Dos Boot Disks Under Linux

Sometimes you have no choice and you need to boot into a DOS boot disk — to upgrade your BIOS for example, or to run Seagate’s SeaTools, as I had to recently. This can be a headache when you’re using Linux.

I was having issues with the SeaTools’ own boot disk, as I wanted to run it off a USB stick rather than a CD. Apparently it didn’t want to boot after I’d put it on there. So this is how to get around it.

  • Partition your USB stick to make a FAT 16 partition. You could use gparted to do this or the Ubuntu Disk tool for example.
  • Use unetbootin to install FreeDOS onto the stick: Select FreeDOS as the distribution and your USB stick in the lower window. This will download the FreeDOS image, and install it. Its pretty small so this doesn’t take long.
  • When its finished, copy the .exe files you need to run to the root of the USB stick. SeaTools.exe or BIOS1234.exe or whatever.
  • Reboot and boot onto the USB stick.
  • Use cd B: or cd C: to change directory. You should now be able to see your .exe files.

That last point held me up for quite a while … I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t see the files.

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