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Boot "any" ISO image or boot "all" ISO images ...


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#1 was_jaclaz

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:42 AM

TANSTAAFL:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TANSTAAFL

There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Myth: Any .iso is the same as another one, thus you can boot "any" .iso

Fact: Each and every .iso has it's own peculiarities. For each sigle, specific .iso a single, specific solution may be found ;). (or may be NOT ;))

Generally speaking:

The problem is the "ANY" .iso.

Very little has changed since this thread:
http://www.boot-land...p?showtopic=808

In a nutshell:
ALL DOS based .iso usually work or can be made to work easily
SOME Linux based .iso work, ALL of them can be made to work (not so easily)
ONLY RAMDISK (from Server 2003 SP1 or R2, NOT "gold", NOT SPS2 - limited to 512 Mbyte images) NT based images are known to work

This is not "limited" by grub4dos or other bootmanager, but by the actual way the .iso images are built and, in the case of NT based images, by the lack of a suitable driver.

With plenty of RAM there is a Commercial Ramdisk driver capable to go over the 512 Mb limit.

In other words, there is not (yet) a one-size-fits-all solution, each .iso has it's own "story" and needs "particular" attention:

  • some work "as-they-are"
  • some need a few, easy changes
  • some need complex, difficult/undocumented changes (and a solution may even not exist yet)


Of course there are "families" of similar .iso's, thus it is very possible that an existing solution, working for one of the "members of the family" can be used succesfully for another "members of the family", but there is actually no guarantee that it will work, the exception being DOS based .iso images, that usually ALL work when mapped via grub4dos (hd32) or (0xFF) mapping or equivalent Syslinux/memdisk method.

There is a specific thread RESERVED FOR REPORTS OF SUCCESSFUL SETUPS using the (hd32) or (0xFF) mapping approach:

grub4dos, .iso images and (hd32) or (0xFF) mapping
Post here ONLY reports of working setups!

http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=5041

If the "whatever" .iso you want to boot is not in that list, do SEARCH on the Forum for your specific .iso/product/OS BEFORE starting a new thread.

Please DO NOT start yet another generic "How do I boot a .iso image?" kind of thread, we already have several of them, in time we became fond of them, and don't want them to be put in the background by "new arrivals" ;)

Again, generally speaking:

For Windows 2K/XP/2003 based builds you need a RAMDISK based .iso build (search for keywords BootSDI, RAMDISK.SYS, Firadisk, WinVblock) AND read, before anything else, and attentively this seemingly unrelated thread:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=4952
AND links given within it to get a general idea of the RAMDISK booting approach.
In any case they are all part of the same "family", thus one of the solutions in the "grub4dos, .iso images and (hd32) or (0xFF) mapping" thread should apply, possibly with some small tweak.

ALL Vista/2008/Windows 7 build are of the same "family" and the solutions in the "grub4dos, .iso images and (hd32) or (0xFF) mapping" thread should apply.

For Linux based builds there is often a partial workaround which consists into extracting from the .iso only the vmlinuz (kernel) and initrd (initial ramdisk file), and as well some of the solutions in the "grub4dos, .iso images and (hd32) or (0xFF) mapping" thread may apply, though it is more probable that some tweaking/changes of the contents of the .iso (on Linux side) will be needed.


In other words:
  • your mileage may vary
  • stop asking how many miles per gallon (EU, please read Liters/100Km) "a" car will do, there is simply NOT a valid answer for that.

:D

jaclaz

#2 tinyapps

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 05:15 PM

You can boot any ISO with the iodd 2501:

Boot any and all ISO images from USB drive
http://tinyapps.org/...o_from_usb.html

#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:32 PM

You can boot any ISO with the iodd 2501:

Boot any and all ISO images from USB drive
http://tinyapps.org/...o_from_usb.html


Yep, good to know B) , but definitely not a free lunch as well. B)

At 70 bucks:
http://www.amazon.co...m/dp/B0034UFOL8

or 47 pounds:
http://linitx.com/vi...hp?prodid=12517

for the case only (you have to supply your own 2.5" SATA HD or SSD) :fine:

not even a cheap lunch, though of course a good one.


:cheers:
Wonko

#4 _deXter_

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 01:31 AM

You can boot any ISO with the iodd 2501:

Boot any and all ISO images from USB drive
http://tinyapps.org/...o_from_usb.html


Hey, thanks for the link, that device looks pretty interesting! I've been looking to buy an external enclosure for a while, so might as well go for this one.

Just one doubt though - it says the HDD has to be formatted as FAT32 - so does that mean you're limited to ISO sizes less than 4GB in size?

#5 tinyapps

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 05:17 AM

it says the HDD has to be formatted as FAT32 - so does that mean you're limited to ISO sizes less than 4GB in size?

There is reportedly a firmware update to allow NTFS-formatted partitions. They also have an ISO splitter for files over 4GB on FAT32 partitions:

http://i-odd.com/eng...s...s2=&v_idx=5

#6 ktp

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 06:15 AM

Other poor man's possibility is to use USB key (usually with SMI as chipset manufacturer, e.g. Corsair).
They include utilities (e.g. UFDiskUtilities_rev02_080909.exe) that can write protect, format, partition,
make private zone with password protection, secure, or prepare a CD-ROM zone where you apply
your iso file.

In the illustration (Autorun part), my key has 16 GB, and I reserve 1.123 MB for CD-ROM part.
Just click on Make button, then the CD-ROM zone is filled with the iso file content.
Upon boot and USB key plugged in, BIOS detects correctly that CD-ROM is present.

Pictures:
http://img820.images...iteprotect.jpg/

#7 _deXter_

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 07:56 AM

There is reportedly a firmware update to allow NTFS-formatted partitions. They also have an ISO splitter for files over 4GB on FAT32 partitions:

http://i-odd.com/eng...s...s2=&v_idx=5


That's the dealbreaker for me! Unfortunately I'm not able to find this product in stock either at Amazon or at LinITX. Know of any other sources?


Other poor man's possibility is to use USB key (usually with SMI as chipset manufacturer, e.g. Corsair).
They include utilities (e.g. UFDiskUtilities_rev02_080909.exe) that can write protect, format, partition,
make private zone with password protection, secure, or prepare a CD-ROM zone where you apply
your iso file.

In the illustration (Autorun part), my key has 16 GB, and I reserve 1.123 MB for CD-ROM part.
Just click on Make button, then the CD-ROM zone is filled with the iso file content.
Upon boot and USB key plugged in, BIOS detects correctly that CD-ROM is present.

Pictures:
http://img820.images...iteprotect.jpg/


Woah. I knew this could be done but somehow I was never able to find a proper answer back in the day. Thanks for all that info!
I have a Corsair 16GB UFD myself and tried out the utilities, but when I try to run UFDiskUtilities, it says it cannot find any device. Could it be because I'm running it under VirtualBox? Anyways, I'll try running it directly in a Windows machine and check.


Btw, I found some cool websites with links to creating a CDROM area for other controllers too:

http://flashboot.ru/
http://www.usboffice.kr/zbxe/use_cd

#8 crashnburn

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 08:23 PM

There is reportedly a firmware update to allow NTFS-formatted partitions. They also have an ISO splitter for files over 4GB on FAT32 partitions:

http://i-odd.com/eng...s...s2=&v_idx=5


PS: I dont see the NTFS formatted partition update for >4G ISOs. Can you please check and let me know..?

The ultimate boot tool for Multiple Bootable ISOs.

Anyone use this to Run Mac OS X Retail / Hackintosh DVDs / CDs.. and or Mac based bootable DVDs / Partition Management Tools.

#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 01:14 PM

Interesting project under development:
CDEMU
http://renosite.com/

:hyper:
Wonko

#10 creno

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 04:33 AM

Thanks Wonko for the recognition, by posting my project site link renosite.com, you have brought alot of people visiting. Just to update the status - the project has moved into open source development now. There is a USB CD Emulator using the Teensy++ board, EVK1104, and a custom board. Feel free to checkout our current status and forum.

thanks,
Curtis reno

#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:16 AM

Thanks Wonko for the recognition, by posting my project site link renosite.com, you have brought alot of people visiting. Just to update the status - the project has moved into open source development now. There is a USB CD Emulator using the Teensy++ board, EVK1104, and a custom board. Feel free to checkout our current status and forum.

thanks,
Curtis reno

You are welcome :blowup:.

How is it going the development?
I see that you revived it after some break, happy about it. :(

Your thingy has also made it (through yours truly :confused1:) in what will hopefully become "The map", see here:
http://reboot.pro/13675/
(signature of member LeMOGO)
(though at the moment the categorization needs to be reviewed)

It would be nice if it becomes "reality" and available.

:w00t:
Wonko

#12 creno

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 03:29 AM

Well the development is working without too much trouble, the current development phase is going to use the teensy++ board and a miniSD board both available online for under $50.00 total with shipping. The newest one is being developed as a platform that anyone can join in on. The boards are readily available and cheep.

The other variations of the project was to try to push the speeds up, but with the sacrifice of community interest - pricing! Thats why I moved back to the teensy, I'm looking for development help. I would like input on what real people would like to see / do with such a device.

Thats awesome if I could make it on "the map", I hope I make the cut. Thanks for your support.
I will start reading this board more, you guys have allot of information. I only found this board through the google analytics on my site, you posts keep bringing about half of my referred traffic.

I'm just looking to add a widget I have always thought the computer industry needed - at least for us computer techs out there. The ability to carry all your cd's (through iso emualtion) within one self contained device, that you can take from computer to computer without hassle.

again thanks for your support
Curtis Reno

#13 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 10:43 AM

I only found this board through the google analytics on my site, you posts keep bringing about half of my referred traffic.

Yep, we are quite a good "reference point" :thumbsup:.

I'm just looking to add a widget I have always thought the computer industry needed - at least for us computer techs out there. The ability to carry all your cd's (through iso emualtion) within one self contained device, that you can take from computer to computer without hassle.

Which is more or less the same goal a lot of boot-land reboot.pro members have :), the difference is only the means, we all went for the (easier IMHO :rolleyes: ) software way, you went through the (more complex IMHO :cheers:) hardware one.

:cheers:
Wonko

#14 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 07:08 PM

As often happens off topic :unsure:, but not much :cheers::
See how much they are charging for "replacement floppy drives" :w00t:



http://plrelectronic...To-USB-Upgrade/

Better:
http://torlus.com/floppy/index.php?en
http://shop.ebay.co....=&_trksid=p3686

Or for a USB floppy:
http://www.kryoflux.com/
http://webstore.kryo...2cb22db2a3d0c90

More links/ideas:
http://jimwarholic.c...e-emulators.php
http://jimwarholic.c...ring-design.php

Since you are going the - I presume slower but programmable - way, maybe adding floppy capabilities would be a plus. :unsure:

:cheers:
Wonko

#15 TheHive

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 07:47 PM

Anyone use this to Run Mac OS X Retail / Hackintosh DVDs / CDs.. and or Mac based bootable DVDs / Partition Management Tools.

Here is some one using iodd to boot MAC Installation. The same should be true for its Replacement the ZM-VE200.


The iodd 2501 Portable Virtual ROM is dead, they are not selling it anymore. The replacement using the same technology is the
ZM-VE200

They offer a Silver or Black case. One can Buy it at:
http://linitx.com/vi...hp?prodid=12992


The iodd design has been licensed to ZALMAN and has undergone some minor changes and re-appeared as the ZM-VE200.


I Think the iodd had a limit of 32 ISO you can have in the list. Im not sure if the ZM has that limit. From an Amazon review the user states about the IOdd.

There is a limit of 32 files in the _iso folder, however, you can nest folders within the _iso folders, which makes it very handy to organize your iso's using folder names.


On the ZM-VE200

load all of your ISO files onto the hard drive, choose the ISO file you wish to use via the built-in file select switch and LCD display



PS: I dont see the NTFS formatted partition update for >4G ISOs. Can you please check and let me know..?

The ZM-VE200 seems to be updated to support NTFS

Make a primary partition, using either part of or the whole disk and format as NTFS.



#16 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:10 AM

The iodd 2501 Portable Virtual ROM is dead, they are not selling it anymore. The replacement using the same technology is the
ZM-VE200

And it also appear to be priced around 40$/35€ which is good news for cheap people like yours truly. :unsure:

:cheers:
Wonko

#17 skyide

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:18 AM

Hmm I am tempted to buy this "ZM-VE200" thing. Although, I have my own bootable UFD, not every ISO works.

I just noticed, seems to be available only within the EU?

#18 TheHive

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 10:01 AM

ZM-VE200 Pricing
At posting the silver one seems to be the more popular since they only have 4 more available.

Free Shipping by UPS to mainland UK Destinations

Sub Total: $53.44
Shipping: UPS Free Delivery ex VAT: $0.00
Sub Total inc Shipping ex VAT: $53.44
VAT: $10.69

Total: $64.13

---------------------------------------------------------------------

If you live outside of UK. +$20 dollars more for Shipping
Sub Total: $53.44
Shipping: Royal Mail International Signed For: $20.78
Sub Total inc Shipping: $74.22

Still a bit cheaper price then the iodd.

#19 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 10:28 AM

Me thinks that it will be available for less than that :unsure: (shipment aside).

Here is the source I had:
http://news.softpedi...ve-178780.shtml

If you are in South Africa it is already around 40 €:
http://www.shopmania...~p-1706691.html
http://www.sybaritic...oducts_id=54024

In Australia it is AU$59
http://www.abit.com....ternal_2_5.aspx

In the US $44.95
http://www.performan...oducts_id=30232

On e-bay UK it is at £ 49.99 :unsure:
http://cgi.ebay.co.u...=item3f0746178e

You can have it un UK (as soon as it will arrive) for £ 32.99 :cheers::
http://www.quietpc.c...utions/zm-ve200
or € 40.14:
http://www.quietpc.c...utions/zm-ve200

:w00t:
Wonko

#20 creno

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 02:53 AM

Yeah looking into adding floppy emulation - would be great if I can do both floppy and CD emulation at the same time - but not too sure if there are enough usb endpoints to use for such an implementation. (teensy++ board)

It would be great to load windows (usb emulated cd) on a system and have the floppy hdd drivers (usb floppy emulation) all in one device at the same time!

But worse case scenario I do plan on at the very least having floppy image support built in and make it switchable between the two types of emulations. :white_flag:

Plus as a side note, have been tossing around the idea of having a virtual usb keyboard embedded - then can script key-input routines for common installs/utility cd's. load an iso w/script and walk away. let the emulator do all the common stuff... But just thinking out loud here.

#21 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:38 AM

But worse case scenario I do plan on at the very least having floppy image support built in and make it switchable between the two types of emulations. :cheers:

Yep :pulpfiction:, that would solve the rare (but still happening form time to time) problem of stupid BIOSes that ONLY boot from floppy, compare with:
http://reboot.pro/4977/
http://reboot.pro/13262/

Plus as a side note, have been tossing around the idea of having a virtual usb keyboard embedded - then can script key-input routines for common installs/utility cd's. load an iso w/script and walk away. let the emulator do all the common stuff... But just thinking out loud here.

That would make it a "killer device" :happy_dance2: , much more portable then current available solutions :thumbup::

:worship:

Though of course waiting for the "right time" to "press" a given set of keys or "sensing" what the heck the whatever is running is asking for may prove to be a big challenge. :white_flag:

:cheers:
Wonko

#22 creno

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:42 AM

Yeah I figured the scripting would have to be time based, with the worst cast timings. But for a shop of 30 systems being worked on, it makes sense just to hit a button and walk away - who cares if it takes twice a long to install an os or scan a computer. At least you don't have to be there for each and every key press.

In our shop I can say that about 80 percent of the work is handled though maybe about 3 common boot cd's and procedures. If we could just talk away and not have to wait through a 3 minut boot just to hit enter a few times here and there - jumping between systems to do the exact same thing... Well you get what I'm saying.

#23 karyonix

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 04:54 AM

The existing solution looks funny.
You will need more fingers to press combination of keys. Maybe you can use accessibility feature instead.
You will also need a camera and image processing software (or hardware) to detect state of computer and determine proper time to press keys.

#24 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:57 AM

The existing solution looks funny.

Yep :smiling9:.

You will need more fingers to press combination of keys. Maybe you can use accessibility feature instead.

Not really :questionmark:, the robotic arm can fetch "specialized hardware tools" ;), like this "must have tool":
Posted Image

You will also need a camera and image processing software (or hardware) to detect state of computer and determine proper time to press keys.

Sure, that's actually the tricky part :ph34r: of both the "current" and of the "proposed" approaches. :(

:cheers:
Wonko

#25 TheHive

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 02:21 AM

Zalman ZM-VE200 HDD enclosure Mini Review :loleverybody:
http://reboot.pro/14006/




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