Our linux guy is out and I am not linux savy to say the least. I am
trying to tweak the linux3.tgz file using SLAX and can't figure out a
couple things.

I can pull the file from the tftp server no problem down to a fat
formatted usb drive on the SLAX PC in binary, but it won't let me tar
-xf linux3.tar. I get a whole bunch of symlink errors that are
apparently from what I read online a result of the USB thumb drive
filesystem being FAT and not ext2.

How can I either format the Hard Drive to ext2 or the USB drive to ext2
so I can tweak a few of the files within the linux3.tgz archive? I
tried a few different commands such as mkfs.ext2 and fdisk but it yells
at me with errors about the disks being mounted and stuff being busy and
how impossible my requests are for the OS :-)

I know I have a lot of the lingo wrong and am likely going about this in
a very lame manner, but its the best I can do.