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Old 10-17-2003, 01:52 PM   #1
beginnerx
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is there a user friendly boot disk?


Hello again folks!
I'm still trying to partition my hard drive, to install stuff after...but no luck yet. (I seem to be able to partition and format now, the problem is in installing after, (and no, cannot use the Windows Recovery Disk, it will defeat any partitioning). There appear to be two basic ways, one is to create a CD that also boots itself, (MUCH beyond my current knowledge), and the other is to use a boot floppy disk, which seems to be the one most recommended. Although my Windows ME laptop has a create startup disk utility, which I have used to make a startup floppy, it appears to be useless. I have also tried making various startup floppies from the web, but they appear to be equally useless.

Let me put it this way....does anyone know the SEQUENCE OF A PROMPT COMMANDS that will tell a CD to boot up? If so, please tell me....I will then tell a lot of people, and then they will want to Affero ME, rather than vice versa.

Wow, those boot disk sites sure don't want to make it user friendly! Not accusing them of anything, but they seem to take so much for granted...with so many loose ends and ambiguities.

It just seems to me, that all of this is something that people would want to do, and therefore they should put it in an obvious and very unambiguous way, with no loose ends...but maybe these sites are mainly aimed at those with years of DOS, partition, and image CD experience....

All help appreciated,

beginnerx
 
Old 10-17-2003, 01:57 PM   #2
quatsch
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you want a bootdisk for what? For intalling linux? If your machine can boot from a CD - it sounds like it can - by far the simplest thing to do is to boot from the CD. For example, look here for how to odi it:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...threadid=65038
 
Old 10-17-2003, 02:23 PM   #3
rootyard
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BIOS?
 
Old 10-17-2003, 02:35 PM   #4
aaa
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Quote:
Let me put it this way....does anyone know the SEQUENCE OF A PROMPT COMMANDS that will tell a CD to boot up? If so, please tell me....I will then tell a lot of people, and then they will want to Affero ME, rather than vice versa.
What kind of prompt (DOS/Linux). What cd to you want to boot up?
www.bootdisk.com just has programs that are run to copy the bootdisk images in them to floppy.
 
Old 10-19-2003, 12:30 PM   #5
beginnerx
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Hello quatsch,
Thank you for your various replies, and I DID go to the link you mentioned, regarding making a boot CD, rather than floppy. I have some comments, but let me try to clear up a few things first.

One, my basic idea is not to install Linux, nor is it to not do so. I want all the options. In other words, it is a basic personal challenge. Bootup floppies, and bootup CD's exist for a reason. It is clear that I want to know how to use both, but there are major obstacles. Another way to say this is, I want to be able to install ANYTHING, my way. It is a matter of jumping certain hurdles. There has to be a way to do it.

Regarding bootup CD's, there seem to be two possiblilties, one is an autorun CD, and it knows what to do just by putting it in the CD ROM drive. The other is one that can boot itself up, but it has to be told what to do at an A prompt nonetheless.

Now I know I can make a bootup floppy effortlessly, because my Windows Me program has a utility for doing precisely that. My understanding is, the floppy even has a CD driver on it, so that the CD and the floppy can "see" each other. Unfortunately, that still leaves a HUGE problem, and that is, what to do? What to type? Someone on another forum has told me, you just type "setup.exe", and is implying that the computer will know which setup file it is, even though DOZENS of setup files are in the CAB files, not to mention in the BIOS, the computer itself, and maybe on the floppy too. But I'll try.

Now, my point. Its more than hard enough to make a bootup floppy, and impossible to use it. To have to make a bootup CD, or an autorun bootup CD would be harder still. Those bootup floppies exist for a reason, there must be a way to use them. Right? The problem is, nobody seems to be able to say how.

Thanks again,
beginnerx
 
Old 10-19-2003, 12:49 PM   #6
XavierP
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A boot up floppy is used to: boot to your system, partition, run basic utilities such as scandisk, fdisk, access files on a damaged system or is used to run prior to a cd with certain options.

On a cd, typing setup.exe will run the setup.exe in the root of the cd (x:\setup.exe).

The problem the other posters are having is that you simply say how do I use it? there is no right answer to such a broad and vague question. Why not list, clearly, what you want to do and then ask which are possible with a bootdisk.
 
Old 10-20-2003, 12:30 AM   #7
beginnerx
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XavierP,
Thank you for your reply. I will try and make myself clearer to you. Several sources have told me the same thing you have, that to get a cd to boot up, one types setup.exe on the command line, and its as easy as that. Or x:\ setup.exe as you said. Unfortunately, that hasn't worked, and the reason is that there's a special trick that I don't know about. I'm trying to find someone who does, and is willing and able to tell me about it. So far, no go, tough nut to crack, I'm wondering if the newbie forum is the right forum.

When I try it, by the way, I get bad command or file name error. I've tried many many things to prevent this error. For example, I'm told one has to watch the screen to see what drive letter the CD Rom drive has been assigned to. Its always E. But creating an E prompt, or prefixing with E:\, is not helping setup.exe to get started. I know the setup.exe is on the cd I created. Its a copy of the cab files from my hard drive. A unique site on the internet told me about that part of it. More about that site later.

Now, I've also tried a D prompt, an A prompt, I've tried setup in lowercase...setup in caps...setup with .exe, without it, and lots of permutaions and combinations. No go.

At least one source has suggested that a correct method is to create a folder on the hard drive, copy the cab files from the cd to that folder, and then try to boot up from that folder. Another source has suggested that I have to have my recovery disk ready, just to show I have it, for OEM purposes...and there have been many other suggestions. By the way, I have a recovery disk, in addition to my created cd with the cab files...I even have a backup cd of the entire hard drive, with windows installed!

But the key problem is knowing what the necessary commands are to get that setup.exe program to do its thing. If I can do that, then I probably win this whole battle, and all the effort invested so far, having seemingly mastered how to copy the cab files, how to use fdisk, how to use format, making the startup floppy, the whole ball of wax, will be justified.

One last thing, if you have never done this yourself, or don't see the purpose of it, then you probably won't be able to help. To me, the purpose seems very obvious...I want to get the cd to boot up, but it won't do it. Simple as that. Maybe I will have to create an "autorun" cd somehow, or perhaps the cd I have created isn't "bootable" anyway, even with the assistance of a startup floppy. But I'm not giving up yet.

Yours sincerely,

beginnerx
 
Old 10-20-2003, 12:47 AM   #8
quatsch
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Hold on a moment. When you say 'bootdisk', do you mean a disk that can start msdos? All you need to do is format a floppy with that option (I'm pretty sure the dialogue for formatting a floppy in WinME gives that option). But you won't be able to start an installation of linux with such a disk (people telling you stuff about a prompt like A:> are probably misunderstanding you).

If you mean a floppy disk from which you boot so that you can then access the CDrom for installing linux or whatever, you will have to look at the specific instructions. Usually, it is a matter of copying stuff (an image file) to a floppy using a special program (e.g. rawwrite.exe) that usually are provided with on the CDs or for download.
When you boot from such a floppy, you typically do not get a DOS prompt (like A:>) because these are not msdos disks. Rather, they start their own operating system (a tiny linux if these are installing for linux) which then starts reading the CD (normally automatically) and you can proceed with the installation as if you had booted from the CD.

As for making bootable CDs, forget about making AutoRun CDs and the like (that's for CDs that start windows program automatically). What you need to do is to burn the iso-images in the way the link I gave you tell you to do. And this ALL you need to do. There is no extra step for making it bootable. A bootable CD is a CD that has certain information in the right places and when you burn the iso properly, the information will be there.

One more thing. Whether or not you choose to use a boot-floppy, this does not make a difference to the CD you are burning. You always burn a 'bootable' CD. The problem is that some machines cannot boot from a CD even if the CDs themselves are bootable and that is why you need a boot floppy.

Edit: It would be helpful if you told us which CD burning program you have and for which distro you are trying to create boot floppy. If you have EasyCD I think I can walk you through the process of making the CD. And also, can your machine boot from the CD? If your windows installation CDs that came with your computer also came with a floppy to start the installation, then your machine cannot boot from CD. If you just got CDs, it probably can.

Last edited by quatsch; 10-20-2003 at 01:24 AM.
 
Old 10-20-2003, 01:45 AM   #9
misophist
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I am still unclear. If you need to start a linux installation from a cd, then you need to go into your bios and set it to boot from the cd drive. Is it that or do you need to boot an existing installation? That would probably be a dual boot setup from the sound of it. That's best left to the installation program to set up.
 
Old 10-20-2003, 02:14 AM   #10
aaa
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What I think he wants is more flexibility/options with his Windows installation. Currently he has a recovery cd that came with his computer that'll install a preconfigured Windows and erase everything else. The setup files for computers configured this way are stored in some folder. He wants to copy them to cd in the hopes of making his own Windows ME install cd that won't erase everything on the harddisk.
Beginnerx,
Try using the Windows ME dos disk to run the setup program for Windows. I'm not sure if the oem version you have can run under dos, but I have a friend with a similar setup (no cd, just sticks dos disk in to run the setup and reinstall), and this works with him. Here are a few dos commands that may help:
'x:' Changes drive. Ex: 'A:' to switch to A:, 'C:' to switch to C:, and so on
'dir' Lists contents of current directory. Ex: 'A:' then 'dir' will show me the file.txt I have on a floppy. 'dir|more' will give the results page by page in case it would go by to fast.
'cd' switches directories. Ex: 'C:' then 'cd windows' then 'dir' will list all that's in the C:\windows folder.
Typing the program's name will result in an attemot to execute the file. Executable files include those ending in '.com', '.exe', and '.bat' . Hope this helps you.
 
Old 12-10-2003, 08:59 PM   #11
gnanaswaroop
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hey use this boot disk creator

http://swaroop.0catch.com/boot-disk-...r/W98_disk.exe
It worked for me . if u dont have an operating system in ur computer !. then make the boot disk in someone elsez system and the bring it back to ur system !.
Make sure the floppy drive u are using for this doesnt contain any bad sectors
 
Old 12-10-2003, 11:15 PM   #12
michaelk
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Have never used ME so I don't know if the emergency boot disks are different then Win98. An emergency boot disk is different then just a boot floppy because it has the cdrom drivers and disk drive utilities. However, you did mention that the CDROM was assigned the drive letter E. Were there any error messages when the floppy was booting?

After the PC boots with the floppy disk you should get the DOS promt A:> What happens when you change directories to the cdrom drive. i.e.
a:>e: (Press the e key, then the : and the press the enter key)
If no errors then you should get a DOS prompt
e:>
To list the contents of the CD. i.e.
e:>dir
If you do not see the files you think should be on the CD either it is bad or it was not burned correctly. If you see the setup.exe file, great. You should be able to execute it.
e:>setup.exe

Be sure to post error messages. And the exact steps you have tried.
 
Old 12-11-2003, 03:17 AM   #13
TigerOC
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Your setup.exe would have to be included on the boot disk and in most cases there is insufficient room on the floppy to do this. You have 2 options. Use the ordinary boot disk from Win and make another disk with setup.exe on it. Boot with the boot disk and once you have the a: insert the floppy with the setup.exe on and enter setup. If you want to do this with a cd then nero (most common program) has the ability to make a boot cd using boot floppy image. Now it gets complicated. Having put the boot image on you have create a new directory and put the setup.exe in the new directory. You can then burn the cd. All the above is done based on the concept of 1.44MB floppy. You can do a setup on the concept of 2.88MB floppy. There is a site on the net run by a man and his daughter that give guidance on exactly what you want to do. Unfortunately I don't have the link. They have a basic autorun program that you can edit to suit your own requirements to make an autostart boot disk. Do a search for Barts mod boot disks.
Edit : did a quick search and the stuff is here and select sitemap and you'll see various types of boot disks.

Last edited by TigerOC; 12-11-2003 at 03:26 AM.
 
Old 12-12-2003, 01:15 AM   #14
beginnerx
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Thanks gnanaswaroop,
Hey, its ok now...I was able to solve MOST of the problems I was having, one at a time....the trick for boot floppies I have now discovered I believe....one has to ADD whatever utility to a startup floppy, or, if not enough room, then use them in sequence....that's the "special trick".
The "special trick" for getting a custom Windows CD to boot up, is to simply copy the CAB Files from windows to the CDRW, then, when needed, the CAB files can be COPIED to whatever partition you want setup.exe to do its thing to, they have to be in a CABS folder of course, or setup.exe won't work. Then its just a matter of using the startup floppy, this trick gets around any and all CD issues!
The "special trick" for getting Windows to install to any old partition, is just to make all the partitions primary in the first place. This fools Windows. I discovered how to do this with a partition splitter. (FIPS)....you just start with a single primary, and then just split it up into more primaries. Simple as that!
I still have to discover a few more "special tricks" thoroughly, although I probably won't need them. For example, Windows seems to want to have a hard time with the Product Key. I think one fools it by using a different name in the License box for each partition. That worked last time. Same 20 digit product key, different user name. The other glitch is easier dual boot. As it is now, I bring up MS Dos prompt and then use fdisk to switch primaries, (done FROM windows, neat eh?)...but I'm sure there's an even easier, much easier "special trick", and yes, I tried special software for that, wish I didn't, heh.
Anyway, thanks again for your reply, I'm copying the above to Tiger OC also.

beginnerx
 
Old 12-12-2003, 01:19 AM   #15
beginnerx
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Hi TigerOC,
Thanks for your reply.
Hey, its ok now...I was able to solve MOST of the problems I was having, one at a time....the trick for boot floppies I have now discovered I believe....one has to ADD whatever utility to a startup floppy, or, if not enough room, then use them in sequence....that's the "special trick".
The "special trick" for getting a custom Windows CD to boot up, is to simply copy the CAB Files from windows to the CDRW, then, when needed, the CAB files can be COPIED to whatever partition you want setup.exe to do its thing to, they have to be in a CABS folder of course, or setup.exe won't work. Then its just a matter of using the startup floppy, this trick gets around any and all CD issues!
The "special trick" for getting Windows to install to any old partition, is just to make all the partitions primary in the first place. This fools Windows. I discovered how to do this with a partition splitter. (FIPS)....you just start with a single primary, and then just split it up into more primaries. Simple as that!
I still have to discover a few more "special tricks" thoroughly, although I probably won't need them. For example, Windows seems to want to have a hard time with the Product Key. I think one fools it by using a different name in the License box for each partition. That worked last time. Same 20 digit product key, different user name. The other glitch is easier dual boot. As it is now, I bring up MS Dos prompt and then use fdisk to switch primaries, (done FROM windows, neat eh?)...but I'm sure there's an even easier, much easier "special trick", and yes, I tried special software for that, wish I didn't, heh.
Anyway, thanks again for your reply.

beginnerx
 
  


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