[conspire] disk imaging programs

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Mar 25 18:16:04 PST 2003

Quoting Sean Wolfe-Justice (mailjones at mouseandfrog.org):

> I have been wrestling with a couple Linux-originated disk cloning apps, 
> PartImage and CloneIt. They both have procedures to create bootable images 
> but I can't seem to make them work using rawrite.

> I've had difficulty downloading the files as well. Sometimes wget just 
> stops after about 20k is downloaded.
> PartImage www.partimage.org disk images 
> http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=6212&release_id=78032
> CloneIt http://www.ferzkopp.net/Software/CloneIt/CloneIt.html
> This CloneIt looks pretty neat. So why do his disk image files not make a 
> readable floppy? I sucessfully (I think) downloaded the files, gunziped 
> them, and wrote them to floppy.
> I should admit that being a Linux newbie, much of this has been done under 
> Windows. But rawrite is for Windows, and a raw floppy image is the same 
> regardless, right? My Debian boot floppies come up just fine on my Windows 
> machine.

The following is a little scattershot, since it's (initially) unclear
exactly where your problem is occurring.  

1.  Could be that you didn't download the entire floppy-image file.
If this were a CD image, very likely you'd find a tiny imagename.md5
file listed for download right alongside the imagename.img (or
imagename.raw, whatever) disk image.  Floppies, however, are so small
that such redundancy checks (stored md5sum values) usually aren't

If it'll help, I have a version of Partimage (and of the Partboot floppy
images) at http://linuxmafia.com/pub/hardware/ , alternatively reachable 
at ftp://linuxmafia.com/pub/hardware/ .  It's not current, but it's
there if you need it.

2.  Could be that you've encountered a run of bad floppies.  This has
become a very, very common problem.  Make sure you listen carefully to
the sound of the floppy drive, while it's writing out the disk.  You can
hear if the drive is having to repeatedly attempt to write a track.  If
you hear that, even if try number n allegedly succeeds, you may elect to
throw out that floppy and try a different one.  However, even disks that
write out with no audible retries are sometimes, nonetheless, no good.

3.  Could be that you need a different rawrite utility.  I vaguely
recall that rawrite was originally written for MS-DOS.  There have been
two ports tailored for Win32 systems.  I carry both of them at
http://linuxmafia.com/pub/ms-windows/ aka 
ftp://linuxmafia.com/pub/ms-windows/ .  Quoting the directory's index
file (catalogue):

 363726 Oct  7 20:15 rawrite32.zip      Martin Husemann's Win32 port of rawrite
                                        to all Win32 operating systems.  Utility
                                        for writing of diskette-image files,
                                        e.g. to install Linux from floppies.  C
                                        and C++ source code and Win32 binary
                                        under a free-usage licence.  Compilation
                                        requires RSADSI's MD5 source code
                                        (added), zlib source code (added) and
                                        Microsoft Developer's Studio 6.  From:
 248679 Oct  7 16:20 rawwritewin-0.6.zip
                                        John Newbigin's Win32 port of rawrite
                                        to WinNT, to compensate for problems
                                        getting past the Hardware Abstraction
                                        Layer, especially in NT-based versions
                                        of MS-Windows such as Windows2000 and
                                        Windows XP.  Utility for writing of
                                        diskette-image files, e.g. to install
                                        Linux from floppies.  Pascal and C++
                                        source code and Win32 binary under the
                                        GNU GPL.  Compilation seems to require
                                        Borland Delphi and Borland C++.  From:

Cheers,             "That scruffy beard... those suspenders... that smug ex-
Rick Moen           pression.... You're one of those condescending Unix users!"
rick at linuxmafia.com "Here's a nickel, kid.  Get yourself a real computer."  
                                                        -- Dilbert

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