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mohed 05-02-2007 09:37 AM

Booting iso from GRUB
Hello guys. I have been trying out a thought without any luck. Don't know if its realy doable but thought that maybe i should ask the pro's before i give up.
I have a windows vista install cd iso image at the location /vcd/vista.iso and the /vcd/ dir is in it self a hd partition referd to under grub as (hd0,3). I want to make grub start the cd and hense get a windows vista instalattion going without burning the iso to a dvd-disk (dont have a working dvd-drive). Im thinking like maybe with the following command under grub: chainloader (hd0,3)/vista.iso +1
I greatly apprisiate any thoughts and ideays from you guys. Thatnks for any help.
PS : Soz for the typos, my English is'nt that great :)

Centinul 05-02-2007 10:24 AM

Afer a bit of googling I found this, hopefully it will help.

Let us know.

mohed 05-02-2007 11:42 AM

Thanks for the help. Unfortunatly the info on that site was'nt helpfull becouse im not trying to boot into a Linux img (witch is straight forward, why cant it all be linux :) ). Im trying to boot a vista install cd, no kernel and no initrd :(.

jkirchner 05-02-2007 12:01 PM

Maybe this might work with modifications? Install Vista from Hard drive There are more entries in google (I googled for "Install vista from hard drive" without the quotes). Worth a shot, I guess :)

saikee 05-02-2007 01:31 PM

My current view is that it is not possible to use Grub to boot a Vista iso.

I have done it with Linux iso by booting directly off an iso file held in a hard disk without the need of burning the CD.

The basic mechanism involves the following steps

(1) Boot up a Linux
(2) Mount the iso file on a loop back device
(3) Copy the content of the fully expanded directories into a temporary partition.
(4) Boot up Grub on its own and take over the isolinux to fire up the distro in the temporary directory. 99% of the Linux iso is booted by isolinux and its configuration may be used with small modification in Grub.

The success is not always guaranteed as some iso will persistently go back to a CD drive to look for the needed files for the installation and keep reporting "no file found". The knoppix family distros appears to be most suitable and can be installed as quick as 6 minutes this way. On average I would say about 50% of the Linux iso can be booted this way, from the distros I have tried.

I say booting Vista may not be possible because

(a) A Linux, by default without special program like ntfs-3g installed, currently does not write on a ntfs partition and so may have a difficulty to fully expand a Vista iso file into various directories in ntfs format.

(b) Vista is unlikely using isolinux as the boot loader for booting from a CD and so the booting parameters may not be transferable to Grub.

(c) Grub can boot Vista only after its boot loader has been installed and fires up Vista at the +1 psoition (that is by missing the first sector) in the hard disk. Grub will have no clue how to load the Vista installer from an iso file. In here Grub is not booting Vista but its installer embedded inside the iso. Grub can boot Linux image because isolinux boots the kernel which is what Grub will boot normally.

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