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BCD problem- trying to make a multi-boot DVD: Windows7 + Dell Software

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7 replies to this topic

#1
goriath

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Hi everyone!

I'm using magicISO to make a multiboot DVD with Windows7 Ultimate SP1 (x64) + some utilities for my Dell notebook.

In particular, I'm attempting to put into one DVD the following disks:

1) Windows7 Ultimate SP1 (x64) ISO
2) Dell MediaDirect 3.3 ISO
3) Dell 32 bit Diagnostics Utility Partition ISO

About the n#2, it's a CD-ROM that allow to recreate the original partitions layout made by Dell. When I boot from this disk, the utility create 3 partitions, the first one is reserved for diagnostics utilities that will be installed later, the second one is for the OS, the third one is reserved to the Dell MediaDirect application which will be installed after OS setup under windows environment.

After that, the user must swap the CD-ROM with the disk referred at n#3 and boot from this one; it's a DVD-ROM. This disk is needed to install the diagnostics utilities in the partition that the previous disk has created at the beginning. At this point, the user can swap the DVD-ROM with the OS disk [n#1], boot from this one and proceed to install Windows as normal.

After Windows setup is completed, after the OS startup, the user must insert the first disk (the CD-ROM at n#2) and complete the MediaDirect installation (in the third partition) under windows environment.

Sorry for the long explanation, but I wanted to make clear what these disks are meant for and what they do for those of you which don't know about Dell software. They are bootable disks containing dos utilities for partitioning the hard drive and they run in autoplay (autorun.inf) under windows environment since they contain windows applications.

Now, I want to create a multi-boot DVD using the ISO image of these disks (Windows7, MediaDirect and Diagnostics) in order to not have to swap the disk every time.

This is what I tried with magicISO so far:

1) Opened magicISO - Tools/Make Multi-Boot Image
2) Add/Boot from bootable image files
3) Next -> Exported from bootable CD/DVD image file
4) Selected and opened the ISO, for istance "it_windows_7_ultimate_with_sp1_x64_dvd_618540.iso"
5) Next -> Put the description, for example "[1] Windows7 Ultimate SP1 (x64) Setup" - Hot Key assigned: 1 -> Finish
6) Repeated passages from 2 to 5 for the MediaDirect image file called "MediaDirect_Restore.iso" - Hot Key assigned: 2 -> Finish
7) Repeated passages from 2 to 5 for the Diagnostics image file called "RESOURCE_CD.iso" - Hot Key assigned: 3 -> Finish
8) The menu appeared as follow:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Multi-boot CD Main Menu http://www.magiciso.com
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Windows7 Ultimate SP1 (x64) Setup
[2] Dell MediaDirect
[3] Dell Diagnostics

9) Then I saved the mbi file as test.mbi
10) I applied the multi-boot image into the current opened image; so the current image became "bootable"
11) Then I dragged and droppep into the current image file the entire folder content in which I previously extracted the whole content of the three ISO images (Windows7, MediaDirect and Diagnostics)
12) Then I saved the ISO image file as test.iso
13) I mastered the ISO on DVD
14) Finally I inserted the DVD into my notebook and booted the system from optical drive
15) Here is where the problem came to. The magicISO boot menu appear, I press "1" to select the option for installing Windows7, the boot starts but after the prompt asks me to "press a key to boot from the DVD..." I get this error screen: Windows Boot manager - Windows failed to start...

I tried the entire procedure an hundred of times but every time I stuck at the error screen.
I tried to extract the boot image file of the disks as .bif file and then use them directly as bootable image source instead of bootable CD/DVD image file at passage n°4.
I tried to extract the boot image file of the disks with ISObuster (as *.cat + *.img) but this didn't help me

I tried to make a multi-boot disk using Windows7 and WindowsXp ISO images just for trying. In this case both operating systems start their respective installations as usual when I boot from the DVD. But when I go back to create the multi-boot DVD for my notebook, Windows7 refuses to start the setup correctly and I get the error screen above.

Today I made some further tests. To make a long story short, I found that there must be some kind of correlation between the error I am getting and the amount of data AND/OR directories/subdirectories files layout that I am trying to put into the ISO. I noticed that the error seems to be file/directory independent; it doesn't matter what are the name of files and directories involved, but from a certain point onwards if the ISO is big enough I get the error. I can't exclude that it could have to do not only with the ISO size but also with the directories/subdirectories structure, number of files and so on....I really don't know.

Someone has any idea about the correlation between the BCD and the ISO size/structure?
Any hints?


Thanks in advance

Edited by goriath, 11 March 2013 - 12:36 PM.



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#2
boyans

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Maybe this tool can help:
Multiboot DVD ISO builder | SARDU

#3
goriath

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Maybe this tool can help:
Multiboot DVD ISO builder | SARDU


Thanks Boyan for the kind suggestion.
Well actually I'm trying to avoid SARDU since it seems to require a lot of time, study and work, while I'm doing this DVD project in my spare time. If can be considered as a good reason to not use it, I don't like the GUI. I'm searching for something that is clean, minimal and essential, like the classic DOS boot menu. MagicISO offers a very simple boot menu.

BTW I have some updates.
Since the error I get seems apparently correlated to DVD size, I made some research and I found the precious contributions of cdob in the following threads:

Bootable XP DVD above 4.7GB possible?
4GB ISO File Size Limit

So I started to make my ISO with oscdimg using the bootorder option.

Since I can't make the ISO simply bootable in oscdimg, because I need special boot file which starts the Dell utilities, I left the bootable option apart and once the ISO was made successfully with oscdimg I tried to edit it with magicISO. With magicISO I loaded the multi-boot image file (the test.mbi previously created) in order to make it bootable, then I saved the ISO. Tested as usually in VMware player but unfortunately it didn't work this time neither. I tried many times, with different options but this didn't help, BCD error still persists.

So I started to play in the magicISO properties of the ISO file and edit the image a little more.
Here is where the fun has come. Adding/removing or changing ISO file system like Joliet and/or UDF and files/directory names lenght attributes (Dos 8+3, Win/Unix ...) leads to unpredictable results. I made several attempts trying to understand what are the options involved. Sometimes after editing the ISO properties nothing changes and I get the BCD error booting Win7 from the image. Sometimes after editing the ISO properties, saved the ISO again and I was able to boot windows setup successfully and apparently solve the problem!. Other times I made different changes and I get another error regarding the bootmgr file...

Honestly I can't identify which properties are the good ones to make it work; apparently after I add/remove some attributes, save the image, test the ISO, see it didn't work, go back to magicISO, add/remove same stuff, save it again, test the image again, then it works...
I must inquire further into this...

In the meanwhile do you have some clues after reading my story?

What are the right (or suggested/recommended) oscdimg options in order to make the ISO image as it's meant to be? How I choose them?

Thanks for reading

#4
jaclaz

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With all due respect :), you are still making a (common) error.

You are asking about something done the way (and using the tools) that you think fit for the given chore.

This way you greatly restrict the possibilities of getting your "real" goal .

You are risking to be slipping on a chocolate covered banana :ph34r: :
http://homepage.ntlw...red-banana.html

If I get this right, what you actually want is to have a DVD capable of booting both a Windows 7 Setup and 2 Dell's utilities, being able to select one of the three at will through a text only menu.

This not necessarily involves the use of MagicIso and of it's textual menu.

You can well use grub4dos (or isolinux) and mkisofs (or oscdimg, that you found).

Basically MagicISO, though possibly a very good program, is used by less people than the corresponding freeware or commonly available programs, so you are restricting your possibilities of getting "qualified" help.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 12 March 2013 - 02:57 PM.


#5
goriath

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With all due respect :), you are still making a (common) error.

You are asking about something done the way (and using the tools) that you think fit for the given chore.

This way you greatly restrict the possibilities of getting your "real" goal .

You are risking to be slipping on a chocolate covered banana :ph34r: :
http://homepage.ntlw...red-banana.html

If I get this right, what you actually want is to have a DVD capable of booting both a Windows 7 Setup and 2 Dell's utilities, being able to select one of the three at will through a text only menu.

This not necessarily involves the use of MagicIso and of it's textual menu.

You can well use grub4dos (or isolinux) and mkisofs (or oscdimg, that you found).

Basically MagicISO, though possibly a very good program, is used by less people than the corresponding freeware or commonly available programs, so you are restricting your possibilities of getting "qualified" help.

jaclaz


It's fine jaclaz, no offence was intended.

I'm here to learn and understand how this task can be accomplished. I was using magicISO because I read around it's a fancy program and can do multi-boot disk, then using it I have to admit that it's a very nice piece of software, very complete and intuitive but if this time it can't help more, I can try something else, no problem.

Well, I hear something about grub4dos and taking a look at it seemed to me a bit complex, but I will give it a try.

Do you have any link where I can get the needed info in order to use it in the right way?
Prior knowledge of some kind is needed first to learn grub4dos?

P.S. Since oscdimg is still involved in the ISO building, the above questions are still open :)
I would like to use it in the right way.

Many thanks

#6
jaclaz

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The point is that - generally speaking - a CD/DVD filesystem is meant to be a "read-only" one, tools like MagicISO are CD/DVD "editors" and while they normally work allright on non-bootable CD's, they may create problems where booting is involved.

A better approach (in the sense that it tends to work more likely) is to create the .iso and not modify it.

How are/which are the Dell's utilities?
I mean, are the .iso's, .img's or what? Are they like these mentioned here?:
http://reboot.pro/in...showtopic=12052

A "crash course" in oscdimg/mkisofs can be found here:
http://reboot.pro/to...g-and-grub4dos/
due to an unfortunate accident, the CODE inside the CODEboxes has been modified, and you might need the "botched" code converter:
http://reboot.pro/to...code-converter/
also the pastehtml site has gone beserk*is gone so you need to copy and paste the to a new html the snippet you find in post #3:
http://reboot.pro/to...erter/?p=135936

The grub4dos guide (slightly outdated, in the sense that modern releases of grub4dos have added features) is here:
http://diddy.boot-la...os/Grub4dos.htm
you need to just read (at the moment) the introduction, and these:
http://diddy.boot-la...iles/basics.htm
http://diddy.boot-la...s/files/cli.htm
http://diddy.boot-la.../files/menu.htm
And this (for the images, of th eDell utilities, if they are images):
http://diddy.boot-la...s/files/map.htm

jaclaz

#7
goriath

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Thank you jaclaz for your kind support.
I will start to read the topics you have suggested.

About the two Dell images, they were created by me with UltraISO from two original Dell disks bundled with the laptop, the MediaDirect is a CD-ROM, the Diagnostics disk is a DVD-ROM.

What I have done was insert the disks in the optical drives and extract them as .iso images with UltraISO.

The two images built have the followings attributes in the UltraISO properties panel:

MediaDirect_Restore.iso (Dell MediaDirect CD-ROM)
CD FS: ISO9660 (no Joliet/UDF)
File / Directory names lenght: ISO 9660:1999 v2 (Max of 207 chars)
Lowecase allowed
ISO9660 version number omitted
653MB (685.459.456 byte) [windows properties]

RESOURCE_CD.iso (Dell Diagnostics Utilities DVD-ROM)
CD FS: ISO9660 (no Joliet/UDF)
File / Directory names lenght: ISO Level2 (Windows/Unix: Max of 31 chars)
ISO9660 version number omitted
597MB (626.864.128 byte) [windows properties]

BTW reviewing the above information I have noticed that MagicISO doesn't tell the same that UltraISO does:

MediaDirect_Restore.iso (Dell MediaDirect CD-ROM)
CD FS: ISO9660 (no Joliet/UDF)
File / Directory names lenght: ISO Level2 (Windows/Unix: Max of 31 chars)

RESOURCE_CD.iso (Dell Diagnostics Utilities DVD-ROM)
CD FS: ISO9660 (no Joliet/UDF)
File / Directory names lenght: ISO Level1 (DOS: Max of 11 = 8 + 3 chars )

I also noticed that, like you have said above, the multi-boot disks creation process is what seems really affect the result:

The .iso were built in UltraISO
Then I have extracted them in a folder (with UISO)
All the files in that folder were added into a new MagicISO image project, then I loaded the MBI (multi-boot image file created with MISO) and finally saved the work with MISO
At this point the Windows7 boot setup seems to be corrupted and it returns with the BCD error
If I open the image above (saved with MISO) in UISO this time and save it again (editing it or not), when I test the image it seems to work just fine...

Maybe the two programs interfere each other

At this point I have to try to simply re-save the image in MISO after I saved the first one after the mbi has been loaded
Or...
Simply rebuild the ISO with MISO this time and make it bootable with the same program

#8
jaclaz

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Maybe you are making it more complex than needed.

Those Dell's .iso seem like directly bootable as .iso:
http://reboot.pro/to...apping/?p=59682
with the "usual" mapping to (hd32) or better (0xFF) grub4dos virtual CD drives.

The "standard" Windows 7 install .iso is also directly loadable with grub4dos BUT needs a couple tweaks to work:
http://reboot.pro/to...required-cddvd/
most probably something *like* this, using IMDISK:
http://reboot.pro/to...e-4#entry123846
and/or using firadisk or winvblock can be "transposed" to DVD, but it seems to me like the approach that seems to me more likely to be appliable to your case and simpler may be that of having the whole contents of the windows 7 DVD "flat" in the root of DVD.

So, if I were you I would try to make a folder (like C:\tempiso\source) and extract to it:
  • grldr
  • menu.lst
  • the whole contents of the Windows 7 DVD
  • then add to it the two .iso's of the Dell utilities.
Then edit the menu.lst to something *like*:
title Dell's Media direct
find -set-root /MediaDirect_Restore.iso
map /MediaDirect_Restore.iso (0xFF)
map --hook
root (0xFF)
chainloader

title Dell's Diagnostics
find -set-root /MediaDirect_Restore.iso
map /RESOURCE_CD.iso (0xFF)
map --hook
root (0xFF)
chainloader

title Windows 7 install
find -set-root /MediaDirect_Restore.iso
chainloader /bootmgr

Please remember how grub4dos is CaSe SeNsItIvE on CD/DVD, so it is advised to double check filenames (and use either all small letters or ALL CAPITALS, I personally prefer all small letters).

Then try creating the .iso with mkisofs with something *like*:

mkisofs -v -iso-level 4 -l -D -d -J -joliet-long -r -volid "GRLDR" -A GRLDR/MKISOFS -sysid "Win32" -b grldr -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -allow-multidot -hide grldr -hide boot.catalog -o grldr.iso iso_root

or use oscdimg with something "like":
oscdimg.exe -m  -n -lmyiso -bootdata:1#bgrldr,e,t0x1000 C:\tempiso\source C:\tempiso\mynice.iso

all in all you could try using this batch:
http://www.rmprepusb...ub4dos-ISO-file
http://www.rmprepusb...?attredirects=0
that should be able to generate a correct DVD with both tools.

Get grub4dos from here:
http://code.google.c...ub4dos-chenall/
http://code.google.c.../downloads/list
latest recommended at the moment of this writing being:
http://code.google.c...-03.7z&can=2&q=

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 13 March 2013 - 10:25 AM.





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