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How to set up a USB Flash Drive (UFD) to boot to WinPE+BartPE+MS-DOS+FreeDOS

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#1 steve6375


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Posted 27 March 2010 - 10:31 AM

How to make a bootable MS-DOS+FreeDOS+WinPEv2+BartPE UFD using RMPrepUSB

A simple 'getting you started' guide to booting different OSs from the same USB flash drive.
This example does not use ISOs and is thus quite simple to work with.

The steps below show you how to make a USB Flash Memory drive (UFD) that shows a menu and you can choose to boot to either:

MS-DOS (Windows 98 version or later)
WinPE v2 or v2.1 or V3 (of a Vista or Win 7 DVD or any similar OS that uses bootmgr)

You can omit any of these you like if you do not want to add them.

Instead of WinPEv2 you could simply use the contents of a Windows 7 install DVD.


A USB Flash Memory drive big enough (e.g. 4GB)
RMPrepUSB from www.rmprepusb.com

Various OS system files:

MS-DOS - you need IO.SYS and COMMAND.COM (tip: you can make an MS-DOS floppy disk image using RMPrepUSB - File tab)
FreeDOS - you need KERNEL.SYS and COMMAND.COM (tip: RMPrepUSB has some FreeDOS files in the download).
WinPE v2+ - you will need to download the Microsoft WAIK (e.g. Win 7 WAIK is recommended) and make a bootable WinPE flat file folder.
Just install the WAIK, run copype x86 C:\mynewfolder, then copy the C:\mynewfolder\winpe.wim file to C:\mynewfolder\ISO\sources\boot.wim
BartPE - You will need an XP Pro XP SP2 or SP3 MS install CD - copy it to C:\XPCD. Then download PeBuilder and run it.



The key here is to create a filesystem that all the above Operating Systems can access. This will be FAT32. FAT16 has a maximum of 2GB and NTFS is not understood by MS-DOS.

The followings steps are all done on a PC or notebook using a Windows XP/Vista/Win7 (32-bit or 64-bit) OS

1. Insert your UFD and run RMPrepUSB 
2. Note that some buttons in RMPrepUSB are labelled 1 to 6, set these as follows:

1. Size - leave as MAX unless you are planning to duplicate the whole UFD as an image file.
If you are going to be replicating it as an image choose a size that will work on all the types of UFD that you are going to use, e.g. if you are going to use 4GB UFDs, choose 3800.
2. Volume Label - (your choice!)
3. Boot options - MS-DOS
4. Filesystem and overrides - FAT32 + Boot as HDD + Force use of LBA calls
5. COPY FILES - tick the box and set the folder to point to any of your source folders.

If you set the BartPE folder as the source folder then also tick the BartPE to USB box

6. Click on Prepare Drive
7. When it has finished, click on the Install Grub Bootloader button


3. Now you need to copy over all of the OS boot files that you did not copy over using RMPrepUSB. For instance:

For FreeDOS, copy over KERNEL.SYS and COMMAND.COM to the root of the UFD (included in RMPrepUSB download)
For MS-DOS copy over IO.SYS and COMMAND.COM to the root of the UFD (note: if you have both FreeDOS and MS-DOS, use the MS-DOS version of COMMAND.COM)
For BartPE (if not copied over using RMPrepUSB previously), copy the \PeBuilder3011a\BartPE folder to the UFD. Then run a Windows command shell and type RMPREPUSBXP H: (where H: is the UFD drive letter). Check you have a \MININT folder and a \Programs folder and that NTDETECT.COM and NTLDR are in the root.
For WinPe copy over the source files (e.g. C:\mynewfolder\ISO) to the UFD root (e.g. you should have H:\Boot, H:\Sources, H:\EFI and the file H:\bootmgr present)


4. Now you need to use NotePad to make a file called menu.lst in the UFD root for Grub to use. An example one is shown below. Just omit any that you are not going to add.

title Load MSDOS
root (hd0,0)
chainloader (hd0,0)/io.sys

title Load Free-DOS
root (hd0,0)
chainloader (hd0,0)/kernel.sys

title Load WinPE
root (hd0,0)
chainloader (hd0,0)/bootmgr

title Load BartPE
root (hd0,0)
chainloader (hd0,0)/ntldr

5. Add any extra files or folder you like to your UFD.

6. Check you UFD files are all present and correct (see list in step 4) - here is a minimum list if you want all four (folders in capitals):






7. In RMPrepUSB click on the Eject button and exit RMPrepUSB - now go try it!


Tip: To just make a bootable FreeDOS USB pen drive, select FREEDOS when formatting the USB drive and say 'YES' to copy over the FreeDos files after formatting.

#2 DaPhroze

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 08:29 PM

Hi Steve,

I'd really like to try RMPrepUSB but all the DLlinks seems to be dead (attachment missing error).
Is there an actual DL link what is working?
Thank you in advance.

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