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Rufus (introduction topic)

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#51 wimb

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:13 PM

Well, the expectation is that most USB hard disk enclosures will not present themselves as removable, so wouldn't be listed in Rufus.
Is that not the case? As much as possible, I tried to make sure that Rufus avoided listing HDDs.

My USB-Harddisks (Fixed disks and having 3 partitions) are visible in Rufus as a single drive :ph34r:
and it is proposed by Rufus to format the entire drive (which is in fact a disk with 500 GB of valuable Data on it).
In Windows Explorer these USB-harddisks are seen (as always) as Fixed disks with 3 drives.

Rufus detects all Removable (say USB-sticks and empty Cardreader drives) and all USB Fixed drives (which can be Fixed USB-harddisks).
Rufus would be safe if it would only detect Removable drives which can be formatted (say USB-sticks).

#52 Akeo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:44 PM

OK. The problem I have is that the enclosures I tested with Rufus were never listed, and since I stayed as close as possible to what the HPUSBFW utility did, I though this would ensure that HDDs weren't listed.
I currently have an issue open with a 1 TB HDD being detected, so I'll see what I can do.

#53 renee

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:46 PM

"Rufus detects all Removable (say USB-sticks and Cardreader drives) and all USB Fixed drives (which can be Fixed USB-harddisks).
Rufus would be safe if would only detect Removable drives."

I don't know how to tell you this but Rufus tells me that the disks are not supprted. I'd show you a photo of the error message bu apparently this server or sottware does not serve photographs.

Renee

Edited by renee, 24 February 2012 - 12:48 PM.


#54 Akeo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:50 PM

I don't know how to tell you this but Rufus tells me that the disks are not supprted.

Can you clarify this a bit? What disks are you testing with? Were these HDDs? Flash drives?
Or does Rufus list the drives and then produce a message that indicates they aren't supported (during formatting for instance)?

I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be looking into from the report above.

#55 AdmV0rl0n

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:09 PM

Akeo,

Thanks so very much for this really nice tool. The old HP tool frequently has problems with Windows 7 'admin' rights issues.
I've built my own variant of Symantec Ghost - and I *need* to use a tool like this to prep USB sticks or hard disks as the first step.
I'd plead that you keep the ability to format USB external hard disks too - I know you've cited that your aim is not to do that - but I'd apppreciate it if we can keep that.
I know there is discussion about people with multiple partitions, but to be honest, Just state your tool formats whole drives and keep it simple!

Also, please make a version that fixes Mint/Trinity/others! Perhaps you could design if that if the user places the correct file in the same directory as rufus, rufus copies it to the root of the stick, and that way the user only needs put the file in the right place, after downloading it themselves? This would keep your exe small..

Lastly, to help a bit - I can confirm that Rufus sees my 232GB external HD (which I am very happy about!) and would I believe allow me to work with it. This is desirable function for me, so I hope you don't take that away, BUT - if you do, please keep one version around that still supports external HD formatting. Maybe you can offer your 'safe' version that won't do external HD's, but I like the tool as it is.

Thanks very much in all cases - Great work!

#56 renee

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:26 PM

"Can you clarify this a bit. What disks are you testing with? Were these HDDs? Flash drives?
Or does Rufus list the drives and then produce a message that indicates they aren't supported (during formatting for instance)"

Yes, I can. Im taking about the black plastic Cruzers that are 32 gb. The part number is SCZ36-032G.

BUT WAIT!!! This is a complex new machine. I have a feeling that the front USB slots are not activated until after booting.
I'm an invalid and even though the machine is housed in a Level 10, it will be difficult for me to get to the rear ports to make a detrmination. But I know I've been back that before abd this was the reason.

Be back if I can get down there.

Renee

Edited by renee, 24 February 2012 - 01:29 PM.


#57 Akeo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:27 PM

I'd plead that you keep the ability to format USB external hard disks too - I know you've cited that your aim is not to do that - but I'd apppreciate it if we can keep that.

Well, after some testing with steve6375, it looks like the HP Utility does actually allow fixed drives to be listed, and since I applied the same detection process as HP in Rufus, Rufus will do too. I also seem to have been testing with a set of enclosures that are weird, or weird HDDs, which led me to think that fixed disks wouldn't be detected...

Since I want to stay close to the HP utility, I'll probably enable fixed disk detection. However, Rufus is not ready for fixed disk handling yet. I would very much like to have partition preservations and other features (such as detecting and alerting the user if they are dealing with an HDD rather than a flash drive, trying to format partitions that are larger than 32 GB to FAT32, etc) before I do that, so the next version I publish will try to restrict access to removable drives only.
This may result in some removable that aren't detected, but considering the alternative of regular users with an HDD and a flash drive plugged in formatting their HDDs without realizing it, I don't think I have much of a choice.

Once I am satisfied with fixed drive handling in Rufus, I will re-enable it, but this will probably take some time, and I hope you can live with these restrictions, knowing that they will probably prevent some users from losing valuable data.

Also, please make a version that fixes Mint/Trinity/others!

OK. It seems that quite a few people are interested in that, so I'll address it.

Perhaps you could design if that if the user places the correct file in the same directory as rufus, rufus copies it to the root of the stick, and that way the user only needs put the file in the right place, after downloading it themselves? This would keep your exe small..

Nah, I'd prefer taking care of the download in Rufus and avoid users having to do it, especially as I suspect that I may have to apply similar workarounds in the future, so adding a download facility to Rufus could help. Might also enable alerting users if Rufus updates are available. This may be a problem for offline users, but I can pop up a dialog giving some details about the issue, and how they can manually address it.

#58 renee

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:57 PM

Well, I actually got down there and it does not boot. Just FYI, I went all the way through Rufus's procedure s.
Of note, I had a homebrew ISO the I made with Image magic from a readable distribution.

Renee

#59 Akeo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:07 PM

Of note, I had a homebrew ISO the I made with Image magic from a readable distribution.

This is the important part. I can only try to address the issue if I can reproduce it, so can you tell which distribution you were using, and perhaps give some details on how you customized and created the ISO with Image Magic?
Also, did you test that it didn't boot with just that one machine, or did you also try to boot other PCs with it and got the same issue. Since the BIOS can have an impact on the boot process, confirming that it also doesn't boot with another machine would help. Or you could try to produce an USB from one the ISOs Rufus is known to work with, eg. Arch Linux or a very small ISO such as the one for NT Password Editor (doesn't matter whether the target is Windows or not) and see whether it fails to boot as well.

#60 renee

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:18 PM

Yes.

I used rufus.exe and the home brew ISO. I used imageburn to go from distribution to ISO I formated the disk as NTFS. it took between 10 an 2o minutes to make the USb. I added nothing since this was my first time. I also have a 64 bit machine and the iso was 64 bit MSDN RTM of Win7. I did not clean the disk with CHKDSK. Today, this morning in fact, Rufus abrutly emitted some "this disk is not supported warnings referring the USB.

Renee

Edited by renee, 24 February 2012 - 02:30 PM.


#61 renee

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:39 PM

Oh-Oh, I just plugged the disk in and I saw a wizard complianig thar it has no internet available. A question, of coure, would be: where did that come from? I will check out this some more.

Renee

Edited by renee, 24 February 2012 - 02:44 PM.


#62 renee

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:18 PM

I'm wrong and I apologize. My Iso has all the appearances of being a normal DVD. The target disk doesn't have but3 files on it. All having to do with U3.

Renee

#63 Akeo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 03:29 PM

Unless you are using XP (but I'm working to fix that, since it is a critical bug), Rufus should work fine with Windows 7 installation ISOs, but they of course need to have the proper content for booting.
Depending on your level of access to the MSDN, you can download the ISOs directly, such as "en_windows_7_ultimate_x64_dvd_x15-65922.iso" or "en_windows_7_ultimate_with_sp1_x64_dvd_618240.iso", and shouldn't have to use Image Magic.

If you want to customize your installation, the Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE, also known as AIK), which is freely available, should help you produce an custom ISO, that should also be compatible with Rufus (though I still need to properly test that).

Hopefully, if you use a proper installation ISO, you will find that Rufus will create a bootable USB that works.

#64 sambul61

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:07 PM

How do you feel about the one button mouse?
...
I'm not seeing that (VHDs) on the MSDN...What good is a tool that leaves present-day users stranded?
---
I could probably dig up long threads from one place or another filled with posts of how buggy some software is...and it will have no bearings on the popularity.

I remember initially getting uneasy feel with one button mouse, especially propagated to laptops, but then... it became a comfort zone. Because the feature set is still there, only packaged differently. :) Nobody is suggesting you to add endless features to this tool - which is btw one of hundreds tools presented on Reboot. But...some suggested to offer a few right features, and of course your vision may differ.

You are welcome to explore the world with Windows Explorer on VHD. Once (and only if) you're comfortable enough with what you found out there, consider moving to testing other MS packages on VHD:

Run IT on a Virtual Hard Disk - Microsoft Technet
Windows 7 VHD Boot Demo - Windows - Home

As I mentioned above, its coming to stranded consumers with Hyper-V integrated into Win8. Will your Rufus be there, when they need it most? :dubbio: :D

When users discuss how buggy software is, its a sure sign they were intrigued enough to download and test it.

Btw, RMPrepUSB author has some useful Tutorials on his website, many based on tools and methods developed by Reboot members. In fact, I get hands-on experience with installing OS from ISO and some drivers involved like ImDisk, FiraDisk or WinVBlock by following several his Tuts. Most Reboot members aren't shy to ask questions under their own nicks, because we all learn new things every day, and most realize how much we're missing in our personal KBs.

To summarize my first impressions of Rufus:
PROS:
- simple familiar interface;
- good for novice's use if can accomplish the task;
- useful to extract a single ISO chosen from a limited pre-defined choice of ISO images, onto a USB Thumb and boot from it;
- inspired developer - always a plus.
CONS:
- doesn't support Grub4DOS;
- extracts entire image onto a Thumb instead of coping the original image and adding its custom section to Grub4DOS menu;
- doesn't support adding multiple images & multiboot due to full single image extraction;
- doesn't support other than ISO image types like VHD and VMDK
OVERALL IMPRESSION
- to be determined :)

#65 saddlejib

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:28 PM

@renee

Link for U3 download Installer and uninstaller:

http://kb.sandisk.co...vQ2FUaG52Ums%3D

Turns U3 stick to 'normal' usb stick

Edited by saddlejib, 24 February 2012 - 04:47 PM.


#66 ilko

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 06:47 PM

Nice tool Akeo, thanks.

#67 renee

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:13 PM

It would be nicess if it didn't 'blowup" when you do that. Mine does......

I've just sent a request to a freind, I know he has the CD. Im hopping he has a disk too....not a Cruzer. I first bought the 2gb titanium. It was such a good company them. Here we are...it 10 or 15 years later and that company has gone down the tubes. At least on my disk the security is far more complex
Renee

Edited by renee, 24 February 2012 - 07:16 PM.


#68 bblaauw

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:23 PM

I'm surprised this program started as a DOS-tool (implying it would have run in DOS in RUFUS' early days).

PowerISO allows to raw-write (syslinux-hybrid) ISO files (Linux distributions mostly) to an USB disk as first partition, leaving rest of the capacity open to creating 1 or more additional partitions.
Unfortunately, windows isn't very friendly to removable media with multiple partitions it seems. Or only if first partition is an unrecognised filesystem. Anyway, it wants to partition/format the entire disk.

If I understand things correctly RUFUS will destructively (regarding MBR, partitions and data, that is) create a USB flash disk with harddisk geometry, MBR and 1 primary partition (either FAT or NTFS) spanning 100% of the capacity.
For bootsector, system files and other programs/data it uses content of the DISKCOPY dll-file (WinME), integrated FreeDOS files or contents of some ISO (Syslinux and/or WinVista/7).

I wonder if it can handle the ReactOS files (and if ReactOS can handle it, though USB support has been implemented quite far right now).
Maybe also worthwile is pointing to a floppy disk image and extract its contents if image contains a FAT filesystem, instead of sticking to built-in FreeDOS or diskcopy.dll. After all, there's already a button to browse for ISO files, might as well add IMG/IMA/DSK (IMZ?) I'd guess.

CLI-operation is out of the question it seems, and so is DOS compatibility and floppy formatting. No big deal anyway: it's your show.

A Windows binary to experiment with IsoHybrid is linked at http://chakra-projec...pic.php?id=2090
Also FreeDOS kernel 2041 has been released, if you'd like to integrate it.
Thanks for an awesome program, I'll happily add it to the next FreeDOS distro (without taking 6 years, that is).

#69 halikus

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 07:31 PM

nice little program. It would be a nice feature though to be able to select a folder (with the proper boot files) for the source, rather than just an iso.

#70 Akeo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:12 PM

Rufus v1.1.3 now released:
  • Fixes an issue on XP when using Windows ISOs (reported by wimb)
  • Disable listing of fixed drives (eg. HDDs). As I said, I'll probably re-enable it later on, but without extra safety checks added, I see it as too risky to leave.
  • Add 'fake' USB drive detection during bad blocks check


#71 wimb

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:50 PM

Everything is OK now.
Thanks for this nice and very fast USB Format Utility. :clap: :clap: :clap:

In XP OS I have made USB-stick booting with 7 PE
and my USB-harddisks are no longer detected by Rufus.

I hope you will add support for grub4dos in MBR as BootLoader
which would enable to use ISO files without unpacking and would allow to make easily Multiboot USB-sticks.

May be another name instead of Rufus can help to associate this GREAT Tool with its Function, which is to Format USB-stick.

:cheers:

#72 Akeo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 08:58 PM

Hi Bernd.
Just to refreh your memory, we already discussed Rufus a little when I joined the FreeDOS mailing list about a month or tow ago, with a patch and some internationalization questions. I still have an enhancement request from the FreeDOS mailing list that I'm planning to address at some stage actually (though I have now dropped the one about using Rufus to create a FreeDOS floppy).

I'm surprised this program started as a DOS-tool (implying it would have run in DOS in RUFUS' early days).

It merely started as replacement for HPUSBFW, but it was hard to stop there... ;)

PowerISO allows to raw-write (syslinux-hybrid) ISO files (Linux distributions mostly) to an USB disk as first partition, leaving rest of the capacity open to creating 1 or more additional partitions.

Yes, you were the one who pointed me to ISO hybrids at the time. At one stage, I was planning to add the ISOHybrid creation feature of Syslinux into Rufus, but soon found out that I didn't need to go that far, while content could simply be extracted (though the requirement for a C: target may present challenge for FreeDOS installation).
This is also the same reason Rufus doesn't support Grub4dos for the time being...

Unfortunately, windows isn't very friendly to removable media with multiple partitions it seems.

It's mostly a matter of prioritization. I do have an enhancement for partition preservation (#4), that will most likely expand into partition creation, which I logged almost as soon as I started working on Rufus. But I think there are a lot more people interested in a simple ISO -> USB feature than a partitioning feature, so the priority for that enhancement is low.

If I understand things correctly RUFUS will destructively (regarding MBR, partitions and data, that is) create a USB flash disk with harddisk geometry, MBR and 1 primary partition (either FAT or NTFS) spanning 100% of the capacity.

That is the case, and the rest of your remarks are spot on too. This is the most common anticipated usage, hence the one I want to address first.

I wonder if it can handle the ReactOS files (and if ReactOS can handle it, though USB support has been implemented quite far right now).

You also mentioned ReactOS on the FreeDOS mailing list at the time, but we agreed that it wasn't mature enough with regards to USB for the time being.
Just like with what you guys have done for FreeDOS, I very much appreciate what the ReactOS people have done so far, so if I can help them, I will try to.

Maybe also worthwile is pointing to a floppy disk image and extract its contents if image contains a FAT filesystem, instead of sticking to built-in FreeDOS or diskcopy.dll. After all, there's already a button to browse for ISO files, might as well add IMG/IMA/DSK (IMZ?) I'd guess.

I thought about it, but with floppy well on the way out, and Rufus targeting USB, I'm not sure I want to invest time in it. If someone wants to provide a patch, I'll integrate it, but otherwise, floppy support will stay firmly in my "when I have nothing better to do" box...

Also FreeDOS kernel 2041 has been released, if you'd like to integrate it.

Right. I explicitly asked you guys to patch it, so I should go back to vanilla. Missed it for 1.1.3, but it will be in 1.1.4.

Thanks for an awesome program, I'll happily add it to the next FreeDOS distro (without taking 6 years, that is).

;) Right now I don't think the FreeDOS installation process works, from the ISO -> USB obtained from Rufus works though, if C: as a target is a requirement. I've been planning to test it for some time but haven't had a chance. I think it would be better to provide Rufus after ensuring that the FreeDOS ISO can go through an installation process when converted to USB...

#73 bblaauw

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:14 PM

Since last we spoke ReactOS did merge the USB features from a branch into trunk (rev 55555) and it should greatly work already. I'm not able to test it for 100% (using LiveCD) as that OS doesn't like my keyboard (Logitech G15, thus a hub with keyboard attached, macro keyboard, a display and 2 USB ports).

FreeDOS kernel 2041 has your requested patch implemented I think, according to the patchnotes.

As for the floppy image, I ment "allow an floppy image file as source file/image for populating an USB stick" (contents extraction, just as is the case with ISO files that you can browse for). On the other hand, regular floppy creation is nice to have but not that important.
I'd suggest partitioning/formatting the floppy, populating with floppy image contents, then making bootable depending on which kernel is present on disk (I'm not sure if it's wise to replace extracted files by RUFUS-internal files, mainly kernel/shell/autoexec/config.sys might be an issue if they already exist due to the imagefile). Pressing a button in RUFUS to browse for WIN98.IMG (or DOS622.IMG, but FAT16 might mean trouble with regard to USB capacity) for example should be possible.

#74 Akeo

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:18 PM

Everything is OK now.

Thanks for the report. :)

With regards to grub4dos, my current view is that, since Syslinux is already supported, and grub4dos can be chainloaded from SysLinux, I could provide a "blank" Syslinux installation option, and let people who then want to add grub4dos, iPXE or some other functionality do that themselves by adding chain.c32 and a syslinux.cfg.

My concern is that I'm not really seeing a one size fits all there, especially if the interest in grub4dos is for multiboot. And I would hate to be submerged with individual requests of "Yeah, the grub4dos support in Rufus is a good start... But could you also please make it easier for my very specific case?".
I guess my current stand could be summarized as: "If you want grub4dos or multiboot support, and Rufus has no underlying need for it in the featureset it aims at providing for mainstream (which still remains to be seen), then you should be the one working for it. If you cant/don't want to work for it, then just don't use grub4dos/mutliboot".

#75 steve6375

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:20 PM

I hope you will add support for grub4dos in MBR as BootLoader
which would enable to use ISO files without unpacking and would allow to make easily Multiboot USB-sticks.

RMPrepUSB can extract directly from an ISO (albeit via 7zip) if specified in the Copy Files box, is almost as fast, and can install grub4dos at the click of a button too... :dubbio:





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