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GRUB on diskette

From: Lee Valentine
Subject: GRUB on diskette
Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2011 16:15:16 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.0; rv:6.0.2) Gecko/20110902 Thunderbird/6.0.2

Messieurs et Mesdames --

I have installed Debian 6 (Squeeze) on a Dell Dimension XPS T500,
running at 500 megahertz, with 768 megabytes of memory. It has a
60-gigabyte IDE drive and a set of SCSI drives connected through an
Adaptec 2840 host adapter. It uses GRUB 2 as its booter.

1. I executed the script shown on page 9 of the GRUB documentation, viz.

   mke2fs  /dev/fd0
   mount  -text2  /dev/fd0  /mnt
   mkdir  /mnt/boot
   grub-install  --boot-directory=/mnt/boot  /dev/fd0

but was told

   Unrecognized option 'boot-directory=/mnt/boot'

2. The -h option for grub-install said that there was a --root-directory
option, but not an option --boot-directory. I repeated the above script
using --root-directory instead of --boot-directory, and was given

   cp: can not create regular file '/mnt/boot/boot/grub/crypto.lst': no
   space left on device

Grub-install wrote extensively to the 3.5" diskette /dev/fd0

Is this error message significant?

3. When I booted this machine with the boot diskette thus created, I got
the message

    Operating System not found


4. I executed the parallel script

   mke2fs  /dev/fd0
   grub-install  /dev/fd0

on another 3.5" diskette, and was told

   /usr/bin/grub-setup: warn: attempting to install GRUB to a
   partitionaless disk. This is a BAD idea.

   /usr/bin/grub-setup: error: embedding is not possible, but this is
   required for cross-disk install.


The only difference between this script and the last is that I did not
create a directory /boot on the diskette and instruct GRUB to place its
files there. Why should that be necessary? GRUB apparently creates a
subdirectory /boot for itself anyway. Why should its subdirectory /boot
have to lie within another subdirectory /boot?

5. Is it possible to install GRUB 2 on a diskette and have that diskette
actually boot the machine on which the diskette was created?

Thank you for your attention.

-- William Lee Valentine
   Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

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