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Topic: floppy emulation with memdisk< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2004,22:05  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have some diagnostic programs that require access to write to A:\.  Is it possible when EB loads the IMG file to emulate it in a way that the program can write to A:\ as if I booted from the physical floppy?

I've tried creating a ramdisk with xmsdsk and copying the contents to that drive and launching the program from there, but I often get "insufficient memory".

Noticed a bootcd called Ultimate Boot CD and kinda poked around the setup, noticed it uses something called memdisk to load the IMG file into a floppy emulation.  The command line looked liked this "memdisk /images/diags.img"

Is it possible to recreate something like this with EB?

Any ideas on what I could try?  Thanks for your help.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2004,03:47 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Recommanded for version 5.08 and above:
1) Download the attached zip file
2) Extract files (isolinux and memdisk) to c:\easyboot\disk1\ezboot
3) Put your xxx.IMG (or xxx.BIF) file in c:\easyboot\disk1\ezboot as well
4) Use 'bcdw /ezboot/isolinix memdisk initrd=xxx.img' to load it



You can also use CDShell this way:

1) Download a simplified version from http://dw.ezbsys.net/boot.zip
2) Extract it to disk1\, a folder named boot will be added there
   boot\moudles
   boot\cdshl.bin
   boot\cdshell.ini
3) Copy your disk image (xxx.img for example) to disk1\boot
4) Edit cdshell.ini, change the first line to
   memdisk /BOOT/xxx.IMG
5) Save the attached file (cdshldr.bin) to disk1\ezboot
6) Use 'run cdshldr.bin' to load your image


Edited by xoben on Apr. 25 2006,23:43

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2004,11:33 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

great, thanks that did the job, one question though ..

how would I go about doing this for multiple menu items though?  since I have to specify the name of the img in the cdshell.ini file?

thanks again!
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2004,20:30 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes. For multiple images, you can do it this way:
1) Make another folder under disk1, named bt01 for example (disk1\bt01)
2) Copy all files and folders from disk1\boot to disk1\bt01
3) Copy your yyy.IMG to disk1\bt01, and modify cdshell.ini there to
   memdisk /BT01/yyy.IMG
4) Save cdshldr.bin as disk1\ezboot\cdsh01.bin
5) Click 'Tools'->'Replace Text' on File page of EasyBoot
   File: c:\easyboot\disk1\ezboot\cdsh01.bin
   Text to find: /boot
   Replace to: /bt01
   Click 'Replace'
6) Use 'run cdsh01.bin' to load
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 04 2004,10:21 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Quote (xoben @ Nov. 03 2004,08:47)
You can use CDShell this way:

I just want to thank you for this information.  I have heard about using ISOLINUX for a bootable CD, but I didn't understand exactly what it did.  Because of this I never bothered to learn by creating a CD to boot with this method.  Your instructions made it extremely easy for me to try it out and doing so solved a problem I had decided I'd just have to live with, after working many weeks trying to set up my multiboot Ghost CD.  (And, of course, this CD was put on my EasyBoot DVD...)

If you have enough time, I'd love to hear a little more about your post, for learning purposes.  I'm not looking for a step by step or anything, but you provided a link to download a "simplified version" of CDShell.  If this "simplified version" didn't exist, how would one go about using this method?  And, what is the difference between this "simplified version" and doing it manually?

Also, regarding your attachment cdshldr.bin...  How is this different from the other "normal" loader.bin files, say w2ksect.bin, we use with EZB?  Is it just a quick hex change, or is this a completely different file?  And, again, for learning purposes, where would one go about obtaining cdshldr.bin if you hadn't so kindly posted it?

If you're too busy to go through this stuff, I understand.  What you have posted has already taught me quite a bit and has solved a problem I decided was unsolvable!  I'll post a "quick version" of my problem which using this method solved, in case it is of any help to anyone.

I mentioned (and have mentioned in at least one other post) my Ghost bootable CD.  This CD uses three different drivers for networking with Ghost in two different setups, one for peer to peer networking and the other for "drive mapping" networking.  The equates to five different versions which are selected from a boot menu.

I'm using Microsoft Network client for MSDOS.  Both this and Ghost require write capability, which is fine for a floppy or hard drive, but not so fine when booting from CD.  In order to get around this problem I finally figured out that I could use a RAM drive.  After pulling out about 3/4 of my hair, I finally finished a CD using the RAM drive and applied it, with help from a previous post by xoben, to my EasyBoot DVD.

Additionally, for several reasons, I decided to use hard drive emulation for the bootable CD instead of hard drive emulation.  I wanted to know the drive letter of the bootable portion of the CD up front (which would be C with hard drive emulation).  I didn't want to use floppy emuation because the files I used are too big to fit on a floppy and I didn't want to bother with trying to figure out the specific CD ROM drive letter in order to copy files to the RAM drive from the "CD portion" of the bootable CD.

The CD and DVD both worked just fine on two of the computers it was designed for, but the oddest of the three computers, the Compaq laptop (go figure), caused memory errors.  I was able to figure out that the problem was being caused because the Compaq computer didn't like something about the hard drive emulation on the CD.  So, I couldn't do anything about the problem and finally gave up.

That is, I gave up until I read this thread.  I quickly learned that using this method would replace the RAM drive method I was using.  In order to learn, and also to try out something new which might work better, I rearranged my bootable CD files to work with this new method.  It was MUCH easier to put everything together than doing so with the RAM drive method.  Plus, the Compaq had NO PROBLEM using hard drive emulation on the bootable CD with this CDShell method.  In addition, there is nothing on any part of the CD that I need any longer after booting, so I can completely remove the CD and use it in another computer.  Then there's the "cool factor."  This method is just really cool.  Instead of creating a new separate RAM drive and copying everything into it, this CDShell method actually emulates the bootable image (floppy or in my case hard drive) of the CD in memory.  This basically gives my hard drive image, even though it's booted from a read only CD, complete read/write access.  What an incredible solution!

Once again I salute you, xoben.  Thanks for everything you do in these forums!


Edited by Gork on Nov. 04 2004,11:04
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 04 2004,18:42 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Quote
If you have enough time, I'd love to hear a little more about your post, for learning purposes.  I'm not looking for a step by step or anything, but you provided a link to download a "simplified version" of CDShell.  If this "simplified version" didn't exist, how would one go about using this method?  And, what is the difference between this "simplified version" and doing it manually?

All files are from CDShell package, except some unused files&folders have been removed.
Quote
Also, regarding your attachment cdshldr.bin...  How is this different from the other "normal" loader.bin files, say w2ksect.bin, we use with EZB?  Is it just a quick hex change, or is this a completely different file?  And, again, for learning purposes, where would one go about obtaining cdshldr.bin if you hadn't so kindly posted it?

It comes from CDShell package as well. The original name is loader.bin.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 05 2004,03:23 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

xoben
That's exactly what I was looking for...  Thanks!

After I posted that last message I realized that creating a bootable CD, using this method but without EZB, is not as easy as burning with or without hdd/floppy emulation using the boot sector supplied.  I finally just created a quick EZB screen which says "Loading - Please Stand By..." and used that to pass control to the CDShell loader.  Naturally, the CD image I'm working on worked perfectly on my EZB multiboot DVD...
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2004,11:34 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great, just what I needed.

After some initial confusion and cock-ups I got it working great.

I looked into the CDSHELL method a bit further and came up with some extra info (in no particular order):

- the original (and latest) CDSHELL stuff can be found here www.cdshell.org

- the latest version of MEMDISK can use GZIPped image files.
I used the free command line GZIP from www.gzip.org.
It reduced my 2880KB images to approx 1600KB and still ran fine.

- To save having multiple ISOLINUX directories, a single copy of this directory can be placed in the root.
This will then contain the one and only copy of MEMDISK.

- If prefered, the images can be placed in a single directory in the root (for example \IMAGES).

The CDSHELL.INI will then be like this:

memdisk /images/xxx.IMG

- CDSHELL and MEMDISK require that all FILE and DIR names are in 8.3 format. If not they cannot be found.

That's it for now. hope that's helpfull.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2004,17:32 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

tim,

I'm a bit confused on how you can only have one folder for the emulation modules.  Don't I have to have a cdshell.ini for each menu item?  Since I have to tell it which IMG file to load within the ini file.

So where do you put all your cdshell.ini files?  Does each menu item have it's own folder with just the cdshell.ini and IMG file?  Did you also have to create a .bin file for each item?

Any clarification would be appreciated, thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 09 2004,05:57 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

ISOLINUX is a sub-directory under \BOOT\MODULES

You still need to have the seperate \BOOT directories to hold the different CDSHELL.INI files.

This just saves ISOLUNIX being repeated under every MODULES directory.

P.S see my next post over the page


Edited by tim on Nov. 09 2004,06:02
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