Difference between revisions of "Booting a Linux SD card from Windows XP"

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[[Category:Low-Power Computing]]
 
[[Category:Low-Power Computing]]
 
[[Category:Balsa]]
 
[[Category:Balsa]]
 
== A Young Girl with a Big Heart and an Old Man with a Lot of Flowers ==
 
 
When I was very young (about ten or eleven years old), I heard that our neighbor, a retired physician, had lost his wife after a long illness. He was such a dear soul, and he had the most spectacular gardens in his backyard. The whole neighborhood could see his glorious flowers from the street. The backyard was a profusion of daisies and roses, snapdragons and lilies, hyacinths and columbines. I used to think there wasnt a flower in the world that he didnt grow.
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/A-Young-Girl-with-a-Big-Heart-and-an-Old-Man-with-a-Lot-of-F-lg9.html A Young Girl with a Big Heart and an Old Man with a Lot of Flowers]]
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/wk.html GoodvilleNews.com - good, positive news, inspirational stories, articles]]
 
 
== Why Have Good When You Can Have Better? ==
 
 
As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better. Steve Maraboli
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/Why-Have-Good-When-You-Can-Have-Better-PdMtIo.html Why Have Good When You Can Have Better?]]
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/wk.html GoodvilleNews.com - good, positive news, inspirational stories, articles]]
 
 
== 5 Easy Steps to Turn Your Life Into an Abundant Garden ==
 
 
Dont judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~ Robert Lewis StevensonIt has been my experience that life is what you make of it. You can look at it many ways. It can be like a cup of coffee it is all in how you make it. I have decided to look at my life as a garden because your harvest all depends on what seeds you plant.
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/5-Easy-Steps-to-Turn-Your-Life-Into-an-Abundant-Garden-5eoXgS.html 5 Easy Steps to Turn Your Life Into an Abundant Garden]]
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/wk.html GoodvilleNews.com - good, positive news, inspirational stories, articles]]
 
 
== Why You Should Always Trust Yourself ==
 
 
Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do. Benjamin SpockAs time passes by and the more work you will do on discovering and improving yourself, the more you will realize that the ancient Latin quotation: Ne te quaesiveris extra - Do not look outside of yourself for the truth, is true.
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/Why-You-Should-Always-Trust-Yourself-TR2gYW.html Why You Should Always Trust Yourself]]
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/wk.html GoodvilleNews.com - good, positive news, inspirational stories, articles]]
 
 
== The Importance of Learned Optimism ==
 
 
What 25 years of research reveal about the cognitive skills of happiness and finding lifes greater purpose.The illiterate of the 21st century, Alvin Toffler famously said, will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Our outlook on the world and our daily choices of disposition and behavior are in many ways learned patterns to which Tofflers insight applies with all the greater urgency
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/The-Importance-of-Learned-Optimism-jmZjsG.html The Importance of Learned Optimism]]
 
 
[[http://goodvillenews.com/wk.html GoodvilleNews.com - good, positive news, inspirational stories, articles]]
 

Revision as of 11:25, 30 July 2012

We (LSDev) have used this process to make a Windows based eee dual boot into Windows or Linux. This process enables the computer to boot from an SD card (or USB stick, CD, etc.), even if the computer is not normally capable of booting from that device.

This process does not require alteration of the MBR (most dual boot processes require MBR alteration, which can render the computer unusable if done badly).

These instructions were compiled using Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux.

Install GRUB4DOS

  • Download GRUB4DOS.
    • Look for the grub4dos-0.4.4.zip at the bottom of the page (the exact number may have changed since this was written).
  • Copy the grldr file from the downloaded zip file to C:\
  • Right-click on 'My Computer' in the start menu, then 'Properties'
  • Click 'Advanced' and the 'Settings' button under 'Startup and Recovery'
  • Click 'Edit'
  • Add the following line to the end of the file
C:\grldr="Linux"
  • Save the file, and close Notepad.

Install Linux start up files

  • Make a folder called Linux in C:\
  • Copy a kernel and an initial ramdisk into this folder
    • You can use just about any generic kernel and initial ramdisk. Copy them from /boot in your linux distribution. The files will be called something like vmlinuz... (the kernel) and initrd... (the initial ramdisk). On Ubuntu Jaunty for example, you have:
/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.xx-xx-generic
/boot/initrd.img-2.6.xx-xx-generic

Tie them both together

  • Open notepad to create a new file.
  • Paste in the text below, replacing the text in italics:
root (hd0,0)
kernel /Linux/kernel file name root=LABEL=Your SD card label
initrd /Linux/initrd file name

Your SD card label is the name of the partition on which your linux is installed. For Balsa this is BalsaRoot.

  • Save, choose 'All Files' as the type, and 'C:\menu.lst' as the name.

Using the system

If all works well, when you start your computer from now on you will see two options. Selecting the first one, 'Windows XP', or not doing anything will cause the computer to start Windows normally. Selecting the second option, 'Linux', will start your Linux on the SD card (your card must be inserted for this to work, it will never be installed to the hard disk).

When Balsa runs on a Windows file system, it creates an empty directory called C:\balsafiles on the Windows computer. It also creates a file named C:\balsafiles.img, which contains all the user data and some configuration files of the Balsa system. You can control the size of the initial balsafiles.img by changing variables in the file /etc/default/balsa on the Balsa SD card. Instructions are inside the comments in that file. The default size of the balsafiles.img is currently 10% of the free space on the drive or 1 gigabyte, whichever is smaller.

Uninstalling Balsa from the Windows computer

To remove the boot process, delete the files that you put on to the computer and remove the C:\grldr="Linux" line that you added to the boot file. You will probably want to back up the C:\balsafiles.img before you remove it from the Windows system. The C:\balsafiles directory can be deleted.

To do

This article needs updating with instructions on how to:

  • use the files you need from grub-install-Windows.zip file for Vista/7.
  • use kexec to switch to the kernel from the installed Linux distribution.
  • re-size the balsafiles.img file if that becomes necessary.
  • install Balsa user files on a Windows drive other than C: using a BALSAFILES= parameter on the kernel line of the MENU.LST file.
  • use the drive2id.exe program to set the root hd(x,y) line.