 answer
185 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,636
4 votes
1 answer
379 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,636
8 votes
1 answer
919 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 ...
Bartek Malysz's user avatar
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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,636
4 votes
1 answer
775 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,636
4 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
Swisher Sweet's user avatar
33 votes
3 answers
13k 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 ...
Eric Cartman's user avatar
  • 6,620
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,636
4 votes
2 answers
791 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 ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,636
12 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
wizofwor's user avatar
  • 2,758
2 votes
3 answers
902 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 ...
BarsMonster's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
638 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 ...
BarsMonster's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
Razor's user avatar
  • 221
5 votes
1 answer
536 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 ...
Ciel Ruby's user avatar
  • 545
3 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
49 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 ...
DmytroL's user avatar
  • 2,162
3 votes
2 answers
733 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....
François Beaune's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
786 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 ...
user180940's user avatar
  • 3,716
5 votes
1 answer
15k 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 ...
jwzumwalt's user avatar
  • 4,499
21 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
Kidburla's user avatar
  • 313
34 votes
8 answers
7k 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 ...
Rodney's user avatar
  • 503