Y2K: Cinderella: The Battle of The Boot (More BIOS) -Topic 012

As the number of available systems increases a battle for supremacy in controlling the bootup process is raging.

This makes the so-called "Simple" process of Software Installation a minefield of ifs and buts for the unfortunate User.

The need for an analysis of what fits where has arisen recently because of a controversy as to where "year2000.com" from RighTime can and cannot be used.

Note: most boot processes require the system being booted reside within the first 2GB of the primary disk.

Obviously any of the systems can be booted from diskette, but this is not usually practical on a daily basis.

Machines with no drives (i.e. a Network Boot ROM is used) are not considered here.

The Contenders

A. MS DOS 6.2x

Allows menu facilties within config.sys and labels in
autoexec.bat to allow for alternate boot paths for:

  a) DOS variant configurations
  b) OS/2 (via Dualboot process)
  c) Linux via Loadlinx. (One of the only methods which
     allows for booting a different master disk)

B. OS/2 Warp 3

a) Optional Boot Manager.  Requires unique 1M partition
within first 2GB, for itself, and its parent must also
reside within the first 2GB.

b) Dual Boot manager for coresidence with DOS on FAT

C. Linux

a) Optional LILO bootmanager.  Requires partition.

b) Loadlinx program excuted from DOS.

D. MS Windows 95

Attempts to preempt everything else. Under coercion
(undocumented) grudgingly allows other Operating
Systems to exist.

E. And now Windows NT Boot Manager.

 Currently out of
 Cinderella scope, will not discuss here.

F. Other Systems

 such as SCO UNIX have their own boot
 methodology. Outside Cinderella Scope.

G. A commercial product

   "Systems Commander" has also
   appeared on the scene. This resolves the above
   conflicts, but comes with a $99 price tag.


What really gets up my nose with this whole thing is that the more recent the software the more prevalent the attitude that the User has got the brain and willpower of a small jellyfish. The software makes arbitrary and preemptive decisions (usually wrong for the User, but right for the marketing strategy of the purveyor.) I attempt to resist this invasion of my rights tooth and nail. Only one thing controls my system and that is me.



Year2000.com works in the following environments:

Native DOS
Native OS/2
Native Win 95

(Apparently NT has its own BIOS correction)
So items A, B and D are covered.

Item C, Linux, can benefit from year2000.com IF it is booted via DOS using Loadlinx, but NOT if booted from LILO.

This leaves Item F, Other systems currently unsupported. RighTime are apparently working on this.

I have No information on System Commander at this time.

So the bottomline conclusion is that Year2000.com will obviate the damage caused by BIOS Tickover on 31st December 1999. And will work with most Cinderella Scope systems.

(And, If all else fails, just Boot from a Diskette and change the date manually).

Sponsored in part by

Try Me?