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31 Oct 2007
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Scanning USB Bus for bottable Devices

It's been years since I coded assembly but I have some free time and would like to get into it again.
In the past using Smart Boot Manager I managed to install 18 OSes in a box with 2 IDE drives and 4 SCSI drives. Each of the oses installed on primary partitions. This is why I feel this boot manager has proven itself to me. Typically, each of the oses installs its own boot loader into its own partition which SBM is able to scan and create a menu item respectively, which in turn can then be set Active. It also is able to boot atapi cdroms even if not supported by the bios.

What it can't do is scan USB devices. The source code for SBM is released under GPL so I would to try to add USB device scanning for boot loaders, add them to the menu and set active to boot accordingly whether the USB device contains Windows, Linux, BSD or whatever... e.g. vmware's ESX3i is bootable from a USB stick and is a linux based boot. I've seen where windows can be booted also from a USB stick.

I'd like to just scan the USB bus, locate the device, see if its bootable.....

Can someone provide me with links or references for same and maybe some clarifications?

Are there int13 extensions provided in newer bioses to locate USB devices?
If not, does one need to provide a USB stack and can this be provided without device drivers?

I'd prefer not to have to use specific device drivers to try and find the USB device...

I appreciate any comments or help.

Thank you,

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