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LiveXP on a USB External HD


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#26 Lancelot

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 06:18 PM

amalux

here is my beeblebrox picture with usb disk as an example, hope it helps
http://img390.images...09232111ic0.png

#27 amalux

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 07:20 PM

Jaclaz,

Did as you said, re-formatted 1.99GB FAT partition and loaded four files only (in order) with new text in BOOT.INI. Still shows only 'Missing operating system' message as before.

Files on disk:
usb1.JPG

When I try to access the drive with Beeblebrox I get 'BeeblebroxNT.exe - Abnormal program termination' error :huh:

Maybe this gives you information you need?
ptinfo.JPG
ptedit.JPG

--
Thank you again for your continued effort on this and I hope your trip is going well, no pressure on this, when you get back we can continue the 'fun' :)

:huh:

#28 amalux

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 09:19 PM

Breakthrough! - SUCCESS!! :huh:

Because Lancelot told me to, I kept exact notes :huh: - I'll tell you exactly what I did when I get back (1 hour), gotta go pick up my kids...

BIG THANKS to Jaclaz (yes, he is the master) and Lancelot for all your help! Thanks guys, you're the best :)

--
OK, here it is:

I had, at some point (prior to this thread), used DiskDirector10 to format the USB drive; per instructions here, I used XP format tool to re-format (more than once). After this last (failed) attempt and posting ptedit results above, I noticed the drive was no longer listed as Primary and there were some unfamiliar entries added so I tried deleting/re-formatting (FAT) with DiskDirector10 and this indeed cleaned up the extra entries and allowed setting as Primary. To check, I re-formatted (FAT) again with XP format tool to see if it would remove the Primary status and add the additional entries, it didn't. It left the Primary status and the results shown below which worked:
ptinfo2.JPG

First attempt I had only the files shown in the above screen shot; this resulted in a 'Txtsetup.sif missing' error, it was (missing) but this meant it was looking! I added the minint folder as before and this time all went smoothly until BSOD after Windows logo (I knew I was close); replacing the NTDETECT.COM (official) with the ntdetect.com (modded) did the trick and it now boots fine every time. Final screen shots which worked:
uhddstupfinal.JPG


Now that I've imaged the drive I can start experimenting with what works and what doesn't. There are a couple questions I have already, Why is there no boot menu? It just boots immediatly, same as my UFD. This is what I wanted in the first place but it's odd the boot.ini doesn't work here. Also, much more importantly, I have no programs listed in Start Menu or on the desktop. Is this handled by PROJECTINFO.INI? Do I need MODELRAM.EXE included for any reason? I can't get my head around what this does, why is it included in a non-bootsdi CD? Anyone who can help me here is encouraged to do so! :)

Thanks again guys for all the help (I will probably have more questions) :)

#29 Lancelot

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 02:23 AM

amalux

glad to hear things began to work :huh: :)

using jaclaz boot.ini

[Boot Loader]

timeout=15

default=C:\grldr



[Operating Systems]

C:\grldr="Start GRUB"

C:\dummy="A suffusion of yellow"

and using menu.lst i gave before

color black/cyan yellow/cyan

timeout 20

default /default



title BartPE (find minint-setupldr.bin)

find --set-root /minint/setupldr.bin

chainloader /minint/setupldr.bin



title WinPE1 PE1SL.IM_ - LiveXP SDI

find --set-root /PE1SL

chainloader /PE1SL

boot



title WinPE1 PE1LA.ISO

find --set-root /PE1LA

chainloader /PE1LA

boot

should result at least with a menu selection of grub's menu.lst?????

from your description i understand now, to make a pattern for most situations when a similar issue happens:
1) DiskDirector10 - Delete all partitions
2) DiskDirector10 - create new primary active partition and Format FAT partition
3) create nt52 mbr with bootsect.exe (i add this step)
4) replacing the NTDETECT.COM (official) with the ntdetect.com (modded)

"I used XP format tool", i guess you are using format from commandline, which command you use? ex: format Z: /FS:FAT /V:NEW /S /Y
or from Disk Management or by right clicking drive letter and format?

is ntdetect.com (modded) the one from tinyempire , ????

can you send your disks last beeblebrox for my notes :huh: ?

sorry for lots of questions, i am tryin to clarify things in my mind.


i hope jaclaz after coming back home write a nice description of what is going on and give a method without using dd10 as everybody may not have, ( guessing with beeblebrox using delete entry maybe?)

#30 amalux

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 04:23 AM

should result at least with a menu selection of grub's menu.lst?????

Yeah, this is a mystery, no boot menu with or w/out menu.lst???

from your description i understand now, to make a pattern for most situations when a similar issue happens:
1) DiskDirector10 - Delete all partitions
2) DiskDirector10 - create new primary active partition and Format FAT partition
3) create nt52 mbr with bootsect.exe (i add this step)
4) replacing the NTDETECT.COM (official) with the ntdetect.com (modded)

Yes, except I didn't do step #3 on final (I know you know this).

"I used XP format tool", i guess you are using format from commandline, which command you use? ex: format Z: /FS:FAT /V:NEW /S /Y
or from Disk Management or by right clicking drive letter and format?

format <drv>: /fs:fat /v:<name> /q /y (or rt-click) Note: I did NOT delete before this format.

is ntdetect.com (modded) the one from tinyempire , ????

No, the mod here (post #4)

can you send your disks last beeblebrox for my notes :huh: ?

Beeblebrox crashes for me (don't know why) ptedit/info (scrnshots) should give you info needed???

sorry for lots of questions, i am tryin to clarify things in my mind.

No problem, ask away! and thanks again for your help!!!!!!!!!! :)


i hope jaclaz after coming back home write a nice description of what is going on and give a method without using dd10 as everybody may not have, ( guessing with beeblebrox using delete entry maybe?)

He always knows what's going on (before we do) - maybe he'll recommend dsfok to clean up disk but this didn't work for me :huh:

#31 Lancelot

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 08:58 AM

amalux

thanks for info, After reading all carelfully, Conclusion:

It is better to wait jaclaz :huh:

#32 was_jaclaz

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 09:51 AM

Happy that you solved yourself the problem. :)

For the record, the problem was that you had (and this is NOT normal) a logical volume inside extended partition.

Theoretically, (and in practice, as you have experienced :)) a logical volume inside extended is NOT bootable.

This said, forget about it :), it is POSSIBLE to boot from a logical volume inside extended, by correcting the "hidden sectors" value in the bootsector:
http://www.goodells....boot/ptedit.htm
Or using, if an "empty" entry in the MBR exists, grub4dos with "partnew".


It is VERY, VERY strange that "00"ing out first sectors with DSFOK did not work, no offence intended :), but I do not believe you ;), I suspect that you failed to actually "00" them out, or I failed to tell you :huh: (as I took it for granted) that the drive has to be disconnected and re-connected after 00ing it out, or maybe, due to the "uncommon" setup you previously had, 100 sectors were not enough. :huh:

The 100 sectors number comes for the NEED to wipe AT LEAST MBR+hidden sectors (63 sectors)+bootsector (1 sector for FAT16 - 6 sectors for FAT32 and 16 sectors - if I recall correctly - for NTFS) + a few sectors of the filesytem structure (Fat tables or beginning of NTFS structure) and 100 is a fat, round, pleasant number.

If the drive has been (INCORRECTLY in my view) previously formatted with an initial Extended partition, or with initial unallocated space, 100 is not enough, in your case the EPBR was at sector 16065.

The "main" thing WHENEVER you "fiddle" with drives or partitions is to start from clean (and of course know what you are doing).

The alternative is OVERWRITE for sure whatever is on the drive with known to be good values, IGNORING whatever is already there, the approach I use in my "primitive" batches:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=3191
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=5000

"Real" programs tend to read and try to understand whatever data is already on the device, which is of course a very good thing if the data has some sense, but actually prevents them to work if the data is gibberish, an example of a case where "more" is NOT "better".
The other problem with "real" programs, including Windows Built-in Disk Manager and most of the Commercial apps, is that they are "nice looking" and they give the "false impression" that partitioning/re-partitioning or however fiddling with mass storage devices is easy, and that no background knowledge is needed, somehting that I have seen over the years causing LOTS of damages.

Old style partitioning utilities, Ranish Partition Manager or early releases of the Commercial Partition Magic (which also had a no-frills, command-line version) gave much more control to the user.

I do not "like" particularly Acronis programs, not that they are not good, but I have experimented with oldish versions and thay do have some "queer" ways of doing things, particularly, at least the versions I tested at the time wrote info in the hidden sectors (which is a NO-NO in my view) and "attempted" using proprietary bootsectors.

Partition Magic was a very good program in it's early releases, but, again as I see it, release 6 was so buggy that NEARLY :) caused loss of data at my workplace, (honestly in the hands of a not-so-experienced user) and i have NEVER since trusted it again.


:)

jaclaz

#33 amalux

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 03:56 PM

It is VERY, VERY strange that "00"ing out first sectors with DSFOK did not work, no offence intended :), but I do not believe you :), I suspect that you failed to actually "00" them out, or I failed to tell you :) (as I took it for granted) that the drive has to be disconnected and re-connected after 00ing it out, or maybe, due to the "uncommon" setup you previously had, 100 sectors were not enough. :huh:

Sorry, I wasn't clear, I didn't mean 'it didn't work'; what I meant to say was it didn't work :)
dsfokerr.JPG

:huh:

#34 was_jaclaz

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 05:04 PM

I see. :huh:

Maybe you are in the (uncommon in my experience) situation that mr_ reported:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=5354
where the drive is "somehow" locked and dsfo/dsfi cannot access it.

Doing it "manually" with diskprobe, or maybe trying HDhacker with a 512 bytes zeroed out file, or using a hex/disk editor, it should be enough to just zero out sector 1 (MBR) and first sector of the bootsector, i.e. normally sector 64.

My good ol' rule of the thumb of ALWAYS having a FAT16 Primary partition as first partition has always worked with just zeroing out these two sectors, your mileage may vary if FAT32, NTFS or an EPBR is present.

The dsfok "first 100 sectors" came out as a "poor man's" solution in the enormous "Boot XP from USB" thread:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=14181
(cannot find right now the exact post)

for avoiding the use of Hex Workshop, WinHex and similar Commercial disk editors, you may also want to try other tools:
http://www.911cd.net...o...20089&st=34

Dietmar used to write FF to the whole stick, as in some cases writing 00's did not work, but I doubt - in this case only - that the report is correct, I've never had problems with 00's and with writing them to just a bunch of sectors:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=14292
and of course writing an entire drive or using something like Darik's boot and nuke or similar programs can take hours.

Or are you using HDtune (or a similar utility) ?:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=4458

jaclaz

#35 amalux

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 06:41 PM

Jaclaz,

Lots of good information and tools, thank you. There is no eSATA, HDTune or similar, no encryption that I installed, no background programs running but something odd with this drive (only) on my machine. When I first attempt format (format.com) on this disk, I get 'Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities... try again' (fresh start, disk untouched), just closing this error and trying again, format works fine (but caused erroneous partitioning at least once). Cannot use BeeblebroxNT (Abnormal program termination) and dsfok/dsfi cannot access disk (device not ready) but PTedit32/PartInNT work fine. There is no sw installed on the disk but maybe hardware itself? WD 'Passport' (wd3200me-00).

#36 was_jaclaz

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 06:56 PM

Hmmm. :huh:

Maybe it is locked through \MountedDevices and Disk Signature, strange things happen when fiddling with drives/partitions/letters. :huh:

If you are still willing to experiment, does MBRFIX access the drive?

Can you save BEFORE, and later change the disk signature with it?

Can it write a 512 bytes file filled with digital 00's to it?

Do you have by any chance some other strange drivers, like virtual disks, or the like that may create this problem with lower/upper filters?

Can you run both a MOUNTVOL and a VLM (part of DSFOK) on your system and post the output?

jaclaz

#37 amalux

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 08:24 PM

Do you have by any chance some other strange drivers, like virtual disks, or the like that may create this problem with lower/upper filters?

When Acronis (upper/lower filters) removed, drive behaves normally (only affects this drive).

Thanks Jaclaz, I knew 'the master' would figure it out :huh:

#38 Lancelot

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 09:17 PM

:huh:
Glad to hear that,
nice things to note and lots of things to read and learned by this topic. Thanks a lot.

amalux:

as jaclaz wrote before, as an answer to topic and newnec1:

I cannot see any difference (nor can Windows SETUPLDR.BIN AFAIK) between a partitioned USB stick and and a USB drive.


and as i wrote before

and maybe a notice to tutorials at the top that writes "Tutorial for External USB Drive ( USB stick + USB hard drive ) + 2nd harddrive" would be nice for searchers.

:)


jaclaz:
i post there http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=5000, but as mail notification malfunctions i post here too :huh: .

#39 amalux

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 01:57 AM

Final thoughts...

I've reproduced results with different builds and all work great on machines tested.

USB2.0 HD with first partition formatted FAT16 (max 2GB) Primary/Active**. Remainder anything you want.

**I had some trouble with this, used Acronis DiskDirector10 to delete/format initial partition (FAT16 Primary/Active) and then re-formatted (not delete) FAT with XP format tool (rt-click - format). Jaclaz has other ways of doing this spelled out earlier in the post but I haven't tried this yet because I need Acronis installed which (at least in my case) interferes with his recommended tools. It may be that you can just delete/format with XP (rt-click format) alone but must be set as Primary/Active (Disk Management). Feel free to experiment and report what works best for you.

Copy following files/folders onto this new partition:
usb_hdfiles_final__.JPG

minint = Renamed I386 from NON-BootSDI CD (or ISO)
Program Files = PROGRAM FILES from same CD
Windows = WINDOWS from same (if exists)
PROJECTINFO.INI (from same CD)
MODELRAM.EXE (from same CD)

ntdetect.com = ilko's mod - see here Post #4 (any source)
NTLDR = Renamed SETUPLDR.BIN (from XP-I386-Source)

That's it! Remember, for each new build/update (LiveXP CD used as source), replace first five files/folders (they go together for each build). The modded ntdetect.com and NTLDR are interchangeable across projects. Have fun :huh:

#40 ilko

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 02:32 AM

Just a quick clarification- the modified NTDETECT.COM comes from Dietmar Stölting.




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