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Joined: 23-April 09
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Local Time: Jun 16 2010, 08:28 PM 29 posts (0.07 per day)

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23 Feb 2010
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Most Compatible USB Stick + Grub4Dos Method I have found
After trying a number of things and even dipping a toe into the fbinst world (and being very confused and having limited success - I could stick out the confused but I often need to make usb sticks for technicians and it is too fiddly during normal work to deal with) I found the imho truly excellent utility RMPrepUSB


which quicly proved to be more compatible with older machines I have than what I had settled on previously which was two sticks - one hp util formatted and one Make_USB_2 formatted, then grldr installed with the grub4dos gui. Ususally one of these sticks was booting for me, although there are a lot of older machines that I deal with that were not working. Some would even load the grub4dos but fail to pull up the menu, and yet work fine with the new method.

The simplicity of the new method is another real attraction. It is a simple format, then copy files and it just works, I have in fact not been able to find a machine in three days of messing around here and there that won't boot it, including some real difficult ones like intel d865glc and hp d220mt. It also seems to skirt the wisdom of using 2gb flash drives (and this is great, since we can also boot portable hard drives with images on them using FAT32 hopefully), and sticking to FAT, and so far using double partition has not been necessary (and I have a machine that does not like double partition so this is good).

So here's the deal, hopefully it will help someone else...

The first major trick is that you will not install grub4dos mbr, you will use ntldr. This inspiration came from reading the Grub4Dos tutorial


(THANKS!!!) and thinking about the fact that the very first boot sticks I made with PE2usb seemed to be more bootable and thinking it might have to do with ntldr. This seems to be the real key to it being most compatible, and I think that it has to do with motherboards specifically looking for a bootable NT/XP install. All I know is that I had done all the other things and had some success, but when going to ntldr it made a world of difference.

1. In RMPrepUSB, tick the third boot option 'xp/winpev1/bartpe bootable (ntldr)', and UN-tick the 'boot as hdd (c: 2ptns) option.

2. Click 'prepare drive'

3. Copy in the base XP boot files (it is important to do this first as they need to be first on the disk - not copying first can lead to rapid beeping and/or failure to boot)

the 'base XP boot files' consist of (from a working xpsp3 (sp2 prob fine too) install):

ntldr mine 245kb / 4/14/2008
ntdetect.com mine 47kb / 4/13/2008

make boot.ini like this (thanks again Grub4Dos tutorial)

[boot loader]
default= C:\grldr
[operating systems]

copy grldr to the root of the stick (not to c:\grub4dos) (used 3/31/2009 4.4 grldr)

4. Copy in menu.lst for grub4dos
5. Copy in the rest of the files, iso, etc.

I place the menu.lst and the other iso's etc in a folder and just copy them all in, the key is copying the first four files right after formatting the drive. ISO booting most of my OSs makes this very clean, the only thing I copy in plain is the netbootdisk contents because it is so fast for booting up to do a quick ghosting that I still love it. You can copy a working netbootdisk contents right into the root of the boot stick (I'm sure there's a better way but...) and add a menu.lst entry like:

title Netboot via IO.SYS - the good old dos
fallback 3
find --set-root /io.sys
chainloader /io.sys
savedefault --wait=2

And boot. So this is very, very easy to set up, and I will be very interested to hear success/failure stories if anyone cares to share, I have been amazed at how it has just worked on every box I've tried. Also seems to help with kicking the mb into usb 2.0 although I'm still feeling that out.

So anyway THANKS a million to everyone contributing here, this forum is truly amazing and has been and is a huge help to me and my company! So where do I donate??? I'll find that next....

23 Feb 2010
Read Topic
Okay to use boot land logo on boot splash screen?
Hi Guys, I've had a great deal of success lately with building sticks that boot on many motherboards and in my excitement (and because livexp lets you) I made a very quick splash screen for the loading graphic. I would like to put the boot-land logo on it as a way of giving credit and recognition to the incredible work done here but I just wanted to check first to see if it was okay. I didn't find any usage guidelines searching so I figure someone will chime in and tell me 'go for it' or 'no way dude what were you thinking???' biggrin.gif

I'll make a post in the grub4dos forum to detail what specifically seems to be working for me but this is just to check on the logo.

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Attached File  one_stick.bmp ( 150.12K ) Number of downloads: 57

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