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USB IMAGING ADVICE RMPREP


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#26 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 01:50 PM

Is there something I can run against my "gospel" image to generate a verification file then re run "whatever" process that maybe to check it
is in exactly the same "good" condition as it was prior to sending.

Hope that makes a sense.


Like using from the beginning a dd-like utility with MD5 hashing? :(

DSFOK:
http://members.ozema...eezip/freeware/

Or any MD5 hashing utility?
http://www.boot-land...?&showtopic=130


:D
Wonko

#27 Technotika

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 05:18 AM

Hey the link to md5click check is broken , does any one have a copy of the file or the correct link. Thanks :smiling9:

#28 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 09:38 AM

Hey the link to md5click check is broken , does any one have a copy of the file or the correct link.

YES. :cheers:
http://homepages.tes...no-answers.html

The whole point is that you *need* not specifically md5click, ANY md5 utility will give you the SAME hash (or it is broken :smiling9:)
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=2532

:(
Wonko

#29 ksanderash

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 09:58 AM

The server is DOWN :smiling9:

Use classics :(
http://www.md5summer.org/

#30 Technotika

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 10:13 AM

LOL some crazy smilies in this forum - thanks fella :smiling9:

#31 ksanderash

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 01:05 AM

Em-m-m... RMPrepUSB took 13 minutes to fill up a 16Gb UFD with my data. I.e. 20,09 Mb/sec write. Holy molly Posted Image

#32 Technotika

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 08:09 AM

yeah man it's RAPID, On my win 7 64 pc it took 22 mins to ghost 7.22 GB image , at work on XP I have just imaged some ones disk and it took only 9 minutes, same 7.22 GB image, Kind of worried its too fast? I have md5 checksummed after copying the image across the network. Is it ok?

#33 Technotika

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 11:51 AM

Oh man, now I'm really confused.......

Set the process in motion toda.

Sent my final image down the lan to a colleagues machine, used RMPREP to load the file on to his USB.

Md5 checked. Works on some machines but just gets a flashing cursor on others at boot. Where as before on tests it was fine.

I tested my stick same machine same bios which had been reimaged with RMPREP and same problem. I then reimaged with an old ghost file and the system booted.

What on earth is going on there?

#34 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:00 PM

Oww, comeon, it can't be voodoo....:(

  • Wipe a stick. (writing 00's to it).
  • Restore to it the "RMPREP" image.
  • Try it on the machines.
  • Make an image of the actual \\.\PhysicalDrive (the one that doesn't work on some machines) with dsfo.
  • Wipe that stick again.
  • Restore the ghost image on that SAME stick and make sure it boots on that machine that didn't boot previously.
  • Make an image of the actual \\.\PhysicalDrive (the one that does work on that machine) with dsfo.
  • Compare the two files.

:smiling9:
Wonko

#35 Technotika

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:08 PM

I'll have to wait till I get some free time, it's tough trying to do this whilst doing my day job at the same time.

Perhaps I should "CLEAN" the USB sticks before loading the files back on in RMPREP?

#36 steve6375

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:08 PM

Check BIOS settings are same on all systems - user may have changed USB options.

Also, always switch on each system from power off - not reboot or CTRL-ALT-DEL to get consistent results.

Some BIOS remember a device - e.g. it sees USB drive xxxx as formatted like an FDD - it remembers this until power off even if you reformat the USB drive and re-plug it.
1. Power up
2. Plug in USB formatted as FDD
3. BIOS remembers USB stick xyz as 'FDD'
4. Now format USB stick as HDD
5. Place USB stick back in system and CTRL-ALT-DEL - BIOS STILL THINKS USB drive is FDD and tries to boot it as FDD/ZIP
6. Switch off system - and on again (may need to setup USB device in boot menu) - try booting again - USB seen as HDD and boots correctly.


So - always check BIOS settings are same across all systems and always switch off before USB booting.

Some BIOSes do this and it took me DAYS to figure out what was going on! Nearly tore all my hair out and thought I was going crazy!

Steve

#37 Technotika

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:17 PM

yeah the last 3 months I ran out of hair to pull out and had to resort to other places for a handful

Ok with my new working GHOSTED usb stick - I made a filecopy with RMPREP.

I tried to restore my original one and for some reason said that the last 1 byte will be garbage? It didnt do that when I tested at home?

Now I am reimaging using RMPREP using the file I just created and is now taking 22 minutes as opposed to 9 mins this morning. Something happened to the image I think. And you know what I been mounting and editing the files using IMDISK. Maybe it smashed it?

#38 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:37 PM

Perhaps I should "CLEAN" the USB sticks before loading the files back on in RMPREP?


No, that's of course NOT needed, WHY :smiling9: do you think that I wrote:

  • Wipe a stick. (writing 00's to it).
  • Restore to it the "RMPREP" image.
  • Try it on the machines.
  • Make an image of the actual \\.\PhysicalDrive (the one that doesn't work on some machines) with dsfo.
  • Wipe that stick again.
  • Restore the ghost image on that SAME stick and make sure it boots on that machine that didn't boot previously.
  • Make an image of the actual \\.\PhysicalDrive (the one that does work on that machine) with dsfo.
  • Compare the two files.


You may want to compare with points #f of the "common sense advice", expecially point #f.3 :cheers::
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=9101

:(
Wonko

#39 Technotika

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:39 PM

OK PANIC OVER FRESH RMPREP FROM WORKING STICK IS #OK#

IM NOT EDITING IMAGES ANY MORE - END OF STORY

SORRY FOR SHOUTING BUT IM RELEASING TENSIONS

#40 ksanderash

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 12:44 PM

How do you edit images? ImDisk never spoiled any image for me! :smiling9: If you take the whole UFD image (from 0 and to the end of drive), you simply choose the partition. Have finished with editing? Unmount.

Posted Image

Do you make MD5 stamp on the files inside the image too, for safety?

#41 Technotika

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 01:13 PM

It seems fine now I am testing on all my test sticks and now redeploying to a another stick, good idea for md5 on the internal images, I right click and mount with IMDISK and use defaults.
CLEANING sticks first now aswell. Here goes another.........

#42 Technotika

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 10:14 PM

Guys, I'm going to burst with frustration,

@wnk0

If I create an image of working imaged USB and a not working image USB disk, what am I looking for between the 2 files, something like this (ImgPTEdit) will show me will it?

Something terrible is happening..............

I formatted (hpformat) 3 different sticks (a 4gb, 1 gb & 8gb) , and made bootable with grubinst.exe 1.1 and the copied menu.lst and stable grldr (21/03/2009) to root.

I wanted to just establish bare minimal g4b booting possible on the dc/7800 desktop (<<<it's the only model, with this refusal to boot from imaged USBS) I tried 2 in the office and i got reports from another site of the same thing!) all same bios , and I have a spreadsheet with speed tests from dos driver testing (previous) so I know it works!!!!!!!!!!But how!?

However, all three blinking cursored, just like the image made them do earlier.
I checked the bios settings, and its fine, but as soon as ! ghost the stick or now use that rmprep img created after getting working from ghost , it boots fine.

I'm confused as hell now and losing the plot. Sorry I didnt try dsfok yet, I never used it yet, could I achieve the same with odin, or self image? I can work those.


in these 2 image details is there anything that looks like it might cause this strange isolated problem

1 is the 8gb stick imaged with RMPREP and blinking cursored on this onemachine (ok on others though!!! arrrh)its called sr33

and the other is the rmprep image taken from a usb imaged with the working ghost files
its a different size 32gb is sr33wkng

Posted Image

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#43 steve6375

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 05:43 AM

Somewhere you have a BIOS which is using 240 heads per cylinder instead of 255 heads. I have seen this before with some BIOSes. You need to be careful of how you partition (not format) the USB drive and on what system you do this.

Also, as I have said before - always start from a cold (off) system. Are you doing this?

RMPrepUSB will always partition and format the USB drive in the same way (same cyl/hds/sectors) regardless of what system you partition and format it on - HP Format may not and it may depend on the BIOS to determine no. of cyls/hds/sectors. So are you always using the same system to partition these pens on?

Some BIOSes look at the **current** partition table to determine how many heads per cylinders to use for disk LBA translation. If the partition table has 240 hds per cyl then it will use 240 for LBA conversion. Some (more modern) BIOSes do not do this and just use 255. So if it originally had 240 hpc a partition program may use 240 again as it gets the current chs params from the BIOS when it partitions the drive.

Suggest you always use RMPrepUSB for partitioning and you should get consistent results as it does not use any system calls to get disk parameters when creating the partition table (i.e. will always boot on system x or will never boot on system x).

#44 Technotika

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 07:55 AM

Yep I'm doing cold off, testing now with a basic 2gb flashpen and 2 of these machines.

I am now a RMPREP groupie and am using that but getting some even more confusing results.

on both machines

Grub4dos - blinking cursor
syslinux - attempts to boot
freedos - attempts to boot

Its as if suddenly they have a problem with G4D when 1) I know they work fine 2) the Ghost image that works was created with G4D

I'm missing something

#45 steve6375

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 08:29 AM

If you used RMPrepUSB, do have a 255/63 head /spt format.

Maybe the systems don't like that.???

Can you try using the 64hd/32sec option instead?

When imaging - are you copyin whole disk or just 1st partition (PALL or DALL) ???

Getting a bit confused now - can you outline steps starting with a CLEANed USB drive...

#46 Technotika

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 08:41 AM

Ok here we go stuck a test 2gb USB PEN IN
fired up V.2.1.1

1. CLEANED /mbr wiped etc.
2. PRPEPARE DRIVE

MAKE PARTITION NOT BOOTBABLE - unticked

BOOT OPTIONS left on WinPe &#40;top option&#41;

FAT32 &#40;no over rides selected&#41;

3. INSTALL G4D
yes to copy GRLDR

Then I copy a sample menu.lst

4. EJECT

Test to see if can just get to menu
fine on anything but these machines
With this going on it's like a madness, I mean how has it ever worked before, freaking me out..... :(

EDIT - Just tried 64hd/32sec and same cursor prob

#47 steve6375

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:00 AM

Maybe you partitioned the pens using the system that doesn't work using HPformat and it put a 240hd 63spt partition on them which those systems like???

Or - you booted a PC with the pen in which had 240 hds per track geometry in partition table - then used HPFormat tool which preserved 240 hds per track.

[Edit]
When you used RMPrepUSB it changed pen to 255/63 but when formatting with HPformat it still uses 240/63 - UNTIL you reboot the system - then is starts using 255/63 as that is what was on the pen when it booted???
[/Edit]

You have an image with 240hds - if you put that on and then run grub4dos - does it get to menu.lst OK??

#48 Technotika

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:20 AM

edit
[Edit]
When you used RMPrepUSB it changed pen to 255/63 but when formatting with HPformat it still uses 240/63 - UNTIL you reboot the system - then is starts using 255/63 as that is what was on the pen when it booted??? <<<<<you mean the system im preparing the stick on or the target PC?
[/Edit]


the 250 image is the blinking cursor image.........

the 240 is an image of my 32gb corsair that does work, coincidentally, this 32gb was the last stick to be imaged using ghost! (the image that got the sticks working on the machine again which then was imaged in rmprep and working)

Imaging aside, I never had any hassle, getting g4d to boot on hardly anything, I even just formated in windows sometimes and then put g4d on and thats it no problem.

I think now I want to sack of the imaging side of this problem and just concentrate on getting it to boot g4d, then I can take care of the rest and sort the images. I think a fluke scenario hit one of the images and I need to know rather rely on some freak thing that got it working

Right Im going to find some different "same" machines and test, seems too complicated all of a sudden has to be simpler

#49 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:29 AM

@Techotika

I have some good advice for you:

DON'T PANIC
assume the above to be written in large, friendly letters :(

Your reports are practically impossible to understand, you are clearly freakin' out, (and there is NO need to).

Try calming down, FORGET anything you attempted till now and report things with some order.

I cannot see any problem in using dsfok, and you will have to learn to use it (or a similar dd-like utility before or later).

  • Choose one stick and one stick only.
  • Wipe it.
  • Use RMPREPUSB ON THE SAME MACHINE IT IS SUPPOSED TO BOOT to partition/format it. (one of those that give you problems)
  • Add to it GRLDR(or NTLDR) and see if you have the blinking cursor on THAT SAME machine.
  • If not, save it's MBR.
  • If yes, save it's MBR all the same.
  • Give to the files a meaningful name, like MBR_PC_7800_working.mbr
  • Additionally, save the first secotr of the first partition (bootsector)
  • Give to the file a meaningful name, like BS_PC_7800_working.mbr

Repeat the above steps on another machine (one of those that do normally work).

Name the two machines (say first one is 7800 and second one is "IBM").

Compress the two MBR's AND the two Bootsectors in a .zip file and upload it to a file sharing service and post a link.

You can use HDhacker allright to save this sectors, if dsfo scares you :cheers::
http://dimio.altervi.../eng/index.html

BTW, the problem can normally be solved by patching the bootsector.

:(
Wonko

#50 steve6375

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:39 AM

And repeat above but using HP Format.

It seems to be that 240 geometry works but 255 does not. RMPrepUSB will always use 255 (or 64/32 if you tell it to), but HPformat may use 'system' BIOS geometry.

Your problem may be that you have used HPFormat (=worked as 240 hds) but then went to partitioning using RMPrep Prepare (255 hds). Images will preserve/restore original (ptn table in the image) partition table. RMPrep Image function is just image (all other options in RMprepUSB are ignored).




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