Tulert, on Jun 23 2009, 10:42 PM, said:
Also 1 more question --
if I use RMPREPUSB, lets say, would using C:\WINXPCD under "Choose Folder; Copy files from here after preparing USB drive" do the full job or should I run WinSetupFromUSB_0-2-2 (without formatting) to get to the bootable USB?
Also, I checked "Boot as HDD" option in RMPREPUSB but got a notice that "This device is classed as USB_ZIP <Removable Disk>. Not like I mind but it matters for the BIOS settings probably... ?
And what is that 2-nd hidden partition? Why do I have it & am I supposed to have it with so many formattings... [this one is not Micro Center that I am torturing too].
RMPrepUSB will clean, partition and format a USB stick and then if you have the tick box selected, copy the folder you have specified to the USB stick.
The 'This device is classed as USB-ZIP' means that of the three types of USB writeable mass storage devices (USB-FDD, USB-ZIP and USB-HDD) your USB stick is classed as USB-ZIP / Removable Drive. A USB Hard disk would appear as USB-HDD (Fixed Disk). Most USB sticks appear as Removeable.
If you run a utility like BootIt.exe
and use the 'Flip Removable Bit' button - then unplug and re-plug - it may change your USB stick to a USB-HDD device. If it works (and I have only see it work on Netac and Lexar USB sticks so far) then the USB stick will appear as a USB-HDD. If you can get this to work then you will have a much better chance of getting any BIOS to treat the USB stick as a hard disk.
The 2PTN switch is to add an extra tiny hidden ptn which helps some BIOSes to treat the USB stick as a hard disk (USB-HDD) and not a USB-ZIP.
XP, WinPE and Vista need to boot from a hard disk or a CD. These OS's think that any device that has a normal MBR + ptn table is a hard disk (if it is accessed by the BIOS using Int 13h DL=80h which is used for hard disk access). The problem is that some BIOSes map a USB stick as a super-floppy (USB-ZIP) and these don't have an MBR once the BIOS boots to them as the BIOS returned the Volume Boot Record when the MBR (block 0) is requested - ie the BIOS is trying to fool any OS that is on the USB stick into thinking it is a floppy. Also, they are accessed via Int 13h DL=0 which is used to access floppy disk devices, so the OS will not see a hard disk unless you also have a real hard disk attached. Hint: Always have a real hard disk attached when you are testing USB bootable sticks as you can get unpredictable results if the OS sees no hard disk at all in the system even if you can fool it into booting from a USB stick.
A way to test if the BIOS is 'converting' the USB stick to a USB-ZIP super-floppy is prepare using RMPrepUSB to put MS-DOS on the USB stick (no config.sys or autoexec.bat). If the prompt is C:> then the BIOS is booting it as a hard disk. If the prompt is A:> then the BIOS is booting it as a floppy disk. Try different BIOS settings and RMPrepUSB settings until you can get the C:> prompt. Experiment with FAT16 and FAT32 and NTFS.
I have found that some BIOSes completely ignore any USB stick that is over 512MB in size - for this reason I would recommend a Lexar or Netac 512MB USB stick for all trials.
So set BIOS to 'Fixed disk' not Auto or 'Removable' - use RMPrepUSB with 2PTN switch and FAT32 (also try FAT16 and NTFS if that does not work).
Another tip - if it seems to try to boot but fails - try setting the USB speed in the BIOS to low speed - I have seen this work on a few BIOSes (slow but at least it boots).
Once you have a successful but slow boot - change the BIOS setting back to fastest speed (480mbs) and see if it still boots.
This post has been edited by steve6375: 27 June 2009 - 11:16 AM