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Is there hope for me?


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#1 ikalujny

ikalujny
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Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:27 AM

Hi guys,

As I understand my problem is not directly related to Syslinux, but I hope for the help of community to pour light onto it.

I have an 16 GB USB flash stick I wanted to use as both a data storage and a rescue/live linux disk. There is a known problem that WIndows OS doesnt recognise any partition except the first one on USB sticks, so I partitioned my disk as follows:
  • 11 GB NTFS partition used for storage
  • 2 GB FAT16 bootable partition with Debian Live booting via Syslinux
  • 0.5 GB ext4 live-rw
  • 0.5 GB ext4 home-rw
Everything works like a charm up to that point. First partition on USB is detected by Windows and I`m able to boot and use Debian.

However, I cannot seem to be able to add a WIndows PE based rescue disk to that 2nd partition. I tried several packs, and though they do work flawlessly when booted from .iso mounted in VM, they refuse to boot when I copy their contents ( taking additional steps as needed ) to my 2nd partition and trying to boot them using Syslinux.

I`m sure Syslinux works fine - the boot process starts, but then the boot fails within SETUPLDR.BIN due to it not able to find certain .sif files, etc etc..

What I look for is assertion on my setup: can Windows PE boot from a partition that is not 1st on the disk?

#2 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:43 AM

What I look for is assertion on my setup: can Windows PE boot from a partition that is not 1st on the disk?

Yes/No.
IF the PE has a Filter driver in it (cfadisk.sys or dummydisk.sys) it may.
You just stated how Windows cannot see any partition but the first (without the filter driver) what makes you think that a PE would behave differently? ;)
But, what happens if you use an image and Firadisk or Winvblock and grub4dos for mapping it?
Or the good ol' Windows 2003 SP1 ramdisk.sys method?

Also, PE 2.x and 3.x can be booted from .iso allright (no need for Winvblock or Firadisk).

Take some time here (grub4dos is easily chainloadable from Syslinx/isolinux/etc.):
http://reboot.pro/forum/66/
http://reboot.pro/5041/

It is also well possible that a memdisk based method works, but cannot say. :unsure:


BTW, WHY you *need* the PE on the second partition (and you cannot use the first one)?

:cheers:
Wonko

#3 ikalujny

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 11:19 AM

Thanks for reply!

I wanted to keep the storage partition clean from the live/rescue stuff.

I see now that PE 2.x & 3.x can be booted by grub4dos from .iso file if its accessible to it. That would be my salvation!




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