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Old 2004-02-16, 01:14   #1
tantryl's Avatar
Feb 2004
Perth, Western Australia

410 Posts
Lightbulb Bootable Prime95 Linux - gurus needed

I sent an email off to George Waltman, not really expecting a reply. Firstly it was to complement and thank him for Prime95 as it is a very good CPU testing program. But, as ungrateful peolpe such as myself often do, it was also to put forward a couple of suggestions.

George emailed me back today and suggested that I make the request here, since neither he nor I had the skill to do it ourselves.

I would like a bootable disk (floppy or CD) that is purely for loading up a Prime95 Torture Test. Similar to the MemTest86 ( system. It would be a great help in my work (computer support), and I think it would be a great help to others who cannot afford commercial diagnostics packages.

The concept is obviously quite simple - bootable disk that automatically runs Prime95 Torture Test (preferably still with the 4 options available in the current release). A minimal Linux boot would probably be best, but my knowledge doesn't extend that far into that world so that would be left up to those that know what they're doing.

Volunteers? Ideas? Discussion?

Edit: Added all the files from this thread to the first post.
Attached Files
File Type: zip (1.33 MB, 284 views)
File Type: zip (1.31 MB, 194 views)
File Type: zip (1.30 MB, 205 views)
File Type: zip (1.32 MB, 618 views)
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Old 2004-02-16, 02:36   #2
Xyzzy's Avatar
Aug 2002

2×52×163 Posts

Maybe contact this guy:
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Old 2004-02-16, 02:53   #3
ColdFury's Avatar
Aug 2002

26×5 Posts

I tried this myself a couple months ago. However, all the existing Linux floppy distros either used an old kernel or didn't have the required libraries.
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Old 2004-02-16, 03:04   #4
tantryl's Avatar
Feb 2004
Perth, Western Australia

1002 Posts

Xyzzy - I will, thanks. Funny that the links on his page don't work.

Anything more?
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Old 2004-02-19, 06:45   #5

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I got the torture test in sprime (the static binary one) to run under tomsrtbt. You have to edit some config stuff to get it to run sprime on boot. I tried using tomsrtbt for running the full client over an NFS share but never could get the client to contact the primenet server. After hours of tweaking I gave up.
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Old 2004-02-21, 14:02   #6
geoff's Avatar
Mar 2003
New Zealand

13·89 Posts

I have managed to create a stand-alone bootdisk containing both mprime and
memtest86. This is the procedure I used. $ is the shell prompt, root access
may be needed in some places.

I had the following software versions installed:
Syslinux 2.04
Linux kernel source 2.4.24
memtest86 3.0
mtools 3.9.9

On a Debian system this will install everything you need:

$ apt-get install syslinux kernel-source-2.4 memtest86 mtools

Create the root filesystem and mount it using the loopback device

$ dd if=/dev/zero of=initrd bs=1024 count=8192
$ mke2fs -F -m0 initrd
$ mount -t ext2 -o loop initrd /mnt

Create the console and ramdisk devices:

$ mkdir /mnt/dev
$ mknod /mnt/dev/console c 5 1
$ mknod /mnt/dev/ram0 b 1 0

Get the statically linked version of mprime from and copy the
binary to the ramdisk:

$ tar -xzfC sprime235.tar.gz /mnt mprime

Create the initial prime.ini with your favourite editor:

---begin /mnt/prime.ini ---------
---end /mnt/prime.ini ---------

Unmount and compress the filesystem:

$ umount /mnt
$ gzip -9 initrd

Compile a minimal linux kernel with ramdisk support, initrd support, and
ext2 filesystem support. Don't compile anything as modules. Leave out
unnecessary drivers such as networking, ide, scsi, floppy, etc. I assume
the final image is called vmlinuz.

Create a MSDOS format 1.44MB floppy:

$ superformat /dev/fd0

Install the Syslinux boot loader:

$ syslinux /dev/fd0

Create the syslinux configuration files with your favourite editor:

---begin syslinux.cfg ---------
label mprime
kernel vmlinuz
append initrd=initrd.gz ramdisk_size=8192 root=/dev/ram0 init=/mprime rw

label memtest
kernel memtest

display syslinux.txt
prompt 1
---end syslinux.cfg -----------

---begin syslinux.txt ---------
Enter one of the following options and press enter:

mprime George Woltman's mprime, version 23.5.

memtest Chris Brady's memtest86, version 3.0.

---end syslinux.txt ---------

Copy the everything to the floppy:

$ mcopy syslinux.cfg syslinux.txt vmlinuz initrd.gz a:
$ mcopy /boot/memtest86.bin a:/memtest

And it is done. Boot from the resulting disk and at the prompt type 'mprime'
or 'memtest'.

Note that mprime is run directly by the Linux kernel rather than from a
shell, and so the usual job control (ctrl-C etc.) is not available. This
means that if the torture test option is chosen the test will run until it
fails or the PC is rebooted. If you choose option 6 (quit) then you will get a
harmless kernel panic (the kernel doesn't expect init to exit).

There should be enough room left on the floppy to fit a statically linked
init and shell if these points bother you.
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Old 2004-02-21, 14:17   #7
geoff's Avatar
Mar 2003
New Zealand

13·89 Posts

I intended to attach the floppy image file I created using the
procedure above but it is about 900K and the board won't let
me upload it. If you want a copy then PM me with your email
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Old 2004-02-23, 15:02   #8
Xyzzy's Avatar
Aug 2002

2×52×163 Posts

Okay, the zip file can be found here:

Instructions are in the README file... If you have anything to add please let us know...

Thanks to geoff for putting this together!


I added a MD5SUM file and made a few additions to the README... Let me know if these are okay...

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Old 2004-02-29, 05:58   #9
geoff's Avatar
Mar 2003
New Zealand

13·89 Posts

I have made a new bootdisk that adds some features and fixes some problems with the previous one. These are the changes:

* Added the BusyBox utilities. Now mprime is run from init rather than
directly from the kernel. This means the /proc filesystem can be mounted,
which fixes the problem of mprime not being able to determine how much
memory is available. Also means Ctrl-C now works as expected.

* Added a shell on the second virtual console. Using this is should be
possible to save a copy of the results.txt and other files (but only on a
minix disk, space is tight and I couldn't fit in the fat/msdos dirvers).

* The disk now starts the mprime torture test automatically if no key is
pressed at boot. (Xyzzy's suggestion).

I have made a separate source archive which I will attach here. This contains everything you need to create the boot disk on a Linux system except for the actual binaries from the other programs that are installed on the disk. You will still need to do a bit of work, including compiling a stripped-down kernel.

I have sent a copy of the resulting binary image to Xyzzy to make available for ftp, it is about 1.4MB.

If anyone with a USB keyboard tries this image can you let me know whether or not it works? I don't have one to test.
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Old 2004-02-29, 15:26   #10
Xyzzy's Avatar
Aug 2002

2·52·163 Posts

The new file is in:

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Old 2004-03-01, 23:13   #11
Apr 2003

22×23 Posts

I tried this file. As suggested I used the utility to write to a blank floppy. The mprime torture test started fine, but choosing the memtest boot option gave the error "Boot failed; change disk and press any key".
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