jetman

Super-Disc: Multi-Boot Project CD/DVD Using ISOLINUX

291 posts in this topic

29-Apr-07: See the bottom of this post for updated links to jump directly to milestones and novel customizations.

I've been collecting ISOs for a while and want to see what all of the diff

parts look like w/o giving up a bunch of CDs for a one-shot tryout. In

doing this, you can see how one person assembles a multi-boot disc (CD/DVD)

using ISOLINUX. If you want to follow along, you'll need a bunch of sware

to do this project:

ISOLINUX			 syslinux.zytor.com
DSL 3.2 damnsmalllinux.org
System Rescue CD sysresccd.org
ZenWalk Live 4.2 zenwalk.org
cdrtools freshmeat.net
Virtual CD Driver microsoft.com

The Virtual CD Driver is needed only for the initial phase of the project.

I'm using UltraISO, bec I have it and bec it permits dismantling the indiv

ISOs, but it isn't free, while the Virtual CD driver from Microsoft, *is*

free. If you already have something else, like Daemon Tools, MagicISO, ISO

Buster, whatever, free free to use that instead. If it isn't obvious, the

VCD Driver permits an ISO be mounted as a CD drive w/ its own drive letter,

so folders and files can be extracted to disc for the bild. Since it took a

while for me to find it (and *I* already know that it exists) here's the URL

for that:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/b/6/7b6abd84-7841-4978-96f5-bd58df02efa2/winxpvirtualcdcontrolpanel_21.exe

You'd also do well to get VMWare or Virtual PC (free from Microsoft), QEMU

(free, OSS code) or some other virtual machine software, to test ISO images

before burning them to disc. You won't need it right now, bec *if* you follow

my instructions CAREFULLY, your finished ISO *will* be work. However, it

wouldn't hurt to get it now, just in case....

This is a HOWTO, not a TUTORIAL. It's assumed that the reader knows how to

use the different tools or can figure them out on his/her own. To make this

a full-blown tutorial (with step-by-step explanations of everything) would

require many hours of work that I don't have to give. I've never read a

single tutorial or HOWTO on using ZIP/WINZIP/whatever. I've never read a

HOWTO or tutorial on making sub-directories. Everything I've learned on

these subjects has come through trial-and-error. This HOWTO offers a

structure for a single project that works, which you'll be able to apply

onwards and outwards for your own efforts. But it's your responsibility to

grasp the concepts behind this structure and experiment, experiment,

experiment. In fact, there were other parts that I'd hoped to include like

the Ultimate Boot CD and Trinity Rescue Kit. Unfortunately, for several

reasons, I had to abandon these elements as they would make things too

complicated (UBCD) or simply didn't lend themselves a different disc

structure (TRK.) These discoveries were the result of hours of experiments

which you didn't see.

1) Alright, let's get this party started. Make a sub-dir called

\Super-Disc. Next, extract the SYSLINUX kit into \syslinux (be sure to keep

the original directory structure.) The idea here is to put Super-Disc in

the root of your hdrive. Actually, you can put it anywhere you like, but

if you really need this HOWTO, do it my way the 1st time through.

2) Underneath \Super-Disc\, create boot\isolinux\, boot\dsl\, boot\zenlive\,

boot\sysresccd\, dsl\, and sysresccd\.

3) From \syslinux, *COPY* (don't *MOVE*) vesamenu.c32, chain.c32,

isolinux.bin, memdisk to boot\isolinux\.

4) Open the System Rescue ISO and copy vmlinuz1 and vmlinuz.igz to

boot\sysdresccd\. Copy sysrescd.dat to sysresccd\. Copy memtest86 to

boot\isolinux\.

Making the System Rescue CD "cooperate" was accomplished by changing the

KERNEL and APPEND stmts, to point to the new location of the kernel

(boot/sysresccd) and initial ramdisk or initrd (also in boot/sysresccd).

Better designed live CD distros permit the compressed file system archive

(where the bulk of the system files are contained) to be relocated. In this

case using the loop= and subdir= clauses in the APPEND stmt. Some distros

also call these "cheat codes."

5) Open the DSL ISO and copy the KNOPPIX *file* (*NOT* the entire KNOPPIX

sub-dir) to dsl\, linux24, and minirt24.gz to boot\dsl\.

The key cheat code for relocating DSL is knoppix_dir=dsl, since DSL is

derived from Knoppix.

6) Open the ZenWalk ISO and copy vmlinuz and initrd.gz to boot\zenlive\ and

the entire zenlive\ directory tree to \Super-Disc.

At the end of this process, one should have a directory tree structure that

looks something like this:

C:\Super-Disc\
boot\
isolinux\
dsl\
sysresccd\
zenlive\
sysresccd\
dsl\
zenlive\

&) Almost forgot, you'll need an ISOLINUX.CFG to make this work. Copy

the bracketed text block below and put isolinux.cfg into boot/isolinux/.

DEFAULT /boot/isolinux/vesamenu.c32
PROMPT 0
TIMEOUT 300
TOTALTIMEOUT 450
####
MENU BACKGROUND /boot/isolinux/splash.png
MENU TITLE Super-Disc ** 09Mar07 Edition
####
#### The 1st byte of the fgnd color is brightness.
#### blue
MENU COLOR title 1;36;44 #ff0000ff #00000000 std
#### blue
MENU COLOR unsel 37;44 #ff0000ff #00000000 std
#### white
MENU COLOR sel 7;37;40 #c0ffffff #ff000000 std
#### red
MENU COLOR hotkey 1;37;44 #ffff0000 #00000000 std
#### green
MENU COLOR hotsel 1;7;37;40 #ff00ff00 #ff000000 all
####
LABEL sysresccd1
MENU label ^1 System Rescue CD VESA Display
MENU DEFAULT
KERNEL /boot/sysresccd/vmlinuz1
APPEND initrd=/boot/sysresccd/vmlinuz1.igz root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc vga=788 looptype=squashfs loop=/sysresccd/sysrcd.dat setkmap=us subdir=sysresccd cdroot forcevesa splash=silent

LABEL sysresccd2
MENU LABEL ^2 System Rescue CD fb1024x768 Display
KERNEL /boot/sysresccd/vmlinuz1
APPEND initrd=/boot/sysresccd/vmlinuz1.igz root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc vga=791 looptype=squashfs loop=/sysresccd/sysrcd.dat setkmap=us subdir=sysresccd cdroot splash=silent

LABEL sysresccd3
MENU LABEL ^3 System Rescue CD fb800x600 Display
KERNEL /boot/sysresccd/vmlinuz1
APPEND initrd=/boot/sysresccd/vmlinuz1.igz root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc vga=788 looptype=squashfs loop=/sysresccd/sysrcd.dat setkmap=us subdir=sysresccd cdroot splash=silent

LABEL sysresccd4
MENU LABEL ^4 System Rescue CD fb640x480 Display
KERNEL /boot/sysresccd/vmlinuz1
APPEND initrd=/boot/sysresccd/vmlinuz1.igz root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc vga=785 looptype=squashfs loop=/sysresccd/sysrcd.dat setkmap=us subdir=sysresccd cdroot splash=silent

LABEL dsl
MENU LABEL ^5 **** Small Linux 3.2
KERNEL /boot/dsl/linux24
APPEND ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us apm=power-off vga=791 initrd=/boot/dsl/minirt24.gz dma acpi nomce noapic quiet tz="America/New York" knoppix_dir=dsl BOOT_IMAGE=knoppix

LABEL zenlive
MENU LABEL ^7 ZenLive Linux
kernel /boot/zenlive/vmlinuz
append max_loop=255 initrd=/boot/zenlive/initrd.gz init=linuxrc load_ramdisk=1 prompt_ramdisk=0 ramdisk_size=4444 root=/dev/ram0 rw vga=791 splash=silent changes=zensave.xfs

LABEL memtest86
MENU LABEL ^Memtest86 (RAM Diagnostic)
KERNEL /boot/isolinux/memtest86

Any 640x480 PNG will sufice for the initial splash screen, but try this

one, making sure to rename it to splash.png and place it in boot/isolinux/.

http://rapidshare.com/files/20603633/super-disc-splash.png

8) To create an ISO for the project using MKISOFS, try the following:

@ECHO OFF
ECHO Starting @ (%TIME%) ....
SET _VNBR_=01
SET _ROOT_=C:\
SET CDTITLE="SUPERDISC-%_VNBR_%"
SET CDFILENAME="%_ROOT_%%CDTITLE%.ISO"
mkisofs -N -V %CDTITLE% -b boot/isolinux/isolinux.bin -d -iso-level 4 -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o %CDFILENAME% Super-Disc

Of course, you can use any util you have available, like CDIMAGE, ULTRAISO,

etc. The only significant issue is that the util *MUST* support the

"boot-info-table" option. This eliminates from consideration my own

favorite CD burning app, NERO and probably another popular burning app, Easy

CD Creator. If you have a working Linux disc, you can use K3B, which does

support boot-info-table patching and is an excellent CD/DVD burning app, so

you could burn the project directly to disc.

Well that's it. If you've run the batch scriptlet above, you should have a

multi-boot ISO you can burn to CD. Hope this helps. Good luck....Jet

28-Apr-07:

This thing has grown beyond my initial expectations, which is good. So, I've changed the name of the topic to 'Super-Disc: Multi-Boot Project CD/DVD Using ISOLINUX', which is what it has become. Onwards and outwards, I (and others) will continue adding new elements to the project and talking about it. Periodically, I'll add links to the different milestones/additions.

1) Adding BartPE

2) Adding a XP Installer

3) More BartPE/XP Customization Links from Kof94

Fleshing out these 1st few milestones will take the rest of the weekend, since this idea is a middle-of-the-nite inspiration. So use your imaginations in the meantime....

30-Apr-07:

4) A Q-n-D Mini-HOWTO on WiFi under Linux Using NDISWrapper

Edited by jetman
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I don't know about the rest of you, but my own Super-Disc is moving along quite nicely and will be finished in another couple of days. Here's what mine looks like:

superdiscsnapshotvk1.th.jpg

1) I added a sub-menu for my Slax server, which even has its own splash graphic:

MENU COLOR help   	1;37;44	#ffff0000   #00000000   std
####
MENU ROWS 12
####
LABEL slaxmenu
TEXT HELP
Mustang Router/Server system using Slax 5.1.8.2, enhanced with NTFS-3g
1.0+FUSE-2.63+K3B-1.0RC7....
ENDTEXT
MENU LABEL Mustang ^Server/Router Sub-Menu
KERNEL /boot/isolinux/vesamenu.c32
APPEND /boot/slax/isolinux.cfg

2) The new sub-menu has some additional descriptive info (in the lower third of the screen), avail w/ SYSLINUX-3.40-pre12

Later....

Edited by jetman
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Hey this is an awesome topic and I'm sure it's exactly what I'll need to make a perfectly good super disc, however, I'd like to know, if I have a boot.bin file I ripped using BBIE (bart's boot image extractor), what's the command instead of KERNEL /boot/sysresccd/vmlinuz1 that I can type in to get my boot.bin file to load (for example to install OS unattended). Say the file is /boot/OS/boot.bin.

I'm figuring it wouldn't be KERNEL, would it be BOOT?

Or is there more that is required? I read over a syslinux mailing list post on the topic and I'm lost, unfortunately.

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THIEF!!! :o The hdd pic was my idea.

Only one problem though, yours looks better than mine ;) . Nice work Jet.

The text in red at the bottom, is that a static comment... how did you do that?

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THIEF!!! :o The hdd pic was my idea.

Only one problem though, yours looks better than mine ;) . Nice work Jet.

The text in red at the bottom, is that a static comment... how did you do that?

Full disclosures and all that: I got that image from your source: Deviant Art. Consider that your fifteen-minutes of fame. :)

The help text is illustrated in the Code box. New thing w/ 3.40-pre12. Thanx. What I've tried to do is illustrate how one can do a lot w/ ISOLINUX. Here's the submenu & splash:

mustangsplashap0.th.jpg

I'm going to even try to deal w/ my nemisis, Doc Mem, this weekend. Later....Jet

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Hey this is an awesome topic and I'm sure it's exactly what I'll need to make a perfectly good super disc, however, I'd like to know, if I have a boot.bin file I ripped using BBIE (bart's boot image extractor), what's the command instead of KERNEL /boot/sysresccd/vmlinuz1 that I can type in to get my boot.bin file to load (for example to install OS unattended). Say the file is /boot/OS/boot.bin.

I'm figuring it wouldn't be KERNEL, would it be BOOT?

Or is there more that is required? I read over a syslinux mailing list post on the topic and I'm lost, unfortunately.

Nope. It's always KERNEl. Your best bet is always to experiment, experiment, experiment. Some loaders, like the Windows loader, cooperate quite nicely. Some cases you mite have to mix and match w/ something from CDSHELL/BCDW. The most important aspect of ISOLINUX/SYSLINUX is the simplicity of its structure. For each item of a given menu pick, it's only two or three easy-to-understand lines. Transalation: you can try several possibilites in less than an hour....Jet

PS: Rather simply rely on ripping the bootstrap by brute-force, w/ BBIE, why not try my suugestion and open the ISO w/ either MS' VCD Control Panel, UltraISO, ISO Buster, whatever ? There's only one loader I can't crack at this point: the FreeBSD loader (more on that soon.) You may discover the solution is simpler than you think....

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If you need to know how to integrate XP/2K3/BartPE:

LABEL bartpe
MENU LABEL ^BartPE/WinPE
MENU DEFAULT
KERNEL /BOOTSECT.BIN

It's that simple....Jet

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Full disclosures and all that: I got that image from your source: Deviant Art. Consider that your fifteen-minutes of fame. smile.gif

Very funny :rolleyes: .

I'm going to even try to deal w/ my nemisis, Doc Mem, this weekend. Later....Jet

I figured out how to do that whilst fixing up UBCD.

I don't know if this will help you but here's what I did:

*Took the docmem.exe from the floppy image and placed it in a folder called docmem in the dosapps folder.

*Wrote a startup.bat that looked like this:

cls
cd \dosapps\docmem
docmem

... and placed that in the docmem folder.

*Executed it by changing the the entry in mboard2.cfg to read:

LABEL docmem
MENU LABEL DocMem RAM Diagnosic V3.1beta (Use "no UMB (ultra-defensive)" at bootup!)
KERNEL memdisk
APPEND initrd=/images/dosubcd.igz ubcdcmd=docmem

... as you'll notice the main reason why this works is because I used "Boot no UMB (ultra-defensive)" when the freeDOS image boots.

Oh, and I nearly forgot, I modded things abit so all the dosapps use the FreeDOS image instead if the LZDOS image which doesn't boot.

*Rename dosubcd.igz to lzdos.igz and fdubcd.igz to dosubcd.igz and then edit locations in bootdsk1.cfg to reflect changes.

IMO it's easier to just use the binaries for memtest86 and memtest86+ and a lot less messing about. But hey, here's to determination!!!

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<snip>

LABEL docmem
MENU LABEL DocMem RAM Diagnosic V3.1beta (Use "no UMB (ultra-defensive)" at bootup!)
KERNEL memdisk
APPEND initrd=/images/dosubcd.igz ubcdcmd=docmem

... as you'll notice the main reason why this works is because I used "Boot no UMB (ultra-defensive)" when the freeDOS image boots.

Oh, and I nearly forgot, I modded things abit so all the dosapps use the FreeDOS image instead if the LZDOS image which doesn't boot.

*Rename dosubcd.igz to lzdos.igz and fdubcd.igz to dosubcd.igz and then edit locations in bootdsk1.cfg to reflect changes.

IMO it's easier to just use the binaries for memtest86 and memtest86+ and a lot less messing about. But hey, here's to determination!!!

I figured the solution had something to w/ FREEDOS, so this is very helpful. Thank you. I'm sticking w/ DocMem, bec it's several times faster than Memtest. I'd used it forever, til moving to ISOLINUX then it temporarily went into the crapper...

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Nope. It's always KERNEl. Your best bet is always to experiment, experiment, experiment. Some loaders, like the Windows loader, cooperate quite nicely. Some cases you mite have to mix and match w/ something from CDSHELL/BCDW. The most important aspect of ISOLINUX/SYSLINUX is the simplicity of its structure. For each item of a given menu pick, it's only two or three easy-to-understand lines. Transalation: you can try several possibilites in less than an hour....Jet

PS: Rather simply rely on ripping the bootstrap by brute-force, w/ BBIE, why not try my suugestion and open the ISO w/ either MS' VCD Control Panel, UltraISO, ISO Buster, whatever ? There's only one loader I can't crack at this point: the FreeBSD loader (more on that soon.) You may discover the solution is simpler than you think....

Simple answer: I'm on Win2k, so VCD CPL is out.

Long answer: Well, a lot of applications won't run on my system, it's become rather crippled due to some f***ed up actions on my part -- I got a virus, then after cleaning up what I could I tried a repair install, now half my apps don't run. And won't run. Because of missing hooks and routines. lol. Thus I'm trying to build the W2k disc, and needing to move to DVD, and while I"m at it figuring I might as well just make a dualboot of that, XP, and a dozen other things while I'm at it.

EDIT: Also, I'm not quite sure I understand what opening the ISO like that is going to achieve? I used to be able to with WinISO and IB, but I could never see any achievement other than to extract the boot image, just as with BBIE. Just that BBIE is cmdline and will actually run right now.

Edited by Gedrean
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<snip>

Simple answer: I'm on Win2k, so VCD CPL is out.

Long answer: Well, a lot of applications won't run on my system, it's become rather crippled due to some f***ed up actions on my part -- I got a virus, then after cleaning up what I could I tried a repair install, now half my apps don't run. And won't run. Because of missing hooks and routines. lol. Thus I'm trying to build the W2k disc, and needing to move to DVD, and while I"m at it figuring I might as well just make a dualboot of that, XP, and a dozen other things while I'm at it.

EDIT: Also, I'm not quite sure I understand what opening the ISO like that is going to achieve? I used to be able to with WinISO and IB, but I could never see any achievement other than to extract the boot image, just as with BBIE. Just that BBIE is cmdline and will actually run right now.

You [already know you] have bigger problems than VCD CP, BIFs, whatever. I wouldn't even attempt what you're tryinas g to do (ie. a Super0Disc-like project) at this stage. You need a stable system 1st, by whatever means nec !

If you're of dec tech skills, this may be your moment to take the Linux plunge. I think Knoppix 5.11 has enuf functionality that you could do pretty well: stable NTFS R/W support, most important. It has K3B, a Nero-like CD/DVD burner app, good driver support, KDE (a very Windows-like GUI), and overall it's very mature overall distro. They even threw in ISOMaster, an ISO editing util (!) You could continue your project and incrementally fix your W2K installation. Altho, while I normally never say die, this one sounds like a do-over.

Going back to your orig question: why breakdown an ISO ? Bec it works. It's not the only way to go or even necessarily the best way to go, but bef hitting something w/ a hammer, try a screwdriver. The hammer is always avail B) At the end of the day, experiment, experiment. Whatever works, works....Jet

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You [already know you] have bigger problems than VCD CP, BIFs, whatever. I wouldn't even attempt what you're tryinas g to do (ie. a Super0Disc-like project) at this stage. You need a stable system 1st, by whatever means nec !

If you're of dec tech skills, this may be your moment to take the Linux plunge. I think Knoppix 5.11 has enuf functionality that you could do pretty well: stable NTFS R/W support, most important. It has K3B, a Nero-like CD/DVD burner app, good driver support, KDE (a very Windows-like GUI), and overall it's very mature overall distro. They even threw in ISOMaster, an ISO editing util (!) You could continue your project and incrementally fix your W2K installation. Altho, while I normally never say die, this one sounds like a do-over.

Going back to your orig question: why breakdown an ISO ? Bec it works. It's not the only way to go or even necessarily the best way to go, but bef hitting something w/ a hammer, try a screwdriver. The hammer is always avail B) At the end of the day, experiment, experiment. Whatever works, works....Jet

I know the machine's hosed, but since it's somewhat stable (it's not constantly crashing) I can put together using hfslip and bts driverpacks and other tools 2k and XP and 98, and not have a problem. Well, 98 may not be fully slipstreamed... or at all. LOL. Kinda just have it in there as a toy OS, and to run older stuff. Won't touch ME.

Well, regarding the Linux "plunge" I've already made a few jumps in. I've got several K live CDs around and I dabble in DSL, problem is the tools I've got to run daily require windows and Wine just isn't enough. Otherwise, believe me I'd be on a mac over this hardware any day ;)

As far as my question, I'm trying to find out what you're saying I will accomplish by breaking down the ISO? What am I trying to achieve by doing so? I mean if there's some really great trick that lets me find out a way to do stuff, awesome, but I have no idea what I want to accomplish by going in and breaking down said ISO. If I'm just looking to get the boot image, I've had one working for some time, and I don't see why I need to change it. Though, I may have to change it to get it to load the folder in the right location.

Tnx for the time.:)

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<snip>

LABEL docmem
MENU LABEL DocMem RAM Diagnosic V3.1beta (Use "no UMB (ultra-defensive)" at bootup!)
KERNEL memdisk
APPEND initrd=/images/dosubcd.igz ubcdcmd=docmem

... as you'll notice the main reason why this works is because I used "Boot no UMB (ultra-defensive)" when the freeDOS image boots.

Oh, and I nearly forgot, I modded things abit so all the dosapps use the FreeDOS image instead if the LZDOS image which doesn't boot.

*Rename dosubcd.igz to lzdos.igz and fdubcd.igz to dosubcd.igz and then edit locations in bootdsk1.cfg to reflect changes.

IMO it's easier to just use the binaries for memtest86 and memtest86+ and a lot less messing about. But hey, here's to determination!!!

I too am determined, but determination don't count when sware won't cooperate ! :angry:

Per your suggestion, I got hold of the DOCMEM/FreeDOS image and gave it the stuf from the other images to make NOUMBs work:

switches=/f
set os=fd
break=off
files=99
buffers=32
stacks=0,0
shell=\command.com /f /e:2048 /p
lastdrive=z
device=\himem.exe /max=64000

I now have three (!) diff HIMEM drivers (Win98's HIMEM.SYS, QHIMEM.SYS, and HIMEM.EXE) as a result of my trials but none of them work for me ! All of my testing has been under VMWARE, but after adding and testing my XP Unattended Installer to Super-Disc, I'll try it w/ a real CPU. However, I don't hold out much hope.

Fortunately, I have another CD project that I'm never w/o and that gives me DOC MEM, so regardless of the outcome, this will be our absolute final exchange on this subj. Thanx again for your patience and input....Jet

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I too am determined, but determination don't count when sware won't cooperate ! :angry:

Per your suggestion, I got hold of the DOCMEM/FreeDOS image and gave it the stuf from the other images to make NOUMBs work:

switches=/f
set os=fd
break=off
files=99
buffers=32
stacks=0,0
shell=\command.com /f /e:2048 /p
lastdrive=z
device=\himem.exe /max=64000

I now have three (!) diff HIMEM drivers (Win98's HIMEM.SYS, QHIMEM.SYS, and HIMEM.EXE) as a result of my trials but none of them work for me ! All of my testing has been under VMWARE, but after adding and testing my XP Unattended Installer to Super-Disc, I'll try it w/ a real CPU. However, I don't hold out much hope.

Fortunately, I have another CD project that I'm never w/o and that gives me DOC MEM, so regardless of the outcome, this will be our absolute final exchange on this subj. Thanx again for your patience and input....Jet

Test this for me would ya.

Downoad the UBCD 4.0 .iso, extract it's contents and add a folder in the dosapps folder called docmem.

Place docmem.exe from the floppy image in this folder and put a batch file in there called startup.bat.

Write this in the batch file:

cls
cd \dosapps\dosmem
docmem

Then edit mboard2.cfg in the menus folder to read:

LABEL docmem
MENU LABEL DocMem RAM Diagnosic V3.1beta (Use "no UMB (ultra-defensive)" at bootup!)
KERNEL memdisk
APPEND initrd=/images/fdubcd.igz ubcdcmd=docmem

Burn and test. This also works fine in VMware.

I've created my own NwDsk, very similar to the fdubcd image without the networking gumf and stuff. I did this primarily for the drivers support (ASPI/SCSI/SATA/CDROM/LFN/NTFS/HIMEM etc) so I could boot dos tools that didn't want to play ball.

When/If you've got the time take a look at the NwDsk site. I thought it would be really difficult to create my own disc but it was surprisingly easy and very modular. You just need to learn what cabs you want/don't want and where to put things so they execute the way you want them to. The rest is just a simple batch to find your cd/dvd and execute your app.

Anyway I've waffled on too long, just test this out... kof.

Edited by kof94
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