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CD-run Win9x: Access CD drive in Explorer


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#1 FloKo84

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 04:41 PM

Hello boot CD fanatics,

this one is only loosely related to Mindows, since it is a common problem but present in Mindows as well:

I have an MS-DOS based El Torito boot CD, with BootGUI=0 in my msdos.sys, so starting Windows is optional.
My Windows can be loaded either directly from the CD, or from a copy in Ram Drive.
The CD is mounted with SHSUCDX, wich works fine on a HDD-based Windows - it just makes CD access fall back to DOS compability mode.

Booted with El Torito however, accessing the CD drive in Explorer triggers an EXPLORER page fault in module KERNEL32.DLL :confused1:
Some guides on the net mention problems with the ESDI_506.PDR 32-bit disk driver, but i have found only the floppy driver HSFLOP.PDR cant handle El Torito emulation, deleting it makes everything else work.

This problem is present in all Mini-Win9x variants booted from CD ive seen so far, even in safe mode.

Does anyone know a way around this?
Solved: With the help of my friend jaclaz (thanks again): Solution past post #9, and a way better one at #25.

Greetings,
Flo

#2 was_jaclaz

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 06:29 PM

Yep,
use a hard disk emulation one, for example.

Here are links to one of the "alternative" possible approaches, just skip the "little fight" between me and Mindchild:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=16860

Another perfectly working approach is the one based on Qualystem files, but although originally released as FREEWARE the possibility to get them from their site has been removed, maybe it is still possible to find them somewhere with a little applied "googling".

Some details are in the "original" thread on 911CD forum here:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=12326

A yet another approach could be checking if it is SHSUCDX the culprit, there are several versions of it around, maybe another one would work.

Why not using "normal" MSCDEX?

Are you using the 1999 ISO extensions (i.e. --isolevel 4 with mkisofs instead of isolevel 3) ?

If the above is true is there a reason for using the newer extensions?

jaclaz

#3 FloKo84

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 07:51 AM

Hi jaclaz!
Thanks for the help, so much information. But i'm having problems finding a good solution.

Here are links to one of the "alternative" possible approaches, just skip the "little fight" between me and Mindchild:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=16860

This one is about subst'ing the CD, wich is a neat idea but it would still leave the Explorer-crashing original CD drive in the tree.

Another perfectly working approach is the one based on Qualystem files, but although originally released as FREEWARE the possibility to get them from their site has been removed, maybe it is still possible to find them somewhere with a little applied "googling".

Some details are in the "original" thread on 911CD forum here:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=12326

It seems the only important part of the Qualsystem files is the registry redirector. Ive never seen it, is there more to it?

A yet another approach could be checking if it is SHSUCDX the culprit, there are several versions of it around, maybe another one would work.

Why not using "normal" MSCDEX?

As i've mentioned SHSUCDX seems to be completely compatible to MSCDEX, it works like it should on a HDD based Windows with the same boot CD in the drive (however not El Torito booted).
Im using the original SHSUCDX 3.04 because its smaller and can handle conditional device names, MSCDEX would fail for me.

Are you using the 1999 ISO extensions (i.e. --isolevel 4 with mkisofs instead of isolevel 3) ?

If the above is true is there a reason for using the newer extensions?

Im not really techy on the ISO creation field, ive been using UltraISO to create my image.

If you find the time, please elaborate on the ISO stuff and on hard disk emulation.

Thanks,
Flo

#4 was_jaclaz

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 09:58 AM

Hmmm, my initial guess is probably right.
Maybe you need a more "philological" or "historical" approach.

The reason why MSCDEX doesn't work for you is most probably the fact that you are burning the CD with the 1999 .iso extensions.

Briefly, the original format of CD-ROM (ISO 9660) has been changed (amended) introducing in late 1999 some extensions, basically to manage longer paths and "multidot" names:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_9660

The new format is not entirely compatible with the previous one, so you need an updated driver (SHSUCDX).

But there is NO need whatsoever to use the extensions for a 9x boot CD, unless you want to put the files in a 207 charactes long path or something like that.

To quickly check if the above is the problem, boot a VM with a DOS 7.x (Win9x) floppy configured with MSCDEX and the CD and try a DIR command on the CD, it will work, now try accessing a file on the CD, you should get "File Not Found" error.

I am not at all familiar with Ultraiso, it should have some option to create a compatible CD, otherwise you need to use another program, I STRONGLY suggest the use of mkisofs.exe, you can use the MinGW version here:
http://www.bcdwb.de/bcdw/index_e.htm
http://www.bcdwb.de/...otcd.ru-w32.zip

If you prefer a GUI you can use MGISO here:
http://www.solriche....mgiso/mgiso.htm
(but you will have to change parameters manually anyway)

A very simple, effective GUI is here:
http://mysite.verizo...artsec/make.htm
if I am not mistaken it has all the options you need

Another more complete GUI is Bobby100's one, get it here:
http://members.chello.at/bobby100/
(go in the Beta section and get BOTH Beta3 and Beta4)

If you google a bit for mkisofs usage you should get familiar with the basic syntax required rather quickly, but some time for experimenting is needed, don't get intimidated just print the mkisofs man page:
http://cdrecord.berl...kisofs-2.0.html
and strike anything you are obviously not interested in.
Then compare what has remained with command line examples you can find on the net.

jaclaz

#5 FloKo84

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 11:46 AM

Hi, and thx for the lightning-fast reply :confused1:

Ive been experimenting a bit, and the solution is none of the above.
I cant access CD drives with a copy of my CD-Windows on HDD either, so there must be some files missing.
Here is what i did:
I deleted all *.CPE, HIMEM.SYS, EMM386.EXE, SETVER.EXE, COMMAND.COM, DBLBUFF.SYS from the Mindows directory, thats all.

So in conclusion one of these files must be used to read the CD.
I will continue to rebuild my CD-Mindows to original Mindows...


Edit: Due to an unforseeable error of mine, this is all nonsense :confused1:
At least i found out ESDI_506.PDR is responsible for CD access too.
I will look into the ISO specs now, i never knew it had different versions still in use!

Greets,
Flo

#6 was_jaclaz

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 01:47 PM

OK, so you lied! :) :confused1:

It seems like you managed to cleverly combine :confused1: breaking of all "common sense" examples in point d. of the Rules:
http://www.boot-land...?...opic=82&hl=
in just one post!

:cheers:

jaclaz

P.S.: should, by any chance, ever come out that you forgot saying that the CD-ROM is connected trough Firewire, or a homemade self-programmed bus of any kind..... :confused1: ..... it's better you know what you can expect, and since images are worth thousands of words...:
:confused1:

:confused1:
:confused1:

:confused1:

:) :confused1:

:cheers:

#7 FloKo84

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 02:46 PM

LoooL
Yeah i forgot to mention im using a CD-Rom on a USB hub connected with a Firewire-Adapter :confused1:
Nonono, its a IDE CD with vide-cdd.sys.

I have to say i expressed myself poorly in the last post, the problem still persists, just without ESDI_506 it crashes every time if booted or not.
I HAD the driver for all my tests, but VirtualPC has some problems with it and the Ramdrive so i have a habit of deleting it from my test-image.

Oh any while im clarifying: MSCDEX works just the same, but some DOS USB drivers sometimes create a driver name with zero drives in it so i use SHSUCDX to be safe - my latest tests were all done with MSCDEX.

On the bright side, im sure i gave you a good laugh :confused1:

Anyway...

Im not sure if this is an ISO problem.
However i played a little with Windows-Filefind and the Windows-DOS box: i can find all files, DOS dir works as well- so really only Explorer browsing is affected.

Flo

#8 was_jaclaz

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 06:11 PM

On the bright side, im sure i gave you a good laugh


Yep sure :confused1:

I have seen quite a bit of reports of Virtual PC having some incompatibilities (I would say more the 2007 version than the elder Connectix or 2004 version), I personally never had any problem with the 2004 one, but maybe you could try with one of the other VM, Qemu (+Qemumanager) or Virtualbox.

Usually Qemu being somewhat "less" compatible than, say, VMware, has proved to create very compatible builds.
I know that the above seems a non-sense, but I have seen OSses/builds working on VMware that did not on real hardware, whilst I have seen OSses/builds that worked on real hardware not working on Qemu, but never seen something working in Qemu that did not on real hardware (unless, as sometimes happens a PBCK occurred) :confused1:.

jaclaz

#9 FloKo84

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 10:39 AM

Alright alright we need a new start.
So in this post, i will include all the boring details to this problem:

What i have (tested):
  • A CD with El Torito 2.88mb floppy emulation.
  • CD has Joliet, but then again almost every other CD has it too so its required to work.
  • No funny ISO extensions like long dirs, 8+levels and the like
  • DOS 7.1 boot image
  • Mindows on CD, Ramdrive and/or HDD.
  • A real Computer for testing (on VirtualPC 04 this cant be solved for me).
  • vide-cdd.sys driver
  • MSCDEX or SHSUCDX, i can safely say they dont make a difference
  • No registry problems
What works:
  • Running Mindows off either of the 3 locations
  • In Mindows, accessing CD files via find File and command promt box + reading ok
  • Accessing the emulated boot floppy in Explorer (HSFLOP.PDR deleted)
  • Accessing hard drives in 32-bit with ESDI_506.PDR (only on my real PC)
What doesnt work:
  • Browsing the CD in Explorer, even clicking on the CD in "My Computer"
  • Volume tracking, wont get the name of a different CD (but accessing in above methods is fine for new ones too)
  • Me being specific about my problem, but i try to improve :confused1:
So, the Problem is the emulation, but i like floppy emulation because its simple so it should stay.
But it seems it makes the rest of the CD indeed behave differently, but im puzzled as to how.

In conclusion, i dont see any way to bring CD browsing and floppy emulation together.
On last resort, maybe Joliet is indeed the Problem, and pure ISO would be more compatible for the Windows boot initialization.
This will be my last test (costing a CDR), and i will report back.
jaclaz, you are allowed to punish me again for not mentioning Joliet (but it doesnt have an effect in DOS, and its natural for me to leave it on), im sorry for not including all details.
While youre busy punishing :confused1: , i would love to hear more about the Qualystem package, extensive googling didnt come up with any info on how it works inside, let alone some illegal downloads :confused1:

Flo

#10 FloKo84

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 04:51 PM

Oh the shame!

You always knew the solution to this jaclaz, and i finally listened to you :confused1:

So for everyone:
To make a CD-bootable Windows work, you need to:
- Prepare the Image with no frills, no extensions and no Joliet.
- Delete HSFLOP.PDR to get El Torito floppys.
- Leave ESDI_506.PDR intact.

As a note: (if moderators are offended with me mentioning a name associated with warez, please edit it away)
The widespread HiRen Boot-CD suffers from the same problems, because he has a) Joliet and b ) no ESDI_506.PDR.

Thanks again jaclaz for you time, you really are full of wisdom.

Todo:
- Testing the normal floppy coexisting with the emulated one - done
It still wont work reliable, because when in a machine with a real floppy drive, it switches all drives to DOS compability mode (missing drivers), thus nullifying ESDI-506.PDR -> crash on CD. Without missing drivers (HSFLOP.PDR) it wont even start when a real floppy is present. So i guess this is as close to working as i can get.

- Testing Joliet capability after windows boot - done
Working fine on machines without a floppy drive.

Thats all.

Flo

#11 FloKo84

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 12:16 PM

An update on the topic:

Having had a look at the Qualystem package, they include a tool that unmounts the emulated floppy.
Just as i suspected, there is no way to make CD access work reliably with El Torito boot.
But intending to use Mindows as a simple GUI with the ability to return back to DOS, killing the emulated floppy is not a good idea.

Edit: I just had an idea. Subst'ing the El Torito floppy with something else (eg. Ramdrive) will make CD access work!
The downside: Windows wants to access Smartdrv, wich is for me part of the boot floppy. But it uses 32-bit drivers anyway after that.
Finally a good solution for this topic! And Subst's can always be removed after Windows exit.
I have a feeling that HSFLOP.PDR wont like a strange A: drive, so deleting it is the only thing youll have to do.

Flo

#12 was_jaclaz

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 01:11 PM

Personally, I would try the following approach:
1) Make a bootable CD with grldr as no-emulation bootsector
2) Have an entry in menu.lst mounting the boot floppy on a memdrive
3) have all the rest working normally

(it is possible that the problem or part of it is due to having the el-torito emulated floppy as read-only)

jaclaz

#13 FloKo84

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 03:27 PM

1) Make a bootable CD with grldr as no-emulation bootsector

I dont like no-emulation boot, iveheared its not as widely supportet as altorito. And i admit the procedure is too complicated for me :confused1:

(it is possible that the problem or part of it is due to having the el-torito emulated floppy as read-only)

Agree on that, even though Windows detects the floppy as 2.88mb and offers to format it like a regular floppy (failing on write protection).
I now copy the contents to a dir in Ramdrive, Subst it and everything works like a charm.

Flo

#14 was_jaclaz

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:31 AM

I dont like no-emulation boot,

De gustibus...

iveheared its not as widely supportet as altorito.

It all depends WHERE and WHEN you heard this, actually nowadays it is VERY rare to find a motherboard or CD-ROM that does not work with a no-emulation boot CD, since ALL install CD for the NT family of Operating Systems from Microsoft, including NT 4.00, Windows 2000, all flavours of XP and Server 2003 use no-emulation boot CD's, this would be equivalent to say that you cannot boot a MS install CD on that machine.

And i admit the procedure is too complicated for me

Yep, if you create the .iso from command line it may not be as straighforward as using Nero or a similar program, but if you use one of the suggested GUI's there is really nothing difficult.

There is another approach you can try, use the grub4dos floppy image as el-torito floppy, use it to map another floppy image to mem (fd0), then boot from the latter.

jaclaz

#15 winimizer

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:07 PM

De gustibus...
It all depends WHERE and WHEN you heard this, actually nowadays it is VERY rare to find a motherboard or CD-ROM that does not work with a no-emulation boot CD, since ALL install CD for the NT family of Operating Systems from Microsoft, including NT 4.00, Windows 2000, all flavours of XP and Server 2003 use no-emulation boot CD's, this would be equivalent to say that you cannot boot a MS install CD on that machine.
Yep, if you create the .iso from command line it may not be as straighforward as using Nero or a similar program, but if you use one of the suggested GUI's there is really nothing difficult.

There is another approach you can try, use the grub4dos floppy image as el-torito floppy, use it to map another floppy image to mem (fd0), then boot from the latter.

jaclaz


Flo and Jaclaz ---

Am I missing something in my blissful ignorance of these subtleties? As outlined in the Setting Registry Pointer thread, I have had no difficulties other than occasional difficulties with accessing A:

Course I never use NT boots, and even often opt for booting from a floppy, as that allows changes to be made in the boot process (and the new setreg command makes this even more attractive). And with the floppy boot there are no difficulties in accessing CD and floppy.

Admittedly, I am a primitive, usually using old machines, and this trait explains how I got into the Mindows game in the first place. :confused1: <-- blissfully and ignorantly yours --- Mike

#16 FloKo84

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:16 PM

To Mike:

Am I missing something in my blissful ignorance of these subtleties? As outlined in the Setting Registry Pointer thread, I have had no difficulties other than occasional difficulties with accessing A:


After reading your reply there i am really puzzled as to why it can possibly work for you :confused1:

My problems have been explained before, here is my whole procedure.
- I install Mindows on MS VirtualPC2004
- Never added drivers because im still in test stage
- Prepared a MS-DOS7.1 boot floppy image, its really universal so it only fits in 2.88mb, but i doubt the format is making problems
- Prepared a SETREG batch to boot Win
- Burn CD/make ISO: the boot Floppy goes in eltorito "cd boot floppy emulation", Mindows resides on the CD
- Boot: copy Mindows to a XMSDSK Ramdrive

There are actually 2 ways to disable HSFLOP.PDR: One is just deleting it, the other removing floppy controllers in hardware dialog.
If i dont do one of these, Windows hangs at startup usually with the message "error loading DOSMGR"

Important for this thread is that the absence of Floppy drivers somehow disables CD support too. Now the CD is seen as a hard drive (using MS-DOS compability mode), so Explorer crashes, volume tracking doesnt update the CD name, etc..

So my biq question about your fairly stable CD Mindows:
Do you see floppy controllers + CD drive listed in your system? (neither for me)
Can you browse and dirlist your CD in Explorer?

To jaclaz:
I start to fancy the the memdisk-driven boot, i was looking into another approach:
Panasonic distributes with their USB drivers RAMFD.SYS, intended to copy a usb boot floppy to ram + swapping drives so the user can attach a USB CD at the same port.
Works great for CD-boot too - the catch: claims to, but wont support my 2.88mb image.
Subst'ing has proven to be sub-optimal: on my old system with a real floppy present, its till no change but whats worse is that windows corrupts the emulation, removing the Subst after Windows exit leads an empy A: drive.
Im really unsure if i should open the bootloader can-of-worms.

Flo

#17 winimizer

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 04:31 PM

Hi Flo ---

I'll get you an iso of bootable Mindows CD(see separate email for details)

Cd browsing always works.

A: B: sometimes present a problem.

Win98 is notorious for its handling of CD drives,. Could I have gotten lucky?

Best --- Mike

#18 was_jaclaz

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 04:36 PM

Im really unsure if i should open the bootloader can-of-worms.


Hmmm, it really depends, if you are going fishing, my bet is that you'll have to dirt your hands with "worms", of course if you like to just take a walk along the river....

I had the impression you were in the mood for experimenting, otherwise you can stay in the cottage near the fireplace and read a MS "Factbook":
Chapter 1: Windows 9x/Me need to be booted from First Harddrive
Chapter 2: Windows 9x/Me cannot be installed on a Logical Volume inside Extended Partition
Chapter 3: Windows 98/Me have Internet Explorer so deeply intertwined that it is not possible to remove it
Chapter 4: Windows 9x/Me cannot run from CD
Chapter 5: Windows 9x/Me cannot run from USB
.....
:confused1:

Seriously, I have still the impression that the problem lies somewhere in your "really universal" floppy image, can you simply make a "vanilla" win98 floppy and an unmodified Mindows build and see if the problems remain the same? :confused1:

Am I missing something in my blissful ignorance of these subtleties?
.....
Course I never use NT boots, and even often opt for booting from a floppy, as that allows changes to be made in the boot process


Well, if you are interested in the possibility of changing boot process/sequence I guess that quoting some examples from grub4dos Readme.txt file should be enough to get you screaming :confused1::

....
Update 4: For memdrive emulation, a single-partition image can be used
instead of a whole-harddrive image. Example:

map --mem (hd0,7)/win98.img (hd0)
map --hook
chainloader (hd0)+1
rootnoverify (hd0)
map --harddrives=1
boot

Here win98.img is a partition image without the leading MBR
and partition table in it. Surely GRUB for DOS will build an
MBR and partition table for the memdrive (hd0).
.....
There is no full documentation in English at present. Here are some
examples showing the usage of disk emulation commands:

1. Emulates HD partition C: as floppy drive A: and boot win98 from C:

map --read-only (hd0,0)+1 (fd0)
chainloader (hd0,0)+1
rootnoverify (hd0)
boot

In the above example, (hd0,0) is drive C: with win98 on it. After win98
boot complete, you will find that A: contains all files of C:, and if
you delete files in A:, the files in C: will also disappear.

At the map command line, the notation (hdm,n)+1 is interpreted to
represent the whole partition (hdm,n), not just the first sector of the
partition.

2. Emulates HD partition C: as floppy drive A: and boot win98 from A:

map --read-only (hd0,0)+1 (fd0)
map --hook
chainloader (fd0)+1
rootnoverify (fd0)
map --floppies=1
boot

After the "map --hook" command, the emulation takes effect instantly
even in the GRUB command line.

Note that the (fd0) in "chainloader (fd0)+1" is the emulated virtual
floppy A:, not the real floppy diskette(because map is hooked now).


3. Emulates an image file as floppy drive A: and boot win98 from C:

map --read-only (hd0,0)/floppy.img (fd0)
chainloader (hd0,0)+1
rootnoverify (hd0)
map --floppies=1
map --harddrives=1
boot

4. Emulates an HD partition as the first hard disk and boot DOS from it:

map --read-only (hd2,6)+1 (hd0)
map --hook
chainloader (hd0,0)+1
rootnoverify (hd0)
map --harddrives=1
boot

In this example, (hd2,6)+1 represents an extended logical DOS partition
of the third BIOS hard disk (hd2).

If a DOS partition is used to emulate a hard disk, GRUB for DOS will
first try to locate the partition table, usually 63 sectors ahead of
the DOS partition. GRUB for DOS will refuse the emulation if the
partition table is not there.

5. Emulates an image file as the first hard disk and boot DOS from it:

map --read-only (hd0,0)/harddisk.img (hd0)
chainloader --load-length=512 (hd0,0)/harddisk.img
rootnoverify (hd0)
map --harddrives=1
boot

.....


And remember that grub4dos has (also) a command line interface, i.e. you are NOT restrained to precedently made boot entries, you can create or modify one on-the-spot.

jaclaz

#19 winimizer

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 10:57 PM

Thanks jaclaz ---

I reckon that these days I prefer to walk along the river contemplating the mysteries, and not tarnish the worms with my touch. Later, in the comfort of the fireside, I can look out of the "Windows" and be satisfied with their transparency, though this was not always so.

I am sure there is beauty in a vast comprehension of the boot process, and if I felt I could spare the time, I would attempt to become expert on the subject. It IS a lot of fun. As it is, I'm afraid I will have to look upon the subject from afar, and admire the work of others such as yourself.

In the meantime, I am content to use my primitive CD boots to sneak through the back door of Win2K and XP, or as a friend of mine puts it, "slip one past the goalie."

This is a super website, and I am both grateful and honored to have Winimization featured here.

Keep up the good work! --- Mike

#20 was_jaclaz

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 07:46 AM

@winimizer

Well, actually my post about worms was more directed to floko_84 than to you, I guess you've already did a lot of "sport" and you deserve some little time relaxing by the fireplace resting and enjoying the view, but rest assured that should we be able to catch some big game, it will be cooked and shared with you and all the other "cottagers" :1st: (as long as you do your part in keeping the windows AND floor clean, of course :thumbup:)

:thumbup:

jaclaz

#21 FloKo84

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 02:24 AM

Hello,
im a little frightened to see what ive started with a simple metaphor :1st:
I was a little busy failing a uni entrance test, sorry for the late reply.

Recieved your ISO Mike and i want to say thanks for the new input.
I will look into every detail and report back, but only as time permits so it could be a while.

@jaclaz: About the can of worms, the moment i try a bootloader there are so many possibilities.
I would say hey lets include ROM-DOS, would convert my config.sys-menu, or even the whole structure of the CD - in short i would never come close to finishing this project.
(Albeit having had some fun creating genius batch files, the purpose of my boot CD is to be done with DOS once and for all :thumbup: )
Its not the freedom, its the limits that spur creativity the most.

Flo

#22 was_jaclaz

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 07:56 AM

@jaclaz: About the can of worms, the moment i try a bootloader there are so many possibilities.
I would say hey lets include ROM-DOS, would convert my config.sys-menu, or even the whole structure of the CD - in short i would never come close to finishing this project.


Right,
but sometimes more fun than arriving somewhere is the path you took to NOT get there....:1st:

jaclaz

#23 winimizer

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 04:54 PM

Right,
but sometimes more fun than arriving somewhere is the path you took to NOT get there....:1st:

jaclaz


Hey Flo and Claz ---

Just want the two of you to know that I have enjoyed the flow of metaphors in this thread. A refreshing relief from the too often literal and humorless posts on this and similar computer oriented sites!

:thumbup: --- Mike

#24 was_jaclaz

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 05:43 PM

Well, happy to have entertained you a bit :1st:, remember that this is Rule #12:
http://www.boot-land...hp?showtopic=82

12. SMILE! Life is tough, we all know that, when you enter this board, it will be appreciated that you leave your personal problems behind, asking and replyinq questions or however exchanging informations with a "positive" attitude, TAKE IT EASY and enjoy your stay here.


:thumbup:

jaclaz

#25 FloKo84

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 04:43 PM

Nonexistant Ladies and Gentlemen, i present the solution:

After seeing Mike's approach, i did some testing. As ive said before, i was using a 2.88 floppy image. With the mighty UPX, i got down to 1.44mb again (barely, 12kb free :1st: ).
  • Windows floppy driver HSFLOP.PDR will never work with 2.88mb images
  • Normal 1.44mb images do work "often"
  • Its not a good idea to delete any controller driver, be it HSFLOP or ESDI_506
  • Joliet on the boot-CD works in Windows! Cant tell about other extensions
  • Starting directly off CD (no Ramdrive copy) works too, without errors (redirected Registry of course)
    In this case, the Start Menu folder might become "Strtmenu" automatically
Now, something for Mike:
I got the 1.44 floppy image from working "often" to always! The key is RAMFS.SYS, included in various Panasonic USB packages, for example this one. A simple DEVICE[HIGH]=RAMFD.SYS copies the boot image to a XMS Ramdrive, and mounts it in-place (normal Ramdrives still work). Step 2 would be to add RAMFD.SYS in Windows' IOS.INI - works for me.

I really enjoyed our conversation too, especially testing jaclaz's patience :thumbup:
Thanks for your time, i am now another completely happy Live-Mindows user :thumbup:

Flo




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