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Is there a way to boot an exfat formated USB drive?

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#1 alacran

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:53 AM

I was searching about this and I didn't find an answer, so my question is the one in topic title:

 

Is there a way to boot an exfat formated USB drive?

 

I mean with some loader like Grub, Grub4dos, Syslinux, or any other.

 

Thanks in advance



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 06:09 PM

I was searching about this and I didn't find an answer, so my question is the one in topic title:

 

Is there a way to boot an exfat formated USB drive?

 

I mean with some loader like Grub, Grub4dos, Syslinux, or any other.

 

Thanks in advance

Boot WHAT?

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#3 alacran

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 02:19 AM

Hi Wonko, nice to reed you

 

The usual tools we put in our USB sticks like Win7pe and wathever ISO you can boot with Grub4dos loader (the one I use) in FAT or NTFS partitions (file or RAM booting).

 

As far as I know XP can't boot in exfat even with the proper update it is only capable to read and write to it, ¿Are Win7 or Win8 capable to boot from exfat?

 

¿Any other system is capable to boot from exfat?

 

You are the man with ALL the links for everyting, ¿Do you have any abut this? (Google did't help me very much)

 

Best Regards



#4 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 11:28 AM

You'll have to do some experiments.

 

The good news are that grub4dos can read exFAT formatted volume:

http://reboot.pro/to...-exfat-volumes/

So - theoretically - you can have the grub4dos "installed" to the MBR+hidden sectors, from it map a floppy (or the like) image residing in the exFAT volume (but formatted with FAT12/16 or NTFS) containing the Windows boot files and from it go on.

NTLDR AFAIK does NOT support exFAT

BOOTMGR (particularly the 7 or 8 :w00t:) versions may :unsure:

 

You will need to go through this:

http://reboot.pro/to...s-also-logical/

and IF BOOTMGR actually supports exFAT, then you may find a way to load XP (with KB955704 installed) through it.

 

Of course any .iso or .img mapped to memory (and provided that the *whatever* inside the .iso can actually access exFAT) should work "normally".

The support to hard disk backed images (please read as Firadisk/Winvblock mounted) may also work :unsure:

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#5 alacran

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 11:38 PM

Wonko

 

Thanks for your info, I'll reed those links first then make some experiments.

 

Best regards



#6 alacran

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:02 AM

Every thing I booted worked just fine:

 

Prepare media

 

1.- 8 GB USB 2.0 stick formated using diskpart, one particion exfat format, set active & drive letter assigned.

 

2.- Using RMPrepUSB v2.1.652, Grub4dos was installed to the MBR+hidden sectors, also grld added.

 

3.-Copied some Isos: LiveXP, 7pe_x86, Acronis Disk Director and HDDR2011

 

4.-Copied XP-1.vhd

 

5.- Made menu.lst as usual

 

Boot

 

I) LiveXP - Only RAM booted = booting fine (it can see all files in the USB stick exfat formated, tested reading menu.lst)

 

II) 7pe_x86 - File and RAM booted = booting fine (it can see all files in the USB stick exfat formated, tested reading menu.lst)

 

III) Acronis Disk Director (v10) - RAM booted = booting fine (it can not see the USB stick)

 

IV) HDDR2011 - RAM booted = booting fine (I didn't go farter, just open it)

 

V) XP-1.vhd (Winvblock) - File booted = very slow booting (as expected from USB 2.0 stick) I usually run it from USB HDD (I didn't go farter, just open it)

 

So  I can say Grub4dos works Great on exfat formated partitions.

 

P.D. I checked the USB device with BOOTICE 1.03 and it has partition ID 07 (same as NTFS) but it certanly says it is exfat also Widows says it is exfat.

 

flvjnl.jpg

 

Best Regards


Edited by alacran, 04 March 2013 - 03:37 AM.


#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 09:06 AM

Good :).

For the record, there is a common misunderstanding (actually induced by a mass of "wrong" doocumentation, either provided by MS itself or produced by third parties) about the actual role of the Partition ID in a MBR DATA.

JFYI:

http://homepage.ntlw...ystem-type.html

 

 

 

 

How partition types (do not) imply filesystem types

Traditionally on PC operating systems, the partition type has been associated with one, and only one, filesystem type. However, this was never the intention, and in practice is true only for a limited number of partition types.

The intention of the partition type was to prevent operating systems from attempting to access, mount, write, or otherwise deal with partitions that they wouldn't know how to deal with (because they would exceed their preconceived notions of how large a disc volume could ever be, for example), or that would extend into areas of the disc that they wouldn't be able to access, or that simply weren't volumes containing files and directories at all.

The idea that the partition type implies the filesystem type is flawed in any case, for one very simple reason: Once a partition has been created with a disc partitioning utility, users can (and do) reformat it with any filesystem type that they like. Most volume formatting tools (i.e. "high-level formatting" tools — mkfs and pals in Unix parlance) operate solely upon the contents of the disc slice concerned. They don't look for, and modify, the disc partition table to ensure that the partition type matches the new filesystem type.


What a partition type does is define which operating systems will attempt to access, mount, write or otherwise deal with the partition, and define the particular detection method that is to be used to determine what filesystem type the volume is actually formatted with.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#8 alacran

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 01:37 PM

Wonko

 

Thank to you for the info, and yes I had the wrong idea that partition ID = partition type.

 

Now I can put on a 16 or 32 GB USB 2.0 or 3.0 stick formated exFAT all my tools and have enough room for big files, even biger than 4 GB (FAT32 limit) like Ghost images, DVD Isos, VHD's, etc. without worry about excesive ware (time stamping every time you open a file in NTFS) and avoid carrying around a USB HDD.

 

By the way:

 

Do you know Wich is the best alingment for exFAT formated partitions?

 

Do you know another way to format exFAT whith MBR & 255 H, 63 S?

 

I mean some GUI program, or maybe I have to make a batch for Diskpart.

 

Best Regards


Edited by alacran, 06 March 2013 - 02:30 PM.


#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:35 PM

Do you know Wich is the best alingment for exFAT formated partitions?

No, I am not familiar with the exFAT structures, BUT, most probably, you don't want to actually align the Volume/partition :w00t:, but rather align the filesystem area dedicated to storing data ;).

See this (AND links in it) to understand:

http://reboot.pro/to...-under-windows/

http://reboot.pro/to...ndows/?p=153278

http://reboot.pro/to...-memory-drives/

 

Do you know another way to format exFAT whith MBR & 255 H, 63 S?

 

I mean some GUI program, or maybe I have to make a batch for Diskpart.

No, but you can use *any* partitioning program (including my MBRBATCH) that allows "fine-tuning" and later use "plain" format.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#10 alacran

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:10 PM

I booted the USB drive using Grub4dos and started LiveXP.ISO file booting, it did not fully load (BSOD).

 

I made another experiment:

 

Using same 8 GB USB 2.0 stick, I put in it the WIindows NT 6.x MBR using Bootice 1.03 also Boot Manager Boot Record in Partition Boot Record (this last one maybe unneeded), with out removing any thing, then I copy to the root of stick all files and folders from a Win8 x86 ISO, and using EasyBCD 2.2 loaded the BCD located on the USB device and added new entry NeoGrub boot loader then I put my previous menu.lst in folder NST, and edited Windows boot menu in order to make NeoGrub boot loader the default and Setup the second one, finaly deleted autorun.inf located in root of stick (to prevent starting the setup when the USB drive is conected to the CPU, I can run manually Setup from Windows running machine if I want to)

 

Now I can use all my tools and also install Win8 from that USB stick, just tested booting from it and every thing is working great, including Win8 install, (LiveXP.ISO only boots in RAMdisk)

 

Next step is experiment with Windows 7 Setup, I will tray it and report here.

 

 

 

@ Wonko

 

Thank you, I'm going to reed the info you kindly gave me.

 

Best regards


Edited by alacran, 07 March 2013 - 09:40 PM.


#11 alacran

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:16 AM

I deleted all Win8 files and folders then copy all content from Win7 x86 ISO, ran EasyBCD 2.2 and made same procedure as I did in previous post.

 

I can confirm Win 7 BOOTMGR does not run in exFAT.  I didn't get BSOD, I got the black screen with message about need to repair install.

 

I then deleted all about Win7 and went back to Win 8 install, and every thing worked fine again.

 

Best Regards


Edited by alacran, 08 March 2013 - 01:17 AM.


#12 alacran

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:56 AM

I aded to last build WinNTSetup 2.3.4.0 and Win7 SP1 x86 ISO to the root of USB stick, so now Win7 can also be instaled from it, already tested and working flawlesly.

Next trayed Win XP SP3 install from ISO using WinNTSetup 2.3.4.0 unfortunately it didn't work well, perhaps the problem is my ISO fully updated using nLite and with driver packs for Mass Storage, Chipset, Processor, Lan and Wlan drivers added with DPs_BASE.  That ISO works pretty well when installing from CD to real hardware or from ISO to virtual machine also to VHD using IMG_XP, reading in WinNTSetup forum they say nLited ISO's don't work properly, but I can tell you when booting from the system HDD I pass text phase and when in GUI a file is not found, so we cuould assume ussing the proper ISO, Win XP can be installed from this USB exFAT formated device.

 

Best Regards


Edited by alacran, 04 April 2013 - 05:05 AM.


#13 alacran

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 02:27 AM

Just to resume my findings:

 

1.- Using Grub4dos and exFAT formated USB flash drives you can RAM boot anything on it as far as it can be booted with Grub4dos.

 

2.- Win7PE can boot from file or RAM.

 

3.- XP-1.vhd (Winvblock) - File booted fine, USB 3.0 recomeded for sticks or USB 2.0 HDD.

 

4.- As far as your live or PE ISO can read exFAT you are able to access the USB exFAT formated device.

 

5.- Win 7 boot manager don't boot from exFAT.

 

6.- Win 8 boot manager can boot from exFAT and install Win 8 very well.

 

7.- Any way using Live XP or Win7pe it is very easy to install win7 or Win8 with WinNTSetup.

 

Best Regards



#14 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 04:32 PM

Well, if I may, you failed :w00t: to do (or report about) what would be IMHO the more "useful" test, using a "mixed mode approach" of using Windows 8 BOOTMGR (and \boot\BCD) with a "plain" or "flat" XP or Windows 7 install (of course with integrated/installed a exFAT driver).

If you prefer, is it "enough" an OS loader (BOOTMGR) capable of exFAT access or some other key boot components are needed? :dubbio:

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#15 alacran

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 12:59 AM

Well, if I may, you failed :w00t: to do (or report about) what would be IMHO the more "useful" test, using a "mixed mode approach" of using Windows 8 BOOTMGR (and \boot\BCD) with a "plain" or "flat" XP or Windows 7 install (of course with integrated/installed a exFAT driver).

If you prefer, is it "enough" an OS loader (BOOTMGR) capable of exFAT access or some other key boot components are needed? :dubbio:

 

:cheers:

Wonko

 

My USB stick has Win NT 6.x MBR and PBR, and active single exFAT formated partition made in Win 7.

 

In post No. 10, I tested Win 8 install and reported it booted and let you select language and where to make your install as usual so I did'nt go farter as rest is only expand the install.wim to the internal HDD.

 

In post No. 11, I tested Win 7 install and reported Win 7 Bootmanager problem, so concluded it can't read xeFAT.

 

Now I copied full contend of Win 7 install DVD to USB stick but replacing only Bootmanager and Boot folder with the ones from Win 8, It booted very well and let me select language and where to install as when in Win 8 install.

 

So far YES only requirement is Bootmanager and Boot folder from Win 8.

 

About XP if you make an install.wim from an already installed and syspreped system ussing imageX it is possible it may work too.

 

Best Regards



#16 alacran

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 02:31 AM

Sorry there is a typo on my last post, I copied to USB stick bootmanager and boot folder (not boot file) from Win 8 DVD.

 

When I detected the typo there was no way to edit it any more.

 

Best Regards


Edited by alacran, 23 April 2013 - 02:33 AM.


#17 saddlejib

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:12 PM

I have a Galaxy s4 (big data computer in pocket) which i rooted via twrp.

twrp has been updated since this post:Google it first.

 

http://galaxys4root....ng-twrp-method/

 

and used as a mass storage device courtesy of

 

http://forum.xda-dev...d.php?t=2297888

 

and have booted in exfat with the same problems or not problems  as to be anticipated file system and loader ntdetect so why not use the ext2fs rmbprep solution of steves to create a small fat 32 partition.

 no doubt i will be corrected but hey.

The future:

 I will boot my computer from my phone:

"Thin client"



#18 saddlejib

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:40 PM

Or to simplify what and when future bios's look for a nearby device and let you choose your  nearby device to boot from.

 

Its not complicated.



#19 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 06:54 PM

 no doubt i will be corrected but hey.

Corrected for what? :dubbio:

Please choose one:

  1. babbling senselessly about phones, ext2fs, rmprepusb, future BIOS's  and the like
  2. babbling senselessly about phones, ext2fs, rmprepusb, future BIOS's  and the like AND attempting to hijack this thread

:unsure:

 

JFYI, it seems to me like you rooted your phone, and then exposed it's internal SD-card as USB Mass Storage Device, maybe you would be interested to this ;):

http://reboot.pro/to...ndroid-devices/

 

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#20 saddlejib

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:26 PM

 @ Wonko

Sorry about the hijack. You are right on that one.

 The future is here its in your pocket (i.e S4 big data gatherer for Google) so lets not babble lets look at a motherboard that looks for 'nearby device' not to frr fetched.

 

As the computer boots its your machine, all the boot problems can be resolved as you know, it finds your device (not necessarily phone) and boots into your world.

The 70's has gone.

Not a babble but forward thinking.



#21 saddlejib

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 08:49 PM

or do you really believe manufacturers of motherboards couldnt do what you guys do if they wanted.

they would be out of work.

It wouldnt be difficult to have or boot from i.e wifi or whatever.

 not complicated for a belligerent rant.

it doesnt make business sense thats why were not there yet



#22 saddlejib

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:34 PM

@Wonko

 Sorry for my rant (frustration).

I was on the right thread but using my 64gb exfat (formatted by s4 galaxy) sd card on and from my phone as a mass storage boot device connected by usb using g4d and I still dont feel its an impossible situation once exfats nuances are overcome.

 So I apologise it wasnt a hijack it was relevant i feel.

 Thanks for the link it has great potential. guess you deduced where i was heading,  just tried it and its nice...



#23 saddlejib

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 10:00 PM

Whoops i'm back here. Legitimately I hope.

 This time i'll explain the problem rather than ranting, (frustration and lack of knowledge, a suffusion of red.).

I've been trying to boot (yes it is a boot problem in the spirit of the forum) my tools from g4d from my galaxy S4 phone via usb but have encountered several problems, I'm nearly there as my phone can now see my sd card (cfadisk) first partition (the phone needs to see an exfat card or reports it as damaged) but the card also has a second fat 32 partition on it for live XP.

 So the question is:

How do I now install g4d to the exfat partition manually (and yes Steve Ive tried RMPrep and all permutations ) it works on an untampered with sdcard  but not  my  partitioned card. so ergo you know how too,  so what am i missing.

 



#24 steve6375

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:11 PM

I am not sure grubinst can install to exFAT - why don't you install to the MBR instead?



#25 saddlejib

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 06:44 PM

A better description may be:

Create a sdcard with two partitions using microdrive.lz or whatever (open to ideas or solutions)  which can boot using g4d with the first partition being exfat (main point) and the second partition, fat32 or ntfs whichever suits.

so a live xp can live on the fat32 or ntfs partitition and can be seen.(no ntdetect problem) .

suffusion of red.






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