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VistaPE and boot from USB


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#26 hectorma

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:58 AM

A BIOS that changes its drive handling behaviour based on logical formatting is a new one on me, but some (not all) recent BIOSes do allow changing the settings for handling USB flash drives over/under a certain size. What make/model is your system motherboard? If you are using a recent ASUS mobo (AMI BIOS), I may be able to help from my own experience. Otherwise, the mobo manufacturer's web site is probably your best bet for detailed info.

Is asus m2a-vm. Award bios, it not detect hdd in fat32 usb, it detect it removable storage.

#27 was_jaclaz

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 11:43 AM

hectorma,
"removable storage" does NOT mean in itself that the thingie is detected as "superfloppy" and not as Hard Disk.

Most (if not all) USB sticks are by default detected as "Removable" REGARDLESS whether they are fdisked/formatted as HD or as Superfloppy.

This said, the only "limit" of a multipartitioned USB stick seen as "Removable" by 2K/XP/2003/Vista is that ONLY first (Active) partition can be mounted.

This can be avoided (at least in 2K/XP/2003) by using a Filter Driver.

Linux has NO such problems, and will see (and mount) ALL partitions.

NOTHING prevents you from having a stick with two partitions, first one with VistaPE and second one formatted as you like it, with Linux, once booted Vista will only see it's own partition, Linux will see BOTH.

However I am not so sure I understiid what you have been truing to do, SO, maybe let's start from the beginning.

WHERE did you get this procedure ?:

Notes:
1) The vistape.cd file in the root of the USB key is important so that VistaPE loader/wpeinit.exe can detect the
system drive (containing \Programs directory).
2) The vistape.ima file must be contiguous in order to be mapped by grub4dos. You can use the 'contig' utility from sysinternals.com.
to verify/defragment the file. An easier way is to format the USB key and copy this file (all files in root) first, and no deleting files from the key
to avoid fragmentation.
3) To build the vistape.ima:
o use fsz (dsfo/dsfi package) or mksparse (on NTFS) to create a vistape.ima file with size about 300 MB.
o Mount it as floppy, drive letter A: with ImDisk.
o Format a: with FAT file system
o Copy bootmgr and the 2 directories \boot, \sources (from your VistaPE) to A:\
o Unmount a: (ImDisk)
o Use WinImage to set boot sector of vistape.ima (boot sector properties) to Vista Bootmgr.
o Copy vistape.ima to U:\ (root of your USB key).
o Verify that U:\vistape.ima is contigous by using the command: contig -a -v u:\vistape.ima.
4) One could try to include \programs inside vistape.ima (creating bigger floppy image), but it does not seem to work
(wpeinit did not find programs) and also it is less convenient, since by putting \programs in the USB key (writable) rather than
inside the (read-only) vistape.ima, modifications to \programs are much easier.


Was the USB stick PREVIOUSLY formatted as having a MBR?

HOW?

Wouldn't it be better if you start from scratch, along the lines of points #f. here:
http://www.boot-land...?act=boardrules

Just post a description of the hardware involved and of what you would like to achieve, and see what the other members may suggest you.

jaclaz

#28 hectorma

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 02:03 PM

hectorma,
"removable storage" does NOT mean in itself that the thingie is detected as "superfloppy" and not as Hard Disk.

Most (if not all) USB sticks are by default detected as "Removable" REGARDLESS whether they are fdisked/formatted as HD or as Superfloppy.

This said, the only "limit" of a multipartitioned USB stick seen as "Removable" by 2K/XP/2003/Vista is that ONLY first (Active) partition can be mounted.

This can be avoided (at least in 2K/XP/2003) by using a Filter Driver.

Linux has NO such problems, and will see (and mount) ALL partitions.

NOTHING prevents you from having a stick with two partitions, first one with VistaPE and second one formatted as you like it, with Linux, once booted Vista will only see it's own partition, Linux will see BOTH.

However I am not so sure I understiid what you have been truing to do, SO, maybe let's start from the beginning.

WHERE did you get this procedure ?:


Was the USB stick PREVIOUSLY formatted as having a MBR?

HOW?

Wouldn't it be better if you start from scratch, along the lines of points #f. here:
http://www.boot-land...?act=boardrules

Just post a description of the hardware involved and of what you would like to achieve, and see what the other members may suggest you.

jaclaz

ok, my final solution is boot qhit msdos and run grub.exe. The problem is that my hdd usb is mp3 reproductor of 40 GB and is necesary fat32 for it run. Vistape crash in fat32 detected como removable devide. In ntfs it is detected como hard disk. Final solution, charge grub since dos and charge usb drivers since it for detected it.

#29 Arvy

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 04:29 PM

ok, my final solution is boot qhit msdos and run grub.exe. The problem is that my hdd usb is mp3 reproductor of 40 GB and is necesary fat32 for it run. Vistape crash in fat32 detected como removable devide. In ntfs it is detected como hard disk. Final solution, charge grub since dos and charge usb drivers since it for detected it.

I suppose it is best to begin with a frank admission that I'm still not completly certain that I understand your problem. Having said that, it seems to involve a certain amount of confusion on at least two points.

Firstly, as jaclaz has explained, the detection of a USB device as 'removable storage' is normal and expected regardless of its formatting. That does not necessarily mean that it is being detected as a (super)floppy disc by the BIOS. Nor does it mean that it is being handled as a (super)floppy disc by the operating system. It means only that it is recognized as a removable device. As such, Windows, for example, won't enable write caching for that drive.

Secondly, I think there may also be some confusion about FAT32 limitations for (a) partition size and (b) file size. At least in theory, FAT32 can handle partition sizes as large as 2 TERAbytes. It involves a lot of wasted space, but it can be done if one has the required disc management tools. The maximum FAT32 file size, on the other hand, is 4 GIGAbytes. Perhaps the reason for some of the confusion is because the FAT32 file size limit happens to be the same as the FAT16 partition size limit.

Not sure if any of that really helps you much, but it may at least help a little to avoid misunderstandings in further discussion.

#30 hectorma

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 08:22 PM

I suppose it is best to begin with a frank admission that I'm still not completly certain that I understand your problem. Having said that, it seems to involve a certain amount of confusion on at least two points.

Firstly, as jaclaz has explained, the detection of a USB device as 'removable storage' is normal and expected regardless of its formatting. That does not necessarily mean that it is being detected as a (super)floppy disc by the BIOS. Nor does it mean that it is being handled as a (super)floppy disc by the operating system. It means only that it is recognized as a removable device. As such, Windows, for example, won't enable write caching for that drive.

Secondly, I think there may also be some confusion about FAT32 limitations for (a) partition size and (:thumbsup: file size. At least in theory, FAT32 can handle partition sizes as large as 2 TERAbytes. It involves a lot of wasted space, but it can be done if one has the required disc management tools. The maximum FAT32 file size, on the other hand, is 4 GIGAbytes. Perhaps the reason for some of the confusion is because the FAT32 file size limit happens to be the same as the FAT16 partition size limit.

Not sure if any of that really helps you much, but it may at least help a little to avoid misunderstandings in further discussion.

ok, then why Vistape not run when it is loaded from hdd usb fat32? The error is black screen and grey a it said boot/BCD error

#31 Arvy

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 09:05 PM

ok, then why Vistape not run when it is loaded from hdd usb fat32? The error is black screen and grey a it said boot/BCD error

I'm really not sure. I have never seen any similar error message booting with my own FAT32-formatted USB flash drive. I can only guess that the Vista loader isn't finding the expected Boot Configuration Data (BCD) in the \Boot folder of the drive. Is "boot/BCD error" all that it says? No more specific error data? With that limited info, the best I could find was this MS Technet topic.

#32 was_jaclaz

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 09:23 PM

ok, then why Vistape not run when it is loaded from hdd usb fat32? The error is black screen and grey a it said boot/BCD error


Hectorma,
really, it is difficult to have an exchange of ideas and (possibly) solve a technical problem on a technical board if you continue to avoid providing technical details.

Unless you do provide something more meaningful, as it was asked you twice, the only senseful answer you might get is my standard reply #32:
http://www.boot-land...?...c=2587&st=1

I understand you might have some difficulties with English, but you seem to know it well enough to hold a normal "conversation" on the board, if you feel like impaired by using English, try posting in the Regional section in your native language, I can manage a little bit of Spanish, Nuno Brito can definitely, and I am sure a number of other users can help as well.

Feel free to PM me in either English or Spanish about anything you have problems in understanding, expecially about the "Common Sense Advice" within Rules I previously pointed you to, I'll try my best to help you.

jaclaz

#33 yahoouk

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 08:25 PM

Hectorma,

Let me say something first.
1. after you boot from usb flash, go to command line. (grub>  )

2. type "root" and what is appearing? if root is fd0 go to following. if not ignore my post.

3. now you are in floppy mode, right? if yes, go to following.

4. just type "chainloader (fd0)/(vista bootloader name in your usb root), if it is going on, then type "boot"

5. Done!
I had this experience in my rabish ASUS mobo.
My one is worse than you have, because it doesn't go to menu.lst directly, it goes command line of grub in the straight. My usb flash has 16GB with fat32.
If you want to repair in menu.lst, you have to write like that.

Title VistaPE

chainloader (fd0)/bootmgr
In this case, bootmgr is your vista bootloader, it may be vstaldr.
Any result ?

Regard.

yahooUK

#34 hectorma

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 10:56 PM

Hectorma,

Let me say something first.

1. after you boot from usb flash, go to command line. (grub>  )

2. type "root" and what is appearing? if root is fd0 go to following. if not ignore my post.

3. now you are in floppy mode, right? if yes, go to following.

4. just type "chainloader (fd0)/(vista bootloader name in your usb root), if it is going on, then type "boot"

5. Done!
I had this experience in my rabish ASUS mobo.
My one is worse than you have, because it doesn't go to menu.lst directly, it goes command line of grub in the straight. My usb flash has 16GB with fat32.
If you want to repair in menu.lst, you have to write like that.

Title VistaPE

chainloader (fd0)/bootmgr
In this case, bootmgr is your vista bootloader, it may be vstaldr.
Any result ?

Regard.

yahooUK

No run, error bcd.
Finally i have run bootsect in the partition with fat32 (bootsect.exe /nt60 e: and it run in fat32, bios detect so fat32 in hdd and not fd superfloppy.

#35 ktp

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:29 PM

hectorma,

WHERE did you get this procedure ?:

jaclaz


Apparently it was from my post (post #17) without mentioning the source !
http://www.911cd.net...&...st&p=137270

#36 hectorma

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 11:52 PM

Apparently it was from my post (post #17) without mentioning the source !
http://www.911cd.net...&...st&p=137270

Sorry. I think that the information of internet is free. But sorry de todos modos.

#37 was_jaclaz

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 01:49 PM

Sorry. I think that the information of internet is free. But sorry de todos modos.


The point is not whether the information is free or not (rest assured it is :)) not, as it may appear, by the fact you omitted the reference to the Author of the post, the problem is that you omitted the reference to the post alltogether, and, although we are making some progresses in reading other people minds :(, when you quote something, you "strip" it out of its original context, and make it difficult for people willing to help you to do so.

As already said, if you are not familiar with English, we can try to work around the problem, trying using your native language, but if you want to continue posting in English, you need to make sure that it is understandable, this sentence:

No run, error bcd.
Finally i have run bootsect in the partition with fat32 (bootsect.exe /nt60 e: and it run in fat32, bios detect so fat32 in hdd and not fd superfloppy.


Is NOT English, and it is very difficult to understand what you mean with it.

I can translate it in (a very broken :cheers:) Spanish to maybe let you see what the problem is:

No va, bcd.
Por último, ejecutó o bootsect en la partición de FAT32 (bootsect.exe /nt60 e: y el ejecutó en fat32, bios la lee como fat32 en hdd y nunca como fd superfloppy.

Now, try printing the above sentence and ask your friends whether they understand what it means....:cheers:

:cheers:

jaclaz

#38 Nuno Brito

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 03:22 PM

A good tutorial can be found here: http://www.purviance...ashdrive_bl.htm

:thumbsup:

#39 e2p2

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 12:25 AM

As best I can tell some older motherboard have a problem if you boot VistaPE directly from the USB drive using a Grub4DOS entry like this:

title 0. VistaPE
chainloader /BOOTMGR

On these older machines, I have a number of Gateway PC's at work about three years old that fall in this category, this kind of boot results in a black screen and vista complaining about a BCD error. The only fix I have found so far is to use the VISTAPE.IMA method mentioned in previous posts. With this method I have no problems booting on any machine I have tried.

Unfortunately creating the VISTAPE.IMA file is a very manual process. Would anyone have any ideas about how to automate the process of creating this file and populating it with the appropriate files so it could be scripted?

#40 was_jaclaz

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 10:20 AM

Unfortunately creating the VISTAPE.IMA file is a very manual process. Would anyone have any ideas about how to automate the process of creating this file and populating it with the appropriate files so it could be scripted?


Sure, all apps mentioned (exception made for Winimage) are command line ones, so they can be used programmatically from batch or from Winbuilder.
Winimage can be substituted by bootsect.exe /NT60 if needed, but if the formatting is made under a running Vista, the bootsector should already be the one invoking bootmgr.

The point is, if the image is "static", i.e. of fixed size, it would be more convenient to prepare manually an empty image, like the ones you can find here:
http://bootcd.narod.ru/images_e.htm
and keep it zipped, it will take a few Kbytes, then, when needed, mount it with IMDISK or VDK and copy to it the needed files (manually or programmatically).

jaclaz

#41 e2p2

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 02:36 PM

I was trying to avoid having to mount a disk image with IMDISK. I use the x64 version of Vista and although there is a version of IMDISK made for x64 the latest updates to vista block any attempt to install an unsigned driver. There was a program that I have used before called BFI (Build Floppy Image). This utility allows the building of a Fat12 bootable floppy disk image. It can build the image file, inject the bootsector, and inject directories and files. If I could find a similar utility that would work with FAT16 images that would be great. I just have not been able to find it yet.

#42 was_jaclaz

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 04:24 PM

The point is that you need to mount the image anyway, in order to format it, otherwise you can use Winimage (remember that it is shareware) to copy to the image the files.
Does VDK or filedisk give the same problems as IMDISK?

jaclaz

#43 semiono

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 06:46 PM

Please, anybody what is possible to start from rw file system? I have the interes for boot-land projects with them hard rebuilding windows mostly when vLite, but i do not wish boot somes img file from hdd or booting from CD/DVD.
I need to install Vista PE directly. ???

#44 Arvy

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Posted 04 November 2008 - 08:18 PM

VistaPE's current v12rc1 seems to have some very peculiar quirks when I try to use it on my USB flash drive. Most critically, I lose my cordless keyboard and mouse completely. And that happens regardless of whether or not I include any of the RC1 driver script options.

For details, please see http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=6164 from which this has been "cross-posted" at ctmag's request.

EDIT: To avoid any misunderstanding, I should mention that I do have other WinXP-based PEs running perfectly in a multiboot set-up on the same USB drive. Perhaps I should also note that VistaPE's "Copy to USB" script does not do everything that is necessary for such multiboot set-ups. On a USB drive, it's necessary to manually rename the "i386" folder to "minint" and to edit the menu.lst file accordingly. In doing so, one must also keep in mind GRUB's case sensitivity. And don't forget to include a zero-byte "vistape.cd" file in the drive root.

#45 JonF

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 01:30 AM

To avoid any misunderstanding, I should mention that I do have other WinXP-based PEs running perfectly in a multiboot set-up on the same USB drive. Perhaps I should also note that VistaPE's "Copy to USB" script does not do everything that is necessary for such multiboot set-ups. On a USB drive, it's necessary to manually rename the "i386" folder to "minint" and to edit the menu.lst file accordingly. In doing so, one must also keep in mind GRUB's case sensitivity. And don't forget to include a zero-byte "vistape.cd" file in the drive root.

I am very interested in how you set that up ...

#46 Arvy

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 04:14 AM

Well, basically, it's just a matter of installing grub4dos onto your USB flash drive. VistaPE includes a script that will do that much for you, or you can also do that initial step manually if you prefer. I won't include detailed instructions for that part because they've already been repeated many times here and elsewhere. Here's one tutorial.

Once grub4dos has been installed into a drive's MBR, you can tell it's boot loader (grldr) to boot almost anything just by editing the menu.lst file that it uses. Recent grub4dos versions will even boot self-contained *.iso files directly. For example, I use it to include a boot option for the AcronisMedia.iso file that is created for my TrueImage and Disk Director rescue applications.

Previous versions of VistaPE used to include a script in the "Other OS" group that would let you add WinXP-based PEs (e.g., BartPE-Core) into its final multiboot build, but that capability is currently missing from VistaPE v12rc1. In any case, it was never completely satisfactory in handling USB flash drive set-ups. So the do-it-yourself approach is probably just as easy anyhow.

1) Having installed grub4dos on your USB flash drive, copy the complete set of folders and files for the OS/PE that you want to add onto that drive. For WinXP PE, that's the "ntldr", "peldr", "winpe.sif" and "ntdetect.com" files plus the complete contents of the "i386" and "programs" folders.

2) Rename the "i386" folder to "minint".

3) Edit the grub4dos menu.lst file to add the appropriate entry or entries. For WinXP PE, that would be as follows:

title WinXP PE on Drive
chainloader /minint/SETUPLDR.BIN

title WinXP PE in RAM
chainloader /minint/S_SETUPLDR.BIN

That's it. But remember that grub4dos is case sensitive. So be careful about those chainloader entries.

__
EDIT: I suppose I should also include the entry for booting AcronisMedia.iso just in case somebody else wants to add that option. Assuming that the ISO file is located in the root of the drive, the menu.lst entry is as follows:

title Acronis Rescue Media
find --set-root /AcronisMedia.iso
map /AcronisMedia.iso (hd32)
map --hook
root (hd32)
chainloader (hd32)

#47 was_jaclaz

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 08:21 AM

I won't include detailed instructions for that part because they've already been repeated many times here and elsewhere. Here's one tutorial.


Just for the record, currently most complete and up-to-date instructions/help are right here:
http://www.boot-land...hp?showforum=66
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=5187
http://diddy.boot-la...os/Grub4dos.htm

jaclaz

#48 Arvy

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 12:15 PM

Thanks. That last one from diddy is very complete and well organized. And I especially like its dedication. :cheers: Well done.

#49 charlestek

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 04:18 PM

Using WinBuilder 076, I selected a root directory of a usb drive and hit "make usb boot device." At the end of the process, I get a grub gui window pop up with loads of drop downs and options. I am at a loss as to what exactly to do. All I want is a usb bootable VistaPE.

Thanks,

Phil

#50 JonF

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 05:15 PM

Using WinBuilder 076, I selected a root directory of a usb drive and hit "make usb boot device." At the end of the process, I get a grub gui window pop up with loads of drop downs and options. I am at a loss as to what exactly to do. All I want is a usb bootable VistaPE.

The instructions could be clearer.

In the Grub popup, in the topmost drop-down next to "Disk", select your USB drive. You probably will not know the drive number, but look at the sizes listed on the right side and you should be able to pick yours out. It's usually the last one in the list.

Click the "Install" button at the bottom center. You should get a command prompt window indicating success. You're done.




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