Dave-H

Faster Startup For Windows 2000?

109 posts in this topic

(not Windows Server 2003, as it seems to use a different file to load the operating system)

This is news to me.

Care to expand on this? :unsure:

Windows Server 2003 products may use a boot loader file named "Osloader.ntd" (NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM may still exist). I am uncertain between the relationship between the different boot loaders of Windows Server 2003.

Well, Osloader.ntd is ONLY used when booting from ADS:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/843536/en-us

Probably :unsure: just like SETUPLDR.EX_ is used instead of SETUPLDR.BIN for PXE/RIS installs/PE's.

Close. In fact, you should compare it with OSLOADER.EXE, which is (as Jaclaz already knows :angel:) is the second part of NTLDR (the first one being the StartUp module which brings the computer into 32-bit mode).

So if you compare them, you'll find they are extremely similar, they even have the same .PDB referenced; the only differences are in the PE header:

  • there is a supplementary section, named .detect
  • the ImageSize is bigger
  • the checksum are different (better have to, since they are checked :whistle:)

Now, if you consider the extra baggage at the end of OSLOADER.NTD, it is around 46 KB, and it is... NTDETECT.COM :o

So I believe it works this way: PXE ROM, STARTROM.xxx sent with TFTP, asks for "NTLDR" but expects a .EXE (this is standard behaviour of Microsoft's PXE infrastructure), the server sends this OSLOADER.NTD packaged as a single file and the OsLoader works alone, without need to download a further NTDETECT.COM later.

What I do not understand yet is how OsLoader does to "know" it should either load_from_disk/ask_via_tftp for NTDETECT.COM (normal case), or just have a look in memory behind itself (osloader.ntd case). The evident way to do it (just inspect the COFF header) is not that evident, since I did not see any reference to ".detect" in the binary; perhaps it does that by direct inspection to entry #12, without checking the name?

OK, next stage is to build some frankenboot, i.e. paste StartUp and OsLoader.ntd as NTLDR, removing NTDETECT.COM and see if it works...

Another try is to "append" ntdetect.com to setupldr.bin (or renamed version of it, like cmldr :whistle:) and see if Setup is able to boot without needing the ntdetect.com extra baggage...

PS: I am a newbie here, so if this should be redirected to another thread (or a new one), please do; also I'd appreciate pointers to similar researches already done about OsLoader.NTD.

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OK, next stage is to build some frankenboot, i.e. paste StartUp and OsLoader.ntd as NTLDR, removing NTDETECT.COM and see if it works...

Another try is to "append" ntdetect.com to setupldr.bin (or renamed version of it, like cmldr :whistle:) and see if Setup is able to boot without needing the ntdetect.com extra baggage...

And what about prepending to OSLOADER.NTD just the first part of NTLDR/SETUPLDR.BIN and see if one can get rid of NTDETECT.COM? :unsure:

Checksum will need to be corrected/bypassed, of course.

jaclaz

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I know it´s a little off-topic, but I´m curious about the NTLDR part of this thread, I know that the Longhorn Beta 1 can be used on Windows XP, a cool side effect is that the Longhorn Beta 1 NTLDR has HAL and Kernel Autodetection, I wonder if this stuff works on windows 2000, in fact, I´ve opened a new topic about it, please let me hear opinions !!!!

Regards to everyone !!!

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Interesting topic! I carried out my own tests, preparing four installation CDs with the following NTDETECT and NTLDR files- with stock W2000 SP4 files, with XP SP3 files, with Server 2003 files and with Server 2003 SP2 files. Basic specs of test PC- Asus A8V-X MB, single-core Athlon 64 3800+ CPU, nVidia 7600GS vid card, old 10 GB Quantum Fireball Plus HDD, 4 GB DDR-400 RAM (curiously, system only sees 2.9 GB, even with x64 OS- still haven't solved this one). The HDD was wiped with DBAN before installing the OS, which was then updated with MB and vid drivers plus all W2000 updates. After every test the HDD was wiped before installing the next setup to minimize the chances of software remains from previous install influencing results. Each install was started 5 times and boot time measured.

Boot times from start boot to appearance of login window were as follows-

With stock W2000 SP4 NTDETECT and NTLDR files time required was 48 seconds.

With XP SP3 NTDETECT and NTLDR files time required was 46 seconds.

With stock Server 2003 NT DETECT and NTLDR files time required was 44 seconds.

With Server 2003 SP2 NTDETECT and NTLDR files time required was 48 seconds (which suggests that Server 2003 SP2 installations MIGHT benefit by reverting to the original Server 2003 files!!! This is progress????).

While a crude test it does suggest that the Server 2003 files are the best replacement for the stock W2000 SP4 files. A different PC spec may give different results, though. And while not a spectacular improvement, 4 seconds are not to be sneezed at.

Edited by Dagwood
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