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USB boot without bios support beta-testers needed

#1 User is offline   pcuser Icon

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 09:30 PM

This is a new utility that puts BartPE/UBCD4Win on your USB drive and can also make a small 40MB iso image used to boot your USB drive on systems that can't boot from USB otherwise.

Screenshot

Download it from HERE and extract it to your plugin folder (you can actually run it from anywhere now, read below) then run UBUSB.exe and click "Go" to have UBCD4Win written to your USB drive and a matching iso image made that can be burned to cd to make a "kicker" cd to boot your usb drive on older computers that can't normally boot from usb.

History:

http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21242

s4e discovered that the disk signature and mbr checksum is recorded during the first stage of the boot process and at the start of the second stage it checks to make sure that it can still connect to the original boot device.

How-It-Works:

The concept is to boot a small "kicker" image from cd into ram via grub4dos that contains critical boot time drivers (including usb) then when the second stage of the boot process is entered, it needs to verify that a driver has been loaded and that it can still communicate with the device that the boot loader passed to it as the boot device. Just before this check is done, communication with the ram loaded image is lost but since our usb drive has the exact same disk signature and mbr checksum as the boot device, it knows no different and continues booting from it.

Benefits of USB Booting vs. CD/DVD Booting:

1. Once it's booted it's lightning fast since it doesn't have to spin up the drive constantly.

2. No need to build and burn a new cd everytime you want to add/delete/modify a file.

3. You can save/recover data directly to the system drive while booted to PE/UBCD4Win

4. Easier to carry in your pocket (If you use a SD Card to USB adapter you can carry several cards in your wallet) ;)

Drawbacks of USB Booting vs. CD/DVD Booting:

1. Slow boot times on machines with USB 1.0 or 1.1

2. Some machines will boot at 1.1 speed even if it supports 2.0

3. Some older machines don't natively support booting from USB

4. Some older machines don't have a usb port.

How can we overcome the drawbacks?:

1. Use a 2.0 pci/pcmcia/pci-e usb adapter

2. Use the "kicker" cd made with this new utility to speed up the initial boot phase. After booting is passed to the usb drive then it should use 2.0 speed.

3. Use the "kicker" cd...

4. See #1 and #3...

*******************************

How to prepare your usb drive for booting:

The first time you prepare your drive you'll need to make sure that nothing is checked except for "Quick Format" and "Create CD Image..." (if desired) so that a partition table and MBR code can be written to it, the partition will be formatted and have the file/folder structure copied to it from your existing BartPE output folder.

About This Utility:

It is considered BETA so USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

Multiboot options have been disabled for now Multiboot support is now enabled for both Grub4dos and Syslinux

It will create a single partition on your usb drive (support for multiple partitions might come later).

USB-Copy.cmd is courtesy of cdob USB-Copy.cmd is no longer used

The CD image will be mounted via VDK.EXE on drive Z: and no checks are done to make sure that Z: isn't currently being used before formatting it and copying files to it so BE CAREFULL!!! The image is no longer statically mounted to Z: (it now uses the last available drive letter)

vdk.sys, vdk.exe, grldr, mkisofs.exe and USB-Copy.cmd need to be in the same directory as USB-Boot.exe if you want to create a "kicker" image and they need to reside in a sub-directory in your "plugin" folder. All required dependancies are now embedded in the exe and it can now be ran from anywhere on your hard drive as long as you manually "browse for" and direct it to your BartPE folder. It should automatically find your BartPE folder if you run it from somewhere in your build folder.

I have alot more to say about this new and revolutionary boot method but I don't want cloud this first post too much. Have fun testing and please report back with your experience and/or thoughts (good or bad)...

Tom
If you're afraid of taking any chances then the chances are great that you will never learn anything

Multiboot Plugins - UBUSB (Ultimate Boot USB) - EzPcFix - RootKitty - Network Configuration Utility - UnIsoFS - A Small Linux Distro - SELogger - HashME - WSock - My Paypal
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#2 User is offline   wimb Icon

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 01:57 AM

I have tried Ultimate Boot USB and I can say it works.
Booting with the kicker.img CD on a system without BIOS Boot USB-support, I was able to boot UBCD4WIN from USB.

But booting with the kicker.img CD is for the DVD-drive a rather heavy task and rather slow
as compared to booting smooth in 70 sec with UBCD4WIN from RAMDISK using a NTFS Compressed BartPE.img file
which is made with BOOT_IMG.cmd of the USB_XP_Setup package.
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=5306
BOOT_IMG.cmd makes a boot entry in boot.ini Menu and in GRUB4DOS menu.lst Menu on C-Harddisk,
so that you can also boot with UBCD4WIN without USB-support but now from RAMDISK.

This post has been edited by wimb: 01 September 2008 - 02:51 AM

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#3 User is offline   thesimpleone Icon

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 04:39 PM

I would like to try this out, but you didn't include usb-boot.exe or usb-boot.cmd. Can you please give me a link, or email me?

Thanks,

thesimpleone
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#4 User is offline   cdob Icon

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 04:50 PM

@thesimpleone
pcuser named already ftp://toms.homelinux...d4win/UBUSB.zip
Can't you download this file?

@pcuser
USB boot without bios support does boot. Thanks.
Sorry, haven't tried format part so far.
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#5 User is offline   pcuser Icon

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 07:29 PM

I've made a few updates to the program and uploaded the new v1.0.6 version (same link as first post).

Better error handling has been added.

The format routine has been reworked.

Various other updates have been done to improve the GUI.
If you're afraid of taking any chances then the chances are great that you will never learn anything

Multiboot Plugins - UBUSB (Ultimate Boot USB) - EzPcFix - RootKitty - Network Configuration Utility - UnIsoFS - A Small Linux Distro - SELogger - HashME - WSock - My Paypal
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#6 User is offline   WhiteZero Icon

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 11:46 PM

Love the idea of this! I've got my USB and KickerCD ready... now to find some non-USBbootable systems to test it on...
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#7 User is offline   pcuser Icon

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 11:37 PM

v1.0.7 has been uploaded with Syslinux and Grub4dos multiboot support added.

We can now have our Syslinux or Grub4dos multiboot menus (using either Fat16 or Fat32) while still having a matching kicker cd for the usb drive.

UBUSB pulls the bootsector from your usb drive to create UBCD4Win.bss and cmdc.bss (used for booting UBCD4Win and the Recovery Console with Syslinux) so they'll always match the filesystem you're currently using on your usb drive. cmcd.bss does not use the hacked setupldr.bin/rcldr method, it uses the method of renaming the CMDC directory to CMDCONS and changing MSDOS5.0 in cmdc.bss to CMDCONS(0).

I've successfully booted UBCD4Win with these configurations from a usb drive (and then also booting again using the kicker cd) on a computer that supports usb booting and the same configurations using the kicker cd on an old computer that can't natively boot from usb.

Fat16/Syslinux
Fat32/Syslinux
Fat16/Grub4dos
Fat32/Grub4dos
Fat16/Standard
Fat32/Standard
NTFS/Standard

If you're using Syslinux and there's no Syslinux directory at the root of your usb drive with a syslinux.cfg file present then a generic one will be created, same goes for a menu.lst file at the root of the drive if you're using Grub4dos. Even if a UBCD4Win.bss and cmdc.bss file exist in the syslinux directory, they'll be overwritten with new ones that match the current configuration of your usb drive.

I don't know how many people have noticed but I added multiboot support for both Syslinux and Isolinux in the last UBCD4Win release (Grub4dos didn't make it in time). My goal is for all multiboot plugins to support BCDW/Isolinux when booting from cd/dvd and support Syslinux/Grub4dos when booting from hdd/usb. This will enable us to have the same multiboot plugins available whether we're booting from cd/dvd or usb.

NTFS isn't compatible with Syslinux or Grub4dos and NTFS is still not supported for a kicker cd (yet). NTFS is also not supported on removeable usb drives but is supported on fixed usb drives using a Standard XP mbr and boot sector.

It's still pretty ugly to look at but I really like what it does so far...
If you're afraid of taking any chances then the chances are great that you will never learn anything

Multiboot Plugins - UBUSB (Ultimate Boot USB) - EzPcFix - RootKitty - Network Configuration Utility - UnIsoFS - A Small Linux Distro - SELogger - HashME - WSock - My Paypal
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#8 User is offline   pcuser Icon

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 11:28 PM

Vista anyone?

@Ben, I expect some testing and feedback on this... :P

Seriously though, the only configurations currently known to work under Vista are Fat16 or Fat32 using Grub4dos as the bootloader and a kicker cd cannot be made.

If you want to test this while running vista then you have to right click and choose "run as administrator".
If you're afraid of taking any chances then the chances are great that you will never learn anything

Multiboot Plugins - UBUSB (Ultimate Boot USB) - EzPcFix - RootKitty - Network Configuration Utility - UnIsoFS - A Small Linux Distro - SELogger - HashME - WSock - My Paypal
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#9 User is offline   Ricardo NYC Icon

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 02:58 PM

View Postpcuser, on Aug 30 2008, 10:30 PM, said:

I have alot more to say about this new and revolutionary boot method but I don't want cloud this first post too much. Have fun testing and please report back with your experience and/or thoughts (good or bad)...

Tom


Helo,
1- I've NOT successfully booted UBCD4Win from a usb drive (4GB) on a computer that SUPPORTS usb booting.

2 - Booting using the kicker cd take 15 minutes to load. CPU 3.0 GHz and memory 2 GB

3 - I got message error: "An unexpected error (769) ocurred at line 5182 in D:\XPSPRTM\BASE\BOOT\SETUP\SETUP.C Press any key to continue."

4 - After load usb drive, ubcd4win worked perfectly and much more fast than CD.

5 - How can I boot direct from usb drive?

Thank you,
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#10 User is offline   pcuser Icon

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 03:11 PM

Quote

1- I've NOT successfully booted UBCD4Win from a usb drive (4GB) on a computer that SUPPORTS usb booting.

Does it give you an error message? What configurations have you tried? Will the same usb drive boot on another computer? What kind of usb drive is it?

Quote

3 - I got message error: "An unexpected error (769) ocurred at line 5182 in D:\XPSPRTM\BASE\BOOT\SETUP\SETUP.C Press any key to continue."

I get this too on systems that natively support usb booting and hitting any key lets it boot to the desktop without problems. I'm not sure of a way to surpress it.
If you're afraid of taking any chances then the chances are great that you will never learn anything

Multiboot Plugins - UBUSB (Ultimate Boot USB) - EzPcFix - RootKitty - Network Configuration Utility - UnIsoFS - A Small Linux Distro - SELogger - HashME - WSock - My Paypal
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#11 User is offline   cdob Icon

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 04:59 PM

View PostRicardo NYC, on Sep 17 2008, 02:58 PM, said:

2 - Booting using the kicker cd take 15 minutes to load. CPU 3.0 GHz and memory 2 GB
Drive speed, read access time - not max speed, does set boot time.
15 minutes are very long.

Quote

3 - I got message error: "An unexpected error (769) ocurred at line 5182 in D:\XPSPRTM\BASE\BOOT\SETUP\SETUP.C Press any key to continue."
That's not a error message. :)
That's a friendly reminder: you change boot drive at a machine with BIOS support.

Quote

5 - How can I boot direct from usb drive?
Use grubinst and apply grub4dos to MBR. http://nufans.net/grub4dos/grubutil/
Add grldr, menu.lst and chainboot image to usb drive.
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#12 User is offline   pcuser Icon

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 06:50 PM

I fixed a small error that I found in my logic when testing with a plain pebuilder install today. It now doesn't create cmdc.bss or create an entry in syslinux.cfg for the recovery console if a folder named CMDC or CMDCONS doesn't exist and syslinux is used for the boot loader.

It wasn't anything major but I still uploaded a new v1.0.8 version...
If you're afraid of taking any chances then the chances are great that you will never learn anything

Multiboot Plugins - UBUSB (Ultimate Boot USB) - EzPcFix - RootKitty - Network Configuration Utility - UnIsoFS - A Small Linux Distro - SELogger - HashME - WSock - My Paypal
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#13 User is offline   Ricardo NYC Icon

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 03:04 AM

Hello, thanks for your help.

Quote

Does it give you an error message?

Disk error
Press any key

Quote

What configurations have you tried?

FAT 32 syslinux, grub4dos and standard

Quote

Will the same usb drive boot on another computer?

I want use ubcd4win just in my computer, I don't have another computer to try.

Quote

What kind of usb drive is it?

USB Flash memory PNY 4GB

Quote

Use grubinst and apply grub4dos to MBR. http://nufans.net/grub4dos/grubutil/
Add grldr, menu.lst and chainboot image to usb drive.

I don't know how to do I'm not programer... :blush:
Can you explain step-by-step, please?

Thank you again
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#14 User is offline   pcuser Icon

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 12:02 AM

Make sure that nothing is checked (except for Create CD Image... if not on vista) when you run the program, so the usb drive can be properly prepared.

Can you produce a working usb drive using FAT16?

What OS are you building on?
If you're afraid of taking any chances then the chances are great that you will never learn anything

Multiboot Plugins - UBUSB (Ultimate Boot USB) - EzPcFix - RootKitty - Network Configuration Utility - UnIsoFS - A Small Linux Distro - SELogger - HashME - WSock - My Paypal
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#15 User is offline   Ricardo NYC Icon

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 01:39 AM

Quote

Make sure that nothing is checked (except for Create CD Image... if not on vista) when you run the program, so the usb drive can be properly prepared.

I just check "Quick Format" and "Create CD Image".

Quote

Can you produce a working usb drive using FAT16?

I will try FAT 16, but before I need search google.com to learn what is FAT 16 LBA and CHS

Quote

What OS are you building on?

Win XP SP2
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