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While the Red Hat Linux installation program is loading, you may see a screen that asks you for a driver diskette. The driver diskette screen is most often seen in the following scenarios:
If you need to perform an installation from a network device
If you need to perform an installation from a block device
If you need to perform an installation from a PCMCIA device
If you run the installation program in expert mode
If you run the installation program by entering linux dd at the boot: prompt
If you run the installation program on a computer which does not have any PCI devices
A driver diskette can add support for hardware that may or may not be supported by the installation program. The driver diskette could be produced by Red Hat, it could be a diskette you make yourself from drivers found on the Internet, or it could be a diskette that a hardware vendor includes with a piece of hardware.
A driver diskette is used if you need access to a particular device in order to install Red Hat Linux. Drivers diskettes can be used for network (NFS) installations, installations using a PCMCIA or block device, non-standard or very new CD-ROM drives, SCSI adapters, NICs, and other uncommon devices.
If an unsupported device is not needed to install Red Hat Linux on your system, continue with the installation and add support for the new piece of hardware once the installation is complete.
The Red Hat Linux CD-ROM 1 includes driver diskette images (including images/drvnet.img — network card drivers and images/drvblock.img — drivers for SCSI controllers) containing many drivers (both common and obscure). If you suspect that your system may require one of these drivers, you should create the driver diskette before beginning your Red Hat Linux installation.
Another option for finding specialized driver diskette information is on Red Hat's website at
under the section called Bug Fixes. Occasionally, popular hardware may be made available after a release of Red Hat Linux that does not work with drivers already in the installation program or included on the driver diskette images on the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM 1. In such cases, the Red Hat website may contain a link to a driver diskette image.
If you have a driver diskette image that you need to write to a diskette, this can be done from within DOS or Red Hat Linux.
To create a driver diskette from a driver diskette image using Red Hat Linux:
Insert a blank, formatted diskette into the first floppy drive.
From the same directory containing the driver diskette image, such as drvnet.img, type dd if=drvnet.img of=/dev/fd0 as root.
To create a driver diskette from a driver diskette image using DOS:
Insert a blank, formatted floppy diskette into the a: drive.
From the same directory containing the driver diskette image, such as drvnet.img, type d:\dosutils\rawrite drvnet.img a: at the command line, where d: is the drive letter for the CD-ROM device.
If you need to use a driver diskette, such as during a PCMCIA device or NFS installation, the installation program prompts you to insert the driver diskette when it is needed.
However, there are some cases where you must specifically tell the Red Hat Linux installation program to load that driver diskette and use it during the installation process.
To specifically load a driver diskette that you have created, begin the installation process by booting from the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM 1 (or the installation boot diskette). At the boot: prompt, enter either linux expert or linux dd. Refer to Section 3.3.1 Booting the Installation Program for details on booting the installation program.
The Red Hat Linux installation program asks you to insert the driver diskette. Once the driver diskette is read by the installation program, it can apply those drivers to hardware discovered on your system later in the installation process.