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Hello. I have a USB PenDrive (FAT32 file system) that has 2 boot options. Boot option 1 = runs a program that updates my BIOS. Boot option 2 = runs ...
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  1. #1
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    How to multiboot from USB PenDrive


    Hello.

    I have a USB PenDrive (FAT32 file system) that has 2 boot options.
    Boot option 1 = runs a program that updates my BIOS.
    Boot option 2 = runs a program that executes a basic hardware test on the PC.

    I don't need to access any HDD or load any operative system.

    Presently, the pen drive is using a DOS bootstrap (like the one you obtain when you format a device using /s option under DOS).

    My question is:
    Can I use an advanced graphical bootloader to accomplish the same thing?
    It would be nice to have a background bootsplash logo of the company, while the user selects one of the two boot options, using the cursor keys.
    Just like GRUB...


    How can I do this?
    Thank you all.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Depending upon the size of the device, you can alter the partition sizes with gparted, then install GRUB on it and Linux on a partition. It should have a partition table just like any hard drive. I configure thumb/flash drives that way all the time.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberman View Post
    then install GRUB on it and Linux on a partition.
    Hello.

    Do I really have to install Linux in a partition?

    I mean... I only want to install a bootstrap in a pen with a graphical bootloader.
    And then I can choose the possible boot options.

    Since none of those boot options include an operative system, do I really need one installed?

    I'm a newbie so I had to ask...

    Because in DOS, it's very easy. I just format a pendrive, put IO.SYS in the first sector, and copy a valid COMMAND.COM operating system shell into the pendrive.
    Then I add multiboot capabilities to AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS!
    And that's all!
    I don't need to install a complete operative system into a pendrive ou disquette!


    I would like something similar to this, but using GRUB (or some other graphical bootloader).

    Is that possible?

    Thank you for your patience.

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    You can install grub on a pendrive, without an OS installed also I would think. However, you might want to actually put an OS on the drive, like Ubuntu, so you can boot a system even if its hard drives are fubar.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Hello all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubberman View Post
    You can install grub on a pendrive, without an OS installed also I would think.
    OK. How do I proceed?

    Thank you
    ADFC

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADFC View Post
    Hello.

    I have a USB PenDrive (FAT32 file system) that has 2 boot options.
    Boot option 1 = runs a program that updates my BIOS.
    Boot option 2 = runs a program that executes a basic hardware test on the PC.

    I don't need to access any HDD or load any operative system.

    Presently, the pen drive is using a DOS bootstrap (like the one you obtain when you format a device using /s option under DOS).

    My question is:
    Can I use an advanced graphical bootloader to accomplish the same thing?
    It would be nice to have a background bootsplash logo of the company, while the user selects one of the two boot options, using the cursor keys.
    Just like GRUB...


    How can I do this?
    Thank you all.
    I have a pen drive that boot multiple systems (linux, floppy images)
    it uses a graphical syslinux menu (that I can edit to add/remove entries)

    I started out with the slax linux live distribution because it has a tool
    (bootinst.sh) to make the usb key bootable and it uses syslinux
    I tweaked it a bit (moved files around, edited some files, changed
    the background picture)
    you could use this as a starting point (and you don't need to keep
    the slax system if you don't want it, only the necessary files and
    folders for booting)
    I can give more details if you're interested

    slax: Slax: your pocket operating system

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    Hello vonbiber!

    I tried Slax.

    It seems nice (some problems while shutting down/restarting PC and assigning a root password though).

    OK... aside from that...

    How do I edit the startup files so that I can only have:
    boot option 1: MS-DOS command.com shell that runs "Program1.exe"
    boot option 2: MS-DOS command.com shell that runs "Program2.exe"
    boot option 3: Slax with graphical KDE

    by that order.

    And also... How do I change the background boot picture?? //this part is SOLVED

    Thank you.
    U R all awesome

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    OK.

    I already changed the background picture.

    What about the rest? Help?

    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADFC View Post
    I tried Slax.

    It seems nice (some problems while shutting down/restarting PC and assigning a root password though).

    OK... aside from that...

    How do I edit the startup files so that I can only have:
    boot option 1: MS-DOS command.com shell that runs "Program1.exe"
    boot option 2: MS-DOS command.com shell that runs "Program2.exe"
    boot option 3: Slax with graphical KDE
    U R all awesome
    obviously for your first and second entries you need to boot in dos
    The way I'd do that would be
    first prepare 2 dos boot floppy images: dos1.img, dos2.img
    In the first floppy image I would place 'Program1.exe"
    and in the second, "Program2.exe"
    (to create a floppy image, assuming you have a floppy drive:
    dd if=/dev/fd0 of=dos1.img
    If you don't have a floppy drive, you can use an already existing
    dos boot image that you can download, mount the image, copy your
    program in there (as root):
    mkdir -p /mnt/floppy
    mount -o loop dosboot.img /mnt/floppy
    cp program1.exe /mnt/floppy
    umount /mnt/floppy
    cp dosboot.img dos1.img
    etc.)

    then, mount the slax usb flash disk
    place the 2 floppy images somewhere in the flash disk
    let's say, in boot/addons (create the subfolder if it doesn't exist)
    place memdisk in there as well

    edit the boot/slax.cfg menu configuration:
    create these 2 entries toward the top (right after the line
    menu color msg07 ....
    )

    LABEL dos1
    MENU LABEL dos for running program1.exe
    KERNEL /boot/addons/memdisk=/boot/addons/dos1.img
    APPEND initrd
    TEXT HELP
    More about currently selected:

    run program1.exe ....
    ENDTEXT

    LABEL dos2
    .... (replace dos1 by dos2, program1 by program2 ...)
    ...

  10. #10
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    Hello vonbiber!

    I will try your suggestions.

    Thank you sincerely, vonbiber!

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