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Install XP from USB: conquering ASUS M4A78 Pro


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#1
Tulert

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Continuation of #544 and #545
http://www.msfn.org/...o...0444&st=540

type the following:
CODE root (
and press TAB key


Output:
Possible disks are: fd0 fd1 hd0 hd1 rd

In BIOS I do change the order of floppies to make USB #1. Will try to unplug the real floppy to see what happens


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#2
Tulert

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on Patriot Micro SD 1GB inside Kingston USB enclosure
-(FAT 16; RMPREPUSB Format as Zip & WINXPCD under WinSetupFromUSB_0-2-2; BIOS: FDD)-

got to the following pics

Attached Files



#3
Tulert

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Then tried

CODE
grubinst -v (hd4,0)

from http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=135202

And now am back to "grub>" prompt. Lol.

Edited by Tulert, 24 June 2009 - 10:56 AM.


#4
ilko_t

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The USB stick must be seen by grub4dos and Windows setup as a hard disk.
So you need to play with such options in BIOS, which will present it as hard disk.
Next you need to format it in a proper way, so it boots when that BIOS option is selected.

For now it seems to boot as floppy, so grub4dos cannot find its configuration file menu.lst and goes to command prompt. Well, grub4dos actually can load config file from a FD, but Windows setupwill not start from floppy disk.

How to format it and boot with that option in BIOS will be matter of experimenting, I hope Jaclaz is reading this and will give his priceless ideas as usual ;)

Install Windows from USB, boot Linux, multiboot and a lot more with WinSetupFromUSB


#5
Tulert

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Sorry, this is off-topic but after grubinst -v (hd4,0) I can't format my Patriot any more with the pic below and Error 7 reported after the pic. Any hints? I seemed to make max progress with it & now I can't go back.

Attached Files


Edited by Tulert, 24 June 2009 - 11:28 AM.


#6
jaclaz

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How to format it and boot with that option in BIOS will be matter of experimenting, I hope Jaclaz is reading this and will give his priceless ideas as usual ;)


Oh, Oh, BAD news. :sneaky:

My ideas now come at a price. :ph34r:

Of course not in money, but Tulert seems to have (besides trying to do too many different attempts together on different hardware/software :whistle: ) the "right" attitude and the "right (read "wrong" ;)) hardware.

Maybe, if he agrees to play "lab rat" for us a little bit :yes:, we can see if all together we can finalize this thing about BIOSes that recognize sticks improperly as FD.

@Tulert,
please choose one, and one only of your devices, say the MemoRive 2GB.

Have you handy (or can borrow, procure or steal :w00t:) another PC (another motherboard) running 2K or XP? Not that Vista is bad (actually it's worse than that IMHO) but I am not familiar with it and it may add a layer of problems in the steps I will suggest you. (and using anither motherboard would rule the (possibly faulty) specific BIOS out of the equation.

Or can you run XP or a PE of some kind in a Virtual Machine?

Or are you familiar with DOS/Command Line?

About the "second partition" that RMPREPUSB adds, it is because in a few BIOSes it is reported that this helps in letting the BIOS see the stick as HDD. (which evidently is not working in your case).

First thing I would try if I were you would be FBINST:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=7932

jaclaz

#7
Tulert

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My ideas now come at a price. :ph34r: Maybe, if he agrees to play "lab rat" for us a little bit :yes:, we can see if all together we can finalize this thing about BIOSes that recognize sticks improperly as FD.

I agree to be a lab rat. The only problem is my household is getting annoyed and says I should quit BS and just do it from a CD. So I am not sure how much longer I can handle this. I don't mind to continue after I install Windows too if you give instructions but I might be forced to actually install it somehow...

@Tulert,
please choose one, and one only of your devices, say the MemoRive 2GB

Could we go with Micro Center? I have a lot of those Sticks and it's easy to take another one of same type if experimenting makes it dead.

Have you handy (or can borrow, procure or steal :w00t:) another PC (another motherboard) running 2K or XP?

Yes, my Laptop has Microsoft Windows XP Professional Ver 2000, SP3

Or are you familiar with DOS/Command Line?

Somewhat. Seen it in class like 15 years ago. Used to zero sectors like you suggested. I also use UNIX but as a dummy I would say.

About the "second partition" that RMPREPUSB adds, it is because in a few BIOSes it is reported that this helps in letting the BIOS see the stick as HDD. (which evidently is not working in your case).

Hmmm... My BIOS can see the stick as HDD. Setting are, for example,
USB Config -> Emulation type: Auto
Boot Menu -> USB then is listed as "Hard Disk Drives" with HDDs

Versus if Emulation type: FDD, it's listed as "Removable Drives" (with Floppy). And if Emulation type:CDROM, it's listed as "CDROM Drives" (with CDROM).
Remember, it was my choice to force FDD as there was no progress with the other options (5 total). I don't remember all details of Emulation type: HDD, the bottom line is it stops at Motherboard logo too.

But when it is among HDDs I am not getting past Motherboard logo during the reboot. So not getting to "grub>", menu or anything else.

First thing I would try if I were you would be FBINST:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=7932

Ok, I'll take a look. I am not that hi-tech as you can tell and some things take me long time to understand/interpret.

Thanks for the help, suggestions & patience!

Edited by Tulert, 25 June 2009 - 12:30 AM.


#8
jaclaz

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Could we go with Micro Center? I have a lot of those Sticks and it's easy to take another one of same type if experimenting makes it dead.

Sure :).

Yes, my Laptop has Microsoft Windows XP Professional Ver 2000, SP3

Then (if FBINST didn't work) run from the laptop on the chosen stick fuwi's tool:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21702
and see if it boots on the laptop.
If it does, try the stick on the Asus, if it does not work we get more evidence that the problem is in the ASUS BIOS.

If it does not boot on the laptop, use HDhacker (on the laptop):
http://dimio.altervista.org/eng/
and save:
MBR of the stick (first sector of physicaldrive)
bootsector of the stick (first sector of logicaldrive for FAT 16/32 or first 16 sectors for NTFS)

Compress the two resulting files in a .zip and attach it to your next post.

jaclaz

#9
Tulert

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Yes, my Laptop has Microsoft Windows XP Professional Ver 2000, SP3

Then (if FBINST didn't work) run from the laptop on the chosen stick fuwi's tool:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21702
and see if it boots on the laptop.


2 things:
1) I've studied Fuwi's tool somewhat earlier and I don't quite get what should be unzipped and to what destinations there except for the main archive. I think I did get a notice that BartPE tool is not found and I am not sure whether I am supposed to have that installed earlier or it is a part of the package. The instructions said to modify 'SourcePath' in the file 'Config_SourcePath.cmd' to point at BartPE

change in accordance with your needs

but I don't know to which file and in which package and I don't know if BartPE is a crusial piece that I should have or I can get along without it [i.e. I am confused about my needs].
2) How do I check if the stick boots on a laptop? No kidding, I really have no clue. Do I need to go into BIOS or is it simpler?

I guess I need to do some work now, then will go to FBINST & etc. For FBINSt would you recommend any specific format options & should I combine with FDD or Auto(HDD) in BIOS? Or should I try everything?

Thanks!

Edited by Tulert, 24 June 2009 - 12:53 PM.


#10
ilko_t

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Don't use FDD option in BIOS. The whole point to present the USB stick as HD, hence use AUTO or HD mode only.

Install Windows from USB, boot Linux, multiboot and a lot more with WinSetupFromUSB


#11
Tulert

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For now it seems to boot as floppy, so grub4dos cannot find its configuration file menu.lst and goes to command prompt. Well, grub4dos actually can load config file from a FD, but Windows setupwill not start from floppy disk.

As a side thought --
1) could grub4dos load config file from a CDROM?
2) will Windows setup start from a CDROM?

I had success with FDD and CDROM (in getting to grub>) => hence the question. I.e. wondering if there would be a workaround by Emulating as CDROM.

Will try suggestions combined with HDD first.

Edited by Tulert, 24 June 2009 - 04:21 PM.


#12
Tulert

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First thing I would try if I were you would be FBINST:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=7932

I did
fbinst --list
fbinst (hd1) format --force

Didn't do anything about loading grldr or using updated grub4dos as I don't understand how that would interact with using WinSetupFromUSB.

BIOS: Auto => Motherboard logo
BIOS: CDROM => blinking cursor, later "Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key"
BIOS: FDD => "Missing MBR-helper" (I know I was told not to use FDD, just wanted to see what happens)

Repeated the procedure as
fbinst --list
fbinst (hd1) format --force
fbinst (hd1) load c:/grldr
=> "fbinst: error: invalid archive file"

Edited by Tulert, 25 June 2009 - 01:20 AM.


#13
jaclaz

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2) How do I check if the stick boots on a laptop? No kidding, I really have no clue. Do I need to go into BIOS or is it simpler?


Rats ;) are used in Labs because they are usually very fast in learning new things.

Of course the experimenter needs to be very accurate, too.

Some BIOS have an option, usually F12, to change boot order on-the-fly when booting, otherwise these should be more or less the steps involved:

  • You switch the laptop off.
  • Then you turn it on and press the appropriate key to access the BIOS.
  • Look for anything like "Boot Device Priority" or "Boot from first" or something like that.
  • Change it in such a way that an entry containing the word USB is chosen.
  • Save BIOS settings and reboot.

Then:
  • Switch off.
  • Insert bootable USB stick (previously made with "plain" HP utility running from the 2k or XP in the laptop, choosing FAT16 or NTFS, NOT FAT32 ).
  • Switch on.
  • Report what happens.

Have you actually tried to simply unzip the fuwi's file as they are and run them? :unsure:

Of course answering NO when it asks for BartPE....;)


jaclaz

#14
Tulert

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Rats ;) are used in Labs because they are usually very fast in learning new things.

Rat already did some progresss figuring the issue but didn't try it yet. Your response is helpful though as wasn't 100% sure what would be formally a boot from a USB with no OS there.

Have you actually tried to simply unzip the fuwi's file as they are and run them? :unsure:

Yes, on MicroCenter (I think) and Asus (no check of bootability, seen your advice to others but had issue #2). I did see blue screen and menu and Windows setup as last item (had FDD in BIOS too). Then it took me to grub> on a grey screen (recollection, hopefully it's accurate). We didn't discuss this.
Actually I think I tried to change BIOS settings for USB at that stage as the situation looked promising, it didn't help so I moved to the formatting with RMPrepUSB according to
http://www.msfn.org/...o...87993&st=17

Of course answering NO when it asks for BartPE....;)

I answered yes, got a notice that nothing will be done and then what I said above.

I think after that I decided to return to the original state of things. Formatted MicroCenter and wasn't able to get to grub>. So then I asked about zeroing sectors. Which actually worked even though I've got a strange message. (When I did it on a different stick I got a positive message, so I know that one was weird)

Another detail -- I know on Asus I can pick lba mode and all the time it was Auto. I've read somewhere in all the discussions that "some BIOSes support lba mode and some don't and it affects booting from a USB". I didn't do anything to that mode so far but I can show you screenshots if you find this interesting and want to try changing it.

Edited by Tulert, 25 June 2009 - 02:08 PM.


#15
Tulert

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run from the laptop on the chosen stick fuwi's tool:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=21702
and see if it boots on the laptop.

Report:
For fuwi's tool
Sorry: I didn't change the file system away from FAT32. Below record is for FAT32 in fuwi.
  • create folder C:\PEBuilder
    This substitutes

    Copy USB-Boot_Utilities.zip in your PEBuilder root-folder (where PEBuilder.exe is).

    in Installation instructions
  • create folder C:\PEBuilder\USB-Boot_Utilities
  • unzipped USB-Boot_Utilities.zip into C:\PEBuilder\USB-Boot_Utilities
  • Run 'Bootable_USB-Drive.cmd'
  • c; s; 'g'; y; n
For booting on a laptop
  • BIOS: Startup -> Boot -> Boot priority -> +USB HDD 1-st; USB FDD excluded; USB CD excluded
  • BIOS: Config -> USB -> USB BIOS Support [Enabled]
  • Blue screen with menu, I figure this qualifies as "boots", pic.

If it does, try the stick on the Asus, if it does not work we get more evidence that the problem is in the ASUS BIOS.

For Asus
  • (1) BIOS: Auto => Motherboard logo
  • (2) BIOS: CDROM => blinking cursor => Reboot ans Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key
  • (3) BIOS: FDD => menu, pic => grub> prompt
Update 1:
Just repeated everything for FAT16. All pics & output the same
Repeated for NTFS. All pics & output the same
==================================
Repeated with Fuwi: c; h; [g]; => This is not a USB-HD Partition!
... tried a couple reformats & then back to Fuwi: c; h; [g]. Results in "This is not a USB-HD Partition!" in Fuwi.
Thought this might be tested as h is an option to format as HDD rather than Stick.

================================
Irrelevant Info

Update 2:
Tested what happens with a bootable CD. So
1) if a USB stick is physically present no matter what BIOS settings (Emulation:Auto, different booting settings including totally ignoring USB as an option) booting from CDROM doesn't happen. Stuck at Motherboard logo.
2) if USB is physically not plugged and CDROM chosen as a boot device #1 everything goes as expected. I interrupted Setup for the purity of the experiment.

Side Info
One issue I know for sure about my Asus is that it has isues with IDE connector. People were not able to start their system with HDDs on IDE and was Ok when they switched to SATA. I wasn't able to do DVDROM+CDROM or DVDROM alone as Master, CS, etc. Had to go with a CDROM and left my figuring DVDROM later.

Attached Files


Edited by Tulert, 26 June 2009 - 09:56 AM.


#16
ilko_t

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...
For Asus

  • BIOS: Auto => Motherboard logo
  • BIOS: CDROM => blinking cursor => Reboot ans Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key
  • BIOS: FDD => menu, pic => grub> prompt
...

You have HD option for USB emulation in BIOS as far as I remember, right? I don't see anywhere in your tests setting USB emulation to hard disk, or did I miss it?

Don't forget this post of Jaclaz:

If it does not boot on the laptop, use HDhacker (on the laptop):
http://dimio.altervista.org/eng/
and save:
MBR of the stick (first sector of physicaldrive)
bootsector of the stick (first sector of logicaldrive for FAT 16/32 or first 16 sectors for NTFS)

Compress the two resulting files in a .zip and attach it to your next post.


Install Windows from USB, boot Linux, multiboot and a lot more with WinSetupFromUSB


#17
Tulert

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You have HD option for USB emulation in BIOS as far as I remember, right? I don't see anywhere in your tests setting USB emulation to hard disk, or did I miss it?

I did test HDD separately => Motherboard logo
Technically HDD (4) should work same as Auto (1) [for 4GB] and in my tests it did -> no separate report. Auto (supposedly) does either Floppy or HDD depending on the size of the stick. FDD (3) is forced Floppy no matter the size. Didn't test as Floppy (5).

Don't forget this post of Jaclaz:

If it does not boot on the laptop, ...

I didn't forget. Here comes the thing -- what is the definition of "boots"? I am unsure between boots after just formatting with Fuwi's OR boots after Fuwi's + WinSetupFromUSB. I thought Jaclaz wanted pure format, in any case results are for Fuwi's tool only.
I can't rerun the tests with WinSetupFromUSB now, sorry.
I suspect it is already bad that I am not getting to the blue screen with a menu on a desktop that I am getting on a laptop...?

Edited by Tulert, 26 June 2009 - 04:10 AM.


#18
jaclaz

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Tulert,
I cannot make head or tail of your reports. :w00t:

Don't take it the wrong way :), but you should try one thing, and ONLY one thing and report EXCLUSIVELY about THAT thing you tried.

This way you report everything you tried, mixing good with bad, booting with not booting and what not, it is already difficult enough to help in troubleshooting from a distance based on a single report, solving a single puzzle already takes time, let alone trying to put together pieces of several puzzles scattered on the same table.

However BOTH your screenshots show that you are booting (up to grub4dos).

First one is working (booting) exactly as it should, i.e. you get to grub4dos choices (i.e. menu.lst is loaded and the "splashscreen" included in fuwi's tool is shown).
Second one appears as well to work properly (booting and loading grub4dos) but not being able to locate menu.lst.

So, please STOP running "random" things in "random" ways, with "random" approaches.

Simply replicate WHATEVER you did to produce the two posted screenshots, and let's start from there.

Access the stick from an already booted system, say it gets assigned letter G:\.
Open a Command Prompt and execute in it:
DIR /S G:>C:\dirofstick.txt
Attach resulting file C:\dirofstick.txt to your next post.

Boot from the stick on the ASUS, (and get to the second screenshot you posted).
Then press "c" to access grub4dos command prompt and type in it:
find /menu.lst
and press [ENTER]

What you get?

then try:
ls (
and press [TAB]
you should get something like:

Possible disks are: fd0 hd0 rd cd


now try listing each of the "fd" and "hd" devices, always using [TAB] autocompletion features, like in:
ls (hd
[TAB]
ls (hd0,
[TAB]
ls (hd0,0)

ls (hd0,0)/
[ENTER]
until you check which is the device that grub4dos detects the stick as.

Post results.

jaclaz

#19
ilko_t

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what is the definition of "boots"?

Lets elaborate a bit on this subject.

You can claim "successful boot" in case the boot loader loaded by either bootsector or MBR gets loaded.
When you see grub4dos prompt => successful boot
Grub4dos boot menu entries (blue screen as you describe it, means grldr found menu.lst and processed it)=>successful boot
When you see boot menu from NTLDR presenting the entries in BOOT.INI=> successful boot
(Blinking) cursor=> unsuccessful boot
Stuck at motherboard logo=> unsuccessful boot
Stuck with other symbols on screen (_h etc.)=> unsuccessful boot

With your Asus MB you have another problem to resolve- in case of successful boot the USB stick is presented as Floppy Disk, which is bad for our needs- XP setup won't start from such device, so will BartPE and many other, can't recall if Vista/7 setup would like being started from FD or not.

So we need to format it in such way, so:
1) boot is successful (boot loader/manager is executed and loaded)
2) USB stick is seen as hard disk

You know now what 1) means, to check 2):
The easiest way I can think of is to have grub4dos launched and check from its command prompt how the USB device is seen as:

To launch grub4dos:
1) Install grub4dos bootsector (grubinst (hdX,0) where X is the disk number found by trying grubinst -v -l (hd1) hd2 and so on) and copy grldr to root of USB stick
2) Install grub4dos MBR (it seeks for grldr file which is grub4dos loader on all available devices and executes it) - grubinst (hdX) and copy grldr to root of USB stick
3) If you formatted the USB stick under XP/2000- copy NTLDR, NTDETECT.COM and the following BOOT.INI:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=c:\grldr
[operating systems]
c:\grldr="Start GRUB4DOS" 
c:\nothing="Dummy line NOT to be used"

To avoid confusion if you have grldr on other disks create a blank file on the USB stick root and name it tagfile.tag.

Once in grub4dos CLI use the following command to find out how the USB stick is seen as:

find /tagfile.tag

If the output is fd0 or 1 then stick is seen as Floppy disk- bad.
If the output is hd0 then you are good to go. Next you can use WinSetupFromUSB without reformatting USB stick and copy whatever you want to.

Install Windows from USB, boot Linux, multiboot and a lot more with WinSetupFromUSB


#20
Tulert

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please STOP running "random" things in "random" ways

Sorry it looks random. I believe it is not random.
I will be away from that computer today & may or may not be able to test something in the evening. Then I am gone for the weekend.

To clarify something -- reports above are for "booting" from MicroCenter 4GB after formatting in Fuwi ONLY, sequence of options [c; s; 'g'; y; n], i.e. Format, Create a Stick, Letter of a stick, Data ovcerwritten, BartPE -- no.

I didn't add any installation files for Windows. So the menues above are for "booting" from a laptop -- blue. And "booting" from Asus -- grey; under FDD option in BIOS which I was told not to use. Other options in BIOS on Asus go as described in that post.

Other things I discussed you can count as irrelevant.

Simply replicate WHATEVER you did to produce the two posted screenshots

This is easy since I know exactly what leads to those and it is only 1 option of all described. I do use FDD in BIOS though which is emulation as Floppy which supposedly shouldn't work.

Don't use FDD option in BIOS. The whole point to present the USB stick as HD, hence use AUTO or HD mode only.


Will get back with the results as soona as I can, most likely Monday my time.

Edited by Tulert, 26 June 2009 - 09:31 AM.


#21
jaclaz

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Simply replicate WHATEVER you did to produce the two posted screenshots

This is easy since I know exactly what leads to those and it is only 1 option of all described. I do use FDD in BIOS though which is emulation as Floppy which supposedly shouldn't work.

Don't use FDD option in BIOS. The whole point to present the USB stick as HD, hence use AUTO or HD mode only.


Yep :), life of lab rats is tough ;), they also have to decide WHICH of the guys with the white coat they have to listen to. :P

To clarify:
currently the stance of the two "technicians" of the lab is different:
  • jaclaz is optimistic (or if you prefer more possibilistic) and is trying to understand what happens when you boot from stick as FD (which is the ONLY way that you seem to be able to boot on that motherboard)
  • ilko_t is saying that once you have booted off the stick and it is seen as FD you are stuck, but since with any other setting you are stuck anyway, it means you are stuck.

The decision is up to you, if you follow me there is a (unfortunately very small :() possibility, if you follow ilko_t you are in a CATCH 22 situation:
  • in order to boot from stick, BIOS must see stick as HD
  • BIOS cannot see stick as HD

It is very possible that we can get around this problem thorugh either re-mapping within grub4dos or using a PLoP "kicker", but the only thing to do is to try and see what happens with the various available possibilities.

Have a nice weekend, "see" you next week.

jaclaz

#22
Tulert

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Yep :), life of lab rats is tough ;), they also have to decide WHICH of the guys with the white coat they have to listen to. :P

I believe there was enough info for both. Hence a number of options in BIOS. I do know how to exactly replicate each one so it's not a problem for me to use the only one you want later & I wanted to show more possibilities faster, sorry if that looked random.

You've got a circus rat, it thinks that doing more tricks is good & not confusing for the Experts. And not a problem for the experiments as long as there is exact record of how to replicate each one.

which is the ONLY way that you seem to be able to boot on that motherboard

Now yes. But before I was able to boot under BIOS: CDROM (USB as CDROM I mean) too & I think I'll be able to return there. I should have enough record to remember how to replicate that situation.

the only thing to do is to try and see what happens with the various available possibilities

Ok.

=====================
Idea/Question for Experts:
Back to Fuwi's tool => it refuses to format as a HDD in the sequence [c; h; [g]], says "This is not a USB-HD Partition!"
Could there be a way to trick it or other formatting tool and format as a HDD? And could that help with our problem?
I've formatted in Fuwi's as a Stick but there are 2 options there.
If this is part of my homework and I should know option h is impossible or smth like that you don't have to reply.

Edited by Tulert, 26 June 2009 - 05:42 PM.


#23
ilko_t

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...[*]ilko_t is saying that once you have booted off the stick and it is seen as FD you are stuck, but since with any other setting you are stuck anyway, it means you are stuck.

Not really :)
Ilko_t wants first to ensure booting in HD mode is impossible indeed, then to move on experimenting in FD mode, which in his opinion would involve much more work to get the applications needed to work correctly.

Plus ilko_t doesn't want to interfere with the work here, just assisting/clarifying when the main technician is absent, being afraid that after all the work the "lab mouse" does, replies may be delayed while he is waiting on "standby" ;)
The lenghty post #19 was crossposting, if I knew you were in the building, I would have preferred to stay in "reading mode" :rolleyes:

Nice weekend from me too, back on duties sunday evening/monday :hello:

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#24
Tulert

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ensure booting in HD mode is impossible indeed

I think I should unplug my IDE connector and do some of it again. I do have evidence, if you noticed, that USB doesn't let real CDROM boot. So there is some interaction between the 2.
And if in the end of the day everything fails I probably have to check if Asus has any BIOS update on its website.

have to decide WHICH of the guys with the white coat they have to listen to

So far it seems quite feasible to follow both, ignoring some of the instructions, of course. None said that I should quit so far. Plus I can learn more myself as the purpose for me is not the boot but getting more comfortable with everything overall.

Edited by Tulert, 26 June 2009 - 06:15 PM.


#25
jaclaz

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Ilko_t wants first to ensure booting in HD mode is impossible indeed, then to move on experimenting in FD mode, which in his opinion would involve much more work to get the applications needed to work correctly.


Then, we are exactly in the same boat. :)

From what Tulert reported (or, to be more accurate, from what I can gather from his reports) he properly partitioned/formatted the stick with fuwi's tools on the laptop and it boots at it properly.

Some facts:
  • Win2K is a "good", known environment (unlike Vista/Windows 7, that may be good but do have some little quirks when doing this kind of things)
  • fuwi's tool ONLY creates a HD-like partitioning/formatting
  • laptops are usually more "picky" then desktops when it comes to USB booting, but I have never seen/heard about/experienced about any laptop capable of booting from USB that did not boot from a plain HD-like stick

Thus, the fact that it boots allright on the laptop should mean that the stick is now a properly partitioned/formatted HD-like device.
Of course, if I could have the MBR and bootsector, I could be 100% sure, but right now I am 99.99% so.

Now, when the same stick is inserted in the desktop, it behaves strangely:
  • AUTO -> does not boot (strange but possible)
  • CD-ROM -> does not boot (perfectly normal
  • FDD-> boots up to a certain extent, but NOT properly (i.e. most probably, but I need the result of grub4dos commands, as a FD)

The AUTO behaviour can be explained by the fact that the motherboard BIOS may check the Fixed/removable status of the USB device or simply by a small bug in the BIOS.
The CD-ROM behaviour is normal and needs not an explanation.
The FDD behaviour is "peculiar", if the device is properly partitioned/formatted HD-like it should NOT boot at all with such a setting, the only possible explanations are:
  • the BIOS does some misterious "skipping" or conversion, ignoring hidden sectors (and auto-correcting sectors before in bootsector)
  • the BIOS actually boots from the HD-like device, but then forcibly maps it as FD

Solutions/workaround may be, as I see it :unsure::
  • somehow re-forcing through grub4dos the FD to HD
  • using PLoP, bypassing the BIOS USB stack
  • find a way to make the thing boot from AUTO, possibly by flipping the "removable" bit on the stick or by some "hidden" setting in BIOS
  • experimenting with FBINST

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 27 June 2009 - 03:09 AM.





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