How to make a floppy bootable?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by josepho, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. josepho macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    #1
    Hey guys,

    The computer which my family uses (not me) is in trouble... and, surprisingly, it runs Windows. You can hear my problem at: http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=4358377

    Anyways, it would appear my problem just now is making a floppy disk which is bootable, so that I can copy the necessary files and boot the POS (I mean PC) into MS-DOS. In Disk Utility I can see whether or not disks are bootable, but I can't see any way of changing this attribute.

    Can you help?

    Thanks.
     
  2. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    #2
    Do you really need help or are you trying to sap some traffic to another site?

    harsh? mmmmmm.... no.

    oh and shouldn't that be "and, unsurprisingly, it runs Windows."?
     
  3. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    #4
    I take that back, I was harsh.

    What you are asking is - how can I get my Power book to Format an MS-DOS floppy correctly?

    Why not just reinstall the OS? Isn't that what Windows people do every other week anyway? I hear Windows ME is particularly bad.

    how about getting/downloading a bootable CD disk image and burning it with toast and then booting the PC with that.
     
  4. Mertzen macrumors 6502

    Mertzen

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    Sep 25, 2004
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    ]KLGA[
  5. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    japan
    #6
    There's a good idea :D

    Did you reformat the floppy in DOS format? After doing that, if I remember correctly a floppy with CONFIG.SYS and COMMAND.COM files will boot properly ... but don't quote me.
     
  6. josepho thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    #8
    Yeah, I have formatted it in MS-DOS format and put all the necessary files on it, but because it hasn't been formatted as a bootable disk, it won't start the computer. As I say, Disk Utility will tell you whether or not the disk is bootable, but gives you no option to change it.

    I guess I might have to call up a Windows using friend... and use their computer to make the boot disk. Bum-mer!

    Thanks for your help guys.
     
  7. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    #9
    at dos prompt in 9x:

    Format A: /q /u /s

    or

    sys C: A:

    this should make it bootable.


    the /q does quick, /u does unconditional and /s copies system files.
     
  8. MacNeXT macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    #10
    That's wrong. The boot sector must be written with code to load these files, and that can only be done with a utility like format (or sys or fdisk /mbr maybe). But that doesn't matter because I understand it must be done on a powerbook. There are plenty of bootable floppy disk images available for download on the internet. You also have to find a utility to write these images to disk on a Mac.
     
  9. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    #11
    What about VPC? Could he use that to write a boot floppy? Anyway, if you were somewhere in the US, id offer to make you a boot floppy and mail it to you, but since you're in the UK, i have no clue how much it would cost of how long it would take to get there. Alternatively, you could ask a PC-using friend to make one for you.
     
  10. josepho thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    #12
    Unfortunately, or fortunately, or whatever, I don't have VPC, so that's not an option. I thought I could perhaps try using fdisk to write to the MBR section of the floppy. Theoretically I think that would work, but I can't seem to get fdisk to access the USB floppy disk. The mount point, which I can access through the terminal, is /volumes/DISKNAME, but when I put that into fdisk I get "... is not a character device or a regular file.", so I'm not really sure where to go from here.

    Thanks very much for the offer of the boot disk, but it shall not be necessary. I do have friends from whom I could get a boot disk, so I think I might look at doing that tomorrow.

    Cheers guys! :D
     
  11. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #13
    Yes you can. I've done it. Just an FYI.

    Meh... use a Linux distro like Damn Small Linux to boot it.... :rolleyes:
     

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