Making a Boot Floppy if Needed

If you're having trouble booting from the DVD or CD, you can start the installation from a floppy disk. Because there is no boxed set for Fedora, however, you'll have to make this disk yourself. You can find the disk image file — a fancy way of referring to a snapshot of a floppy disk's contents — on the DVD or first CD in the /images directory. You can't just copy this image onto the floppy, however. You have to use a special program to make sure that every tiny part of the image is written over exactly correctly. Assuming that you're using Windows right now, the program I use for this purpose is RAWRITE, which you can download from linux/rawwrite.htm.

To make a boot disk on a Windows system using Fedora Core 3 and the DVD (or CD) that came with this book, follow these steps (I focus on Windows XP here, with notes for people using other versions of Windows):

1. Point your Web browser to linux/rawwrite.htm.

2. Click the latest Binary release (at the time of this writing it's the first link on the page, to download it.

3. When asked what to do with this file, click Save.

4. When the Save As dialog appears, navigate to where you would like to save the file and click Save to download the file.

This is a small program, so even for dial-up users, it shouldn't take all day!

5. Once the program is saved on your machine, open your file browser and navigate to where you have saved it.

If you used the defaults in Windows XP, it's in the My Documents\ My Downloads folder.

6. If you're using Windows XP or another version of Windows with a program like WinZip ( installed, doubleclick the rawwritewin file to open the archive.

If you don't have a program that can open this file, download WinZip and install it on your machine. You can then return to Step 6.

7. If you're using WinZip, extract the files into the same folder or a new one and skip to Step 9. If you're using XP, click Extract All Files to the left of the folder listing.

This action opens the Extraction Wizard.

8. Follow through the brief wizard, telling it where to extract the files.

When finished, you end up in a folder containing the extracted files.

9. Insert the DVD that comes with this book into the DVD drive and make a note of the drive letter that corresponds to your DVD drive.

If you're using the CD set, insert the first CD.

10. To create a boot disk, double-click the rawwritewin penguin icon in the folder.

The RawWrite window appears (see Figure 3-1).

Figure 3-1:

The RawWrite disk image writer.

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11. Next to the Image File text box, click the ... button to open the file browser.

12. Navigate to your DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drive, depending on whether you're using the DVD from the book or a CD set for installation.

For many people, this is the D: drive.

13. Double-click the images folder to enter it.

14. Select the file diskboot.img and then click Open. The file browser dialog closes.

15. Insert a blank 1.44MB floppy disk into the floppy drive.

16. Click the Write button to start writing the image to the floppy disk. This process can take a few minutes.

Once the image has been written, the Image Successfully Written dialog box appears.

17. Click OK and then click the Exit button to close the program.

After you've created the installation boot disk, you need to configure, or verify, that your computer is set to boot from the floppy drive. The easiest way to do this is to insert a floppy disk into your main floppy drive, make sure that no other drives have media in the machine (such as a DVD in your DVD-ROM drive), and then reboot your computer. If your computer boots from the floppy, you're set. You can then pull out the floppy and reboot into Windows or proceed to the section "The Installation Process."

If your computer seems to be ignoring the floppy drive as it boots, check in your system's BIOS (see Chapter 2.) Make sure that the floppy is listed first. Then save your changes before exiting the BIOS; otherwise, the items you set don't take effect.

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