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Ok, so this question is going to get turned into a guide, but lets get it started here.

So I got my new server, it has an 8 bay SCSI RAID aray which is cool, except I have no SCSI hard drives to put in it. So for now, I want to put one of my IDE hard drives that I have got lying around in it and install the os to that. Problem is, I only have one IDE channel on the board. So, I can't have both my I can't have both my CD-ROM drive and my hard drive plugged in (unless so one knows a way to trick the bios, but I doubt it).

So I guess what I need to do is install a linux distro with out the use of the CD-ROM drive.

I have the ability to plug the drive into another computer to copy over files or partition it or what ever, so I can do it that way. But how to I get the install started ounce I move it over to the server? I have a floppy drive, but I don't know how that helps either.

I figure with the vast collective knowledge we have on this forum somebody, or a team of you should be able to figure this one out. So....have at it.
So what kind of server did you purchase?
AFAIK an IDE channel can have two devices i.e. master and a slave. Make sure the jumpers are configured correctly. Is your server different?

You didn't mention which distro you intend to install. I know Mandrake and Redhat you can install if the isos are on a fat32 or ext2/3 partitions. You will need to create the correct boot floppy disk from the /images directory located on the 1st install CD.

There is also a network install option for lots of distros. Again you need to create a boot floppy disk and have a network card. You can install from the internet or a local nfs, http server. Hopefully your card is supported.
I got it from work for free. Its a beasty old server. Its not a matter of having the jumpers correct. Its a matter of you can't put a hard drive and a CD drive on the same IDE channel, you just can't do it.

I think copying the ISOs to the pre-formated drive sounds like the best way to do it. What do I need to do to make a start up disk?

I guess I didn't say what distro because I was pretty open to installing anything. I am thinking that I would like to use a RHEL clone like WBEL or cent.

I could also do a network inistall since I have multiple computers on the network. But I think that the iso idea is the best.
Do you mean you can't put a CDROM and a Hard Drive on the same channel on this machine ...

Because I have a master Hard drive and a slave CDROM in several of my linux machines. But on older machines, it can make the hard drive slower....(the whole channel is stuck at the slower devices DMA setting ... and CDROMs are usually slower.

Reguardless, installing from a hard drive is easy for WhiteBox / CentOS.

On another machine, create a partition for your ISO files that is ext3 on the hard drive in question ... it would need to be about 2 gb for all 3 cds (I show all three files as 1.8 gb). After you get all 3 iso files copied into the partition, remove the drive and put it in the new can create the other partitions later during the install.

1. Make a boot floppy as detailed in section 2.5.3 here:

(write the /images/bootdisk.img from CD-1 to a floppy using /dosutils/rawritewin/rawritewin.exe in windows ... or use dd in linux.)

I mounted the WhiteBox Respin 1 CD in Gentoo and then did:

cd /mnt/cdrom/images
dd if=bootdisk.img of=/dev/fd0 bs=1440k

2. Boot from the floppy ... and at the prompt type:

linux text

3. Pick HardDrive install ... pick the partition and input the directory that contains the ISO files per the instructions here:

The RedHat guide is based on the gui install ... here is a very similar fermi linux install that shows most of the text pages as well:
I was under the impression you couldn't mix hard drives and CD drives, maybe I am wrong. That seems like the easiest way to do it.

I tried putting the hard drive on the master and the cd on the slave and its stoped recognizing the CD drive. Both were on cable select, maybe if I set the jumpers it will work. I thought you couldn't mix and match, that to me seems like it would be the best way to go about this.
you might want to remove the CD when you are finished...

I do text based hard drive installs all the time ... they are fairly easy.
ya I tried every combination of the two togeather on the same IDE channel and I can't get it to work. So I am just going to install it from the hard drive. Lets see how this goes.
ok, so I formated the drive, coppied over the ISO images, created the boot disk, fired up the server, the boot disk worked. When it promted me for "What type of media contains the packages to be installed" I chose Hard Drive, but it can't detect a hard drive.

I am betting that its my server or something along those lines so I am going to go screw with it, I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas.
Ya, got it finished, and it doesn't want to boot from the primary IDE, but thats a bios issue, it isn't even looking there to try to boot. So long story short, I am trashing the server. Anybody want to pay frieght to have this giant beast shipped to them? Just kidding, you could buy a better one for what it would cost to ship this thing. Now I am off to write a guide so people don't make the same mistakes I did.

The End.
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