Restoring a Toshiba Portégé M200 without a bootable DVD drive

Foreword

I am going to show you how to restore a Toshiba Portégé M200 without a bootable DVDROM drive. Indeed, most external DVD drives are not bootable with the Toshiba Portégé M200. There will be different scenarios. It should also apply to any kind of computer with a restore CD/DVD (though it will only be useful when impossible to boot on the CD/DVD). Although, do not worry, we are not going to require any Microsoft Windows stuff in here. Note that you will be able to restore "per partition", allowing you to keep your multiple OS installations and lilo/grub. For that, just make sure you choose Expert mode.

Different scenarios

There will be different options available to you. In each case, you will need a second computer running a DHCP and tftp server (easy to setup on unixes).
  • You have a (non bootable) USB DVD Drive
  • You do not have any USB drive


The very easy solution

If you have a non bootable USB DVD Drive, an empty SD card and that you still can boot a Microsoft Windows OS on the machine. Simply extract the boot sector from the recovery CD and put it on the SD card with the utility provided by Toshiba (See support on their website). Then boot on the SD card (choose floppy in the boot menu actually). Tada, just as if you booted on the original recovery DVD.

Network boot Prerequisites : DHCP/TFTP

You will require a working DHCP/TFTP installation. You will also need to install pxelinux and be able to set it up to boot on floppy image files. Much easier to do than it sounds. Furthermore, as you are probably very familiar with the process (as you were required to do it to setup your linux system on the laptop), I will not cover that step.

Using a non bootable DVD drive

This solution is actually very easy, it's gonna be a 10 minutes run. Globally, it simply consists in the following steps:
  • Extract the Restore DVD boot image
  • Configure pxelinux to boot from that image
  • Boot on that image
  • Proceed as if you had booted on the original CD (graphics setup)


With no DVD drive

This time, things will be slightly more complicated. We'll have to work it more on our own
  • Create a DOS floppy image with samba network support.
  • Create a shared folder on the PXE server containing the Resoration DVD files and all the tools you need.
  • Configure pxelinux to boot from that image
  • Boot on that image
  • Mount the shared folder (net use)
  • Execute Ghost by hand


Conclusion

So, not that hard after all. :)