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morguex

Boot files for XP Pro SP3

8 posts in this topic

What do the CD boot files look like in XP? I've seen references (even in Microsoft documents) to BOOT.INI but I haven't found it on my original SP Pro SP1 CD which is bootable.

I'm from DOS days and booting was fairly straightforward. But I'm lost in XP and way lost in Windows 7.

I'm trying to make a bootable setup CD from my original XP CD in which I slipstreamed SP3 and SATA drivers.

I followed Method Two in SevenForums using nLite to build the ISO file and to burn the CD.

The CD it burned is not bootable.

I examined the root folder of the original and the copy and have attached the images. Neither has anything I recognize as a boot process but of course the original is bootable.

I would appreciate any help you might be able to offer.

Morgan

post-304364-035885800 1285031729_thumb.p

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The reason you don't see any boot files is because they are written to the boot sector. Windows explorer doesn't see boot sectors.

Instead of using direct burn how that article recommends, make an ISO then burn it with ImgBurn.

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The reason you don't see any boot files is because they are written to the boot sector. Windows explorer doesn't see boot sectors.

Instead of using direct burn how that article recommends, make an ISO then burn it with ImgBurn.

Thanks X.

Is there a way of examining the boot sector?

I just downloaded ImgBurn.

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The reason you don't see any boot files is because they are written to the boot sector. Windows explorer doesn't see boot sectors.

NO! :w00t:

There is NO "boot file" written to the bootsector.

A bootsector is written to the bootsector ;).

The XP CD is a no-emulation El-Torito Boot CD.

It uses a bootsector that is 2048 bytes in size, sometimes called "Arnes Boot Record" or "Microsoft Corporation.img".

This CD bootsector invokes:

  1. \I386\bootfix.bin (the thing that shows on screen "press any key to boot from CD"
  2. \I386\SETUPLDR.BIN (the actual "boot file")

Quick reminder of booting sequence:

"Full" XP on any device:

(MBR ->)bootsector->NTLDR->BOOT.INI->NTDETECT.COM->rest of XP

XP install on ANY device BUT CD:

(MBR->)boosector->SETUPLDR.BIN->NTDETECT.COM->*.SIF->rest of install

XP install on CD/DVD:

bootsector->\I386\bootfix.bin->\I386\SETUPLDR.BIN->\I386\NTDETECT.COM->*.SIF->rest of install

*.SIF means both:

  1. WINNT.SIF (if present)
  2. TXTSETUP.SIF

@morguex

A bootsector is NOT a "file", just like you don't see (unless you use an hex/disk editor) the bootsector of a partition or of a floppy. (but it doesn't mean it's not there).

You need to extract the bootsector from your original bootable CD and provide it to the burning app.

A suitable tool is, besides the already cited ones, Bart's BBIE:

http://www.nu2.nu/bbie/

Another small tool is here ;):

http://www.boot-land.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=12406

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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What do the CD boot files look like in XP? I've seen references (even in Microsoft documents) to BOOT.INI but I haven't found it on my original SP Pro SP1 CD which is bootable.

I'm from DOS days and booting was fairly straightforward. But I'm lost in XP and way lost in Windows 7.

I'm trying to make a bootable setup CD from my original XP CD in which I slipstreamed SP3 and SATA drivers.

I followed Method Two in SevenForums using nLite to build the ISO file and to burn the CD.

The CD it burned is not bootable.

I examined the root folder of the original and the copy and have attached the images. Neither has anything I recognize as a boot process but of course the original is bootable.

I would appreciate any help you might be able to offer.

Morgan

post-304364-035885800 1285031729_thumb.p

My recommendation is to get a second drive to be used as a backup for programs and storing disk images.

I use Macrium Reflect and make a new image at least once a week.

Make a boot CD with BartPE along with Macrium Reflect. I use a rewritable one.

With this system, I have never had to re-install the Operating System.

I have also disabled System Restore which gives you a lot of extra disk space.

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Another aspect I should mention...

If using Windows Explorer (or similar file management tools using shell32.dll APIs) to "see" hidden/system files, you won't, the Windows XP "factory" defaults are such that System files + folders are hidden so the user won't be able to alter/move/delete them "by accident". ;-(

This "glitch" can be easily corrected thou...

1. Windows Explorer/My Computer interface -> Tools -> Folder Options -> View tab -> check the box "Hidden files and folders" -> uncheck the box "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" -> confirm said actions in all nag dialog boxes -> Apply/OK.

2. Another solution, without modifying any of those "factory" defaults... is to use good ol' File Manager 32-bit (see the FM guide for details), modded to work properly with all WinNTx OSes [free from MS].

To be able to achieve this, first you need to run FM -> click View from the File menu -> click "By File Type" -> check *all* boxes including the "Show Hidden/System files" box -> click OK or hit Enter.

BTW:

BOOT.INI does not exist by default on Windows setup CD-ROMs/DVD-ROMs, it is created upon install with custom parameters for each specific boot + Windows drive/partition/folder.

NTDETECT.COM + NTLDR are located in the \I386 subfolder on Windows install CDs/DVDs.

BOOTSECT.DOS is also created in C:\ root [default boot drive/partition on single drive computers], but does not exist on install CDs/DVDs.

In case the user decides to install the recovery console (the "Windows XP Recovery Console" boot menu option, which points to C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT), CMLDR is also copied to C:\ root (default), and C:\CMDCONS created.

HTH

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