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Booting XP/Vista into RAM - have I got this at all right? - Boot Land
 
> Booting XP/Vista into RAM - have I got this at all right?, Read 100's of posts - looking 4 best ways AND 1 answer
yvonne
post Sep 21 2007, 07:10 AM
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Hi all great to be here...
I'm a relentless geek and a bit newbie-ish, actually compared to the gurus here i would be considered clueless.
I've successfully gotten my 1 gig flash to boot from USB into RAM though only with BartPE.
Here's what I wanna do.

And, IS ANYTHING [other than Number 1] below POSSIBLE?!?



1) boot XP [or vista if slicker-smarter-easier] FROM my USB stick INTO ram.

2) Be able to install programs to the running in ram booted OS or to the USB OS files themselves?

3) Or, is the only way to create a hard drive just the way I want it with drivers and programs and THEN create an image from it that boots into ram.


There's like about 20 questions I have from reading so much cool stuff here. Basically though, I think there a handful of BEST ways to go about things.


MY GOAL: have my OS running totally in ram [paging file off] with my nvidia drivers, a few other drivers and a few programs that need to actually be installed that I can't virtualize. I wanna use this RAM running OS as my primary day to day operating system.
It doesn't need to change much as most all of my apps are portable and/or virtualized and on another drive [not boot drive]

Stock BartPE isn't what I'm needing.

I really enjoyed reading here and around for days on end... and am ready to get really into it.

Can anyone help me with the way to get my flash drive booting XP [or Vista] with exactly what I need on there and having it be my primary OS?

I guess i'd actually be fine with just booting off my flash drive and writing back to it to start with.... as long as it runs just like a hard drive ... also, if i HAVE to create an image from my hard drive which is setup just the way I want it that's OK too...

I don't mind how much hassle it is...
Just wanna be able to find out exactly what is possible ...

huge thanks for any Guru comments.... obviously.
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MedEvil
post Sep 21 2007, 10:43 AM
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I'm not sure i understand, what you're exactly looking for.

- Do you wann put a full featured XP/Vista on your drive or a slimmed down but feature reduced version like a PE?
- Do you wanna use a USB-Stck or a flash drive? Do you already have it or think about getting one?

If i wanted to have a HDD-less PC i would simply use a 'Compact Flash' memory card and a ide adapter. Then add some trickery to stop/reduce the writes to it, like FWBF, EWF or Ramboot and be set.

cheers.gif
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Oleg_II
post Sep 21 2007, 11:09 AM
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There is MobileOS project for WinBuilder wink.gif In my opinion it's easy to make such installation manually (especially if you don't mind). The procedure was discribed on this site and on 911cd.net.
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yvonne
post Sep 29 2007, 01:14 AM
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Hi Oleg_II, MedEvil and everyone...

Just back, wish I coulda written sooner.
So yeah... have read a bit about mobileOS and a lotta other stuff.
Just really need to find the coolest way [if possible] to have a fully functioning XP install as my main OS running from a USB key.
So yes, it should work like a regular XP install mostly.

I'll read some more based on your post thanks...
I am pretty fuzzy on the may ways to do stuff.

Like, do I create a hard drive with my drivers and stuff on it and the few programs I need to install then create an image from that?
And IF I wanted to ADD drivers or programs to it could I update the image... or maybe it can write back to the hard drive image? or the USB drive when I shut down? There's been a lot of clues though I'm not sure what's possible..
I'd even be ok with just running my OS off the flash drive and not in ram. [fat32 and with the driver to lessen the writes and stuff]

Then there's the question about the image can only be 500 meg. and also that supposedly you can have more than one image on two flash drives... and on and on it goes...
I figure I've basically touched on all the best threads on the main forums by now... I would like to get busy and try to run an nLite'd XP from the flash drive.

Gonna do some more reading now.

it's grub4dos also I think that's best..?

If you have any comments that would be cool. I'm kinda late though on writing. sorry about that.
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Oleg_II
post Sep 29 2007, 02:32 AM
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yvonne
If you want it FULL (don't want to reduce files and components) and want to change things in your system from time to time (like adding drivers or install updates), the simplest way would be installing OS to USB. There are a couple of solutions: first and second.

You can also use boot in RAM solution with XP but some work required (like turning off pagefile and some other system functions). You can place about 1GB of files on a compressed disk image in RAM with SETUPLDR.BIN and RAMDISK.SYS files (described here). For saving place on disk image the programs may be ran from other medea (like running them from the same USB).

And if you don't mind of some time spending wink.gif you may try to reduce your system (remove not needed components and files) and even move some system files to other location (like to virtual disk in MobileOS).
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ktp
post Sep 29 2007, 06:20 AM
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The second solution mentioned (usboot.org) has an incomplete Quickstart.txt documentation.
In phase1 after opening the cmd console, I guess one must type usboot.exe to start the process.
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yvonne
post Sep 29 2007, 10:45 PM
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Cool, i'll be able to re-read and hunt around 'more smarter' thank to the comments ...
I guess the ultimate goal is to have the OS running in ram.... so that means I HAVE to create an image?

Also, even though I don't mind killing my USB flash for the purpose of experimenting I guess I'll need a USB hard drive.
Or, an IDE drive which I guess would be faster though it would be harder to remove I guess.

So.. now I'm wondering is there any way to have the OS running and upgradeable/changeable from USB AND running in ram....without creating an image...
OR,,,, if I have to create an image file is there some slick way to install stuff while the OS is running in ram and then have that saved to the image...?

I don't mind even if I have to have an install just like the USB image on a hard drive and then do installs to the hard drive and re-create the image.... this would have to be easy enough to make sense of doing it every week or few days even maybe...

Any comments on the above appreciated....obviously!

ADDED NOTE: I have a 20 gig USB2 external 2.5 inch 4800 rpm hard drive i'm hoping to try stuff wth.
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MedEvil
post Sep 30 2007, 01:08 AM
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I know this doesn't really fit this topic, but fiddeling with the text setup part of XP, i noticed something.
Xp setup is not ment to be able to be run from USB. (Wrong driver installtion on boot up.)
But the installation for Firewire seemed fine for booting. confused1.gif

Has anyone ever heared about a computer that can boot from a Firewire drive and has not Mac in the name?

cheers.gif
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Oleg_II
post Sep 30 2007, 06:53 AM
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yvonne
You shouldn't have any problem installing application when running system in RAM. The problem may be in saving changes.
NIKZZZZ created a tool - Image Creator - that can save your running image. Look for it in Development section. It may help (I didn't tried it for this purpose yet).
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yvonne
post Sep 30 2007, 07:11 AM
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Yes Oleg_II! I had heard about that though didn't know IF or what I read for sure... that wil be very helpful...thank you.

I wil soon be trying www.usboot.org [www. seems to be need to get to site] system first as it seems he has taken Dietmar's system and made some scripts and stuff. Then I will try dietmar's tutorial 3 and tutorial 5 system.... I don't yet know if they are both needed or if 3 and 5 are 2 different ways to do it.

I think that neither of these boot a full XP into RAM... so, I'm now wondering what I will need to remember of find out to get the USB drive's install booting into ram AND how BEST to do it...

Then there's you tip about writing back the ram contents to an image...

So:

1) www.usboot.org system

2) Dietmar's tutorial 3 AND? 5

3) find out BEST way to create image for ram running... AND, if it HAS to be an image AND if it has to be under 500 meg generally. I already had a stock bartPE running in ram with the 2003 server usb ram .sys file thing.

4) Then if it's necessary [I think it is:)] I'll look into getting geeky-good at the ram to image writing program you told me about...!

umm.... I've gotten quite far thanks to everyone!!!

So... the above stuff is now still being pondered...


cool...!
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