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Create a bootable ISO from a USB flash drive

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#1 askpcguy

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Posted 31 January 2015 - 11:33 PM

Hello All,

 

I've been searching for this answer for many weeks but have not really found anything.

 

I've got multiple bootable USB flash drives.  My goal is to make an ISO (or some form of file based backup) of each flash drive which I'll use on a larger USB flash drive and using SysLinux (or similar) be able to boot to any of the ISO files.

 

Is there any such tutorial or guide for doing this?

 

Thanks!!



#2 erwan.l

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 11:02 AM

Hi,

 

May be a silly question but why dont you do disk images rather than iso images?

Cant syslinux boot disk images?

 

Otherwise, a command line utility such as mkisofs.exe can make a bootable iso out of a folder but you'll need to specific a proper boot sector file (syslinux has one).

Regards,

Erwan



#3 askpcguy

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 11:30 AM

I'll have to research that, thank you. All I'd find was pages of creating USB flash drives but very little information about making an image of a bootabke USB flash drive.

I just saw this, going to look at it later.

http://sourceforge.n...in32diskimager/

#4 erwan.l

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 11:33 AM

win32diskimager will make a disk image, not an iso.

 

if you go for a disk image, then let me market CloneDisk , a freeware I maintain over here :)



#5 askpcguy

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 12:50 AM

win32diskimager will make a disk image, not an iso.

 

if you go for a disk image, then let me market CloneDisk , a freeware I maintain over here :)

What is the output of CloneDisk?  Win32DiskImager does make an ISO but does not bring over the bootable information.  Even in ultraISO I was not able to add the boot sector to the ISO file.



#6 Zoso

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 02:00 AM

hi askpcguy, I think you need grub4dos and clonedisk. these two combined should reach your goal and beyond if .iso files are not mandatory.

I do this with raw and vhd images.

there is also rmprepusb to assist in setting up your multiboot USB which automates the process.

other tools out there will probably do these things also but these I have used with good success and their respective developers are members here.

see the grub4dos forum for the guide/tutorial/overview and erwin.I's blog should help you with clonedisk. its linked in his signature line.


welcome to reboot.pro!

#7 erwan.l

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 08:33 AM

What is the output of CloneDisk?  Win32DiskImager does make an ISO but does not bring over the bootable information.  Even in ultraISO I was not able to add the boot sector to the ISO file.

 

Hi askpcguy,

 

I checked win32diskimager, it states "This program is designed to write a raw disk image to a removable device or backup a removable device to a raw image file.".

 

I have also downloaded it and tested it : it does raw disk imaging, not iso imaging.

 

Regards,

Erwan



#8 erwan.l

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 08:36 AM

Ff you wanted to make an iso file, you could run the following command :

mkisofs.exe -iso-level 4 -l -R -J -joliet-long -D -volid "<your volume id>" -b <path to boot sector> -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 8 -hide boot.catalog -o <path to target iso> <path to source folder>

This is the command line I use in QuickPE.

 

I could probably easily make a GUI to this command line.

 

Regards,

Erwan



#9 cdob

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 03:13 PM

I've got multiple bootable USB flash drives.  My goal is to make an ISO (or some form of file based backup) of each flash drive which I'll use on a larger USB flash drive and using SysLinux (or similar) be able to boot to any of the ISO files.
 
Is there any such tutorial or guide for doing this?

I don't know a tutorial for that. There are a lot of different cases.
Build the multi boot device step for step.
Different OS require different approaches. Can you name current USB flash examples?
Do you require UEFI boot too?

#10 erwan.l

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 07:44 PM

A quick and dirty GUI to mkisofs.exe .

 

Enter the target tree folder, i.e the folder from which you want to make an iso.

Enter the boot sector for the iso (has to be located in the above folder).

Enter the iso file name.

 

In theory, one should be able to generate any iso (ISO9660v2 / Joliet) with this?

 

Could easily be adapted to handle UEFI boot as well.

 

lWcW2KE.png

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#11 Zoso

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 09:57 PM

A quick and dirty GUI to mkisofs.exe .

Enter the target tree folder, i.e the folder from which you want to make an iso.
Enter the boot sector for the iso (has to be located in the above folder).
Enter the iso file name.

In theory, one should be able to generate any iso (ISO9660v2 / Joliet) with this?

Could easily be adapted to handle UEFI boot as well.

lWcW2KE.png


looks interesting.. can this convert a bootable XP.img into a bootable XP live CD? (iso)


thanks

#12 erwan.l

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Posted 02 February 2015 - 11:02 PM

looks interesting.. can this convert a bootable XP.img into a bootable XP live CD? (iso)
thanks

If you mean cd hard disk emulation mode, i dont know much about the topic.
For now this tool generates no emulation mode iso.

Note thus that you can use other boot sectors such as grldr or syslinux.

#13 alacran

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 05:38 AM

looks interesting.. can this convert a bootable XP.img into a bootable XP live CD? (iso)


thanks

 

Take a look to this link: http://reboot.pro/to...project-etboot/

 

 It is in fact cd hard disk emulation mode project.

 

From that page:

 

Tested working Windows version list:

  • Windows XP (5.1 Build 2600 - SP2, SP3)
  • Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (5.1 Build 2600 - SP2)
  • Windows Server 2003 (5.2 Build 3790 - SP1, SP2)
  • Windows Code Name 'Longhorn' (6.0 Build 4051)


#14 alacran

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 06:13 AM

@ askpcguy

Look to this link: http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23052

It may have some info, it's about: Create a bootable ISO from Multi-Boot USB

But I suggest to go as erwan.l said.

 

Or you can try http://www.rmprepusb...makegrub4dosiso from steve6375 page

 

Long time ago I made some multi boot CD's/DVD's using mkisofs and grld as boot sector, and several small ISO's (as image file inside the CD/DVD), not every thing booted the first time, you need to make some adjustments to make bootable some image's or extract others. But after flash disks came to big sizes I didn't see a need for that any more.

 

Best Regards



#15 Zoso

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 08:27 AM

Take a look to this link: http://reboot.pro/to...project-etboot/
 
 It is in fact cd hard disk emulation mode project.
 
From that page:
 
Tested working Windows version list:

  • Windows XP (5.1 Build 2600 - SP2, SP3)
  • Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (5.1 Build 2600 - SP2)
  • Windows Server 2003 (5.2 Build 3790 - SP1, SP2)
  • Windows Code Name 'Longhorn' (6.0 Build 4051)

thanks alacran! seems the last file which includes the tutorial is missing though. do you know will this convert an existing image or is fresh install needed?

#16 erwan.l

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 08:33 AM

thanks alacran! seems the last file which includes the tutorial is missing though. do you know will this convert an existing image or is fresh install needed?

 

see my last post on ETBoot thread.



#17 erwan.l

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 08:34 AM

 

Take a look to this link: http://reboot.pro/to...project-etboot/

 

 It is in fact cd hard disk emulation mode project.

 

From that page:

 

Tested working Windows version list:

  • Windows XP (5.1 Build 2600 - SP2, SP3)
  • Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (5.1 Build 2600 - SP2)
  • Windows Server 2003 (5.2 Build 3790 - SP1, SP2)
  • Windows Code Name 'Longhorn' (6.0 Build 4051)

 

 

Very interesting link.

Thanks !

 

I turned a XPE image into an ISO but it fails to boot : it looks like not all systems will accept such an ISO (i use virtualbox).



#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 08:35 AM

thanks alacran! seems the last file which includes the tutorial is missing though. do you know will this convert an existing image or is fresh install needed?

 

see my last post on ETBoot thread.

And my last post there.

 

@Zoso, do READ threads BEFORE starting whining!

 

:duff:

Wonko



#19 erwan.l

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 08:38 AM

And my last post there.

 

@Zoso, do READ threads BEFORE starting whining!

 

:duff:

Wonko

 

Hey Wonko, Nice to see you back : we missed you :)



#20 erwan.l

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 08:45 AM

@ askpcguy

Look to this link: http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23052

It may have some info, it's about: Create a bootable ISO from Multi-Boot USB

But I suggest to go as erwan.l said.

 

Or you can try http://www.rmprepusb...makegrub4dosiso from steve6375 page

 

Long time ago I made some multi boot CD's/DVD's using mkisofs and grld as boot sector, and several small ISO's (as image file inside the CD/DVD), not every thing booted the first time, you need to make some adjustments to make bootable some image's or extract others. But after flash disks came to big sizes I didn't see a need for that any more.

 

Best Regards

 

if askpcguy is looking for a simple way to make a simple iso image, then the proposed alternatives should do it :

-mkisofs

-the gui i uploaded above

-or I could add imgburn (another free alternative).

 

wKYcx4H.png



#21 askpcguy

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 09:27 AM

Thank you all for the great replies!  I'm short on time during the work week but I plan on taking the time to look over these wonderful suggestions and see what works for me.



#22 askpcguy

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 08:16 PM

I don't know a tutorial for that. There are a lot of different cases.
Build the multi boot device step for step.
Different OS require different approaches. Can you name current USB flash examples?
Do you require UEFI boot too?

I have various bootable USB flash drives, for example one is UltimateBoot CD.  Others are Knoppix, a test WinPE, newer WinPE (Win7) and one is Windows bootable ISO.  I'm planning on making a simple ISO of each USB flash drive.  The difficult part (in my opinion) is extracting the boot sector from these USB flash drives and inserting it into the ISO to make it bootable.  Finally these bootable ISO files are put onto a 128GB USB flash drive and with ISOLinux (or similar) create a menu to boot into any ISO.



#23 steve6375

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Posted 12 February 2015 - 09:22 PM

If the USB drive boots to grub4dos, then you can use RMPrepUSB to convert the USB drive to an ISO. Use the menu tab:

File - Make grub4dos ISO file from drive

Note that your grub4dos menu must be written to work for both a USB drive and a CD.

So you cannot have 'map  (hd0,0)/xxx.iso (0xff)'  or things like

map (hd0) (hd1)
map (hd1) (hd0)

If they just use one payload (e.g. Knoppix) then you can install grub4dos to the USB drive and then make a menu.lst to run the Knoppix files - or if you want a multiboot USB drive, make it first and then use RMPrepUSB to convert it to an ISO.

 

 

 

 

 



#24 erwan.l

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 12:33 PM

Sharing :

-I stuffed clonezilla, gparted and winpe iso's in a (multiiso) folder

-I used grldr (in multiiso folder) as bootsector

-I used the below menu.lst (in multi iso folder)

 

This created me an ISO with a boot menu booting from several ISO's.

color white/blue  black/light-gray white/black white/black
timeout 30

default 0

title Start Windows bootmgr 
chainloader /bootmgr

title Start Windows ntldr 
chainloader /ntldr

title reboot
reboot

title halt - Switch OFF - STOP
halt

title clonezilla
find --set-root --ignore-floppies /clonezilla-live-20130703-raring-i386.iso
map --mem /clonezilla-live-20130703-raring-i386.iso (0xff) || map /clonezilla-live-20130703-raring-i386.iso (0xff)
map --hook
root (0xff)
loopback loop clonezilla-live-20130703-raring-i386.iso 
kernel /live/vmlinuz boot=live live-config union=aufs nolocales noprompt vga=788 edd=off ip=frommedia toram findiso=/clonezilla-live-20130703-raring-i386.iso 
initrd /live/initrd.img 

title gparted
find --set-root --ignore-floppies /gparted-live-0.16.1-1-i486.iso
map --mem /gparted-live-0.16.1-1-i486.iso (0xff) || map /gparted-live-0.16.1-1-i486.iso (0xff)
map --hook
root (0xFF)
kernel /live/vmlinuz boot=live config union=aufs noswap noprompt vga=788 ip=frommedia findiso=/gparted-live-0.16.1-1-i486.iso toram=filesystem.squashfs
initrd /live/initrd.img

title winre
find --set-root --ignore-floppies /winre.iso
map --mem /winre.iso (0xff) || map /winre.iso (0xff)
map --hook
#root (0xFF)
chainloader (0xff)

t0d1Hod.png



#25 steve6375

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 12:48 PM

Would be better to change map commands around

 

e.g.

map --mem /winre.iso (0xff) || map /winre.iso (0xff)

change to

map /winre.iso (0xff) || map --mem /winre.iso (0xff)

otherwise it will always load the file into memory even if it is contiguous.

 

P.S. if you use the latest grub4dos 0.4.6a \grldr then it does not need the ISO files to be contiguous!







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