MSNTV2 Boot Tutorial

MSNTV2 Boot Tutorial

Well, it’s 3AM, but I got my first MSNTV2 server running using linux kernel, so here’s a writeup on how it’s done.

This is provided with no guarantee of accuracy or completeness

This tutorial assumes the following:

  • You will be installing a hard drive into the MSNTV2 box via an IDE cable.
    • (The process for a USB drive is similar, with the exception that you must compile the kernel as such to be able to boot from USB, and you must append rootwait=10 to the CMDLINE file)
  • You have soldered an IDE header onto the MSNTV2 motherboard
  • You have already patched the BIOS of the MSNTV2 (See “Getting into the service menu” and “Flashing the patch” on the Toc2rta Wiki
  • You already have a CompactFlash card prepared as detailed in the Toc2rta Wiki, with:
    • a CMDLINE file (root=/dev/hdc3 init=/sbin/init console=ttyS0,115200)
    • BIOS.BIN (You’ll have to search Google for it)
    • (We will be compiling the VMLINUX.BIN in this tutorial)
  • You are currently using the hard drive you wish to install into the MSNTV2. It currently has:

Note: The CompactFlash card is known as /dev/hda to the MSNTV2 box. Once the drive is installed into the MSNTV2, it will be known as /dev/hdc (If the drive has no jumpers present) or /dev/hdd (If jumpered as ‘slave’).

For those trying to compile it for themselves, and for myself for later reference:

  1. Download linux-
  2. Move linux- to /usr/src/ (mv linux- /usr/src)
  3. Change directories to /usr/src/ (cd /usr/src)
  4. Extract linux- into /usr/src/ (tar -xvf linux-
  5. Add the .config file:
    1. Download the attachment to this article
    2. Change directories to where the attachment was downloaded (Example: cd ~/Desktop/)
    3. Copy it to the /usr/src/linux- folder and rename it to .config (cp msntv2-config- /usr/src/linux-
  6. Make the kernel and modules:
    1. Change directories to /usr/src/linux- (cd /usr/src/linux-
    2. Make sure the source code has no temporary files, etc (make clean)
    3. Build the Kernel (make)
      1. If you are prompted whether or not to include an item that was not included in the .config, just press Enter, and it will select the default recommended setting.
    4. Install the modules (make modules_install)
  7. Copy the vmlinux.bin to the first partition of your CF card.
    1. Mount your CF card if not already done. Note: Many GUIs will do this for you. The mounted path and device may vary. (Example: mount /dev/sda1 /media/sda1)
    2. Copy the vmlinux.bin from /usr/src/linux- to the first partition of your CF card. (Example, assuming a USB card reader mounted to /media/sda1: cp /usr/src/linux- /media/sda1/) 
  8. Edit your /etc/fstab file: (See attachments for an example of a modified fstab)
    1. Change any references of /dev/hda to /dev/hdc
    2. Remove or comment out any /dev/cdrom entry
    3. [Experimental, for me at least] Add an entry for the first partition of the CompactFlash (/dev/hda1 none vfat defaults 0 0)
  9. Install this hard drive onto the MSNTV2 using an EIDE ribbon cable.

Picture of my current setup:

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