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Grub4Dos


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#1 Nuno Brito

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 08:40 AM

Posted Image


from http://grub4dos.sourceforge.net/

Besides the grub shell in real mode, GRUB for DOS have other innovations. Such as GRLDR, which is the grub console loadable by NT boot manager. Also, there is disk simulation function, which would enable you to treat an image file as floppy/harddisk (it hooks INT13 to do the magic, therefore, it works in systems that honor INT13 drives, this includes all sorts of dos, and in some case, Windows 9X). GRUB for DOS also incorporates some patches to make it more useful. This includes the NTFS patch, which enables grub to access NTFS partitions, and also the findroot patch, which makes it possible to find MENU.LST dynamically, etc.



Advantages:

* Can be launched by NTLDR
* Can be launched from linux with kexec
* Can create ramdisks
* Can use file as well as partition as the source of the ramdisk
* Can be used as a no-emulation-mode bootable CD-ROM boot image
* Has a "Chinese" special build that can display chinese help message at the console
* Add device (md) that can map a specified range of memory as a ramdisk
* Add device (rd) that reflect the memdisk loaded by inited
* Can chainload KERNEL.SYS from FreeDOS
* Can chainload NTLDR from Windows NT/2K/XP
* Can chainload IO.SYS from MSDOS, Windows 95/98/ME



Grub4Dos is a good start point for projects that target special boot projects, here's a couple of links with more informations:

http://grub4dos.sourceforge.net/
http://grub4dos.sour...s_examples.html
http://freshmeat.net...jects/grub4dos/

UPDATE 20/01/2009:

http://grub4dos.jot.com/WikiHome - NO MORE:
New site(s):
http://sites.google.com/site/grubdos/
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/
Old releases here:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/history/

:P

#2 was_jaclaz

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 06:09 PM

As it already happened to mismatch info posted with actual version of GRUB4DOS, here is the
WHERETO
FINAL VERSIONS are here:
http://sourceforge.n...ojects/grub4dos

example version 0.4.1
http://prdownloads.s....1.zip?download


STABLE PRE-RELEASE VERSIONS are here:
http://sarovar.org/projects/grub4dos/

example version 0.4.2pre6
http://sarovar.org/d...s-0.4.2pre6.zip


ALL NEWISH, I would call'em "experimental features" or "night builds", are posted on the wiki here:

UPDATE 20/01/2009:

http://grub4dos.jot.com/WikiHome - NO MORE:
New site:
http://sites.google.com/site/grubdos/

Old releases here:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/history/

a server with latest-latest versions is here:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/

UPDATE 23 June 2010:

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


"current release" is now in:
http://nufans.net/gr...urrent_release/

example 2009-10-16
http://nufans.net/gr...-2009-10-16.zip

Unless otherwise stated all comments, hints, howto etc., will always be related to the NEWISH experimental version you can find in /current_release folder/.

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


There are two other subdirectories with "latest ALPHA's or BETA's":
the ones by tinybit:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/tinybit/
and the ones by chenall:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/chenall/
http://code.google.c.../downloads/list

Rule of the thumb is to try first using the version in "current release" and, only if it doesn't work, try using the ones in the above two folders.
As soon as the developers will be convinced that any new version is stable enough, they will place it in the "current release" folder.

a server with latest "stablish/newish" versions is here:
https://gna.org/projects/grub4dos/


A newish version of GUI for grubinst has been written by our member booty #1:
http://www.boot-land...?...ic=6466&hl=
Download from here:
http://exec-se.de/Wi...rubinst_gui.zip

jaclaz

#3 ktp

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 08:36 PM

> Can be used as a no-emulation-mode bootable CD-ROM boot image

What does it mean? Does it mean grub4dos can directly boot an .iso file stored on the USB key (like bcdw 2.01) ?

#4 ktp

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 07:00 AM

OK the answer is no. The function is different as stated in grub4dos readme.txt.

--- Excerpt:
Update 5: Now GRLDR can be used as a no-emulation-mode bootable CD-ROM
boot image. Example for Linux users:

mkdir iso_root
cp grldr iso_root
mkisofs -R -b grldr -no-emul-boot -boot-load-seg 0x1000 -o bootable.iso iso_root

Note: There are quite a lot of buggy BIOSes that cannot boot
the CD-ROM made with bootable.iso. The boot image of
bootable.iso is the whole GRLDR file, not solely the first
2048 bytes of GRLDR. Buggy BIOSes only load the beginning
2048 bytes of the boot image, and will hang the machine. For
Those buggy BIOSes, please use stage2_eltorito instead.
Do a compilation, and the stage2_eltorito will be created in
the grub-0.97/stage2/ directory. For detailed usage about
stage2_eltorito, google the Internet, please. Don't use the
above `mkisofs' line on stage2_eltorito. The line only works
for GRLDR. The stage2_eltorito has a different `mkisofs' line
as in the following:

mkdir iso_root
cp stage2_eltorito iso_root
mkisofs -R -b stage2_eltorito -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o stage2.iso iso_root

The option -boot-info-table should not be used with the GRLDR
line, while it must be used with stage2_eltorito.

Update 2006-12-03: Now grldr can be used the same way as
stage2_eltorito. The -boot-info-table option is allowed but you
can omit it:

mkdir iso_root
cp grldr iso_root
mkisofs -R -b grldr -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -o grldr.iso iso_root

Also note that the bootable.iso above must be created with the
-boot-load-seg 0xHHHH option where HHHH is greater than or
equal to 1000(hex). If HHHH < 1000(hex), QEMU will hang. This
is a bug in QEMU. The grldr.iso can be created with or without
-boot-load-seg 0xHHHH option.

#5 Oleg_II

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 11:46 AM

New English language page about Grub4DOS is opened here. Tynbit and Bean are often visit this sevrer for discussions in Chinese but now it is possible to post any questions and suggestions in English too :cheers:

There are two sub-forums right now:

Grub4DOS Mainland
Grub4DOS Project's general discussion: usage, updates, req. etc.

Helper Tools
Helpful tools for grub4dos: grldr.mbr, bootlace, grubinst...

#6 Moon Goon

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 03:35 AM

I here GRUB4DOS can boot to floppy disk images. If this can be combined with a floppy made to boot XP http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305595 then we'd finally have a drive neutral way to boot XP or Pre-install Environments.

#7 was_jaclaz

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 08:55 AM

sorry, MoonGoon, but you are introducing an (unneeded) complication.
Grub4dos can DIRECTLY chainload either NTLDR or SETUPLDR.BIN, there is no need to chainload a floppy which bootrecord invokes NTLDR (which is actually the flopoy you posted a reference to).
Just as a reference, here is an article that better explains thi kind of floppy (and why everyone should have one of these handy):
http://www.xxcopy.com/xxcopy33.htm

jaclaz

#8 Moon Goon

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 12:10 PM

Not trying to argue: just to understand :cheers:

The Microsoft boot disk I referenced seems to copy a generic NTDLR from the install disc. See step 2.

2. Copy the Ntldr and the Ntdetect.com files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP Setup CD-ROM, Windows XP Setup floppy disk, or from a computer that is running the same version of Windows XP as the computer that you want to access with the boot floppy.


The XXCOPY boot floppy seems to use the old NTLDR off of the hard drive which (I think) is built specifically for that hard drive. See step 3 from your link:

3. XXCOPY16 C:\NTLDR A:\ /H


Maybe I'm thinking of a different system file than NTLDR. *shrugs* I think the BartPE installer has to generate some sort of system file called PELDR that takes some geometry info from the hard drive. Again, I may be wildly off base :cheers: Maybe NTLDR is generic.

In any case, it would be interesting to see how chainloading a floppy image works in GRUB4DOS. I got lost in the links and couldn't find a proper reference to that feature.

#9 d4vr0s

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 12:20 PM

PELDR is actually just setupldr.bin renamed.
NTLDR is not custom built, it's copied directly off the install cd or comes from a hotfix/service pack upgrade.

BOOTSECT.DAT, however, is built from the HD geometry but it's for booting the command console.

This is how I boot a floppy image (gzip compressed)
title DOS Boot &#40;Grub&#41;

find --set-root /IMAGES/CDBOOT.GZ

map --mem /IMAGES/CDBOOT.GZ &#40;fd0&#41;

map --hook

chainloader &#40;fd0&#41;+1

rootnoverify &#40;fd0&#41;
Compression is not required, it just saves space.

#10 was_jaclaz

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 01:34 PM

The ONLY difference between the Microsoft Article and the XXCOPY one is that the latter suggests to prepare the floppy BEFORE you actually lose access to the system, whilst the former gives instructions to create the floppy BECAUSE you have lost the capability to boot, try reading:

2. Copy the Ntldr and the Ntdetect.com files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP Setup CD-ROM, Windows XP Setup floppy disk, or from a computer that is running the same version of Windows XP as the computer that you want to access with the boot floppy.

as

from the computer that is running the same version of Windows XP as the computer that you want to access

or more simply as:

from your computer (that is actually running Windows XP)


PELDR (aka SETUPLDR.BIN) and NTLDR have NO specific geometry, they are programs, i.e. BOOTLOADERS.

Bootsect.dat, on the contrary is a BOOTSECTOR image, and, as such, has the geometry of the drive where it was created.

Here are some more examples of Grub4dos chainloading:
http://www.911cd.net...o...=16980&st=5
http://www.911cd.net...o...=18231&st=1
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=18031

jaclaz

#11 ktp

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 04:13 PM

@jaclaz
The frst two links you mentioned above are invalid due to "..." (copy-paste problem).

#12 dog

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 04:28 PM

Just edit the "..." to "wtopic"
:lol:

#13 was_jaclaz

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 10:10 PM

@jaclaz
The frst two links you mentioned above are invalid due to "..." (copy-paste problem).


fixed.

jaclaz

#14 wendy

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 06:49 AM

NTLDR allows for multiboot, so i think it's not really a boot loader but a pre-loader. It collects the switches for NTOSKRNL and puts the computer into the right mode for ntoskrnl to load. NTLDR, for instance, can load boot sectors pointing to other kinds of DOS, or initialise a different boot sector. In this way, it's more like a boot manager than a boot loader.

#15 Climbing

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:52 AM

There are two other subdirectories with "latest ALPHA's or BETA's":
the ones by tinybit:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/tinybit/
and the ones by chenall:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/chenall/

Rule of the thumb is to try first using the version in "current release" and, only if it doesn't work, try using the ones in the above two folders.


Please add one more URL under the "and the ones by chenall":
http://code.google.c.../downloads/list.

We recommend always try first using the latest ALPHA's or BETA's release of grub4dos. only if you have encounted problem, try using the older or stable release. the new one always means more bugs were fixed.

#16 was_jaclaz

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 10:16 AM

Please add one more URL under the "and the ones by chenall":
http://code.google.c.../downloads/list.

Updated. :)

Though I cannot, and WON'T :cheers: agree with:

We recommend always try first using the latest ALPHA's or BETA's release of grub4dos. only if you have encounted problem, try using the older or stable release. the new one always means more bugs were fixed.


This is MY suggestion:

Rule of the thumb is to try first using the version in "current release" and, only if it doesn't work, try using the ones in the above two folders.
As soon as the developers will be convinced that any new version is stable enough, they will place it in the "current release" folder.

Newcomers need to know WHAT to use, and that means one, unique, single version, which is current_release (this is called "certainty" or "disambiguation"), NOT "any of the n versions you can find in three different places:

the ones by tinybit:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/tinybit/
and the ones by chenall:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/chenall/
http://code.google.c.../downloads/list

which is called "forking", "confusion", "UNcertainty", "mess", "chaos".

YOU are the developers B) , YOU have control over the servers B) , YOU decide whatever is suited to be placed in /current_release/ :cheers: , please choose ANY version, but ONLY ONE version and place it in the /current_release/ folder.

A good 1/4th of all the threads on the board about problems with grub4dos derive from using an "unspecified" or "older", or "experimental" version instead of the "current" one.

B)
jaclaz

#17 Climbing

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 01:48 PM

Updated. B)

Though I cannot, and WON'T :cheers: agree with:



This is MY suggestion:

Newcomers need to know WHAT to use, and that means one, unique, single version, which is current_release (this is called "certainty" or "disambiguation"), NOT "any of the n versions you can find in three different places:

which is called "forking", "confusion", "UNcertainty", "mess", "chaos".

YOU are the developers :cheers: , YOU have control over the servers :cheers: , YOU decide whatever is suited to be placed in /current_release/ :cheers: , please choose ANY version, but ONLY ONE version and place it in the /current_release/ folder.

A good 1/4th of all the threads on the board about problems with grub4dos derive from using an "unspecified" or "older", or "experimental" version instead of the "current" one.

B)
jaclaz


Maybe you are right. Many many grub4dos's beta release only fixed bugs( so it's better) and the new release need more people to test(looking for bugs). so we recommend always use the newest one. of course the new one may have bugs. but we will fix the bugs as soon as you report. Most of us ( developers or testers from China) are not very good at English. We need more testers or developers from English world.

#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 02:24 PM

Maybe you are right. Many many grub4dos's beta release only fixed bugs( so it's better) and the new release need more people to test(looking for bugs). so we recommend always use the newest one. of course the new one may have bugs. but we will fix the bugs as soon as you report. Most of us ( developers or testers from China) are not very good at English. We need more testers or developers from English world.

Sure :cheers:, but the "average" user is usually confused, and "beta testing" should be made by "beta testers" i.e. by people that already have some familiarity with the tools, and not by "newcomers" that - since they don't know how to use the app, are not reliable on the symptoms or bugs reported.

Moreover, I presume that the use of grub4dos is to boot "something".

Now for everyone the "something" may be a little different, but if (say) 0.4.2 works on all my particular hardware in doing what it is supposed to do (i.e. booting the particular "something" I need to boot) there is NO reason whatsoever to update to a later version.

Maybe it would be a good idea to prepare a pre-set bug report template. :cheers:

Something like:

grub4dos bug report template

Booting FROM:
Hard disk
Floppy disk
USB stick (Removable)
USB stick (Fixed)
CD/DVD
USB CD/DVD
Other

Booting WHAT:
DOS (specify version)
freeDOS
Other DOS (specify version AND homepage)
Windows 95/98
Windows Me
Windows NT 3.5/4,0
Windows 2K/XP/2003
Windows Vista/2008
Windows 7
Linux (specify version AND homepage)
Other (specify version AND homepage)

grub4dos used HOW:
grldr.mbr installed to MBR + grldr
grub.exe
Other (specify)

contents of menu.lst:
...
...
...


etc. etc.


A simple one but with all the data needed to replicate the problem and easy to be made "bi-lingual" English/Chinese.


B)
Wonko

#19 Climbing

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 02:58 PM

@ Wonko:

Yep. I agreed with you. for "average" user it is really no need for update grub4dos usually.

Great template. :fine: We really need it for bug reports. it's almost a perfect template but should add something about hardware, for example, the computer type used for boot. many problems with grub4dos were caused by buggy bios, for example, DELL.

#20 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 03:58 PM

Great template.

Just a quick draft.

I can add all the items I think necessary for an adequate troubleshooting, and then we can refine it.

What would be a suitable "format"?

Maybe a "step-by-step" wizard saving in a .ini file? :fine: (this would probably allow some form of automatic reading and thus the building of some sort of database)

B)
Wonko

#21 posbis

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 01:35 PM

UPDATE 23 June 2010:

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


"current release" is now in:
http://nufans.net/gr...urrent_release/

example 2009-10-16
http://nufans.net/gr...-2009-10-16.zip

Unless otherwise stated all comments, hints, howto etc., will always be related to the NEWISH experimental version you can find in /current_release folder/.

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


There are two other subdirectories with "latest ALPHA's or BETA's":
the ones by tinybit:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/tinybit/
and the ones by chenall:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/chenall/
http://code.google.c.../downloads/list

Rule of the thumb is to try first using the version in "current release" and, only if it doesn't work, try using the ones in the above two folders.
As soon as the developers will be convinced that any new version is stable enough, they will place it in the "current release" folder.

a server with latest "stablish/newish" versions is here:
https://gna.org/projects/grub4dos/


A newish version of GUI for grubinst has been written by our member booty #1:
http://www.boot-land...?...ic=6466&hl=
Download from here:
http://exec-se.de/Wi...rubinst_gui.zip

jaclaz


This is a great summary of Grub4Dos resources/download links...

Question: I can see that the latest stable release is dated 2009-10-16.

What I see as well is that there are Grub4Dos 0.4.5b build from both: tynibit and chenall.
Are these two separate development trees or do they talk with each other ? Any plans to bring their combined development efforts into a single 0.4.5 release ?

As far as I can see the development activity from tinybit is higher and more actual. How save are these builds he is doing ? Let's say the build grub4dos-0.4.5b-2010-11-04.zip; would that be save for daily use or must I expect that not even basic functionality will work ?

Regards
Oliver

#22 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 11:02 AM

This is a great summary of Grub4Dos resources/download links...

Question: I can see that the latest stable release is dated 2009-10-16.

What I see as well is that there are Grub4Dos 0.4.5b build from both: tynibit and chenall.
Are these two separate development trees or do they talk with each other ? Any plans to bring their combined development efforts into a single 0.4.5 release ?

As far as I can see the development activity from tinybit is higher and more actual. How save are these builds he is doing ? Let's say the build grub4dos-0.4.5b-2010-11-04.zip; would that be save for daily use or must I expect that not even basic functionality will work ?


What is the "difficult" part ;) in:

Rule of the thumb is to try first using the version in "current release" and, only if it doesn't work, try using the ones in the above two folders.
As soon as the developers will be convinced that any new version is stable enough, they will place it in the "current release" folder.


ALL the "basic" functionalities are included in BOTH the 16-10-2009 version AND in ANY later release.
Whatever is ALREADY in the 16-10-2009 has been tested and verified as working n times by thousands, tens of thousands or maybe hundreds or thousands people on thousands of different systems, by users that use the said 16-10-2009 v ersion.
Whenever *something* (usually NON-basic) is found as being problematic in the 16-10-2009 version, a bug is submitted and a fix is made in an experimental version.
Whenever some new idea, suggestion is submitted and accepted, an ADDED NEW feature is made in an experimental version.

Latest Experimental verison is NOT in ANY way "better" than 16-10-2009, AS LONG AS you don't need an ADDED, NEW feature AND version 16-10-2009 works on your system and does what it is supposed to do for the particular goal you are attempting to reach.

IF you need any of the ADDED, NEW, feature OR version 16-10-2009 fails on your specific system/setup, THEN try using LATEST version you can find, no matter if coming form the chenall's or tinybit's "tree" (whichever works for you is fine).

By doing so you are likely to solve your problem BUT you are risking a "regression bug" (i.e. a new feature or fix introduced in the code may make the app "lose" some previously working feature, or change the way it works)

Your mileage may, and will, vary.

Life is "trying things to see if they work"


;)

There are different views on the subject ;):
http://www.boot-land...?...ic=14&st=14
http://www.boot-land...?...ic=14&st=15

Choose the one you find more logical. (I would say latter one ;) ;) )

;)
Wonko

#23 sambul61

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 06:16 AM

Just wanted to refresh some info on basic links.

Useful Grub4DOS links are given in Diddy's Grub4DOS Guide: http://diddy.boot-la...files/links.htm

Valuable up-to-date info, links and Grub4DOS Tutorial are maintained on RMPrepUSB site: http://sites.google....orials/grub4dos

#24 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:55 AM

Just wanted to refresh some info on basic links.

Have you actually checked those links? :smiling9:

They are mostly outdated.

From diddy's guide:
http://diddy.boot-la...files/links.htm

Grub4dos downloads -
http://sourceforge.n...group_id=104188 <- outdated :thumbdown: , last version is 0.4.4 2009-03-31
http://sarovar.org/projects/grub4dos/ <- outdated :thumbdown: , last version is 0.4.4 2009-03-31
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/ <- right! :thumbsup:
https://gna.org/projects/grub4dos/ <- outdated :thumbdown: , last version is 0.4.4 2009-06-20
http://download.gna.org/grub4dos/ <- outdated :thumbdown: , last version is 0.4.4 2009-06-20

Grub4dos guides -
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=3138 <- outdated :thumbdown:, very basic and relative to obsolete versions
http://grub4dos.sour...ub4dos_tutorial <- DEAD :ph34r:

Miscellaneous -
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/grubutil/ <- right! :thumbsup: (though grubinst has very little sense now)
http://download.gna.org/grubutil/ <- right! :thumbsup: (though grubinst has very little sense now)
http://www.boot-land...s/?showforum=66 <- right! it's "us" :cheers: but irrelevant if you get there from here :whistling:
http://www.goodells....ualpc/index.htm <- DEAD :ph34r:
http://www.goodells....iboot/index.htm <- right! :thumbsup: (working through redirection)

From steve6375's site:
http://sites.google....orials/grub4dos

References:
Documentation:
http://diddy.boot-la...ME_GRUB4DOS.txt <- circular to diddy's :whistling:
http://diddy.boot-la...es/commands.htm <- circular to diddy's :whistling:
http://grub4dos.sourceforge.net/wiki/ <- DEAD :ph34r:
http://diddy.boot-la...os/Grub4dos.htm <- circular to diddy's :whistling:
http://diddy.boot-la...les/gfxmenu.htm for GFXMenu <- circular to diddy's :whistling:
http://www.linuxself...er/grub_13.html <- good :thumbsup: though this is related to GRUB legacy and not necessarily applies to grub4dos or doesn't "exactly"



Main project page:
https://gna.org/projects/grub4dos/ <- outdated :thumbdown: , last version is 0.4.4 2009-06-20

Download sites:
http://download.gna.org/grub4dos/ <- outdated :thumbdown: , last version is 0.4.4 2009-06-20
http://sarovar.org/projects/grub4dos/ <- outdated :thumbdown: , last version is 0.4.4 2009-03-31
http://sites.google.com/site/grubdos/ <- outdated :thumbdown: , last version is 0.4.4 2009-06-20
ftp://grub4dos.sarovar.org/pub/grub4dos/ <- outdated :thumbdown: , last version is 0.4.4 2009-03-31
https://code.google..../downloads/list <- right! :thumbsup:

BootLand:
http://www.boot-land...s/?showforum=66 <- right! it's "us" :cheers: but irrelevant if you get there from here :whistling:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=5041 <- right! it's "us" :yahoo: but irrelevant if you get there from here :whistling:




If you want current release, it's here:
http://nufans.net/gr...urrent_release/

If you want latest Tinybit, it's here:
http://nufans.net/grub4dos/tinybit/

If you want latest Chenall it is here:
https://code.google..../downloads/list

:cheers:
Wonko

#25 sambul61

sambul61

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 03:11 PM

Thanks for the update.
One can learn how to install on various OSs and use Grub4DOS from the above linked Diddy's Guide.




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