jetman

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

291 posts in this topic

What's the problem with using the explicit full path of the files ? As in:

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

LABEL pmagic
MENU LABEL Partition Ma^gic 8
KERNEL /boot/isolinux/memdisk
APPEND initrd=/FLPYS/PQPM8.IMA

LABEL chntpw
MENU LABEL ^Change NT/2K/XP/2K3 Passwords
KERNEL /boot/isolinux/memdisk
APPEND initrd=/FLPYS/chntpw.bin

Costs nothing and eliminates ambiguity. The fact that VESAMENU works and the text menu system doesn't suggests that they mite have been written by different people and therefore behave ever so differently. That one would use a different directory layout is clearly discretionary, but using partial pathnames is not....Jet

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My SuperDisc conitnues to evolve, but when demonstrating the current incarnation, something jumped and bit me in the arse, so I thought I'd share:

smggdowsu8.th.jpg

Never ever forget the boot-info-table option when building your CD/DVD. The image above is a DVD I made a week ago and works fine under VMWare and my two home PCs. When I tried to demo it at my old job, no image, no boot, just a message I hadn't seen in months:

ISOLINUX Image checksum error.  Sorry.

I use exactly the same layout as illustrated at the top of the thread. But I don't use MKISOFS, I prefer ULTRAISO, so that the files can be stored all over my hdrive. Unfortunately, this is a flaw of the GUI approach. Using a cmd-line ISO maker, it's hard to overlook something like that, esp if you're making ISOs via a script w/ everything spelled out. But with a GUI program, you mite miss a single menu option. So in overlooking something, it's possible that the disc will pass okay thru a couple of test PCs, and fail when you need it.

Don't assume, verify....Jet

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There is nothing really special here, I just create an isolinux plugin for pebuilder. I boot also straight to isolinux there is absolutely no difference, except the two other folders which don't mater.

NO ! Incorrect. ISOLINUX is just a loader, a facilitator to get your CD-based systems started. It's just like GURB, BCDW, or CDSHELL. I've been using BartPE for years and no way would I ever do an ISOLINUX plugin.

ISOLINUX+GRUB+CDSHELL+whatever start bef any CD-based app/system and exist solely for that purpose. Do as you will with your computer, but you've missed the point of the exercise....Jet

I thought there was something a miss.

What's the problem with using the explicit full path of the files ?

...

Costs nothing and eliminates ambiguity. The fact that VESAMENU works and the text menu system doesn't suggests that they mite have been written by different people and therefore behave ever so differently. That one would use a different directory layout is clearly discretionary, but using partial pathnames is not....Jet

Fair enough, can't hurt but when you boot isolinux you are rooted in that location and effectively call files from other locations. So if all your files are located with isolinux.bin you don't really need the full paths.

The only thing that puzzles me is google44 has decided to put all the files at the root of the disc instead of one of the folder locations. I wondered if this could cause a problem because a path like this KERNEL /memdisk is then identical to this KERNEL memdisk.

...

Never ever forget the boot-info-table option when building your CD/DVD. The image above is a DVD I made a week ago and works fine under VMWare and my two home PCs. When I tried to demo it at my old job, no image, no boot, just a message I hadn't seen in months:

...

I have to say CDImage as never failed me and I've been using the same commands of eighteen months now. I would like to use mkisofs but there are just far too many switches for me to work out whats best for all concerned.

And I nearly forgot... THE SUPER-MEGA-GLOBAL-GALACTIC-DESTROYER-OF-WORLDS :huh: . Now your scaring me :lol:

Edited by kof94
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I don't know why but now is working. The folder structure is something like this:

superdisk

---boot

----isolinux

The isolinux.cfg:

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 test
MENU LABEL ^Dban
KERNEL /boot/isolinux/dban.ima
APPEND initrd=dban.ima

In isolinux folder there are all the files and some image file for testing. I use cdimage gui for iso creation and now is working fine. I have to use some special parameters with cdimage for iso creation or not ? I just choose root as "superdisk" folder and isolinux.bin as the boot image then start image creation without any other settings.

Thank you jetman and kof94 for your help, without you I think I couldn't have done it. When I get stuck somewhere I will ask for help.

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I have one question, it is possible to display help information when I select a menu item ?

Edit: Solved, I was using an older version.

Edited by google44
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I'm glad you've managed to fix the problem.

These are my params for CDImage:

cdimage.exe -l"AIO" -h -j1 -b"E:\Disc\isolinux\isolinux.bin" -x -o -m "E:\Disc" "E:\Disc.iso"

If you download CDImage GUI it makes things a whole lot easier.

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I'm glad you've managed to fix the problem.

These are my params for CDImage:

cdimage.exe -l"AIO" -h -j1 -b"E:\Disc\isolinux\isolinux.bin" -x -o -m "E:\Disc" "E:\Disc.iso"

If you download CDImage GUI it makes things a whole lot easier.

Actually that's no less arcane than MKISOFS. Having said that, one thing I like about the live Linux CDs is K3B. Granted it's a lot to boot an entire OS just to burn CDs/DVDs, but K3B is a front-end for MKISOFS/GROWISOFS and then some. Maybe that is a reason for booting an OS....Jet

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I have some problems booting .iso's with isolinux. I know that not all .iso image can be booted but I've tried some of them with bcdw and works fine. How can I boot an .iso with isolinux ? Or can I use it together with bcdw somehow?

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How can I add parameters to memdisk ? Here is what i've did:

Create a folder called dosapps in superdisk/boot/isolinux and put amset folder (maxtor drives tool) in it with all the files. Something like this:

superdisk

---boot

----isolinux

---dosapps

--amset

Create a batch file (startup.bat) in amset folder with the following content:

cls
cd \dosapps\amset
amset

Copy dosubcd.igz from ultimate boot cd to isolinux folder

Run image like this:

LABEL bartpe
TEXT HELP
test example
ENDTEXT
MENU LABEL 1 test
KERNEL /boot/isolinux/memdisk
APPEND initrd=dosubcd.igz ubcdcmd=amset

But it doesn't work although dosubcd.igz is booting:

2006111078525016170_rs.jpg

Any ideas?

Edited by google44
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I have some problems booting .iso's with isolinux. I know that not all .iso image can be booted but I've tried some of them with bcdw and works fine. How can I boot an .iso with isolinux ? Or can I use it together with bcdw somehow?

Read this again. There are reasons for problems booting ISOs. If necessary, get a fresh copy of ISOLINUX.BIN from the ZIP you downloaded, but that's it.

All that ISOLINUX.BIN does (after being patched into the ISO image by MKISOFS, whatever) is to read ISOLINUX.CFG and subsequently load whatever files from the CD/DVD as selected via its menu. That's it. That all GRUB does, that's all that BCDW does, that's all CDSHELL does. They only differ in the syntax of the config file "language" and how they configure extended memory (RAM > 640KB.) So, one loader mite load one util, where another can't, like Doc Mem that Kof and I have been trying to use from ISOLINUX.

I personally bailed on the others bec I didn't want to learn another language (CDSHELL) and I didn't want to deal w/ a poorly documented program that's been abandoned by its author (BCDW.) GRUB has been nothing but a PITA. Others swear by those systems and that's just fine. Pick one (for a particular proj) and accept the consequences....Jet

PS: No loader really boots ISOs, certainly not large ones. Certain distros (eg. Slax, Knoppix, et al) will boot their own customized ISOs (from the hdrive.) Maybe you'd be better off sticking w/ BCDW....

Edited by jetman
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I'm starting to think that Virtual PC is not terribly good for testing ISOLinux stuff out on. In switching from the plain jane boot menu to vesamenu, some of my boot disks no longer boot properly. For the Universal TCP/IP Boot Disk I had to add the raw option to memdisk to get it to boot inside Virtual PC and I'm still having issues getting Seagate DiscWizard, Maxtor MaxBlast, and Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools to boot up correctly.

Here the obligiatory screenhots of my disc.

Before (old menu)

bootmsg.jpg

After (new vesameu)

52_main.jpg

with password protection

52_main_pass.jpg

Cheers

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I have to say Jotnar, that is one sexy menu you have there :wub: .

On to the more technical stuff...

The raw and bigraw switches are required when your boot images have been created using Windows. I have to use raw to boot ViVARD and CopyWipe because of this reason!

This isn't a failing of VPC, you'll probably find you require these switches on a real machine as well. In fact I have found in a lot of cases VPC replicates a real machine more closely than VMWare or VirtualBox.

As for your Disc Manager programs, none of them will boot via memdisk it just one of those things.

@google44

Your better off building your own NwDsk for executing DOS tools. It isn't difficult, you could even take the UBCD images apart to do this, I did to start with. Everything is modular so you can add and remove particular components as required. I would recommend using the FreeDOS versions though since they seam to be more stable.

@jetman/google44

What version of isolinux/vesamenu are you using to provide help info/code box?

Thanks.

Edited by kof94
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What version of isolinux/vesamenu are you using to provide help info/code box?

I use the last version (still in development but i have no problems) 3.50 pre5 from here http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/Testing/. TEXT HELP feature it is explained in readme.menu.

Your better off building your own NwDsk for executing DOS tools. It isn't difficult, you could even take the UBCD images apart to do this, I did to start with. Everything is modular so you can add and remove particular components as required. I would recommend using the FreeDOS versions though since they seam to be more stable.

Ok, but from where to start ? It is enogh to use this tutorial http://www.veder.com/nwdsk/ ?

The problem is not creating nwdsk but getting parameters passed to floppy images. I don't know if it is necessarry to build my own nwdsk because to get parameters passed to floppy image they used bcdw.com and a batch file. But it seems that it doesn't work either, bcdw.com always returning 1. kof94 did you manage to get parameters passed to floppy image ? Maybe some hints, something :D ?

Edited by google44
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What gets me is that with the old menu system my floppy images worked fine. The network bootdisk booted fine under Virtual PC with no extra memdisk switches required. The only time I had to use the raw switch was with the WinME/XP DOS Boot Disk which was the reason they put the raw switch in there in the first place. It was something about that version of DOS failing if it couldn't access a certain part of memory if I remember correctly. For that reason I always used Win98SE DOS boot disks if I ever had to make a bootable floppy. I just don't understand how changing the menu system should make an image that booted fine before hang horribly.

Cheers

Edit... I've had DiscManager, MaxBlast, and Data Lifeguard Tools all booting with the old menu system, they even boot up with the new menu system. The program seems to hang when it starts though. It doesn't do this with VirtualBox or QEMU so I have to burn a CD and test it on a real system to see if its just VirtualPC.

Edited by Jotnar
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What about DSKEMU as an alternative to MEMDISK ? On my Todo list for a quick trial. I looked at it (the web page that is) after Sir Kof mentioned it and it appeared to be a definite maybe....Jet :sneaky:

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