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Bootsage - WinPE flash builder


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#1 jjjjoseph

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:55 AM

We developed BootSage, our initial product, to assist in creating a bootable WinPE flash drive. It was designed to simplify the process of formatting and configuring a flash drive (under Windows XP - Windows 7), and copying the WinPE files directly to the media. It can read directly from the WinPE ISO folder, CD/DVD, or mounted ISO. The target can be any direct attached removable media.

Although BootSage gets more traffic due to its support for Windows 7 setup DVDs, we initially designed it as a WinPE utility for versions 2.x and 3.x. As always, we welcome any feedback, and will evaluate any functionality requests for future versions.

We hope you enjoy this freeware application.

BootSage page: http://firesage.com/bootsage
Reference guide: http://firesage.com/...e/reference.php
FireSage.com: http://firesage.com

#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 08:59 AM

Good. :wodoo:

Posted here also:
http://www.boot-land...showtopic=10744

(cross-linking)

:wodoo:

Wonko

#3 jjjjoseph

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 01:11 AM

I am frequently asked about the requirement of ejecting/reinserting the flash drive as part of the build process in BootSage, and wanted to address this topic directly.

When creating the structure of the removable media, BootSage bypasses the Windows API and writes changes directly to the disk. Before selecting this method we played with a few different options, but found that Windows would always choke when accessing certain disks (or configurations). Additionally, we found that some of the other tools would experience similar problems since they rely on the same Windows API. Therefore, in order bypass any potential conflicts from Windows, we decided to develop our own methodologies for making a flash drive bootable.

We feel we succeeded since we have yet to find a flash drive that cannot be made bootable (although testing included only a couple of hundred disks). However, the cost of this functionality requires that the media is ejected and reinserted to complete the process... a small price to pay, which we feel was well worth it!

#4 Nuno Brito

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 04:07 AM

Good presentation. Would it be possible to also create a small youtube video to show home users how to use the tool and how it looks after the initial boot?

I know this is something that most folks around here already know by heart but it's always nice to see a video of the tool to get a better idea of how it works and what to expect.

Keep up the good work! <_<

#5 paraglider

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 10:45 PM

Bootsage did not work for me on win7 x64. After ejecting and reinserting the USB stick the format failed. Maybe something to do with the fact that windows itself was prompting to run format on the USB drive as soon as I reinserted the stick.

#6 divilis

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 06:39 AM

A nice software. I hope there would be more drivers for WinPE system. So that I can use more functions in WinPE on more different PCs, like network and graphics.

#7 Virtual-R

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:22 AM

Very cool software indeed! I am sure it works for many. For me it didn't work.

Got an error saying that bootsect.exe was missing. I refered to the iso-folder that
get's burned to an iso when i am building normally.

I was using nativex with Win7RescuePE. OS used: Windows 7 32-bit

thank you in advance, a very nice idea!

EDIT: More detailed error (after about 20-30 seconds of writing to the USB i get:
Error 727: Unable to locate the Windows utility bootsect.exe

EDIT2: DOH!!! Sometimes it helps to READ, I see on your homepage that this was a known error, ok, i will be back and tell you if it works :)

EDIT3: Nope, still getting the same error, even though the program should know were to find bootsect.exe now. I don't understand.

Directory-structure:

Boot <--Folder
sources <--Folder
boot.catalog <--File
BOOTMGR<--File
menu.lst<---File
Win7PE.cfg<--File

Bootsect.exe location: In boot-directory. Also tried once to have it in the root-dir, but still getting
the same message

#8 steve6375

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:47 AM

MS already have a free tool to do this. My RMPrepUSB also does this (and much more) and does not need Bootsec.

Tip: You could use my RMBootSec (in the first download in RMPrepUSB topic and is free!) instead of MS bootsec.exe which you cannot legally include in any download. :) )

Maybe I missed the point but what does this app do that RMPrepUSB does not???

#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:11 AM

Maybe I missed the point but what does this app do that RMPrepUSB does not???

Wrong question. :)

The real question is :):
How come you didn't make a video of RMPREPUSB?

http://www.boot-land...?...c=10849&hl=
:)


Seriously, what's your point? :)

Is RMPREPUSB re-distributable?

:)
Wonko

#10 steve6375

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:20 AM

Is RMPREPUSB re-distributable?

:)
Wonko

RMPrepUSB is redistributable - if you ask me nicely :) Have you seen WinSetupFromUSB?

I just don't want to give free licence to redistribute it as the important text of 'for non-commercial use only' tends to disappear after a few son of a son of a son redistributions (just like the HP Format Tool which is supposed to have strict licensing conditions but seems to be illegally distributed a lot!).

I am not opposed to any private-use, free, non-commercial redistribution (it may appear shortly on German Com! PC magazine DVDs soon :) ), just that I want to try to point most people to this wonderful Boot-Land where they can post any comments/issues to the forum and get support and I can post new versions. I owe it to the people of Boot-Land! :)

#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 11:52 AM

RMPrepUSB is redistributable - if you ask me nicely :)

Really? I'll have to lern how to, should I need to redistribute it, I thought this approach (not by me) was nice enough:
http://www.911cd.net...o...23696&st=21

the idea is/was to let people have it without the need to become member of boot-land, just for this reason.
Mind you such an idea is completely NOT liked by the establishment, AFAIK, as it won't help in the exponential growth in the ranking of the site. that is expected.

Have you seen WinSetupFromUSB?

Of course not B) , I am simply the Mod and one of the Support guys for it but I never used/tested it, it is such fun to troubleshoot something without knowing anything about it. :)

I just don't want to give free licence to redistribute it as the important text of 'for non-commercial use only' tends to disappear after a few son of a son of a son redistributions (just like the HP Format Tool which is supposed to have strict licensing conditions but seems to be illegally distributed a lot!).

You are perfectly right in your assumption. :)
A supposedly unathorized redistribution of RPPREPUSB:
http://i4memory.com/...-utility-18827/


I am not opposed to any private-use, free, non-commercial redistribution (it may appear shortly on German Com! PC magazine DVDs soon :) ), just that I want to try to point most people to this wonderful Boot-Land where they can post any comments/issues to the forum and get support and I can post new versions. I owe it to the people of Boot-Land! :)

And again you are perfectly right about this :) , and this is the reason why it was advised to make a video of it. :)

JFYI, and of course IMHO, having something like this:
http://www.recipeste...tware:RMPrepUSB
stating that it is Freeware, then point to to the RM site, where RMPREPUSB is NOT available to non members/subscribers may contribute to the spreading of "illegal copies".

:)
Wonko

#12 steve6375

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 12:26 PM

We are going a bit OT here (sorry to hijack this post!) - I will continue this in the RMPrepUSB thread so we don't clog this up anymore with 'chat'.

#13 jjjjoseph

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 11:35 PM

Very cool software indeed! I am sure it works for many. For me it didn't work.

Got an error saying that bootsect.exe was missing. I refered to the iso-folder that
get's burned to an iso when i am building normally.

I was using nativex with Win7RescuePE. OS used: Windows 7 32-bit

thank you in advance, a very nice idea!

EDIT: More detailed error (after about 20-30 seconds of writing to the USB i get:
Error 727: Unable to locate the Windows utility bootsect.exe


Thanks for your feedback. It looks like I need to provide a better explanation of our use of bootsect.exe. :D

By default, bootsect.exe is expected to be located in the WinPE/WAIK installation folder, specifically C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86 (or amd64) folders. Since bootsect.exe needs to run under the current operating system, the version we need must match this OS, so we grab the correct version from either the x86 or amd64 folder. For some reason, it appears that BootSage isn't able to find the necessary version in the expected locations on your system.

With that said, we have added a new option to specify the location of an appropriate bootsect.exe. Once started, you will be able to browse and specify this location; this option can be found under the menu File->Preferences. We are releasing this build as beta, so please use the following link to download build 44: http://firesage.com/...p?bootsage_beta. On a side note, we are working on a better method of searching for a valid bootsect.exe.

Please let us know of your experience with this version, we should be able to quickly track down any discrepancies.

#14 paraglider

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:58 AM

After unplugging and reinserting the USB stick I get an error 730: Unable to format the selected disk error.

#15 Motorhead

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 06:41 AM

After unplugging and reinserting the USB stick I get an error 730: Unable to format the selected disk error.



#16 jjjjoseph

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 04:31 PM

After unplugging and reinserting the USB stick I get an error 730: Unable to format the selected disk error.


Hi Paraglider, can you tell me a little about your environment to help me troubleshoot? For example, the operating system of your machine, make/model/size of the flash drive, filesystem selected for the flash drive, etc. Also, looking at the flash disk after the process failed, was a valid MBR and partition created on the disk, and is there a drive letter assigned to the disk?

Thanks for your help!

#17 paraglider

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:42 PM

I am using win7 x64. Its a 2GB device which was a freebie from VMware:

Internal_UserDeviceNameWithDriveLetters: USB Flash Drive USB Device (G:)
Sys_DevicePnPName: USB\VID_1221&PID_3234\0008675583568805
Sys_FriendlyName: USB Flash Drive USB Device
Sys_DeviceDescription: USB Mass Storage Device
Sys_LocationInformation:
Sys_DeviceInstance: 16872
Sys_HardwareID:
Sys_DriveLetter: G:
Sys_VolumeLabel:
Sys_ulProblemNumber: 0
Sys_DeviceClassGuid: {36fc9e60-c465-11cf-8056-444553540000}
Sys_BusType: BusTypeUsb
Internal_DontShowThisDevice: False
Internal_IgnoreStopAllCommand: False
Internal_ImageName: Flash drive (green)
Internal_UserDeviceName: USB Flash Drive USB Device
Internal_IsCardReader: False
Internal_IsProbablyFixedDrive: False
Internal_DeviceIsDisabled: False
Internal_DeviceIsSafelyRemoved: False
Internal_DeviceWasDisabledByProgram: False
Sys_VolumesList:
#UniqueVolume number 1
VolumeName: \\?\Volume{3ae75f18-0d37-11df-a68d-0017fad33922}\
VolumeMountPoints: G:
VolumeInformation: VolumeLabel =
VolumeSerialNo = $70550ED0
MaxComponentLength = 255
FileSystemFlags = $0006
FileSystemName = FAT
debugGetVolumeInformationExecTime(Ticks) = 0
VendorName: USB Flash Drive USB Device
MediaType: 11
PhysicalDriveName: \Device\HarddiskVolume8
IsActiveVolume: True
###
Internal_PhysicalDeviceLink:
------- Physical Device, level 1 ------
DeviceInst=16872
PnPName=USB\VID_1221&PID_3234\0008675583568805
VendorName=
DEVICEDESC=USB Mass Storage Device
LOCATION_INFORMATION=
HARDWAREID=
SPDRP_CLASSGUID={36fc9e60-c465-11cf-8056-444553540000}
ParentDeviceInst=10540
ParentDevicePnPName=USB\ROOT_HUB20\4&3097EDFD&0
ulStatus=$0180600A
ulProblemNumber=0
Capabilities=$000000D4
DN_REMOVABLE_Flag=True
DN_DISABLEABLE_Flag=True
DN_WILL_BE_REMOVED_Flag=False
DN_HAS_PROBLEM_Flag=False
DN_LIAR_Flag=False
CM_DEVCAP_SURPRISEREMOVALOK_Flag=True
CM_DEVCAP_DOCKDEVICE_Flag=False
CM_DEVCAP_REMOVABLE_Flag=True
CM_PROB_DEVICE_NOT_THERE_Flag=False
SPDRP_PHYSICAL_DEVICE_OBJECT_NAME=\Device\USBPDO-16
SPDRP_UI_NUMBER=0
BusType=BusTypeUsb
DeviceType=Unknown device type (0)
DeviceNumber=0
------- Physical Device, level 2 ------
DeviceInst=26840
PnPName=USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_USB&PROD_FLASH_DRIVE&REV_2.60\0008675583568805&0
VendorName=USB Flash Drive USB Device
DEVICEDESC=
LOCATION_INFORMATION=
HARDWAREID=
SPDRP_CLASSGUID={4d36e967-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}
ParentDeviceInst=16872
ParentDevicePnPName=USB\VID_1221&PID_3234\0008675583568805
ulStatus=$0180200A
ulProblemNumber=0
Capabilities=$00000010
DN_REMOVABLE_Flag=False
DN_DISABLEABLE_Flag=True
DN_WILL_BE_REMOVED_Flag=False
DN_HAS_PROBLEM_Flag=False
DN_LIAR_Flag=False
CM_DEVCAP_SURPRISEREMOVALOK_Flag=False
CM_DEVCAP_DOCKDEVICE_Flag=False
CM_DEVCAP_REMOVABLE_Flag=False
CM_PROB_DEVICE_NOT_THERE_Flag=False
SPDRP_PHYSICAL_DEVICE_OBJECT_NAME=\Device\000000ae
SPDRP_UI_NUMBER=0
BusType=BusTypeUsb
DeviceType=FILE_DEVICE_DISK
DeviceNumber=3
DevicePath#0=\\?\usbstor#disk&ven_usb&prod_flash_drive&rev_2.60#0008675583568805&0#{53f56307-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}
MountPoints=G:

#18 paraglider

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 10:47 PM

There is a drive letter but no partition was created. Windows is unable to format it until I run initialize disk from bootsage disks menu.

#19 Formula84

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:12 PM

It would be great If we could get a Muti-boot feature. My goal is to have a USB HD with all my windows installs able to be booted from USB... would something like this be possible?

#20 jjjjoseph

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 04:14 AM

There is a drive letter but no partition was created. Windows is unable to format it until I run initialize disk from bootsage disks menu.


Thanks for the update. I have made some significant changes to Bootsage in order to address the problem you mention, namely:
  • suppress autorun feature to prevent Windows format dialog from popping-up
  • additional error checking around the format code
  • confirm partition and guid before performing format
I haven't been unable to replicate this problem, but am still traveling and don't currently have access to my Win7 machine. Any feedback from testing is appreciated.

Beta link has been updated to build 45 with the above changes: http://firesage.com/...p?bootsage_beta

#21 paraglider

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 11:52 AM

Still get the same 730 error. Says its an unknown error.

Can you make the program remember the source directory. Its a pain having to browse the folder tree for the winbuilder output folder every time.

#22 jjjjoseph

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:26 AM

Still get the same 730 error. Says its an unknown error.

I'm not sure what is happening here. I am using the standard Windows format and can't replicate the problem on the systems I have available. I have some additional items to test, hopefully one of them provides a clue to the problem.

Can you make the program remember the source directory. Its a pain having to browse the folder tree for the winbuilder output folder every time.

This was implemented in the last build. A file named bootsage.ini is used to save these items, but since it is saved in the same folder as bootsage.exe it sounds like you may be running bootsage from a different folder each time or directly from the zip file. I specifically avoided saving this information in the registry as I find it easier to move the .ini file between systems to maintain the configuration settings. Thoughts?

#23 jjjjoseph

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:36 AM

It would be great If we could get a Muti-boot feature. My goal is to have a USB HD with all my windows installs able to be booted from USB... would something like this be possible?

Interesting idea. I don't see a problem with creating the multiple partitions, but I have only limited experience with custom boot loaders and volume boot records. I will put this on my list of features to research, but would appreciate any help and pointers from the masses to get me jump-started.

#24 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 10:34 AM


It would be great If we could get a Muti-boot feature. My goal is to have a USB HD with all my windows installs able to be booted from USB... would something like this be possible?


Interesting idea. I don't see a problem with creating the multiple partitions, but I have only limited experience with custom boot loaders and volume boot records. I will put this on my list of features to research, but would appreciate any help and pointers from the masses to get me jump-started.

With all due respect :), it's not as easy as it may seem, and more than that, it's work that has ALREADY been done:
several mostly automated methods/ways to have such a setup:
http://www.msfn.org/...p?showforum=157
(for Install FROM Usb device)
and quite a few, manual/partially automated/fully automated, to have Install ON Usb device (or Boot FROM Usb device):
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=14181
http://www.911cd.net...o...c=22473&hl=
http://www.ngine.de/...jsp?pageid=4176
http://www.nedprod.c...uff/BootWinUSB/
http://www.usboot.org/tiki-index.php
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=9830
http://www.boot-land...hp?showforum=77

I mean, don't want to put anyone down, but there are tens if not hundreds of things for which the time and dedication of a programmer would be useful (as we DON'T have a solution) that re-writing things we already have seems to me as pointless as re-inventing the wheel (unless a rounder wheel is invented :unsure:).

If you want anyway to go along this route, no problem, as long as you stay within "custom boot loaders and volume boot records" I presume I can help you.

The application of choice should be IMNSHO grub4dos as it allows for the more flexibility.

Start from the dedicated Forum:
http://www.boot-land...hp?showforum=66
and the guide:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=5187
http://diddy.boot-la...os/Grub4dos.htm
and feel free to ask any question you might have.

:)
Wonko

#25 jjjjoseph

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 07:33 AM

With all due respect :blowup:, it's not as easy as it may seem, and more than that, it's work that has ALREADY been done: ... there are tens if not hundreds of things for which the time and dedication of a programmer would be useful (as we DON'T have a solution) that re-writing things we already have seems to me as pointless aas re-inventing the wheel (unless a rounder wheel is invented :blowup:).

I totally agree, no need to reinvent the wheel... or even develop a rounder one :whistling:
Being fairly new to this forum I wasn't aware of the existing threads and work already devoted to this. Thanks for the links and information, this is quite invaluable information to gain a better understanding of the world of booting. With that said, I'm off to work on something a little more productive.




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