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Creating a DOS bootable USB drive

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Creating a DOS bootable USB drive

Wolfram Volpi
I am new to FreeDOS and could use your help.
I am trying to create a DOS bootable USB drive in for a BIOS update.
I have done the following twice, with the same result each time.

1) Use GParted to partition USB drive and set boot flag.

2) Use UNetbootin to install FreeDOS on partitioned USB drive.
I followed the instructions with screen shots on:
    https://unetbootin.github.io/
    http://askubuntu.com/questions/46886/how-to-create-a-bootable-usb-stick-to-flash-a-bios

3) Attempt to Boot the PC to DOS:

    Power > Restart
    F2 > BIOS, Boot order > Legacy > double click on USB

    Black screen opens with white flashing cursor.  There is nothing else on the screen.
    Typing on keyboard doesn't show up on screen or move the cursor.
    alt+ctrl+del boots to Fedora.

fdisk -l indicates the boot flag is set (asterisk just after the Device name). From Fedora terminal:

    $ sudo fdisk -l
    ...
    Disk /dev/sdb: 983 MiB, 1030750208 bytes, 2013184 sectors
    Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disklabel type: dos
    Disk identifier: 0x696151a9

    Device     Boot Start     End Sectors  Size Id Type
    /dev/sdb1  *     2048 2013183 2011136  982M  6 FAT16

Operating system: Fedora 25, Linux kernel 4.8, Gnome 3.22.2

PC Hardware: Haswell Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK, Intel Core i5-4250U CPU

USB flash drive: 1.0 GB Drive VBTM Store 'n' Go

The preceding was posted on https://ask.fedoraproject.org/en/question/101997/dos-bootable-usb-drive-created-with-unetbootin-this-is-not-a-bootable-disk/
Where sideburns used Unetbootin to install FreeDOS on a flash drive and tried to boot it, twice.
Both times it failed giving error messages about a missing cable.

What else can I try?
Thank you.

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Re: Creating a DOS bootable USB drive

Rugxulo
Hi,

On Sun, Feb 26, 2017 at 8:10 AM, Wolfram Volpi <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I am new to FreeDOS and could use your help.
> I am trying to create a DOS bootable USB drive in for a BIOS update.
> I have done the following twice, with the same result each time.
>
> 1) Use GParted to partition USB drive and set boot flag.
>
> 2) Use UNetbootin to install FreeDOS on partitioned USB drive.
>
> Operating system: Fedora 25, Linux kernel 4.8, Gnome 3.22.2
>
> USB flash drive: 1.0 GB Drive VBTM Store 'n' Go
>
> What else can I try?

Some USB drives don't boot, or maybe yours is defective, so you may be
forced to use a different one.

Normally I'd suggest RUFUS, but that's Windows only:

http://rufus.akeo.ie/

For Linux, try reading Joe Linoff's method of installing:

http://joelinoff.com/blog/?p=431

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Re: Creating a DOS bootable USB drive

Jerome Shidel

> On Feb 26, 2017, at 5:34 PM, Rugxulo <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> On Sun, Feb 26, 2017 at 8:10 AM, Wolfram Volpi <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> I am new to FreeDOS and could use your help.
>> I am trying to create a DOS bootable USB drive in for a BIOS update.
>> I have done the following twice, with the same result each time.
>>
>> 1) Use GParted to partition USB drive and set boot flag.
>>
>> 2) Use UNetbootin to install FreeDOS on partitioned USB drive.
>>
>> Operating system: Fedora 25, Linux kernel 4.8, Gnome 3.22.2
>>
>> USB flash drive: 1.0 GB Drive VBTM Store 'n' Go
>>
>> What else can I try?
>
> Some USB drives don't boot, or maybe yours is defective, so you may be
> forced to use a different one.
>
> Normally I'd suggest RUFUS, but that's Windows only:
>
> http://rufus.akeo.ie/
>
> For Linux, try reading Joe Linoff's method of installing:
>
> http://joelinoff.com/blog/?p=431

On Linux, Unix, BSD and Mac systems, you can just use the ‘dd’ command.

For example, your usb flash drive is known to the system as /dev/sdf and you want to put FD12FULL.img on there.

Simply running: ‘dd if=FD12FULL.img of=/dev/sdf’ as superuser will do the trick. It will take a little while and would be faster if you add block sizes and counts. But, it will work file without them. The FreeDOS 1.2 USB stick images have a built in partition table. So, make sure you write to the device (like sdf) an not a partition (like sdf0). Also, MAKE SURE OF YOUR TARGET DEVICE!. If you target your the drive with your linux install, you will DESTROY all of the data there.

There are only a couple drawbacks to using dd. It is slow. Unless you know how to poll it, you get no progress report. It will create the partition at the same size as in the image file (the whole disk won’t be in that partition). You must be careful when specifying the target device.

Oh, also make sure the USB drive is not mounted when you write to it with dd.

Jerome



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Re: Creating a DOS bootable USB drive

Rugxulo
Hi again,

Just to add more to this so I don't (completely) forget everything ....

On Sun, Feb 26, 2017 at 5:26 PM, Jerome Shidel <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> On Linux, Unix, BSD and Mac systems, you can just use the ‘dd’ command.
>
> For example, your usb flash drive is known to the system as /dev/sdf and you want to put FD12FULL.img on there.
>
> Simply running: ‘dd if=FD12FULL.img of=/dev/sdf’ as superuser will do the trick. It will take a little while and would
> be faster if you add block sizes and counts. But, it will work file without them. The FreeDOS 1.2 USB stick images
> have a built in partition table. So, make sure you write to the device (like sdf) an not a partition (like sdf0).
> Also, MAKE SURE OF YOUR TARGET DEVICE!. If you target your the drive with your linux install, you will DESTROY
> all of the data there.
>
> There are only a couple drawbacks to using dd. It is slow. Unless you know how to poll it, you get no progress report.
> It will create the partition at the same size as in the image file (the whole disk won’t be in that partition). You must
> be careful when specifying the target device.
>
> Oh, also make sure the USB drive is not mounted when you write to it with dd.

I'm sure there is a wiki somewhere (for some relatively obscure *nix
distro) that cleanly and simply describes all of this with various
details. But I don't know where exactly.

There was a recent two-part video on YouTube (Druaga1) about him
trying to set up an old Apple scanner. He had to make a disk from
image at some point, and lots of comments were about that. Just to
summarize (without testing!) some of those useful
comments/suggestions, to give some better overall idea of what's
available ... :

dd (or) GNOME Disks (GUI)
lsblk (or) fdisk -l (or) parted -l
pv (or) dd status=progress
sync (or) reboot
unmount first

cat (instead of dd to match block and sector sizes automatically)
"cat imagename | pv > /dev/fd0"

"watch -n5 'sudo kill -USR1 $(pgrep ^dd)'"    [was that meant to be backticks??]

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Re: Creating a DOS bootable USB drive

Rugxulo
Hi again,

On Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 6:55 PM, Rugxulo <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Sun, Feb 26, 2017 at 5:26 PM, Jerome Shidel <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> On Linux, Unix, BSD and Mac systems, you can just use the ‘dd’ command.
>
> I'm sure there is a wiki somewhere (for some relatively obscure *nix
> distro) that cleanly and simply describes all of this with various
> details. But I don't know where exactly.

More tips (untested), found via some random reddit thread:

FreeBSD only:  Ctrl-T when any base util running (SIGINFO)
pkill -USR1 -x dd
ddrescue
watch -n 30 'pkill -USR1 -n -x dd'

Even more tips found at TestDisk site:

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Damaged_Hard_Disk

And (for non-*nix) I also found a tool called "Win32 Disk Imager" ("A
Windows tool for writing images to USB sticks or SD/CF cards"):

https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/

"... is designed to write a raw disk image to a removable device or
backup a removable device to a raw image file." (So it can read
[backup] or write or verify image.)

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Re: Creating a DOS bootable USB drive

Jerome Shidel
In reply to this post by Rugxulo
Some Windows users like using utilities like Rufus ( https://rufus.akeo.ie ) to create their bootable USB media. But, as a non-Windows user, I don’t know much about it.
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Re: Creating a DOS bootable USB drive

Dan Schmidt
Unetbootin will work for disk or iso, however, I have come across usb that simply will not work for some strange reason. I have to wonder if anybody has ever had any success simply sys-ing the usb?

On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 11:05 AM, Jerome Shidel <[hidden email]> wrote:
Some Windows users like using utilities like Rufus ( https://rufus.akeo.ie ) to create their bootable USB media. But, as a non-Windows user, I don’t know much about it.
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Re: Creating a DOS bootable USB drive

Bret
In reply to this post by Wolfram Volpi
Yes, that does work sometimes.  It depends on the BIOS as to whether it will actually boot or not, though.


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Re: Creating a DOS bootable USB drive

Rugxulo
In reply to this post by Jerome Shidel
Hi,

On Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 12:05 PM, Jerome Shidel <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Some Windows users like using utilities like Rufus ( https://rufus.akeo.ie )
> to create their bootable USB media. But, as a non-Windows user, I don’t know much about it.

As a lowly end user, I haven't deployed lots of Windows copies to
devices. So I'm out of the loop.

A quick search shows this (for installing Windows from USB drive):

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/windows-usb-dvd-download-tool

Also, NetBSD 7.1 was apparently just released, and they have some
tools, e.g. both Rawrite (DOS) and Rawr32 (Windows):

http://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/NetBSD/NetBSD-7.1/i386/installation/misc/

There's even a page for Rawrite32 (Windows, VS2015, "2-clause BSD"),
which I just assume is the same tool:

https://www.netbsd.org/~martin/rawrite32/

Not sure where old "Rawrite/NT" (Win32) is officially hosted, I don't
remember where I found it. A quick check shows that even Slackware
(ZipSlack 11) had it (or one similar, at least; GPL), and it seems to
have been written in Delphi!

http://ftp.slackware.com/pub/slackware/slackware-11.0/zipslack/

Okay, so there's another old "NT" port (in C, GPL) on iBiblio:

http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/system/install/rawwrite/

Hmm, okay, some of these are probably?? floppy only, but at least the
NetBSD one explicitly says "Rawrite32 is a tool to prepare disks or
other removeable media, especially USB memory sticks, from files
called file system images".

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