Install ReactOS w/o ide-cdrom & floppy with Grub Linux

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Install ReactOS w/o ide-cdrom & floppy with Grub Linux

Post by PoPoutdoor » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:43 pm

This is written as reminder for myself at first, but I think it will be nice to share here as my first post :D

I decided to give ReactOS a try but the spare desktop machine with Gentoo Linux installed to the sata drive without floppy drive (I do have a sata cdrom). I have to dig out old hardware to fulfill current version requirements.

After lengthy test on all the used hardware, I am out of luck to found out 4 used IDE cdrom and some floppy drives all dead :oops: (This is good as a house keeping task)

At last, I got one 2G ide harddisk for the installation with a ps/2-usb mouse converter and a spare AGP card (nVidia RIVA TNT2 Model 64/Model 64 Pro) to work with.


P4 2.4G, 512M RAM
Intel 965 chipset motherboard with 2 ide + 2 sata channel
Onboard VGA (915)
Onboard LAN (RealTek 8139C)


The latest trunk build:
p7zip package to extract the downloaded .7z file

Prepare IDE harddisk

Note: The 2G harddisk connected to Primary IDE channel and the SATA drive is /dev/sdb while the IDE drive is /dev/sda

Boot into Linux (or other OS with harddisk & iso image utils), login as root (or prefixed with 'sudo' as user):
  1. Extract 7zip file

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    p7zip -d /path/to/bootcd-53983-dbg.7z
  2. Create partition table with ID type 6 (FAT16). If the drive capacity is larger, set ID type b/c (FAT32) instead.

    *You may use gui partition tools like gnome-disk-utility to edit and format the partitions.

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    fdisk /dev/sda
    Note: only the first partition formatted with FAT can be used for the installation. So, create a large partition for ReactOS first. Depends on the drive capacity, create partition a few MB larger than the ISO image will be sufficient for the bootcd.
  3. Format the partitions

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    mkdosfs -n ReactOS -F 16 /dev/sda1
    mkdosfs -n BootCD -F 16 /dev/sda2
  4. Mount the FAT partition which act as bootcd

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    mkdir /mnt/bootcd
    mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/bootcd
  5. Mount the ISO image

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    mount -t iso9660 -o loop /path/to/bootcd.iso /mnt/cdrom
  6. Copy bootcd files

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    cp -a /mnt/cdrom/*/mnt/bootcd
  7. Check Free Loader binaries (for old versions only)

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    ls /mnt/bootcd/loader/*sys
    If you got freeldr.sys and setupldr.sys, then skip next step.
  8. Get missing freeldr.sys

    If you only got setupldr.sys in last step, you have to download the same livecd build version to get freeldr.sys.

    Code: Select all

    umount /mnt/cdrom
    mount -t iso9660 -o loop /path/to/livecd.iso /mnt/cdrom
    cp /mnt/cdrom/loader/freeldr.sys /mnt/bootcd/loader
  9. Update Grub

    If you are not using Gentoo, instructions may need minor changes.

    Mount Linux boot partition if not mounted

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    mount /boot
    vi /boot/grub/grub.conf
    Append code below

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    title InstallCD
    root (hd1,1)
    kernel /loader/setupldr.sys
    title ReactOS
    root (hd1,0)
    kernel /loader/freeldr.sys
    Save and exit.
  10. Get ready for reboot

    Code: Select all

    umount /mnt/cdrom
    umount /mnt/bootcd
Install ReactOS

Select 'InstallCD' from Grub menu to boot.

Everything goes smooth until setup Free Loader. I have to press F3 to quit installation and reboot.
If you are lucky, skip the next step.

Setup Free Loader

Reboot to Linux.

Login console as root or use sudo:

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mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/bootcd
mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/cdrom
cp -a /mnt/cdrom/loader /mnt/bootcd
cp -a /mnt/cdrom/freeldr.ini /mnt/bootcd
Edit /mnt/bootcd/freeldr.ini


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Show debug on screen (Optional)

If you don't have COM port and/or like to know why the bootup fails on screen, append

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to freeldr.ini

Note: The SystemPath can be compiled from Grub (hdx,y) settings with rdisk(x+1)\partition(y+1)


Select 'ReactOS' from Grub to continue setup.

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