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USB booting: how to create a UFD that will boot on most machines.


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#126 sambul61

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 05:56 AM

FAT32 tops at around 8 Tb

While FAT32 remains one of the most popular file systems due to proliferation of removable media (thumb drives) and media players made in millions, one significant limitation for that app is 4Gb file size limit, way surpassed by HD movies. Since exFAT is incompatible with most players, I wonder if any tweaks exist to save files bigger than 4Gb to a FAT32 formatted drive without splitting or transcoding a movie? :cheers:

LeMOGO

What audience are you targeting with such rich in tech constraints map? I view such a map as a general orientation doc. Looking at above pic, understanding it would require in-depth qualification in the historically estranged "boot" subject. It seems, A Guide to the Multiboot Process offers ideal example of a doc suitable for vast majority of forum participants being a combo of sufficient depth, detail, attractiveness, generalization and simplification. :ph34r:

#127 maanu

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 09:34 AM

[quote name='Wonko the Sane'
The 1st recommended solution is to flip the "Removable" bit and have a "Fixed" device.
The 2nd recommended solution is to use RMPREPUSB to partition/format it.
The 3rd recommended solution is to use FBINST to partition/format it.


:ph34r:
Wonko
[/quote]

with all due respect , do you have a good idea , about different switches that fbinst offers in current version ?
i dont understand why people dont use fbinst and be done with it . i have a 2gb flash with fat16 with --zip-align(super flopy as u mentioned above ) switch , AND I have yet to find a system where it refused to boot.
any Particular reason why you are preferring RMPREPUSB ? :cheers:

#128 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 09:39 AM

Since exFAT is incompatible with most players, I wonder if any tweaks exist to save files bigger than 4Gb to a FAT32 formatted drive without splitting or transcoding a movie? :ph34r:

No. It's a limit similar to the above mentioned CHS one, there is simply NO space to write a number bigger than
http://en.wikipedia....ion_Table#FAT32

The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GiB minus 1 byte or 4,294,967,295 (232−1) bytes.

Such a number in hex is written "FFFFFFFF" and fills entirely the bytes space available.
http://support.micro...kb;en-us;184006

@LeMOGO
AFAIK yes, you can remove the question mark.

Bit flipping:
more a treasure search than anything else. :angry7:
  • Run Chipgenius on the stick:
    http://reboot.pro/4661/
  • Get the VID and PID (and any additional information)
  • Go here:
    http://flashboot.ru/...php?name=iflash
  • Search for the Vid and Pid in the Database.
  • Find out which is the Manufacturer of the sticks controller.
  • Go here and choose the right one:
    http://flashboot.ru/....php?name=Files
  • Known ones:
    • Alcor
    • Ameco (MXTronics)
    • Chipsbank
    • iCreate
    • Netac
    • OTI
    • Phison
    • Prolific
    • RAMOS
    • Skymedi
    • SMI (Silicon Motion)
    • SSS (Solid State System)
    • USBest
  • Find the correspondent "Factory tool" or "Manufacturer Mass Production Tool".
  • Study it, check also other older versions that may have some instructions/manual.
  • Try it on the stick.

    Problems/features:
    • Some manufacturers may have a "simplified" tool that only flips the bit, the known "Lexar" one is good for SMI and probably ALCOR :cheers: chips:
      http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21850
    • Some chips DO NOT have a "plain" flipped bit setting.
    • These tools are for the use of the engineers and as such are generally UNdocumented/MISdocumented, in some cases lots of "common sense" and "guesswork" (and "right gambling attidtude" :ph34r:) is needed to use them.
    • MOST (but not all of them) require to install a proprietary diver, which may be a problem under Vista :ph34r: and 7, and that anyway is - as always when it comes to driver installing - risky business.
    • Some stick manufacturers change the VID and PID of the manufacturer with their own one, and do this no matter which actual chip is inside the stick.
    • "Official" manufacturer's VID's and PID's can be retrieved through this method/tool:
      http://reboot.pro/1659/
    • Searching the net - besides the previously given Russian database - will probably allow to match a specific stick model to one or more controllers known to have been used in it.

    The above sums up to:
    • KIDS, DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME
      and
    • WARNING: You will need time, patience AND a bit of luck.

You'll have to take choices, and you must choose wisely. :ph34r:

http://www.imdb.com/...uotes?qt0357926

Grail Knight: But choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you.


:cheers:
Wonko

#129 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 10:01 AM

with all due respect , do you have a good idea , about different switches that fbinst offers in current version ?

Of course NOT. :w00t: (read my signature).

i dont understand why people dont use fbinst and be done with it .

Maybe because they can solve their problem with a simpler approach? :cheers:

i have a 2gb flash with fat16 with --zip-align(super flopy as u mentioned above ) switch , AND I have yet to find a system where it refused to boot.

I am happy for you. :ph34r:
But that doesn't mean that fbinst is the only (or best) solution to any and all problems.

any Particular reason why you are preferring RMPREPUSB ? :angry7:

Look, anyone is free to have his/her own opinion:
  • FACT: fbinst has additional possibilities BUT that in order to have them it introduces "non-standard" things.
  • my OPINION: There is NO sense in using "non-standard" approaches if standard ones are "good enough". Or, if you prefer, to kill a fly you don't use a cannon.

HECK :ph34r:, I usually don't even recommend to install grldr.mbr, as it is non-standard.

So, I give my suggestions in the order I find them "balanced" between "standard" and actual results.
  • Bit flipping will solve booting problems in, say, 95% of cases (and is 100% "standard") AND gives NO problems whatsoever for 2K/XP/2003/Vista :ph34r:/7/2008 with filter drivers.
  • RMPREPUSB will solve booting problems in, say, 95% of cases - but not necessarily fully overlapped to the above 95% - (and is 99% "standard") BUT you need a filter driver for some situations
  • fbinst will solve booting problems in, say 99% (happy? :cheers:) of cases BUT at a level of "standard" of, say, 33% :ph34r:.

You can give yours, and everyone is perfectly free to listen to you, to me or NOT to listen to both.

:cheers:
Wonko

#130 maanu

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 10:37 AM

you took my comment as against RMPREPUSB i guess ?
steve is a good friend and dont think that i dont use his tool at all :cheers:

ofcourse it is matter of choice and opinion . and since we both dont know and have ACCESS to every BIOS in the world , so i guess we should stick to the choices we have , since they are working for each of us.

always fun reading your posts , as well very easy to understand for a noob like me. :ph34r:

#131 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 10:56 AM

you took my comment as against RMPREPUSB i guess ?

Not at all :ph34r:, I took your comment exactly for what it was hinting:
  • that I don't know what fbinst does or can do :cheers:
  • that I don't recommend it before other approaches because of the above :angry7:

I confirmed that your first impression is very likely :ph34r:, and debunked your second one :ph34r: .

More generally I hate the approach "a is better then b", and EXPECIALLY the "you should rate a better than b".

Whatever you like AND solves your problem is the best tool for that problem. :ph34r:

:cheers:
Wonko

#132 LeMOGO

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:45 AM

i dont understand why people dont use fbinst and be done with it . i have a 2gb flash with fat16 with --zip-align(super flopy as u mentioned above ) switch , AND I have yet to find a system where it refused to boot.


Maanu, thank you for your input.
There is a branch for fbinst. Why not break in down for us?
Everything on the mindmap has been substantiated and proofed. This branch should be also. There has to be (I hope) a logic in why you think

people should use fbinst and be done with it

Please clarify it.
Please provide sustenance and justification for your opinion, methods to test the validity of your reasoning, and sources for further reading if one choses to learn more on the subject.



I tested several applications before starting this thread, and fbinst was one of them. As the expression goes, it was "chinese to me" (and I am not refering to the language, even though that was also "chinese to me", even with translation).
I could not understand why so much space "vanished" at the beginning of the disk. I could not find any proper english documentation. It may be the best at everything in the world, but if I'm lost, it's useless to me. I do not like "operating blind" because when things go wrong, you can't respond (actually you can: blindly). Things will go wrong, it's always a matter of "when", not "if", when you do it enough times.

In all fairness, of all the applications I tested, RMPrepUSB was the one that made the most sense. There was an on screen help that told me where I was, anywhere I pointed my mouse. I understood what the targets were without too much effort. However, I still needed the information necessary to make the decisions I needed to make. The utilities only give you tools to work with, not the tools to make the decisions to choose them instead of others, nor the tools to decide what to pick, or how to fill them. That is where this document fits.

The steps in the RMPrepUSB GUI are clearly laid out and labeled. This is a model implementation. Just so you know, I also used the GUI for fbinst, and yes, it boots my machines. But so did the UFDs I prepaered with any other tool. My problem was that I was not sure I was doing the right thing, and it was not because I did not make the effort, but rather because what was written seemed to be written by developers for developers in forums where they were addressing each other, not the common "layman".
When I went to a friend's house to fix his kids computers, I found my stick not booting, and I could not understand what was going on. I played in the BIOS and did what should be, but it did not resolve the issue. Luckily, I had also prepared a companion boot CD.

Depending on the size of the tools you need on your disk and the size of the disk itself, you may find yourself in the position where you can not afford a chunk cut out of your drive. Then what?

The first post in this thread reads:

This is an attempt to help reason through the process of UFD preparation to achieve the best possible compatibility across brands and models.

* What format should I use on my UFD to achieve maximum bootability?
* What utility would be the most appropriate to boot most computers?
* What file system should I use?
* What boot manager should I use?
* How do the above compare and how do they differ in methods?

Please share your experience, and provide information that will enable newcomers to make intelligent decisions based on their specific needs.


and my signature says

I would like compile a useful one stop page that can be used as a guide. It will include the product of all the discussions that have been going on all these years in a concise simple but yet comprehensive easy to follow guide.


it is not about blindly getting rid of the "formatting stage", but rather empowering common users to be able to use the applications (which is, I believe, the reason why they were created).

and my signature ends with

If you or any one you know can provide anything of value, please do so.
... Any input is welcomed. Keep it coming.



#133 maanu

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:44 PM

i am sorry , i aint gonna justify . i dont need to.

and certainly i aint gonna find words to explain my almost 24 months experience with it.

anyways , there is no point in arguing , and specially when i am not pointing gun at you to use fbinst :cheers:


moreover , if i can learn through it with google translate (which translated chinese into english WHICH is not my native language ) , then i think you can also .

here is current thread ,

http://www.burgloade....php?topic=54.0

might be this one too

http://www.burgloade....php?topic=78.0

historic thread ,

http://bbs.znpc.net/...69&extra=page=1


oh and by the way , i had written a brief tutorial a while ago involving fbinst, but it was kind of " tutorial by the noob for the noobs ) :ph34r:

let me know if you need it , i might have it somewhere .


Good Luck with hunting..

#134 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 02:13 PM

i am sorry , i aint gonna justify . i dont need to.

In Italy we have a saying:

Uno che tira il sasso e nasconde la mano.

that translates approximately as:

Someone that throws a stone and hides his hand behind is back.

Of course you don't *need* to justify anything and certainly NOT justify yourself. :ph34r:
But since this thread is about "reasons" you cannot get away with just "do it because I do it successfully". :ph34r:

The effect is that your post seems derived by some sort of fanboyism :ph34r: (as opposed to a rational, documented, motivated choice).

and certainly i aint gonna find words to explain my almost 24 months experience with it.

You don't *need* to, you were asked kindly if you could contribute to the present thread with your ideas, thoughts and experience, you are obviously free NOT to do so :ph34r:, I guess that LeMOGO can well put a branch like:

use fbinst because maanu does use it successfully since 24 months

but my guess is that it would seem somehow less rational than most other branches. :cheers:

Besides it seems like you don't like symmetry:
Posted Image

You just doubted "my" reasons NOT to prefer fbinst over RMPREPUSB and now you refuse to post your ones to actually prefer the one over the other? :angry7:

:cheers:
Wonko

#135 LeMOGO

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 04:31 PM

@maanu,
I think you are misreading.

First, a quote. I have a saying, and I'm not Italian. This one is from me:

People can only think with their brains.

meaning:
  • belligerent people think everyone is at war with them
  • crooks think people are trying to take advantage of them
  • religious people think everything is about belief
  • ...


i am sorry , i aint gonna justify . i dont need to.


Who said you do?

Maanu, thank you for your input.
There is a branch for fbinst. Why not break in down for us?


we are talking about the "thinking process" here. In order for someone else to come to the same logical conclusion,

Please provide sustenance and justification for YOUR opinion

This *is* computing, right?
It does not mean "justify yourself", but rather "how can I come to the same CONCLUSION? I was hoping there was a logic, but if it is a matter of preference, that's fine too. In any case, I have to give others *something* to follow.

and certainly i aint gonna find words to explain my almost 24 months experience with it.

anyways , there is no point in arguing , and specially when i am not pointing gun at you to use fbinst :dubbio:

moreover , if i can learn through it with google translate (which translated chinese into english WHICH is not my native language ) , then i think you can also .


You may see a "gun", as long as you realize it is in your mind, not in my hands. I did not discard fbinst, nor will I ever. It's included as a solution on a few branches.
When approaching the 2 apps, one is more user friendly and noob friendly than the other (IMO). I just shared my experience (totally subjective) and the relative difficulty a noob would have when approaching the two (I have not put myself in the picture since the beginning of this thread but rather "reasoned" from the angle of someone new - which has nothing to do with my personal experience). However, yours is different (24 smacking super months), but your post does not help understand why YOU prefer it as stated.
You gave an opinion that could be helpful in this context. You could have written a simple 2 lines reason sharing your experience and it would have sufficed.

#136 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 04:37 PM

I have a saying, and I'm not Italian.


But you did stay at a Holiday Inn Express, I am led to believe. :dubbio:

:cheers:
Wonko

#137 sambul61

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 04:37 PM

maanu

It seems that a valid argument might be: "fbinst is present in almost every depository of G4D, Burg and such".

It sounds like a seal of approval from bootloader developers, which is one of the best seals there is. Of course, a typical user wouldn't know programming or other (say region & coder related) specifics that may prompt developers to include fbinst in these depositories, but they certainly made sure it works well on pair with bootloader performance. :dubbio:

#138 LeMOGO

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 05:03 PM

@sambul,

Bootloader coders can easily use the advanced features and flexibility of fbinst because they know the subject (especially when they are the ones who make G4D, and fbinst is created to go along side G4D). fbinst in the hands of a noob is a different matter. How are they supposed to approach it?

You can easily tell people "use RMPrepUSB", but you can not as easily say "use fbinst" because the learning curve is not the same, nor is the technical knowledge required for the proper use of the application. By noob, we do not mead "new advanced users", nor "new developers", but rather "new technicians" (some understanding of computers is required).

@ maanu,
Please post the noob tutorial you refered to, and thank you for the links (added as reference at F.3.3.6).

#139 LeMOGO

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 05:32 PM

But you did stay at a Holiday Inn Express, I am led to believe. :dubbio:
:cheers:
Wonko


I'm lost here (culture maybe?). I don't get the joke.

I camped in Rome, when I was in Italy. It was many many years ago (70's). My favorite place was the "Villa d'Este". Almost 30 years after, I still can't get all that water out of my head. I love Italy, I had a blast in Rome, so many places to visit. I've been planning on coming back since, and promise my wife every year. I really want to go back, if nothing else, to buy shoes and clothes. They have the best (IMO - b4 someone pounces on me). But, I have to get helmet and protection: everyday while we were on the bus, the police were zooming by with their Fiats + Alfa Romeos and hitting bikers, cars, and pedestrians. I still remember that! My only concern. Is it different now?

#140 LeMOGO

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 03:18 PM

:cheers: I just realized that I mistakenly posted the next line of thought on the wrong thread. Please click on the link. It is a *must* read.
We discuss the matter over two pages. Here is a preview:

Question:

Why do people call logical partitions extended?

I keep reading that, and it makes no sense to me.
My understanding has always been as follows:


  • An extended partition, wich is a primary partition, is created in a master partition table (in the MBR)
  • The entry in the MBR points to the start of the extended partition.
  • At the beginning of the extended partition, there is a partition table sector.
  • That partition table sector has a pointer to the first LOGICAL partition which can be located anywhere within the boundaries of the extended partition.
  • The logical partition itself has a partition sector that defines its boundaries (among other things)

Conclusion: the logical partitioning of thinking should separate them. An extended partition is not a logical partition (they are not defined in the same place) even if it is possible for their boundaries to be the exact same.
Then again, I'm so used to dealing with windows ...
maybe other OSes can nest extended partitions instead of logical ones.

Am I the one missing something here? (janitors input also accepted)
Please correct me where I am wrong.



#141 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:36 AM

I'm lost here (culture maybe?). I don't get the joke.

Actually it was an attempt to use U.S. culture (or, better, a common meme coming from it's underculture, TV spots):
http://en.wikipedia....day_Inn_Express
http://en.wikipedia....press#Marketing

Their "Stay smart" campaign has become a media event, and it's fame managed to get till EU:
http://www.creamglob...idential-style/

http://www.eduqna.co...otations-6.html

************************

So, in the commericial, the prisoner on death row is seen in the courthouse with a man or women in a nice business suit.

The person in the business suit talks to the judge in a very confident & intelligent manner and then talks with the prisoner on death row.

The prisoner on death row is impressed by the person in the business suit and asks:

"Are you my court appointed lawyer?"

The business person responds:

"No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night"

(The look of hope on the prisoner's face diminishes and the camera fades to black.)

******************************...

So, by staying at a Holiday, even though you are not a lawyer you have an ability to defend someone in court, perform brain surgery, etc etc etc.


But, I have to get helmet and protection: everyday while we were on the bus, the police were zooming by with their Fiats + Alfa Romeos and hitting bikers, cars, and pedestrians. I still remember that! My only concern. Is it different now?

Yeah, in the meantime they got, besides Fiat's and Alfa Romeo's quite a bunch of Subaru's and a very few BMW's :cheers:.

It may happen if you drive on the highway Milan-Rome to find these guys here :cheers: :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrQRbpap4-s

they have two or three of them and they use it - besides high-speed patroling - to transport quickly organs for transplants in emergencies if no helicopter is available or if the weather conditions prohibit it's use.

http://commons.wikim....JPG?uselang=it

From time to time it happens to see some blue flashing in the rear view mirror - whoooosh - no, it's way ahead of you... :confused1: :)

But Murphy's Law still applies :(:
http://www.corriere....f02aabc.shtml#1

:)
Wonko

#142 LeMOGO

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 04:05 AM

I enjoyed this!
I got to see these when I come by.
I see they are still in business (wrecking). You say it's Murphy's law, but man, I saw so many traffic accidents (including police) that after 30 years, it's one of the 2 memorable things I remember, the other being the villa d'Este (got to see it again!).

As for the commercial, I now get it. I forgot all about it. It hasn't run for awhile.

Thanks! After a loooong day working on my wife's car (replacing clutch, transmission seals+bearings, shifter bushings, crank seal, all pulleys+tensioners, all belts, valve cover gasket, air filter, cabin filters, spark plugs, fluids, water pump, starter,...), this made my day, especially because if I tell you bmw, you know I mean it costs a lot (3 times what it costs on a regular car, some times 10 times :confused1: :blowup: try 18$ for 1 spark plug x 6, you can't even reuse bolts, and they have gromets around them for $4 each bolt x 16 ... and it goes on and on ...).

I really needed this.
Thank you! This was water in a desert.




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