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need help to update BIOS on old and broken hardware


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#1 Zoso

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 08:17 PM

have here a toshiba satellite 2595xdvd laptop that was OEM W98, XP is installed now.

has ACPI/BIOS error showing in event viewer:
Whty77k.jpg

this system has original BIOS version and there is an updated one available that may fix this.

Version 8.20 07-26-2001

* A change was made to correct a problem that some PC cards with a single spec for 16 bit and 3.3VDC may malfunction.

Version 8.10 06-30-2000

* Power management controlling power consumption and temperature has been improved.

Version 8.00 02-08-2000

* A change was made to support Windows 2000.
* Corrected a problem when running Windows 2000. If VGA segment address was set to E4000h, a blue screen error would occur.
* Corrected a problem while running the HCT test. In the ACPI test, the CPU Throttle subtest would result in a false error.
* When copying a file from a 120MB FDD, using a Super Disk (LS-120), while running Windows 95/98, and then attempting to open that file under DOS mode, caused files, in excess of 50MB, to be corrupted.
* Corrected a problem where having the "USB Legecy=Enabled" set in the BIOS, and entering the "Pause" key several times caused the key to repeat on it's own.
* Corrected a problem when the Power ON/OFF was set to Enable, and system goes into Hibernation with the LCD panel closed. If an AC Adaptor was connected after opening the display panel, the computer would "wake up" on it's own.
* Corrected a problem of installing a driver from the FDD. Installing a driver was impossible when a new device was detected during Windows 98 installation.
* Corrected a problem of the computer hanging at the Toshiba Logo during boot up.
* Corrected a problem using the Chicony USB keyboard. When attempting to close Windows 98, and choosing DOS Mode reboot, typing on the keyboard was impossible.

I would like to update the BIOS but this laptops floppy and CDROM drives are broken and do not function. ive downloaded the BIOS update and the readme says it can be installed at the comman prompt but not inside windows:

3) RUN CHGBIOSA.EXE AT THE COMMAND PROMPT
-----------------------------------------

The CHGBIOSA program is designed to be run from the MS-DOS command
prompt. It cannot be run in a DOS box inside of Windows 3.x, Windows 9x,
OS/2 or other operating systems. It also will not run if a Memory Manager,
like EMM386, is loaded. The CHGBIOSA program can be run from a
floppy disk, hard drive, or PCMCIA drive. However, you will need a floppy
diskette (high or low density) in your A: drive at the time the CHGBIOSA
program is run.

When the CHGBIOSA program is executed by itself, it will prompt you
to specify where the BIOS image file, BIOFC10T.COM is located. Enter
the complete path and file name. Example: C:\1259V82\BIOFC10T.COM.

NOTE!
-----

If your path for BIOFC10T.COM is anywhere other than the root directory
of the A: drive (A:\BIOFC10T.COM), CHGBIOSA will copy the BIOS image
file from its current location to the root directory of A: drive.


Optionally, the CHGBIOSA program can also be run from a single command
which includes the path to the BIOFC10T.COM file.

Example: CHGBIOSA C:\1259V82\BIOFC10T.COM


how do i do this? can it be done with grub4dos somehow or other?

A: drive is not working, accessing it pops up a prompt to format every floppy inserted and if you try that, it has error "unable to complete the format"

thanks

#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 10:46 AM

Sure, you can use a floppy image fine, *like*:
http://www.rmprepusb...torials/freedos

 

:duff:

Wonko



#3 Zoso

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 02:08 PM

Sure, you can use a floppy image fine, *like*:
http://www.rmprepusb...torials/freedos

:duff:
Wonko


great! but ive run into a snag right away..

title MS-DOS Floppy boot image
map /DOSBOOT.IMA (fd0)
map --hook

chainloader (fd0)/io.sys


says file does not exist, on this system "io.sys" is "IO.SYS", i corrected the menu.lst entry then another snag.. error 60 file for drive emulation must be in one contiguous disk area.

i use wincontig to correct this, first on the file itself, then same error 60 so next i ran wincontig on the whole c: drive. still error 60.

hmmm.. what now?

thanks

#4 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 02:45 PM

The case sensitiveness is "queer".

Which grub4dos version are you using?

EXACT version please.

grub4dos versions in the last (say) 10 years or more are not case sensitive (with the exception of when accessing CDFS filesystems).

 

In any case (I am exhausted by the times I had to suggest this, you ALWAYS use command line when experimenting and NEVER a menu.lst entry).

 

You see the error 60 is created by the "map /DOSBOOT.IMA (fd0)" or by the "map --hook", but since after them you run unconditionally the "chainloader (fd0)/io.sys" and of course the system cannot find the io.sys file on it, but it won't probably find IO.SYS nor any other file, as it is the (fd0) that isn't created properly because of the error 60.

 

And of course you should (could) use (for a floppy) memory mapping, though it is nowadays extremely rare that a small file like a floppy image is not contiguous (unless you are hostying it on a full to the brim filesystem) or cannot be made contiguous.

 

FORGET about menu.lst entries.

On command line:

find --set-root /DOSBOOT.IMA

blocklist /dosboot.ima

 

What do you get?

 

:duff:

Wonko



#5 Zoso

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 04:13 PM

find --set-root /DOSBOOT.IMA

returns:

(hd0,0)

&

blocklist /dosboot.ima

returns also:

(hd0,0)




when i enter:

map /DOSBOOT.IMA (fd0)

returns the error 60

#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 05:38 PM

Well it is a strange case. :dubbio:

 

Does the file exist?

Which filesystem is that?

Again. please state the version of grub4dos you are using (EXACT version please).

 

rootnoverify (hd0) <- this temporarily sets root to the whole hard disk

root <- should output (hd0)

find --set-root /DOSBOOT.IMA

root <- should output (hd0,0)

blocklist /DOSBOOT.IMA <- should output (hd0,0) xxxxxxx+2880 assuming that the floppy image is 1474560 bytes in size

ls  <- can you see DOSBOOT.IMA?

try the blocklist command on other files that you see in the ls command, each one (unless maybe if it is smaller than around 750 bytes) should output a blocklist offset(s) and number(s)

 

:duff:

Wonko



#7 Zoso

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 08:37 PM

the file system is ntfs and compressed. sorry about not posting the version of grub4dos, i actually wrote it down prior to my last post and intended to post it and forgot to. its 0.4.5c 2012-6-19

ill brb with the results of those latest commands.

edit: results are:

0SIwGMo.jpg

does not show size for DOSBOOT.IMA but does for ntldr. i'll go double check the file size but it is copied over from a USB flash that I tested on another machine with the prescribed menu.lst that steve4375 supplied and it indeed booted into DOS on that machine.

2nd edit: DOSBOOT.IMA file size is 1,474,561 and not exactly 1,474,560 as youve indicated. ?? but its compressed.. i bet thats the problem! yep, uncompressed it and its working now.

i'll see if i can update the BIOS now, ive never done it this way so i may have more questions since i could easily brick this machine here with any wrong moves.

#8 Zoso

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 09:25 PM

im not sure about this:

NOTE!
-----

If your path for BIOFC10T.COM is anywhere other than the root directory
of the A: drive (A:\BIOFC10T.COM), CHGBIOSA will copy the BIOS image
file from its current location to the root directory of A: drive.

because BIOFC10T.COM is not "in root directory of A:" it is in folder "1259v82" in root of C: instead. also, can it be copied to root directory of A: now that A: is not a real floppy disk but instead DOSBOOT.IMA?


edit: also, this DOSBOOT.IMA indicates it is Windows Millennium version DOS 4.90.3000, should I be using a DOS that came with W98 instead since that is what this PC came with as OEM and probably what this update is made to be ran from or does it matter?

2nd edit: reading from here: http://www.computing...903000/890.html

You will have no access to NTFS volumes but you will be able to access any formated as FAT32. The boot disk provides a real DOS environment. No version of DOS has ever been able to access NTFS, although third party extensions are able to do this.


hmm.. another obstacle?, Im searching for DOS commands now to see if I can confirm this.

#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 10:49 AM

Well,the compressed NTFS filesystem explains everything, of course the file needs to be not compressed. :)

 

But I don't get it.

 

Boot the systrem "normally" open/mount the DOSBOOT.IMA with (say) IMDISK, copy to it the files needed for the BIOS update (you may need to delete some of the unneeded DOS files, all you need is IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS (if existing) and command.com).

 

As a rule of thumb you create specifically a DOS floppy containing just the DOS system files and the BIOS update needed files (possibly WITHOUT any autoexec.bat or config.sys - unless specifically the BIOS update requires any of those) in order ot have an "as clean as possible" boot environment ,you can use as said IMDISK, or Winmage or BFI, or mtools, your choice.

 

If you prefer, you first create a self standing floppy (or floppy image ready to be deployed to a floppy disk) to update the BIOS then when you suddenly realize that your floppy drive doesn't work ;) you make an image of it (or use the created image) for use with grub4dos. 

 

You can actually do this in grub4dos if you use the FAT tool, but it is more complex.

 

Just for the record (irrelevant but just to show how carefully you followed :w00t: :ph34r:) I asked you to run:
rootnoverify (hd0)

but you actually typed:

rootnoverify (hd0,0) 

and of course the system returned with (hd0,0) Filesystem .... while I had specified that you should have had (hd0).

 

 

:duff:

Wonko



#10 Zoso

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Posted 20 July 2016 - 08:31 PM

used imdisk to open the .ima file and place the two bios files in then rebooted into it and updated bios without a hitch. many more thanks to you Wonko!

the only thing is, i still get the acpi error. i was almost sure the bios update would resolve that.

when I boot with a standard hal instead of acpihal, the error does not occur but then for some reason the monitor turns off every three minutes without activity and the windows setting to control it have no effect. also get the manual shut down screen so you have to press the button to turn off the computer.

I will look up Sha0's hal kernel tutorial again and experiment with different hals and kernals at boot up to see if i can get rid of the error that way somehow.

the bios update definitely helped with the cooling fan control. before update the fan was running constantly at max with XP, now it doesnt run constantly so that is good. this old laptop has a loud fan for a laptop too. much better now.

this was a useful exercise.. booting from a floppy image. I may try that vista bootloader from floppy this way now just for kicks on another system.

thanks

#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 10:53 AM

The issue is clearly this one:
https://support.micr...en-us/kb/283649

but besides telling us what those address refer to:

0x4D0 – 0x4D1 Edge, level control registers for PIC 

provides no solution or workaround, anyway it is not a "real error" according to this (an actual useful article, unlike the above KB), it is "by design":

https://web.archive....mt/BIOSAML.mspx

 

Try to disable "USB Legacy Emulation" :unsure::

http://www.dslreport...Another-Problem

 

Or do the right thing and put Windows 2000 on it (IMHO XP is a bettered Windows 2000, only worse :w00t: with just a bunch of bells and whistles bolted on top of it).

 

:duff:

Wonko



#12 Zoso

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 09:15 PM

that makes it not so much concern now. id like to put w2000 on it but still the floppy and cd do not work. the floppy was working years ago and I was able to use plop to boot from USB but now I cant do that.

i could probably install it from hdd but if anything goes wrong I have now way to fix it. right now I have grub4dos on it and am able to boot from images on the HDD but if anything gets out of order it would probably be more hassle than its worth to fix at that point.

i liked w2000 though but was there ever a way to boot it from usb also? just curious.. i havnt used it in a long time but it would be nice to make an image of it to boot on this one and see how it does but i would have to make it in VM and somehow boot that on it.

#13 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 08:44 AM

i liked w2000 though but was there ever a way to boot it from usb also? just curious.. i havnt used it in a long time but it would be nice to make an image of it to boot on this one and see how it does but i would have to make it in VM and somehow boot that on it.

Sure. :)
 
Making it "universal" may be "another thing".
 
The mother of all USB Windows thread here:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=14181
applied largely to Windows 2000 as well.
 
There was  is also an almost fully automated method that the Author  (asked for) insisted on making it senselessly "private/proprietary" and making use of a website with a challenge and authentication code (while still freeware), just for the record:
http://www.911cd.net...19
It goes without saying that - as expected (had to happen before or later) - the site is gone :frusty:, it was here:
http://www.usboot.org/tiki-index.php
Latest file available is:
https://web.archive....e.php?fileId=18
 
But without the challenge and authentication code it won't work fully. :(
 
Personally I didn't touch it since early version 1.x because of the stupid need for authentication, maybe someone has found a way to have it working without it, but there is no actual *need*, steps can be redone manually, though they are not for the "casual" user and the actual USB "boot service" (or *whatever*) works fine.
 
:duff:
Wonko

 

P.S.: Edited to reflect current situation (online :)) of the site.



#14 Zoso

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 09:32 AM

usboot.org is still online, i was thinking usboot was only for XP & 2003. this is good, more incentive to try it. (W2000)

right now Im trying to figure out a way to boot something from grub4dos on this system that has clonedisk. ive spent hours making a custom small XP so that i could make etboot .iso and boot that only to find out it doesnt work on this system. i get 7b error doing it in VM and when I tried to do it directly on the system by booting ETPatchBoot.iso from grub4dos, it also BSOD 7b. then i test only his ewfmanager.iso PE and it BSOD 7b too so I gave up on that.

now Im trying firadisk and winvblock install to then copy over the files to a USB then image that usb then use that image to boot in the machine.

with only 192mb ram im limited to what I can use. hirens boots up great but nothing else yet and hirens was just a test but the miniXP has proven useful for this system since nothing works on it. i want to avoid relying on hirens though.

so making an image to boot from grub4dos seems the best route now. I just need something I can use clonedisk outside of the OS with.

#15 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 10:27 AM

usboot.org is still online, i was thinking usboot was only for XP & 2003. this is good, more incentive to try it. (W2000)

 

Well those are actually good news :).

 

I had two separate reports (via PM) that the site didn't work anymore, then maybe it was just a temporary glitch in the matrix or the people reporting that did *something wrong*..

 

:duff:

Wonko



#16 Zoso

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 09:34 PM

i decided since this broken system relies heavily on grub4dos now that i would actually install it to the mbr. normally i dont do this but this seems like a good case for it.

i wanted to be sure i was installing the same version 0.4.5c 2012-6-19 that I have been using and i had that one saved in a 7z file so I used this newly made DOSBOOT.IMA following Diddys guide and putting the BOOTLACE.COM into the .IMA

booted to it and installed grub4dos to mbr but instead of the version i expected (indicated by the 7z file title) it is showing 0.4.4 2009-03-31

!?!?

well, it seems to work anyway but now I wanted to know what Wonko thinks might be the best version for this situation (old broken hardware) and since this unti only has a single usb 1.1 port, will version 0.4.6 with improved usb drivers be a good idea for this? or some other?

and looking through the guide, it doesnt say how to change versions on mbr install, only how to install so can i assume correctly that I just do the same way install and it will overwrite the old version?

#17 Zoso_The_Internet_Tard

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 01:34 AM

Easiest way: Fix the hardware. I mean, seriously, how hard can it be to find a replacement floppy/CD drive from somewhere like Amazon or eBay? Or just something that connects via USB. While you're at it you might as well replace the HDD with something new and fresh.

 

Edit: Now that I think about it, stop futzing around with an old piece of shit, antiquated dinosaur that will cost you more money and time to fix than it's worth. You couldn't get a complete moron to offer you $5 for it. It's probably heavier than a cinder block and looks like one too, much like most other laptops from the 90s. Throw that garbage in the dumpster where it belongs. I fail to see what such an underpowered laptop could be useful for these days. I bet it takes 5 minutes to boot and another 5 to open a file window, browser, etc. Maybe you could play old DOS games on it or boot MS-DOS, but nowadays we have DOSBox and FreeDOS. And get with the times, use something that's at least somewhat recent and decently specced.

 

Edit#2: Now I see it's a Toshiba Satellite, definitely junk it. They're one of the worst brands around, other than E-Machines, HP/Compaq, Dell, Acer, and Lenovo (did I leave anyone out?) My dad had one with XP on it and it was always overheating. And another friend has one, it also overheats a lot. He's had to replace the battery several times in the past few years, and has had to buy no less than 9 power supplies for it because they mysteriously keep dying after just a few months. It constantly crashes, we've reinstalled different versions of Windows on it several dozen times this year. I've had one too, nothing but bad experiences. Toshiba really should stick to making TV's or whatever and get out of the PC business.



#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 09:46 AM

It is strange, maybe (please read as "surely") you have something "mixed up", as a matter of fact bootlace.com does nothing more than installing grldr.mbr, and grldr.mbr does nothing but chainloading the grldr.

If you read 0.4.4 2009-03-31, it means that the grldr version is 0.4.4 2009-03-31 (for *whatever* reason).

 

However, if you really want to install grldr.mbr,use this:
http://reboot.pro/to...ox-for-windows/

with the APPROPRIATE grldr and grldr.mbr files.

 

It makes NO SENSE whatsoever to use (unless there are very specific reasons) to use a version like the 0.4.5c 2012-6-19, it is only one of the zillion existing version, it is not a particularly "stable" or "featured" version, 

The 0.4.4 2009-03-31 should however NEVER be used (it is buggy, and it misses a number of functionalities).

I think I have written this all over the internet a zillion times:
- if you want to use a 0.4.4 version use ONLY 0.4.4 2009-10-31 (and NOT any other version)

- if you want to use a 0.4.5 version use (unless there is a specific reason not to) the LATEST 0.4.5c

- if you want to use a 0.4.6 version use (unless there is a specific reason not to) the LATEST 0.4.6a

 

The other thing that I have written so many times that I lost count :frusty: is that it makes NO SENSE whatsoever (unless there is a specific reason for it)  to "install" grldr.mbr on a machine that boots mainly XP, as you can have grub4dos fine from the normal booting of XP by simply adding a single line in BOOT.INI, leaving the "standard" and almost surely working MS MBR and PBR boot code untouched.

 

If the port(s) are in hardware USB 1.1, you can cry and stamp your feet as hard as long as you like, but no software will make them become 2.0, there is a limited number of motherboards that do have USB 2.0 hardware but have in BIOS code using them at 1.1 speed, in such limited cases, a software USB stack (like PloP, grub4dos 0.4.6, and a number of other tricks, like the "XP Kansas CIty Shuffle") may help, but it depends on the hardware.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#19 Zoso

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 12:39 PM

oh.. i see what happened now. I put bootlace.com in the DOSBOOT.IMA and used it to install to mbr but the image i loaded was an old one that already had a gldr.

like i said, i normally dont install it to mbr but in this case it seems like a good idea because (and please correct me if i am incorrect) if for whatever reason I loose boot.ini or gldr & menu.lst on internal HDD then i should be able to use the mbr install part of it to get to a usb that has gldr & menu.lst, no?


plop was making the usb faster when the floppy was still working so I guess v0.4.6 would be a good idea then? but what are the main concerns when deciding between 0.4.5 & 0.4.6? seems 0.4.6 has more recent developments right? not that i can take advantage of any of them but never know.

#20 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 01:51 PM

Yes and no.

If you loose (completely) BOOT.INI Windows XP will attempt to boot to C:\Windows.

If you loose menu.lst you lose nothing, you still have command line.

If you loose grldr you loose grub4dos.

Since a USB Mass Storage device is usually NOT SEEN by BIOS unless you set to boot the PC having the grldr.mbr working but no grldr on internal hard disk will most likely give you an error "grldr not found", but on the other hand if the motherboard can boot from USB (as it should) you make a bootable USB stick and do not rely on files that are on the hard disk (which may be corrupted by the same corruption event that made you loose the *whatever* missing file.

The worse case could be if you lose NTLDR (and thus you will not be able to boot to either Windows XP or grldr) in a "non-installed grub4dos" case, but all in all it is nicely symmetrical to loosing grldr on a "installed grub4dos case".

To be fair IF you install the grub4dos saving "current" (that must be the "original" XP, not the grldr.mbr) MBR to second sector, you have some better chances if grldr is lost (as you can load the "original" XP MBR on second sector and from it the PBR and from it the NTLDR).

 

If you want a "safe" or as "safe as possible" booting sequence, you might want to have an "interactive" single sector MBR code, such as Partita or - better - MBLDR and a "spare" primary partition with a second copy of boot files, but Murphy's Law will apply anyway.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#21 Zoso

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 04:26 AM

so it would be safer to have two partitions, both having gldr in case something happened to one of them. would that confuse grub4dos or would it always chose the first one or how that works?

i'll have to look up "partita" & "MBLDR"

also thinking that having plop available on both partitions is a good idea on this system so that I can boot up from a usb again.


this system is 2nd lowest current draw (18w)of all the ones I have available so for a solar station. it is a good backup for the w98 laptop (14w) now logging. i would be using linux to data log but this one particular charge controller's manufacturer does not offer any software interface that does not require windows. ive leaned alot trying to make something work with it though, including the stuff in this thread.

thanks

#22 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 09:03 AM

Tools like Partita or MBLDR simply allow to change status of the active partition (and then chainload the chosen one):
http://mbldr.sourceforge.net/

 

 

Q1: Yet another boot manager? What are the advantages of mbldr over others?
A1: If you want a boot manager which is not bound to any of operating systems you have installed - mbldr is at your service. It will not fail to boot your secondary operating system if you completely destroy the primary. Consider a situation when you have 2 primary partitions: one with Windows XP and another one with Linux. What are options to boot either of them? Using LILO which is able to boot both OSes you will loose an ability to normally boot a system to Windows XP if you completely fill Linux partition by zeroes. The same with standard Windows loader + loadlin executable. In this case you should not break Windows partition otherwise you will loose an ability to load Linux. Of course there are many other third-party managers which are not parts of the operating systems above. Several alternatives to mbldr are listed in Links section. However almost all of them require either separate partition (like OS/2 boot manager) or a directory in FAT partition (like PQBoot) or occupy almost the whole track #0 on cylinder #0 (it is unused on most systems). mbldr requires only the space which is reserved for the master boot loader by definition, only 446 bytes of 1st sector are used. Nevertheless there are some drawbacks: simplicity leads to low quality of user interface (only text with minimum usability), less features could be included: no partitions autosearch and password protection, there are other problems as well.

 
You normally have a "default" partition selected, and you can change it at boot time, what happens "later" is exactly what would have happened with a "standard" MBR whne that particular partition was chainloaded.
 
:duff:
Wonko



#23 Zoso

Zoso

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 11:48 AM

that could come in handy! Ive been using diskcryptor to do that on other systems and USBs but it wont let you do that unless you also encrypt the partitions.

its a nice feature though, I enter one password for XP to get to grub4dos from that boot.ini and to several other XPs/2003s from there (and adding w2000 to that soon)

or enter a different password to get to W7 bootmgr and all the other W7 from there. you have the option to boot the whichever partition according to the password you enter but I think its limited to primary partitions only, not sure though.

but the encryption prevent booting from .vhd's through windows but not booting raw images through grub4dos. it does keep different windows from "seeing" each other and mixing up stuff too.




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