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Trying to boot tinycore Linux from PCMCIA

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VennyTron
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2023 3:33 pm
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Trying to boot tinycore Linux from PCMCIA

#1 Post by VennyTron » Wed Sep 13, 2023 3:47 pm

Hello all this is my first post,

My computer is a ThinkPad 760E and I’m trying to boot using a SanDisk ATA PCMCIA card with a 2GB Verbatim CF card inside.

Firstly I burned the ISO onto the CF card using DD on the card using a CF to USBC connector on my MacBook.

After that I did this within MSDOS prompt
“PS2 IDE2 DISABLE ULTRABAY”
as I saw that I should here: https://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=132765

Then I went into “Easy Setup” bios by pressing F1 and chose PCMCIA as the #1 device in the startup boot order with nothing after.

After I’ve done all of that when the computer starts up it shows my available ram then freezes. The Ammount I have is 24mb (I have more on the way that I ordered).

I’m wondering why it freezes. Is it because I don’t have enough ram to run that distro? With no GUI and only a CLI interface it should only require 10mb.

Any help is appreciated please ask me questions if you need more info or I haven’t conveyed enough for an adequate forum post.

Bondi
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Re: Trying to boot tinycore Linux from PCMCIA

#2 Post by Bondi » Thu Sep 14, 2023 10:51 am

I think it has nothing to do with RAM. Did you try preparing your CF card as discussed it that same thread you refer to? In particular posts ##10-13.
I don't know much about Linux, but I'd first make sure that your setup can boot to MS-DOS, and then proceed with linux.
Thinkpads: 330C, 360CE, 560, 755CD, 760LD, 760EL, A21p, A31p, X60s, X230

VennyTron
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2023 3:33 pm
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Re: Trying to boot tinycore Linux from PCMCIA

#3 Post by VennyTron » Thu Sep 14, 2023 11:26 am

Bondi wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2023 10:51 am
I think it has nothing to do with RAM. Did you try preparing your CF card as discussed it that same thread you refer to? In particular posts ##10-13.
I don't know much about Linux, but I'd first make sure that your setup can boot to MS-DOS, and then proceed with linux.
Look I’m a little bit of a noob when it comes to drivers. I guess I’m going off topic a little but I don’t have a windows pc. All I have is windows 95 on this TP760 and anytime I insert the pcmcia windows freezes I have the PC Card director “ezplay” but I can’t use it since the OS freezes. How would the driver work if it’s on my hard drive and not the pcmcia card?

I’ll try to put some old 32bit windows OS on the pcmcia to test. But I don’t see how that will change anything :cry:

axur-delmeria
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Re: Trying to boot tinycore Linux from PCMCIA

#4 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Sep 14, 2023 3:13 pm

If it freezes when you insert the PCMCIA card, then there may be some issue in the software (drivers), configuration (PCMCIA vs Cardbus mode, interrupt settings, PnP etc.) or hardware (malfunctioning due to age).
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Bondi
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Re: Trying to boot tinycore Linux from PCMCIA

#5 Post by Bondi » Fri Sep 15, 2023 5:41 am

VennyTron wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2023 11:26 am
Bondi wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2023 10:51 am
I think it has nothing to do with RAM. Did you try preparing your CF card as discussed it that same thread you refer to? In particular posts ##10-13.
I don't know much about Linux, but I'd first make sure that your setup can boot to MS-DOS, and then proceed with linux.
Look I’m a little bit of a noob when it comes to drivers. I guess I’m going off topic a little but I don’t have a windows pc. All I have is windows 95 on this TP760 and anytime I insert the pcmcia windows freezes I have the PC Card director “ezplay” but I can’t use it since the OS freezes. How would the driver work if it’s on my hard drive and not the pcmcia card?

I’ll try to put some old 32bit windows OS on the pcmcia to test. But I don’t see how that will change anything :cry:
Are you familiar with MS-DOS? It would be easier to manipulate with your CF card there. W95 may freeze for many reasons, and it's most probably a software problem IMO.
To boot to plain DOS you have to edit the string bootgui=1 from 1 to 0 in msdos.sys file and reboot. Then install PCMCIA card and socket drivers and see if the card is detected. Drivers here EDITED http://greyghost.mooo.com/pccbbs/mobiles/pctpgw31.exe
And if it does, then follow the instructions I mentioned above to create an appropriate partition on the CF card. All ofthis will require certain perseverance and time :)
Thinkpads: 330C, 360CE, 560, 755CD, 760LD, 760EL, A21p, A31p, X60s, X230

VennyTron
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2023 3:33 pm
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Re: Trying to boot tinycore Linux from PCMCIA

#6 Post by VennyTron » Mon Sep 18, 2023 6:48 pm

Bondi I tried setting BootGUI=0 but it still starts up with GUI anyways…

Here are some other “parameters” within the file and what they are set to.

**********************
[options]
BootMulti=1
BootGUI=0
;
;XXXXXXXX…

;XXXXXXXX…
Network=1
DoubleBuffer=1
BootWarn=0
Logo=0
**********************

Anything not looking correct to you?

Bondi
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Location: Yerevan, Armenia

Re: Trying to boot tinycore Linux from PCMCIA

#7 Post by Bondi » Wed Sep 20, 2023 2:28 am

That's very strange. Parameters look fine. Are you sure the changes are saved in the file? msdos.sys has read only attribute, to make chages to it this attribute has to be removed.
Thinkpads: 330C, 360CE, 560, 755CD, 760LD, 760EL, A21p, A31p, X60s, X230

VennyTron
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2023 3:33 pm
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Re: Trying to boot tinycore Linux from PCMCIA

#8 Post by VennyTron » Thu Sep 21, 2023 4:32 pm

Bondi wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2023 2:28 am
That's very strange. Parameters look fine. Are you sure the changes are saved in the file? msdos.sys has read only attribute, to make chages to it this attribute has to be removed.
Yea I used C:> attrib -r -s -h Msdos.sys

Changed bootGUI to 0 and saved the file.

Then used C:> attrib +r +s +h Msdos.sys

But another thing I noticed is that there are also msdos.sys files
In:
-> C:\WINDOWS\msdos.sys
and
-> C:\WINDOWS\OPTIONS\CABS\msdos.sys
As well…

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