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Multiboot DOS and DOS ISOs?


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#1 Tripredacus

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 07:33 PM

I am looking for what the best method would be to accomplish the following:

- Boot DOS 7.1

- Boot FreeDOS ISOs

 

Currently I manage a bootable USB key that uses DOS 7.1. Recently we've been given BIOS updates in the form of ISO files that work exclusively on FreeDOS. The USB key uses DOS 7.1 for program compatibility reasons and we can't just abandon it. I know there are a bunch of different methods to multiboot but I have no real experience with any of them. So I was hoping that there was a way I can retain the existing system and add the ability to alternatively choose to boot the FreeDOS ISOs.

 

I saw in the tutorials about booting WinPE based ISOs but I don't know if would be the same. Unfortunately I am unable to redistribute the FreeDOS ISO files.

 

Oh one more thing, I need a solution that allows for business use, as this isn't for personal/home use.



#2 steve6375

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 07:37 PM

Do these BIOS update FreeDos ISOs attempt to load a CD-ROM driver?

 

i.e. how are you supposed to use them? burn a CD or what?



#3 Tripredacus

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 02:54 PM

One of the applications that runs the BIOS update reports an "A20 Error" if it is run in DOS 7.1.

 

We have the files themselves but these ISOs are strange. After burned, they show up as being blank discs if you try to view them in Windows. If you boot off of them, you can get to the files. I am expecting there is a different file system on those discs.

 

So currently, the only way to use them is to burn them to CD then boot off of them.



#4 steve6375

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 03:26 PM

OK, that's good news. It means the ISOs use floppy boot emulation. They contain a floppy image in the boot section and do not reference any files on the CD file system.

 

So, take your existing DOS-bootable USB drive and do this.

 

1. Run RMPrepUSB and click on Install grub4dos - choose No (for PBR).

2. Download the E2B zip file (not the larger E2B+Mass Storage as you don't want to install XP)

3. Extract the files from the zip file straight onto the root your USB drive

4. Use Notepad to make a DOS.mnu file in the \_ISO\MAINMENU\MNU folder with the following contents:

title Boot to MS-DOS on USB Key \n Boot to DOS
chainloader /io.sys

5. Now just copy all your Flash ISOs to \_ISO\MAINMENU folder

 

6. Lastly - in RMPrepUSB - hit Ctrl-F2 to make all files contiguous

 

Now test it using the RMPrepUSB - Test using QEMU Emulator (F11) button in RMPrepUSB.

 

To change the wallpaper, menu colours, menu item text (instead of the .iso filename), etc, see www.easy2boot.com

 

Repeat steps 5 & 6 to add more ISOs

 

cheers

Steve

 

 

 

 






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