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Siginet

[Release] Siginet's PLoP USB Boot Manager Installer

40 posts in this topic

Siginet's PLoP USB Boot Manager Installer

Currently Supports: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 2008 and Windows 7.

Much thanks to jaclaz for the idea on how to get this to work!

This is very helpful if you have created a USB Stick to install Windows from. But you are trying to install on a computer that does not have support in the BIOS to boot from USB HDD.

I took jaclaz information and created a simple exe that will install PLoP to your system and add it into the BOOT menu as an option.

It is very easy to use.

Just launch it... it will ask if you want to install. Click Yes.

If you want to Uninstall it just launch it again... It will ask if you want to Uninstall it. Click Yes.

I set the Timeout (Countdown) to only 3 Seconds... so be quick to press up/down when the boot screen shows up. ;)

I'd rather have the screen only show for a few seconds so it doesn't slow down my normal boot process by much.

When you boot up the computer you will see options to boot into windows or "Boot From USB" if you select to "Boot From USB" it will automatically attempt to boot from any bootable usb devices you have connected to the system.

This also speeds up the BIOS USB speed on some computers. Some computers only run at USB 1.1 speed during the boot process even though they have USB 2.0 capability. But PLoP loads a USB 2.0 driver that is used instead of the USB 1.1. :D

I plan to add full support for PE environments in the next release.

Release Notes:

v0.9.9.0 12/17/09

GRUB4DOS removed. Now it uses only PLoP!

Added support for Vista, 2008 and Windows 7!

Fixed a potential bug with the uninstall process.

If you want to use your own PLoP files put them in a folder called PLoP inside the directory with SiginetUSB.exe

v0.9.0.0 12/15/09

It will now directly boot from the USB device when you select to "Boot From USB".

You can now force the program to use your own grldr, plpbt.bin, or menu.lst by placing you versions in the same directory as SiginetUSB.exe

V0.0.0.1 12/14/09

Initial Release.

So far it only sets up the Boot Menu on OSes that use BOOT.INI (Windows 2000, XP and 2003)

A later release will have support for Vista, Windows 2008 and Windows 7.

If you use this and find it helpful please send me a donation at:

http://Support.SiginetSoftware.com

SiginetUSB.zip

Edited by Siginet
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Well... I just finished the next version of "Siginet's PLoP USB Boot Manager".

Unfortunatlly I think I have to include GRUB4DOS and PLoP. Because whenever I include only PLoP the method to boot from USB is a pain. :( Way too much involved.

I did try jaclaz idea to make it default boot to USB but when I do that PLoP does not work at all unless I boot to Grub4Dos first.

Unless we can make a plpbt.bin which can be loaded directly from boot.ini to automatically boot from a USB device... I think we will need to use Grub4Dos.

But this is actually fine because now it just boots directly to the USB when you select the option in the boot menu.

I also made the possability to include your own grldr, plpbt.bin, or menu.lst. All you do is put your custom files in the same directory as SiginetUSB.exe.

Edited by Siginet
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Well... I just finished the next version of "Siginet's PLoP USB Boot Manager".

Unfortunatlly I think I have to include GRUB4DOS and PLoP. Because whenever I include only PLoP the method to boot from USB is a pain. :( Way too much involved.

I did try jaclaz idea to make it default boot to USB but when I do that PLoP does not work at all unless I boot to Grub4Dos first.

Unless we can make a plpbt.bin which can be loaded directly from boot.ini to automatically boot from a USB device... I think we will need to use Grub4Dos.

But this is actually fine because now it just boots directly to the USB when you select the option in the boot menu.

I also made the possability to include your own grldr, plpbt.bin, or menu.lst. All you do is put your custom files in the same directory as SiginetUSB.exe.

plpbt.bin CANNOT be loaded by NTLDR/BOOT.INI.

That's why the plpgenbtldr.exe (please read as PLoP generator of NTLDR compatible loader) was made.

The program creates a plpbtldr.bin on the specific machine able to "connect" NTLDR to plpbt.bin.

In other words:

NTLDR->BOOT.INI->plpbt.bin is NOT possible

NTLDR->BOOT.INI->plpbtldr.bin>plpbt.bin is

Are you sure you followed exactly the instructions I quoted from the PLoP site on the other thread?

http://www.msfn.org/board/launch-usb-setup...ws-t140388.html

Whay don't you post on the PLoP forum reporting the issue, once you have double checked everything?

jaclaz

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I'll keep messing around with it then. But that plpcfgbt utility you posted would not work on plpbtldr (unless I did something wrong). I was only able to get plpbtldr to work in the default manner... which had way to much stuff to do to get to the usb stick.

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@jaclaz You were right about the USB 1.1 speeds being faster when PLoP is used during the USB boot process.

I have a computer that is really slow at booting to the usb through the built in USB Boot option in the bios. But when I use the PLoP method it is very fast!

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@jaclaz You were right about the USB 1.1 speeds being faster when PLoP is used during the USB boot process.

I have a computer that is really slow at booting to the usb through the built in USB Boot option in the bios. But when I use the PLoP method it is very fast!

Well, no. (I mean yes ;))

If the chipset is supprted, PLoP gives USB 2.0 speed (MUCH faster) instead of BIOS USB 1.1 speed (MUCH slower) - of course this only applies to motherboards that have USB 2.0 capable chips and "dumb" USB 1.1. BIOS support.

I am wondering if there is a misunderstanding. :unsure:

  • plpcfgbt works on plpbt.bin
  • ONCE plpbt.bin is configured, you run plpgenbtldr.exe in order to create the loader plpbtldr.bin for plpbt.bin

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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OK cool I got it now. What I was confused on was I didn't know I needed both plpbt.bin and plpbtldr.bin. I was getting rid of plpbt.bin and trying to only use plpbtldr.bin... then I tried only using plpbt.bin without plpbtldr.bin.

PLoP seems so easy to use... but it is kinda confusing because all of the PLoP files are named very simular. So my next version should be PLoP only. Plus I will probably add support for Vista/Win2008/Win7 as well. I'll also add suport for PE as well. :thumbup

Thanks jaclaz... I don't know if I would have ever figured this all out without you.

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Support Added For WinVista, Win2008 and Win7

GRUB4DOS Removed.

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Thanks jaclaz... I don't know if I would have ever figured this all out without you.

No prob, we 8+3 max experts (dinosaurs) can read "between the letters" of a filename better than young people used to filenames (LUXURY! :w00t:) like:

SiginetUSB.exe

which of course means that you will create a lot of confusion once you will release other tools USB related.

Since you are going anyway beyond the 8+3 go all the way ;):

Siginet_PLoP_USB_Installer_for_NT_based_systems.exe

Completely unrelated, but sometimes colours are useful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_color_theorem

If I may, I would re-add the feature of 0.9 (updating it of course) as an option.

i.e.:

Siginet's PLoP USB Boot Manager Installer

+

a radio button to EITHER:

  • add PLoP only <-selected by default
  • add PLoP AND grub4dos

Though I do like "vertical" apps, a single choice is not overcomplicating it. :unsure:

Someone that wants to also have grub4dos would find your tool handy. :)

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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Support Added For WinVista, Win2008 and Win7

Tried to install it on a Win7 system on a Toshiba r100 laptop w/o USb boot. Nothing happens.

I have Ubuntu installed via wubi, and i would like to wipe the hd clean to make a full linux install.

bcdedit /v

does not list anything new after the PLOP install.

Any suggestions?

Thank you for your work!

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You should have a folder in your Windows Directory "PLoP"

In there should be 2 files.

You should have a boot.ini file on the root of your c drive now.

It does not add anything to bcdedit except change the timeout.

When you restart the computer you should get a choice for: "Boot From USB"

All I can think is to make sure you run it as Administrator.

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Well, I didn't get any new options in the startup menu.

Thank you for your help and an interesting product.

I ran Plop from usb floppy, and had linux mint installed - there were some weird problems with partitioning, so maybe that's the reason your bootloader had trouble.

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Hmmm odd. I suppose that could be the issue. It hasn't been tested in a system with many partitions.

But I know in Vista/Windows 7 it will install the boot.ini on the root of the system drive. Maybe since you are dual booting another OS it does not add the boot information correctly. Could you check to see if all of those files I mentioned are placed in the places I said they should be? That would help me figure out what may have went wrong.

Thanks

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But I know in Vista/Windows 7 it will install the boot.ini on the root of the system drive. Maybe since you are dual booting another OS it does not add the boot information correctly. Could you check to see if all of those files I mentioned are placed in the places I said they should be? That would help me figure out what may have went wrong.

Unfortunately I can not help you anymore - I wiped out Win 7 and on pure Linux Mint.

I was messing around, installing first ubuntu though wubi (which means installing the whole linux fs it in a loopfile on and adding an entry to win boot menu), then trying to use Plop. Maybe I messed things up. It's a shame I don'tt have it anymore, because otherwise the problem could have been identified easily.

Thanks for your help!

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Why are we mentioning boot.ini and Vista/7 ? They use BCD instead, boot.ini is the configuration file for NTLDR in NT-2003.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa468626.aspx

Because on PLoPs website the reccomended using a boot.ini file for Vista/Win7. It is a simple method of adding PLoP to the boot menu. In certain cases win7/vista will still use a boot.ini file. ;)

It was much easier for me to use a boot.ini file then BCD because I allready made the coding structure for boot.ini when I made compatability for XP.

All I can think is in this case he allready had a multiboot system and his boot.ini did not reside on the Vista/Win7 boot drive. So my tool created a different boot.ini. I may need to make sure my program allways looks for an existing boot.ini first. Which is what it does in 2000,xp,2003 systems. But I was under the impression in vista/win7 the boot.ini could only reside on the vista/win7 boot drive. which I think I was incorrect when it comes to multiboot drives with other OSes.

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I think I just need to make sure I have the tool look for any existing boot.ini files on the hard drives and allow the user to select the correct boot.ini if found. Which is how I have it working in an environment of 2000,xp,2003. I just need to implement this same behavior in Vista/2008/Win7 and i think it will cure the problem.

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I think I just need to make sure I have the tool look for any existing boot.ini files on the hard drives and allow the user to select the correct boot.ini if found. Which is how I have it working in an environment of 2000,xp,2003. I just need to implement this same behavior in Vista/2008/Win7 and i think it will cure the problem.

And which kind of magic spell are you going to use to update the BCD? :unsure: Just for the record, spells involving the use of parts of dead animals have been recently banned by the 2009 Witches and Wizard Association Annual Congress.

jaclaz

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:wacko:

The only thing I suppose is needed to modify BCD is the timeout which the tool allready does. The boot.ini file should be perfectly fine. Most of my testing was done in a Windows 7 environment.

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I think boot.ini will be read by bootmgr if there is already an entry for ntldr in BCD.

In other words- simply creating boot.ini does not guarantee that you will be able to start PLoP this way.

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I think boot.ini will be read by bootmgr if there is already an entry for ntldr in BCD.

In other words- simply creating boot.ini does not guarantee that you will be able to start PLoP this way.

Yep. :)

As graphically explained in the linked page:

http://www.multibooters.co.uk/multiboot.html

Normal NT 4.x/5.x booting:

MBR->bootsector->NTLDR->BOOT.INI->NTDETECT.COM->Windows 5.x

Normal NT 6.x/7 booting:

MBR->bootsector->BOOTMGR->BCD->WINLOAD.EXE->Windows 6.x/7

Normal NT6.x/7 with NT 4.x/5.x dual booting:

MBR->bootsector->BOOTMGR->BCD->WINLOAD.EXE->Windows 6.x/7

or:

MBR->bootsector->BOOTMGR->BCD->NTLDR->BOOT.INI->NTDETECT.COM->Windows 5.x

The bolded part should be the link you are missing, you need an entry in BCD for booting a previous NT system.

Or if you prefer BOOT.INI is read by NTLDR and not by BOOTMGR.

There might be an exception, possibly a LONGHORN version, if I remember correctly. :unsure:

jaclaz

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...Or if you prefer BOOT.INI is read by NTLDR and not by BOOTMGR.
On a working Win7 system, which already has an entry for NTLDR in BCD, I added c:\dummy="test" to boot.ini, alongside the existing c:\grldr="Grub4dos".

"Test" was displayed upon reboot in bootmgr's menu.

Next try- rename ntldr to ntldr.bak. Upon reboot the new entry in boot.ini "test" is still displayed. Ntldr is not used in order to display contents of BOOT.INI, which is apparently read by BOOTMGR.

Haven't tested whether contents of BOOT.INI will be displayed if there is no entry for NTLDR in BCD.

What's interesting- selecting "Grub4dos" in BOOTMGR menu leads to error from BOOTMGR's

Windows failed to start...

...File: \grldr...

....status 0xc000007b..

...the application is missing or corrupt

, although it's present, next to NTLDR, BOOTMGR and BOOT.INI. It does work when selected from NTLDR's menu.

Rename NTLDR.BAK to NTLDR. Add to BOOT.INI:

d:\grldr="Grub4dos D"
e:\grldr="Grub4dos E"

and remove c:\dummy="test".

BOOTMGR displays

Earlier versions of Windows

Windows 7

Grub4dos

What happened to Grub4dos D and E? :blink:

Go figure. First partition is hidden primary. It might be ignored by NTLDR, but counted by BOOTMGR. Won't go any deeper, this is improper way of adding new boot menu entries.

Proper and documented ways are:

Add the desired entry in BCD.

Or add an entry for NTLDR in BCD if not present, next add whatever you need to BOOT.INI and use BOOTMGR's "Earlier versions of Windows" menu to launch NTLDR, next launch whatever is needed from NTLDR's menu. This is only in case 2000/XP/2003 are already present, otherwise no point of going through all this.

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I seem to remember that in BOOTMGR you need to chainload grldr.mbr and not grldr with latest grub4dos versions. :unsure:

jaclaz

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Yeah I had the same issue with grub when I tried to create a boot.ini. But when I just create a boot.ini with plop it works. I did not have any ntldr files on my Windows 7. I have no idea why it doesn't work with grub but it works perfectly with plop.

Delete your test files and use my tool and you will see it should work on your system too.

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