I have an idea to have a particular multiboot situation with Grub or Syslinux on a USB flash drive.
There would be multiple partitions on the flash drive, with one partition having Windows XP installer, another having Windows 7 installer, another with YUMI for linux distributions, another for Hiren.
Can the Windows boot sector (or whatever it is called) on the CD/DVD, be used on the PBR rather than the MBR?
When one selects the partition one wants to boot into, from the Grub menu, then by a series of Grub commands:
1) one would set the default partition Grub would boot into after an X second timeout ( see https://www.gnu.org/...avedefault.html )
2) one would set the first partition on the USB flash drive (so Windows installer can find it's files) through Grub commands ( see http://www.rmprepusb...ls/multipartufd )
Not that it's impossible or too difficult, but why all the mess?
WinSetupFromUSB and Easy2boot can handle just about any mix of sources in a single partition, why would you need to go into way more complicated setup with multiple partitions on a removable drive?
Because I want to keep the files of different Windows installers from mixing all together: it makes it easier to use folder comparison programs.
Because I don't want the files in an ISO. I have to keep recreating an ISO for no particular reason.
When you decide to edit contents of the disk, you'd have to switch visible partition to Windows as well. Of course a filter driver or flipping the removable bit so Windows works with a fixed disk and all partitions is a way around, but again, is it really worth, unless you have something else in mind?
I am already using the driver that shows all the partitions on the flash drive. Why not have this driver? It appears to be superior.
"" 6. Are customized Windows sources supported?
Generally speaking- yes. Due to the numerous ways to customize XP for example, it’s hard to test every kind of customization, hence severely modified sources may not install properly. In case of NT6 (Vista and above) customized source, as long as updates or hotfixes are integrated into install.wim and using postsetup.cmd script, which seeks for files on the system drive, rather than the source DVD, there should be no issues. ""
I have this in setupcomplete.cmd:
FOR %%i IN (C D E F G H I J K L N M O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z) DO IF EXIST %%i:\$oem$\UnattendedOOBE.xml SET DVDRoot=%%i
Not a perfect world...
Manufacturer has some basic guidelines, $OEM$ goes to <DVD>(USB)\sources\$OEM$. Setup, in PE phase, copies contents to destination drive. First reboot. $OEM$ is not needed and used any more, nor should be other folders/files on the DVD/USB. Custom scripts search their things in the already copied contents of $OEM$ to the destination drive, not on the DVD/USB. Nothing is broken, everyone is happy, there are some rules followed.
Of course, there are sources which are customized in a different way with different needs. One may not want to copy OEM content to the destination drive for some reason, shared OEM folder for several sources, big sized contents, place it elsewhere as in your case and explicitly search for it etc. Can such sources be easily added programatically in a multiboot scenario?
Unfortunately there has to be some trade off, a little user intervention and understanding what is what and how it works, second boot from USB, no multiboot, or some other limitation.
Thanks. I changed that part of my install method to copy contents to the drive (via $oem$ folders), and invoke from there, instead of the flash drive. Later I delete what was copied over. Now my custom windows installer is compatible with WinSetupFromUSB, and probably a lot of other multi-boot utilities.
For now I will live with having to create and copy an ISO every time I make a small change, rather than copying a couple small files over
...or I may go with Rufus for one OS per USB flash drive
...or I may go with Rufus in combination with multiple partitions, LOL.
Update: Found out another drawback to using $oem$ folders as opposed to "FOR %%i IN (C D E F G H I ...". For mbr multipartitioned drives (destination for the Windows install), the drive letters are different during the first stage and the last stage of the Windows install. [primary1] [primary2] [primary3] [extended [logical-data]]
This is deal breaker, so I am again wanting to multi-partition a flash drive for the different OS installers. Any tips on how to set up Grub, etc?
Edited by mraeryceos, 19 February 2014 - 11:45 AM.