Hello all, I've been beating my head against this issue for a few days, and need some help here...
I'm attempting to build a bootable DOS image that will be served via SysLinux, specifically on a Windows 2008 server, using Serva to handle the PXE part. According to the Serva docs, booting to FreeDOS is supported, and I've successfully served up an the FreeDOS 1.0 Live image, the relevant SysLinux options listed in the Serva docs for this are:
kernel = memdisk
append = initrd=NWA_PXE\$HEAD_DIR$\fdboot.img
I'm now attempting to build the image I need to serve, which is based on MS DOS 6.22, and will contain a number of BIOS firmware updates for various systems, the firmware updates all run via DOS. I've successfully created a bootable USB key with everything I need, and am using this as the basis for the image that will be served. Unfortunately, with the BIOS updates, my image is significantly larger than the average floppy, and definitely beyond the 2.88Mb size I've seen others mention. At present the image I've created is a 256Mb volume, so, my first question is, what is the upper limit, if any on the size of an image that MEMDISK can handle?
As I mentioned, I've created a bootable USB flash drive, originally an 8Gb volume, and after some scavenging I've come up with an old 256Mb USB key, and have this booting properly. But Windows keeps slamming shut on my fingers every time I try to build an image from a USB Key, I've downloaded a variety of tools (WinImage, OSFMount, IMGBurn) and none of these can properly make a .img or .iso of the USB key. I finally had some luck with a utility called USB Image Tool, which did create a .img file, but when I tried to mount this in Windows (Virtual Clone Drive, OSFMount), the image didn't appear to have a valid file system, and attempting to boot any image I created resulted in a variety of amusing failures when booting via SysLinux.
So, my second question is, how can I properly create an image of my booting USB key, presumably preserving the MBR, preferably from my Windows 7 desktop? Or is there some other way to build a bootable image that I'm overlooking?
I've discovered am amazing number of ways to create badly formed images, but unfortunately have yet to stumble across the secret recipe to create a working image under Windows. Again, I'd ideally want a Windows based solution, as I work in a Windows shop, and when I eventually hand this off to someone else, they'll need to be able to take over. If I need to resort to Linux for this I will, but would prefer that as a last resort, as much as I hate to say that.