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Arty, Computer Software Engineer
Category: Programming
Satisfied Customers: 575
Experience:  15+ years of programming, C, C++, Java, PHP, awk, ruby, shell, ASM, Forth, Raptor, M.A.R.I.E, Excel
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I'm hoping to make a bootable CD from a set of bootable floppy

Resolved Question:

I'm hoping to make a bootable CD from a set of bootable floppy disks for an old Unix implementation (Interactive Unix circa late 1990), but am uncertain where to start! Any ideas would be appreciated
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Programming
Expert:  Arty replied 2 years ago.
Arty :

Hi. Could you determine what file system is on that floppy? On solaris run 'fstyp /dev/rdisketteX' and tell me what it shows.

Arty :

what you are asking looks not possible, but I see some workarounds how to run setup from these floppies

Arty :

Writing floppy to cdrom is useless even if possible. Interactive Unix (XENIX) didn't support CDROM drives, so even if it were possible to write it to CDROM, Interactive Unix installer would not recognize CDROM and would fail. To save it, I would do 'dd' from floppy to image files. Then to install I would create virtual system (with hardware virtualization), that should be configured as very old PC/XT systems (i386, ISA bus, 16MB ram, floppy disk) and boot this virtual system from saved dd images. There is one more difficulty, it uses direct disk access (IDE disks) without BIOS.


My apologies.. i dont have access to the Solaris box just now .. i can persue this tonight and reply tomorrow.

Arty :

By the way can you tell me why do you need to have these floppies on cdrom?

Arty :

since interactive unix didn't support installation from cd


your last comment will save me a lot of wasted effort as i had overlooked the lack of support for boot from CD!


this is a 'hobby' project for me .. i am interested in reviewing an application i wrote many years ago and am having


difficulty installing Interactive on modern laptops

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There are a large number of diskettes for the instal and after several failed attempts on the available machines I was concerned at the time taken and the risk of a critical disk becoming unreadable. There is support for CDs but, as you rightly pointed out - not as an installlation medium. , which I had overlooked. The instal often appears to fail due to the geometry or possibly just the size of 'modern' hard disks. I will persue my alternative of repairing a very old 486-based li still own,

Thanks for your help - I can avoid wasting any more time on the bootable CD route - you can close this request.

Expert:  Arty replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer.
Yes, I meant it would not recognize CDROM during installation. Depending on version it could recognize CDROM after installation. Starting from Interactive Unix 3.0 Release 3.2, there is a support of EISA, 256M RAM and CDROM. As far as I know these were SCSI CDROMs.
You can simulate very old PC on 'bochs' simulator that is much more slower than others, but it works.
You can read notes on Interactive Unix and Bochs version here.
Here you can find many installation and reference manuals on all versions of Interactive Unix. There you can find all hardware requirements for installation (sometime they require specific SCSI controllers and/or SCSI disks).
Hope this helps.

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