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Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive. (Read 8076 times)
Brian
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Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Feb 8th, 2010 at 11:26pm
 
MudCrab, one of our members, takes the credit for this information. He wrote....

http://www.themudcrab.com/acronis_grub4dos.php

...some time ago but I didn't read it very carefully as I thought it only related to Acronis products.

I now have..

BING
IFD
IFL
TBOSDT
CopyWipe for DOS
MS-DOS
SeaTools for DOS
Hitachi Feature Tool
WinPE

...all booting from the one USB flash drive. Because of WinPE I can run IFW and other Windows apps.

Very handy. NightOwl, you definitely need new hardware.



 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #1 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 1:37am
 
Brian,

While the guide was written mainly to help the Acronis community, the procedure is in no way limited to their programs.

I also have WinPE, BING, and various IFD/IFL booting setups on my flashdrives. It makes it real easy to keep multiple builds/versions on the same flashdrive and updating takes only seconds. I also have it setup on an internal drive that I boot to using the BIOS boot menu.

I'm curious if you're booting BING and IFD from their ISO files or from their BIF files. I've been using the BIF files (extracted with UltraISO) because ISO booting didn't work correctly on those. Also with BING, I have to setup the Grub4DOS entry to swap HD0 and HD1 so that I can install/reactivate BING from the flashdrive (otherwise, BING thinks that HD0 -- the flashdrive -- is the booting drive and starts in the wrong mode).

Paul
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #2 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 3:39am
 
MudCrab,

I'm booting BING and IFD from ISOs. No problems. I've only used BING in maintenance mode. I haven't tried to install BING to the HD from the current USB flash drive.
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #3 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 11:16am
 
What version of Grub4DOS are you using? I haven't checked lately so it probably has better support now. If they're still releasing like they were, they have multiple releases with the same version numbers and different dates.

When I started, Grub4DOS wouldn't correctly boot the IFL ISO and wouldn't boot the IFD and BING ISO files. It also wouldn't boot WinPE-based ISO files. After a few updates, booting the IFL ISO worked and later WinPE ISO booting worked.
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #4 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 1:29pm
 
I'm using this one. It seems to be the most recent.

grub4dos-0.4.4-2009-06-20.zip    

And the installer linked from your web page.

It won't boot my old BartPE ISO or the Ghost 15 ISO. That's all I've tried so far.

I imaged my flash drive with IFW and restored the image to my HD. The partition wouldn't boot using BING. Strange, as this method often works with bootable flash drives. It even worked with Ghost 15 which I now have booting from the HD.
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #5 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 2:53pm
 
I still had the 0.4.4-2008-11-19 version on my main flashdrive. I had downloaded the 06-20-2009 version, but didn't update. I'll try it later and see if it works better.

One thing about Grub4DOS, some builds work better on some computers or with certain ISO files than others.

Try running the Grub4DOS installer on the hard drive. Once that is setup, all you need to do is copy the files onto the partition (just like on a flashdrive).

By the way, I haven't tried booting into a Grub4DOS partition (or drive) using BING. I just installed it to a secondary drive (in the MBR) and then boot directly using the BIOS boot menu (I don't have BING installed on this computer).
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #6 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 3:01pm
 
I have BING installed with unlimited primaries and about 20 bootable partitions. Grub4DOS installs to the MBR so I don't want that to happen.

I have found some ISOs boot differently in different computers.
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #7 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 4:29pm
 
I think that you would just select to have Grub4DOS installed to the partition instead of the MBR. I can give it a try later and see what happens. You got me curious now.

In the Grub4DOS Installer, select the Disk, select the partition in the Part List (instead of the MBR), and install it. I would think that BING would then boot the partition okay.

ISO booting is still not perfect, but it's much, much better than it was even a year ago.
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #8 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 7:15pm
 
MudCrab wrote on Feb 9th, 2010 at 4:29pm:
I think that you would just select to have Grub4DOS installed to the partition instead of the MBR

Very nice. That works. All the ISOs are now booting from that partition. This is really interesting.

Any other ideas?
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #9 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 7:31pm
 
I booted the IFD ISO in that partition and imaged the partition. The partition was deleted from my normal BING. Using IFD, the image was restored to unallocated free space on the second HD, HD1. This partition was then booted using BING with the Swap option. G4D booted but none of the ISOs worked. I copied the partition to HD0 and now everything works.

This has a lot of potential.
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #10 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 8:23pm
 
When you say "none of the ISOs worked" did you get an error message? I'm curious exactly what happened. (My BING computer's been tied up wiping a drive for a repair.)

Did you copy the partition with BING?

I wouldn't think you would need to use the BING Swap option to boot the Grub4DOS drive/partition. Grub4DOS will find grldr in a search. If something needed swapped when booted from Grub4DOS, I think it would be best to have Grub4DOS do the swap.
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #11 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 8:41pm
 
MudCrab wrote on Feb 9th, 2010 at 8:23pm:
When you say "none of the ISOs worked" did you get an error message? 

My mistake, IFL works from HD1.
Hiren's MiniXP works from HD1.


BING fails.    EMBRL Missing
IFD fails.      TBOSLDR Missing
TBOSDT fails.    TBOSLDR Missing
MS-DOS fails.   Disk I/O error
SeaTools fails.  No error
Hitachi FT fails.   Non-System disk or disk error. Replace and press any key

It is confusing. Two work.


I copied (with BING) the partition from HD1 to HD0 and everything works from HD0.

EDIT....   You are correct. I disabled Swap and now everything works from HD1.
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #12 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 8:52pm
 
Brian,

I'm glad it worked. I wonder if the "Fix Swap" option in BING would have also fixed the problem. In general, I think keeping swapping to the absolute minimum is best.

It would seem from the errors that they couldn't find the drive. I would guess that the swap doesn't "hold" (kind of like with Vista/Win7).
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #13 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 8:56pm
 
MudCrab wrote on Feb 9th, 2010 at 8:52pm:
I would guess that the swap doesn't "hold" (kind of like with Vista/Win7). 

What happens there? I can't recall trying to boot these OS from HD1.


EDIT.... Did you mean this?

Quote:
Keep in mind that, because swapping is done at the BIOS level, once an operating system boots in protected mode, it may ignore the BIOS and, in effect, undo the swap.
 
 
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Re: Booting an ISO from a USB flash drive.
Reply #14 - Feb 9th, 2010 at 9:00pm
 
MudCrab wrote on Feb 9th, 2010 at 8:52pm:
I wonder if the "Fix Swap" option in BING would have also fixed the problem

I tried the combination of Swap and Fix Swap. That works. But as you point out, neither are needed.
 
 
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