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Questions tagged [boot]

Bootstrapping (booting) process, utilities and customisation.

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64 votes
1 answer
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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
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
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40 votes
1 answer
5k views

Is it possible to know which lines in the Gameboy Color cartridge connection is missing by looking at the glitched Nintendo logo?

Context: I'm building a gameboy color flash cartridge based on the rp2040 mcu, I have came to the point where it displays an almost complete nintendo bootlogo at the startup. However, a few pixels(...
Ömer Gezer's user avatar
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
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 ...
aybe's user avatar
  • 7,092
33 votes
6 answers
32k 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 ...
Informancien's user avatar
  • 2,657
29 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
Jules's user avatar
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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
26 votes
5 answers
8k 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 ...
Sydius's user avatar
  • 2,594
26 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why do old computers (PCs) 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....
Andreas Hartmann's user avatar
25 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
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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
  • 455
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
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20 votes
1 answer
3k 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
  • 60.8k
20 votes
1 answer
1k views

What did the cassette bootloader in 8 Bit Ataris do?

...or for that matter, what didn't it do, so that you'd use the "bootloader/main program" separation instead of loading everything at once. Normally, when loading games or any non-BASIC software from ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 7,105
17 votes
4 answers
4k views

Booting an Amiga 1000 directly to the hard drive without Kickstart floppy

The Amiga computers such as the Amiga 1000 required a Kickstart floppy to be able to boot directly into a hard drive. I have a Amiga 1000 as well but missing the Kickstart floppy. I would like to ...
Anthony Pham's user avatar
  • 2,474
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
15 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?
alfetta's user avatar
  • 173
14 votes
2 answers
793 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
14 votes
2 answers
1k 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-...
user3570736's user avatar
  • 1,782
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
12 votes
2 answers
20k 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 ...
Informancien's user avatar
  • 2,657
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
  • 2,778
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
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
11 votes
1 answer
912 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 ...
Matt Lacey's user avatar
  • 2,310
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
11 votes
1 answer
1k 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
  • 304
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
  • 571
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
9 votes
1 answer
990 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
9 votes
2 answers
935 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
  • 10.2k
9 votes
1 answer
755 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 ...
scruss's user avatar
  • 21.7k
9 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Geo...'s user avatar
  • 10.2k
8 votes
4 answers
988 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
8 votes
2 answers
561 views

Toshiba T2000SX can't boot from non-original HDD - "02" all over the screen

I used to have an old Toshiba T2000SX laptop, but some day its HDD died. I found a newer laptop HDD that fit in and I could format it to appear to have a small enough capacity to get detected by the ...
Byte Commander's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
938 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
8 votes
1 answer
957 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 ...
retropdp's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
445 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
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
  • 6,656
7 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
Andreas Hartmann's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
370 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
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
6 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
jwzumwalt's user avatar
  • 4,479
6 votes
1 answer
2k 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?
ManuParra's user avatar
  • 365
6 votes
1 answer
290 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
  • 2,013
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
  • 6,656
5 votes
1 answer
16k 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
  • 4,479
5 votes
1 answer
540 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
  • 555
5 votes
1 answer
365 views

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