the infamous boot disk

Hello Experts!!

I have a QNX 4.24 OS…and I lost the boot floppy drive and I can’t find the orginal CD load disk. I looked around on the computer and I could not find a set of tools that would load a bootable OS on a floppy on the /boot directory.

I would like to find out what is the procedure to create a bootable floppy disk and/or if I take a bootable disk from another QNX node that I know that works…what do I have to hack at the files to configure it to a another machine.

Thanks for the help in advance.


Format then dinit a floppy, mount it, copy the .boot file to the floppy.

If you use the same image that is on your bootable hard disk you don’t even need a /bin directory as everything will be coming from your hard disk right after the driver initializes and the hard disk is mounted. However it is useful to have a small set of tools on the floppy (shell, dinit, fdisk, drivers, chkfsys, etc.) so you can manually fix bad partitions if needed.

Not that the wonderous, amazing QNX4 file system ever has any problems! :wink: (Those of you who know who I am will get the joke.)

And that is the reason I am writing this post. You never know when you need the mission critical backup disk.

What I’ve done in the past was have two boot files on a floppy. The .boot file would boot up onto the hard disk. The .altboot file would boot to floppy, starting a shell and that’s it. Then I’d use the selected set of utilities that I placed on the floppy to manually start the driver, mount the partitions, repair the filesystem as needed, etc.

With both those options available anything short of a total drive failure has always some data, and usually has been fully recoverable for me.

In the past 11 years I think I’ve needed to manually mount and repair a hard disk only 3 or 4 times other than total drive failures. Not bad given the (bad) factory conditions our systems are in particularly in countries outside the US with notoriously bad electrical supply.

By far the most common problem I’ve had was with mistakenly putting a syntax error in the sys.init file. So always make sure .altboot has a duplicate of .boot and that .altboot has a working sys.init file, preferably a simple one that does not load photon in case you end up with a photon problem. Bill’s file system has been remarkably solid, and I don’t recall every losing anything.

Thanks for the kind words Mitchell.