Sunday, 14 September 2008

Time for a thought about the boot method

Well, now here we have the first slight problem.

The Web Book has no internal CD-ROM drive.

The BIOS says it can boot from SD-MMC cards or a LAN boot device. Well, it looks like my first challenge is going to be finding a way to create an Arch Linux boot image this little box of tricks will recognise, and boot from. Watch this space (!)

Right then. Having thought things over it's down to business.

First bit of good news. The WebBook can boot from a USB drive. I saw a popup for something called Pen Drive Linux and although it's not what I want, it quite irrefutably is a variant of linux that can be copied to a pen drive and booted from thereafter. So I just had to have it as a decider of whether to carry on, or whether to forget the whole thing.

So I grabbed a spare IGB USB drive, followed the instructions on PenDrive Linux's website to the letter, and presto, Linux on a stick. All you have to do is [it the USB stick in the slot BEFORE you boot up - so the BIOS finds it, hit DEL to go into the BIOS SETUP screen ....

... and hey look at that, the machine finds TWO hard drives. One is the SATA drive that was fitted all along, the new one is the USB Drive. SO all you have to do is TAB down the menus making the USB Drive the 'FIRST' one, then go the BOOT menu and pick THAT as the first boot device on BOOT DEVICE PRIORITY and then ... reboot.

And yippee I am rewarded by the sight of a linux boot menu. Admittedly this is the boot menu for 'Pendrive Linux' not 'Arch Linux' but hey, it's a start.

1 comment:

Luke said...

A friend of mine has one of these and also purchased an external cd-rom drive to install Linux/XP. XP detects the drive in Windows and it works fine but she is having trouble booting from the cd-rom. Do you know if the Webbook is capable and if so, which screens in the bios does she need to be playing with? Cheers.