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RAMboot booting


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#1 was_jaclaz

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 10:41 AM

As most of you might have seen here:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=1145

euhenio posted on the 911CD forum a very nice idea (in Russian)
thanks to a few of our Russian members which I wish to thank, expecially HighwayStar, we got a translation.

In a few days this produced a full tutorial for XP, by dennis123123:
http://www.911cd.net...o...19056&st=29

And one for PE, by aec:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=19333


As I see it the latter as a real alternate method for Winbuilder. :P

jaclaz

#2 thunn

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 11:23 PM

I was loading .ima wrapped builds into RAM last year, but they load too slow. At first that's what I thought the last thread was about. The filedisk format is a nice option to use. If we could make a script that installs PE to a primary partition, then we would have even moe options...like ewf for one. Nuno already made a PE to USB script which is in the right direction. Thx for the info.!

#3 Nuno Brito

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 10:13 AM

HighwayStar introduced this alternative to SDI as an automated script some months ago - but the dependency to win2003 files is still an unfortunate limitation. Wish the ramdisk files could be replaced with open source versions.. :P

http://highwaystar.b...cripts/ramboot/

#4 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 11:48 AM

As you might know, I am NO programmer, but this does not mean that I don't know, or better, reasonably presume, what happens. :P

If someone with a basic knowledge of C+, a good compiler/linker and some time to develop is willing to help, I have an idea that could make a real revolution happen (hopefully).

From some of the comments on the threads on the 911CD forum and from my own experience, the really needed app is the setupldr.bin from win2003 rather than ramdisk.sys.

Please follow me in the general idea, setupldr.bin of win2003 contains, like all other NT based system's setupldr.bin, an "internal" 16 bit exe, self-standing, called "osloader.exe".
The particular osloader.exe from 2003 has these added features:
1) can invoke a kernel driver:
ramdisk.sys, but evidently the driver is NOT hardcoded anywhere, since you need to give the parameter

"BootDevice = "ramdisk(0)"

2) can pass some other parameters:

BootPath = "\i386\System32\"

and

OsLoadOptions = "/noguiboot /fastdetect /minint /rdpath=RAMPE.IMG

In the case of "full" XP, the parameters are similar, but in boot.ini:

ramdisk(0)\WINDOWS="RAM Boot XP" /rdpath=\win.img /fastdetect /SOS /BOOTLOG


Bilou_gateux reported here that the ramdisk.sys from XP:
http://www.911cd.net...o...19056&st=44

works as well as the 2003 one, with some more Regitry tricks, matter is yet to be explored fully, but it's a beginning.

Now, if you look at the MobileOSregPatch.reg by Euhenio:
http://www.boot-land...?...c=1145&st=4

you will see that it has some "common" entries for kernel drivers AND it deletes the drive mapping entries:
&#91;-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\sys\MountedDevices&#93;
(the other two entries should be relative to disabling checkdsk and paging file).
Most probably this is due to the fact that with such a setting drive letters are assigned dynamically at next boot.

So, here is the idea:
1) We have the source code for some good kernel drivers:
FILEDISK by Bo Branten
FILEDISK "fork" by Gilles Vollant
VDK by Ken Kato (which is as well derived from FILEDISK)
2) We can "merge" the functionalities of them all AND
3) add to them a syntax similar to that of the parameters passed by Osloader.exe, coming from either boot.ini or winnt.sif

What we could end up with is a solution to boot either "full" XP or PE from a disk image WITHOUT loading it in RAM first, modifying the MountedDevices to assign a static letter to the device should be possible, and since VDK volumes are seeen as PHYSICALDRIVEx, we should be able to get a valid arcpath of the type "multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(y)partition(x)\WINDOWS".

As always in my "provocative" posts :P :

Any taker?


:P

jaclaz

#5 MedEvil

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 01:58 PM

@jaclaz

If i get you right, you wanna exchange the driver so that instead of a ramdisk image a image on the cd is used.
What are you going to do about the copying of the image? That's not done by the driver.

:P

#6 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 02:15 PM

What are you going to do about the copying of the image? That's not done by the driver.



WHO said the image needs to be copied anywhere? :P :

What we could end up with is a solution to boot either "full" XP or PE from a disk image WITHOUT loading it in RAM first


Please do not Quote entire posts when they are long ones, it only makes the thread look more cluttered than needed and difficult to read (I am editing your post above).

jaclaz

#7 HighwayStar

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 02:52 PM

If you want to make replacement for ramdiks it's may be good to start here. Dietmar that he succed in bootint windows to ram with grub4dos (map --mem) command and this driver.
I have tryed to compile this source but without succed.
Maybe you can build binary?

#8 MedEvil

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 03:19 PM

WHO said the image needs to be copied anywhere? :P :

W2k3 is set up to create a ramdisk and then copy the contents of the image into it.
If you replace the driver, there is still the copying meachanism enabled!

#9 was_jaclaz

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 03:49 PM

@Highwaystar
Yes, I know about that driver, actually Dietmar has promised to release a full version soon:
http://www.911cd.net...o...181&st=2044

However the idea is to bypass alltogether RAM booting and replace it with Disk Image booting, this would allow:
1) Being able to boot on machines with lesser RAM
or
2) Being able to boot bigger images


@Medevil
Usually "disabling" or "removing" something is much easier than "building" it.
I am quite optimistic about the possibility of disabling the copy part, one way or the other.

jaclaz

#10 MedEvil

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 06:21 PM

@Medevil
Usually "disabling" or "removing" something is much easier than "building" it.
I am quite optimistic about the possibility of disabling the copy part, one way or the other.

jaclaz

OK!

#11 thunn

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 08:39 PM

FS-R-US :P
Weather we use file(s) from MS or not, I'll be happy to get this into working order so that I could get some new scripts going... :P
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#12 was_jaclaz

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 08:05 PM

OK, for people interested in this idea, I am collecting here:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=1507
everything I can find on the matter.

jaclaz




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