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is it possible to boot erd commander with syslinux?


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#26 Galapo

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 08:36 PM

Hi jaclaz,

Actually, I was secretly hoping that you might take a look at the image and see why it "works" -- you are the lord of boot no less.

Answers:

The image was created with qemu 150mb raw and partitioned and then formated with freedos.
I then loaded this image into UltaISO and loaded this bootsector and generated bootinfotable.

No real reason for using fat16, just that is the default with freedos. Freedos doesn't have ntfs last time I checked.

I cannot remember how I made this hd bootsecter, it was some tool I found on 911forums one time.

I have found that I have to partition and format with freedos otherwise the image cannot be booted with syslinux or avlgomgr. Mounting the image in windows and formatting results in a non-booting image.

I have also found that I have to generate the bootinfotable with UltraISO to get a booting image.

I have found, too, since posting the image that files need not be copied with UltraISO, but that the image may be mounted with vdk and copied in a regular manner, so that's good.

Is there a way around the qemu/freedos stage to still have a bootable image with syslinux and avlgomgr?

Regards,
Galapo.

#27 was_jaclaz

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 11:09 AM

Hmmm, really interesting.

No real reason for using fat16, just that is the default with freedos. Freedos doesn't have ntfs last time I checked.

Yes, correct.

I have found that I have to partition and format with freedos otherwise the image cannot be booted with syslinux or avlgomgr.

Yes, I see, the point is whether it is the MBR or the bootsector (or both) that make it "compatible".
My guess is that it is either just the MBR, that on first look appears to be much less "picky" than the 2K/XP one, as it makes a lot less checks, or, more simply:

Mounting the image in windows and formatting results in a non-booting image.

Here (again my guess) this could be due to a "non-proper" (no offence intended :loleverybody:) way of fdisking/formatting it under 2K/XP.

If you are into a bit of experimenting, I think I can give you some instructions to replicate the thing without using QEMU. (provided that my guess is correct, of course).

Please bear with me, you will need some time and patience.
(actually plenty of both :w00t: )

Each step is essential and should be carried on exactly as described.

Let's try to replicate your ERD.IMG, by creating a brand new ERD1.IMG:

1) To save space, we better use a NTFS partition to host the file; for the sake of this, I will use my W:\ drive, change letter to adapt to your setup.
2) Get mksparse:
http://www.acc.umu.se/~bosse/
http://www.acc.umu.s...se/mksparse.zip
and create a 152 Megabyte file:
mksparse W:\ERD1.img 152M
3) Now create a W:\ERD1.PLN file with Notepad:

DRIVETYPE ide
CYLINDERS 307
HEADS 16
SECTORS 63
ACCESS "W:\ERD1.IMG" 0 311296

(simply copy and paste the above, edit drive letter or path as needed)
4) Mount with VDK the ERD1.PLN file, NOT the ERD1.IMG one.
VDK, being the file all 00's will NOT find any partition on it, nor it will assign any letter to the drive.
5) Now mount also your previous ERD.IMG with VDK
6) Get Beeblebrox:
http://students.cs.byu.edu/~codyb/
and run it.
You will see that you have, ADDITIONALLY to your "real" PHYSICALDRIVE(s) another 4 of them, if you have 1 Hard disk on your machine, ERD1.IMG will be PHYSICALDRIVE1 and ERD.IMG will be PHYSICALDRIVE2, if you have two hard disks, ERD1.IMG will be PHYSICALDRIVE2 and ERD.IMG will be PHYSICALDRIVE3, and so on.
If you open the PHYSICALDRIVE corresponding to ERD1.IMG, you will see all blank fields, whilst if you open the one corresponding to ERD.IMG you will see these values:

06-80-0-1-1-307-15-63-63-310401

NOW, access the PHYSICALDRIVE corresponding to ERD1.IMG and copy to it the same values.
7) Now get MBRFIX:
http://www.sysint.no...ting/MbrFix.htm
http://www.sysint.no...ting/MbrFix.zip
and use it to copy the MBR from the PHYSICALDRIVE corresponding to ERD.IMG to a file, let's say W:\ERDMBR.MBR.
Not a self promotion, mind you :w00t:, but if you use my small pseudo-GUI's for both VDK and MBRFIX, the procedure might be easier to be carried on:
http://home.graffiti...z:graffiti.net/
http://home.graffiti...ts/VDM/vdm.html
Now, use MBRFIX to copy to the PHYSICALDRIVE corresponding to ERD1.IMG the "normal" 2K/XP MBR.
8)Now unmount both images from VDK and re-mount just ERD1.PLN.
This time a drive letter will be assigned to the partition.
9) Double click on the corresponding drive letter in Explorer, and it will prompt you with "Volume not formatted, do you want to format it?" or something like it. Click OK, check that FAT is selected and go on.

Now you have a ERD1.IMG that is identical to ERD.IMG but for TWO things:
1) The MBR code is the 2K/XP/2003
2) The bootsector has been generated by your version of FORMAT (i.e. if you use a non-english version of 2K/XP, error messages will be in your language)

Try if this image works as the old one. (it should) :w00t:

If it does not, mount it in VDK, and use MBRFIX to restore to the image the FREE FDISK MBR (which you previously saved as W:\ERDMBR.MBR.

Try it again, if this time it does work, it means that it's the FREE FDISK MBR code that makes the difference, if it does not, it means that there is something else. :w00t: :w00t:

Please do report what happens, then we will be able to discuss the meaningful parts of the procedure I suggested and made you for the moment "blindly" trust. :w00t:

jaclaz

#28 Galapo

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 11:24 AM

Gday jaclaz,

Thanks for your lengthy and detailed reply. I'm finding this very interesting. Hopefully the end result of this might be a scriptable procedure.

Please bear with me as it will take me a little while (hopefully just a day) to get back to you with results: have to go and sleep now, then church and family tomorrow (Sunday), but maybe some time to test this too. But I will definitely be testing this and reporting!

Much thanks,
Galapo.

#29 was_jaclaz

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 01:57 PM

@Galapo
Yes everything is scriptable, I am actually working on something very like this with my OFS idea, when it will be ready, my MBRbatch.cmd should be able to manage this kind of things.

Take your time, no hurry. :loleverybody:

jaclaz

#30 Galapo

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 10:56 AM

Interesting. Interesting.

Followed your procedure and syslinux booted the image! (avlgomgr failed, but my guess is that there is an image size restriction at play.)

So what does this mean? How can may I properly fdisk/format under windows with variable image sizes?

Thanks,
Galapo.

#31 was_jaclaz

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Posted 16 September 2007 - 01:18 PM

Well, what you managed to do was simply to have the image have a CHS geometry of mx16x63 instead of the default one that you would have under 2K/XP (nx255x63) and of the default you would have with VDK (lx64x32).

I never had time to find out exactly WHEN this happens, most probably around the 1024 CHS barrier, aka the 504 MiB / 528 MB one:
http://www.dewassoc....mitations_2.htm
http://www.dewassoc....ze_barriers.htm
but Qemu BIOS, as you reported syslinux, and most probably other bootloaders/VM's want/need/autodetect a LESSER Head total number than what 2K/XP use when the image file is a smallish one.

Thus anything smallish "normally" fdisked/formatted under 2K/XP will have some wrong data and won't boot under one of the said apps.

Common CHS Geometries include:
mx16x63
nx255x63
lx64x32
Less common one is:
ox128x63

How can may I properly fdisk/format under windows with variable image sizes?

As said, I am developing a batch that (between other things) will automate the procedure, if you can wait for it.

Otherwise, you can write your own batch, or maybe a "real" program, here is the needed info.

The given .pln file has this structure:

DRIVETYPE ide
CYLINDERS MaxC
HEADS MaxH
SECTORS MaxS
ACCESS "[PATH]Image.img" 0 Totsectors

The entry in the "ACCESS" line can be Image.img without [PATH] if stored in the same directory of the .pln file, otherwise a full path is necessary, anything not bolded in the above is fixed.

Basically you need to determine exact filesize in bytes, then:
1) Divide it by 512 (and get Totsectors)
2) Divide result by 63 (MaxS)
3) Divide the integer part of result by 16 (MaxH)
4) The integer part of the result is (MaxC)

(for the example before posted I quickly used 307 for MaxC of the ERD.IMG you posted, but the correct value is 308 :loleverybody:)

Then you have the data to be written to the Partition table:

06 Hex value, partition type, can be:
06 FAT16 CHS mapped
07 NTFS
0B FAT32 CHS mapped
0C FAT32 LBA mapped
0E FAT16 LBA mapped

80 Hex value, drive number, 128 dec means first drive

CHS data (warning these are decimal numbers, they must be converted in Hex BIGENDIAN to be written to MBR):
0 First Cylinder
1 Second Head (first head 0 is used by MBR+hidden sectors)
1 First Sector

307 (MaxC-1) as Cylinders are numbered from 0
15 (MaxH-1) as Heads are numbered from 0
63 (MaxS) as Sectors are numbered from 1

LBA data (warning these are decimal numbers, they must be converted in Hex BIGENDIAN to be written to MBR):
63 SectorsBefore, number of LBA sectors corresponding to MBR+Hidden sectors
310401 Number of sectors in partition, i.e. TotLBASectors-SectorsBefore
This needs to be calculated, find here a spreadsheet with formulas and Batch algorithms:
http://www.boot-land...ions-t2959.html

Rest should hopefully be self-explaining.

jaclaz

#32 Galapo

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 12:00 AM

Hi jaclaz,

Thank you indeed for posting the steps necessary. I see now how you derived the result 06-80-0-1-1-307-15-63-63-310401 for our erd1.img example. Do you know of a commandline utility that is able to write such data to a disk image (or mounted disk image)?

With the help of nikzzzz's new calculate tool, it shouldn't be too hard to make a wb script for this task. Not sure if it supports rounding, though, but this can be gotten around.

Also I have done another test and can report that the erd1.img boots with ntfs compression, although it has to be made sure that NTLDR isn't compressed with everything else.

Thanks,
Galapo.

#33 was_jaclaz

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 08:44 AM

Well,
do you think that if I had found and utility that worked the way we need it I would be struggling as I am to write my own batch? :loleverybody: :w00t:

No need for a "ROUND()" function, the needed function is "INT()".

To be able to interpret and write correctly the data, it is needed to manage, besides DECimal numbers both HEXadecimal and BINary ones.

The tools I am using are however:
1) The DSFOK toolkit's dsfo/dsfi:
http://members.ozema...eezip/freeware/
2) echoo.com (inside ube.zip):
ftp://137.193.64.130/pub/assembler/
or here:
http://www.geocities...oomkat/byte.htm
3) DumpHex 1.0.1:
http://rbach.priv.at/DumpHex/

Really, since I am just really near to a pre-ALPHA release, you should wait a bit, and maybe later "convert" my batch in .script.

Also I have done another test and can report that the erd1.img boots with ntfs compression, although it has to be made sure that NTLDR isn't compressed with everything else.

Can you post details of the procedure?

jaclaz

#34 Galapo

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 09:27 AM

Hi jaclaz,

Thanks again for the info. Propably I should wait as you suggest. As it is, I have a working script that creates an image "the long way" (heaps of images already formatted etc compressed .7z of variable sizes encoded in a script to depack when the required size is called and then mounted with vdk and files copied to it). However, I would like something that is a little more accurate with image sizes rather than the increments I have at the moment. I think I can wait for you alpha release -- just have to keep telling myself to wait. Just get my mind fixed on something and want to figure it out and complete it...!

As for your question about the steps for a booting ntfs compressed image via syslinux, I simply followed your guide, except at step 9) instead of formatting fat I formatted it as ntfs with compression. I then copied files into the image, then decompressed only NTLDR. That image then booted with syslinux with the following entry in SYSLINUX.CFG:

LABEL erd1

	MENU LABEL erd disk test

	kernel memdisk

	APPEND initrd=ERD1.img

Regards,
Galapo.

#35 was_jaclaz

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 09:38 AM

instead of formatting fat I formatted it as ntfs with compression. I then copied files into the image, then decompressed only NTLDR.


Thanks, that is the step that I wasn't sure about. :loleverybody:

jaclaz

#36 basoc

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 03:11 PM

"The system encountered an I/O error accessing ramdisk(0)" and i swear to god (of boot) i tried everything !!!

...ok stop...i've got it...the txtsetup.sif MUST be renamed to winnt.sif...

...now i can load the ramdisk ...the next problem was he didn't find the "ntoskrnl.exe" ...no problem ...i copied the one from Srv2003 SP1...

...now erd commander starts until short befor the windows logo screen will come ..then i got a bsod "irq less or equal"

basoc

#37 was_jaclaz

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 09:19 PM

"The system encountered an I/O error accessing ramdisk(0)" and i swear to god (of boot) i tried everything !!!

...ok stop...i've got it...the txtsetup.sif MUST be renamed to winnt.sif...

...now i can load the ramdisk ...the next problem was he didn't find the "ntoskrnl.exe" ...no problem ...i copied the one from Srv2003 SP1...

...now erd commander starts until short befor the windows logo screen will come ..then i got a bsod "irq less or equal"

basoc


You didn't manage to replicate what diddy (and others) described here? ::loleverybody:
http://www.911cd.net...o...19676&st=27

Or you are already beyond that step and introducing changes in the method?

We are talking about that aren't we? :w00t:

jaclaz

#38 basoc

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 01:32 PM

You didn't manage to replicate what diddy (and others) described here? ::loleverybody:


sure i did!!!! i did it exactly how diddy described it!!! and when i take the original (erd2005) setupldr.bin and rename it to ntldr ...i get the following error..."txtsetup.sif could not be found" because i created a winnt.sif how diddy described it !!! if i rename the winnt.sif to txtsetup.sif i get the following error... "...error accessing ramdisk(0)"...

...if i now replace the original ntldr (erd2005) with the "cracked" one (Srv2003) and rename the txtsetup.sif back to winnt.sif...the system will start until the following point...the system is loading the iso into the ramdrive "complete" after that there is a short progress bar titled starting erd commander 2005 ...please wait...after that the usb stick is blinking and i get a blue screen !!! IRQ less or equal !!! or sometimes the bluescreen report's an error with the ramdisk !

But the Iso alone is bootlable at least in vmware !!!

my thought...something with the iso must be wrong...but i take the original erd commander 2005 iso!?

p.s.: i also tried the IMG methode (ERD50_IMG.cmd) ...with the same effect!!!!

#39 was_jaclaz

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 11:45 AM

What I meant was:
1) Try just a normal CD (forget momentarily about syslinux)
2) Try a normal USB stick (without multibooting, again for the moment set syslinux aside)

Do they work?

If no there is a problem unrelated to syslinux and the way you use it.

If yes there must be a problem in the syslinux way.

Unfortunately these tests must be done on real hardware, though VERY compatible Virtual Machine sometimes behave differently than real hardware.

Also, you may want to check whether tke loader that comes with ERDC is the same of the one you tried to "correct", it may have been modified.
If this is the case you must change the hardcoded path(s) into the loader that comes with ERDC.

If the problem lies in syslinux, one could try with grub4dos (either alone or from syslinux itself).

jaclaz

#40 hikenboot

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 12:31 AM

Well,
do you think that if I had found and utility that worked the way we need it I would be struggling as I am to write my own batch? :cheers: :cheers:

No need for a "ROUND()" function, the needed function is "INT()".

To be able to interpret and write correctly the data, it is needed to manage, besides DECimal numbers both HEXadecimal and BINary ones.

The tools I am using are however:
1) The DSFOK toolkit's dsfo/dsfi:
http://members.ozema...eezip/freeware/
2) echoo.com (inside ube.zip):
ftp://137.193.64.130/pub/assembler/
or here:
http://www.geocities...oomkat/byte.htm
3) DumpHex 1.0.1:
http://rbach.priv.at/DumpHex/

Really, since I am just really near to a pre-ALPHA release, you should wait a bit, and maybe later "convert" my batch in .script.
Can you post details of the procedure?

jaclaz


Jaclaz, did you finish your script to create img files of any size? Do you have a larger image file you could post that is maybe 100 MB larger?

thanks,

hikenboot

#41 hikenboot

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 11:46 AM

OK, here you go.

1. Download this file and extract ERD.img: http://galapo.boot-l...net/temp/ERD.7z (If the image file isn't large enough to fit your particular files, let me know and I can generate another. As an aside, this is also how I boot LiveXP images etc, but this image creation is now automated via a modified version of BootSDI for my own use.)

2. Copy the following files from server 2003 to the image using UltraISO: ntdetect.com and setupldr.bin renamed ntldr.

3. Copy erd.iso to the the image using UltraISO.

4. Copy winnt.sif to the image using UltraISO. winnt.sif should have the following lines:

[SetupData] 

BootDevice = "ramdisk(0)" 

BootPath = "\I386\SYSTEM32\" 

OsLoadOptions = "/noguiboot /fastdetect /minint /rdexportascd /rdpath=erd.iso"

5. Copy ERD.img to the usb stick.

6. Modify SYSLINUX.CFG to have an entry like:
LABEL ERD

	MENU LABEL Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset

	kernel memdisk

	APPEND initrd=ERD.img

Hope this helps. I have been unable to get anything else other than this method to boot on my usb stick. Didn't matter what I tried, .bss files, etc. etc.

Regards,
Galapo.



I followed the directions above to create a bootable image of ERD Commander by copying the iso of ERD into the image file as suggested above. I get the following two things

The image boots erd commander it says loading linux kernel for about 40 seconds then it says MEMDISK: Image has fractional end sector Disk is hard disk 0 296361 K C/H/S = 5927722/1/1
Total size needed =2011 bytes allocating 2K
old dos memory at 0x9f000 (map says 0x9f0000), loading at 0x9e800
1588: 0xffff 15E801: 0x3c00 0x0c52
INT 13 08: Success, count =2 BTP=----:----
old: int13=f0007d31 int15=f000f859
new: int13= 9e8000008 int15=9e8000290
Loading boot sector... booting...

Anyone know why it just hangs at this point and also is there a larger img.7z file for download somewhere that works with these directions above. Also I would like to add a layer of total disk encryption to this booting so the whole erd.img file would be encrypted before loading. Is this possible also?

Thanks for your help!

hikenboot

#42 cam99

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 07:14 PM

OK, here you go.

1. Download this file and extract ERD.img: <a href="http://galapo.boot-l...et/temp/ERD.7z" target="_blank"><a href="http://galapo.boot-l...et/temp/ERD.7z" target="_blank">http://galapo.boot-land.net/temp/ERD.7z</a></a> (If the image file isn't large enough to fit your particular files, let me know and I can generate another. As an aside, this is also how I boot LiveXP images etc, but this image creation is now automated via a modified version of BootSDI for my own use.)

2. Copy the following files from server 2003 to the image using UltraISO: ntdetect.com and setupldr.bin renamed ntldr.

3. Copy erd.iso to the the image using UltraISO.

4. Copy winnt.sif to the image using UltraISO. winnt.sif should have the following lines:

&#91;SetupData&#93; 

BootDevice = &#34;ramdisk&#40;0&#41;&#34; 

BootPath = &#34;\I386\SYSTEM32\&#34; 

OsLoadOptions = &#34;/noguiboot /fastdetect /minint /rdexportascd /rdpath=erd.iso&#34;

5. Copy ERD.img to the usb stick.

6. Modify SYSLINUX.CFG to have an entry like:
LABEL ERD

	MENU LABEL Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset

	kernel memdisk

	APPEND initrd=ERD.img

Hope this helps. I have been unable to get anything else other than this method to boot on my usb stick. Didn't matter what I tried, .bss files, etc. etc.

Regards,
Galapo.


Sorry for the newb questions, I'm able to follow the steps above and I was able to dl the latest SYSLINUX. I used SYSLINUX -am H: (my usb drive letter), I created a SYSLINUX.CFG like above but there's something missing here.

Do I need an OS like Puppy Linux ? DO I copy the DL SYSLINUX.ZIP files to the usb drive?

TIA

#43 Galapo

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 08:44 PM

First you need to make the drive bootable with the HP format utility. Then run syslinux on the drive. After that, copy memdisk to the root the root of the drive. After that, follow the directions above.

Sorry this is brief, but hopefully it's enough to get you going.

Regards,
Galapo

#44 cam99

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 10:19 PM

I copied a file called memdisk, from a folder of the samename, from the unzipped dl of the latest syslinux.
I get a SYSLINUX prompt that it can't find the kernal image: linux.

My syslinux.cfg is in the root:

label ERD
MENU LABEL Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset
kernel memdisk
APPEND initrd=ERD.img
timeout 50

I have the ERD.img in the root.
The Dos boot files, memdisk and ldlinux.sys are also in the root

Can you tell me or post a jpg of the directory structure of your USB drive?


TIA

#45 Galapo

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 11:33 PM

I used SYSLINUX -am H: (my usb drive letter)

try syslinux.exe -f h:

the only files given your senario are: ldlinux.sys, memdisk, and ERD.img. dos files may be deleted.

Regards,
Galapo.

#46 cam99

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 11:42 PM

same error.

Can not find kernel image : linux

However at the SYSLINUX boot prompt I typed

memdisk initrd=ERD.img
and it started to load the img, I'm waiting for it to finish to see if it gets me into the ERD Commander

it got to:
Loading Boot Sector .... Booting....
;;;;; ( i hit the keyboard, any key gives the ; ) seems to be stuck, it should boot into the GUI?

#47 Galapo

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 12:31 AM

Have you formatted the drive with the HP utility?

To me it seems likely that you need to start at the beginning and follow the steps again.

more detail here: http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=18846

regards,
Galapo.

#48 cam99

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 03:06 PM

Have you formatted the drive with the HP utility?

To me it seems likely that you need to start at the beginning and follow the steps again.

more detail here: http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=18846

regards,
Galapo.

Is your ERD.ISO a specially made iso? not simply an iso of the original disk?

#49 Galapo

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 06:27 PM

It is the original iso.

#50 cam99

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 07:35 PM

I tried it again a couple of times and still get the same results.

2. Copy the following files from server 2003 to the image using UltraISO: ntdetect.com and setupldr.bin renamed ntldr.

I think I may have take these two files from an operational Windows 2003 w/ SP1 server, are the ones on a CD different?
I've been reading about a ramdisk, and got ERD to work in BArtPe on a USB, but running the original iso from the USB is what I want to do.

I even substituted the erd.iso for the bartpe.iso ( modified the sif ) and that didnt work.


Can you create a Ghost image of your thumb drive? ( with out the ERD.ISO) ?




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