Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Sample grub4dos menus

I have made available a few sample grub4dos menus here. This allows you to test out different resolution bitmaps on diffferent systems.
Some include example uses of the menusetting utility which changes the size and position of the menu on the screen. One also loads the UniFont font file for you to view it's affect.
Note that some of the files are in UTF-8 format as they contain unicode characters (e.g. Chinese).

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Boot pclinuxos from an iso with persistence

pclinuxos can be booted from an ISO file, however it will not boot if the ISO file is on an NTFS USB drive (it cannot find the cdlive.sqfs file). In addition, persistence will not work unless an ext2/3 partition is available.
However, by using the grub4dos partnew command and mapping the iso to one partition on the USB drive, and an ext2 file to another partition on the USB drive, we can boot pclinuxos from an ISO with persistence.
To see how to do this have a look at Tutorial 104.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

A Puppy is not just for Xmas!

I have added a .mnu file for the Easy2Boot project for Puppy Linux Precise 5.4.3 with persistence.
Just add the ISO (named precise-5.4.3.iso) to your Easy2Boot's \_ISO\Linux folder and then add the .mnu file.
When you first boot Puppy and then Exit, it will prompt you to save settings to a file at the root of the USB drive. It will also prompt you to copy the .sfs file from 'CD' to the USB drive - you should answer No to this as there is no speed advantage. When you next boot Puppy, your new settings will also be loaded.

Easy2Boot Tutorial #72.See here for a forum discussion. 

v2.1.657 - File Info function updated to display boot sector info

If you use Drive Info in RMPrepUSB to read sectors from a disk, if it is recognised as an MBR or PBR, the internal values will be parsed and displayed for you in Notepad. However, the File Info function in RMPartUSB only displayed MBR values if it detected a valid MBR but did not display PBR values. v2.1.657 fixes this. Now you can use File Info to display the hex data in a bootsect.dat PBR file, for instance, and it will parse the BPB for you - e.g.


000B Bytes Per Sector = 512 (0200h)
000D Sectors Per Cluster = 8 (08h)
000E Reserved Sectors before first FAT = 32 (0020h)
0010 Number of FATs = 2 (02h)
0011 Root Entries = 0 (0000h)
0013 Total Log Sectors (small) = 0 (0000h)
0015 Media Descriptor = 248 (F8h) HDD
0016 Sectors per FAT table = 0 (0000h)
0018 Sectors per Track = 63 (003Fh)
001A Number of Heads per Cylinder = 255 (00FFh)
001C Hidden Sectors preceding Partition = 63 (0000003Fh)
0020 Total Log. Sectors (big) = 16203713 (00F73FC1h)
0024 Log. Sectors per FAT = 15794 (00003DB2h)
0028 Mirroring Flags = 0 (0000h)
002A Version No. = 0 (0000h)
002C Cluster No. of Root Dir Start = 2 (00000002h)
0030 Log. Sector No. of FS Info Sector = 1 (0001h)
0032 First logical sector number of a copy of the three FAT32 boot sectors, typically 6 = 6 (0006h)
0040 Physical Drive Number = 128 (80h) First Fixed Disk
0042 Extended Boot Signature = 41 (29h)
0047 Volume Label = NO NAME    
0052 FileSystem Type = FAT32   

First FAT begins at LBA 95
Second FAT begins at LBA 15889
Root Directory begins at LBA 31683
First file data (cluster 0) begins at LBA 31691

Thursday, 7 February 2013

WinToFlash or WinToSlug?

A recent post on complained that a USB flash drive that was prepared for XP installs using WinToFlash, worked well on one system, but would not boot on another and gave an 'NTLDR is missing' error.
I decided to try WinToFlash with an XP install ISO for myself. The first thing I found was that when using the default settings, when I used a USB flash drive created by WinToFlash, the first text mode XP install copy files phase took over 70 minutes!
It turns out this is due to FAT32 being used by WinToFlash for the USB drive format. If this is changed to FAT16LBA, then the 2GB volume created on my 8GB USB drive, when booted will install the same XP files in just 7 minutes.
I also found that if I reformatted the same USB drive as 8GB NTFS and used grub4dos to launch setup, the same install phase takes just over 4 minutes.
To learn how to make the NTFS WinToFlash drive, read Tutorial 102.
By using NTFS, it also removes the 'NTDLR not found' issue - although I have also given details of how this can be avoided even if you 'stick' (pardon the pun!) to FAT.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Xiaopan - boot from ISO on USB

A new tutorial has been added on how to add Xiaopan to a grub4dos multiboot USB drive here.

It dynamically finds and uses the UUID of the volume and can also use a 'persistent' data store.

The tutorial was written after a few hours of experimentation in response to a plea from forum member Hexley Darwin.