NightOwl's Roost
Guide to Creating a Bootable CD or DVD Without a Floppy Drive


Page 3 of 3

Project #1

Step-by-Step Instructions


Let's Get Started--

(Make sure you've done the preliminary steps before starting here!  Go to Programs and Files You Need: first.)

  1. Installing WinImage: If you download the WinImage.exe file, it will be self extracting and will run an install routine for you, offering to put a shortcut on your desktop and a subdirectory in your 'Programs' menu.  If using the install routine, direct the install to the 'C:\Bootable CD Project\WinImage' subdirectory. 

    But you do not have to 'install' WinImage. If you download the file, you can simply extract the files to a directory and run 'winimage.exe', and the program will run just fine.

    I downloaded the file to the 'C:\Bootable CD Project\Downloads\WinImage' subdirectory, and then extracted the files to 'C:\Bootable CD Project\WinImage' subdirectory using WinZip.

  2. Start WinImage by clicking on 'winimage.exe' in the 'C:\Bootable CD Project\WinImage' directory or the Desktop shortcut if you used the install routine. 

    Now the fun begins--if you were to 'click' on the Win98se Boot Disk file 'win98.exe' , it runs a program that tries to create a Win98se boot floppy disk in a floppy disk drive.

    But if you select in WinImage the menu item 'File|Open' , and in the 'Open' dialog box in the 'Look in:' box, navigate to 'C:\Bootable CD Project\DownLoads\Win98se OEM Boot Disk', you will not see the 'boot98.exe' file.

    If you now go to the 'Files of type:' box in the lower section of the 'Open' dialog box, click the down arrow and at the bottom of the list select 'All WinImage files (*.IM?,*WLZ,*.EXE)', now the 'boot98.exe' will be listed. Select it and click 'Open' , and now the 'hidden' image file within that .exe file is opened and the files meant to be copied to a floppy disk are revealed and listed in WinImage's main Window!

    Screen Shot--WinImage Open '.exe' files.

    Screen Shot--Win98 Boot Disk Files in WinImage. 

  3. Hold down the 'Ctrl' key and single click on the following files to select them:

    • autoexec.bat
    • config.sys
    • io.sys
    • msdos.sys
    • oakcdrom.sys

    Screen Shot--Highlighted Win98 Boot Disk Files.

    Go to the 'Image|Extract' menu item, and in the 'Extract' dialog box use 'Browse...' to select 'C:\Bootable CD Project\Extracted Files'. Click 'OK' and now those files are located on the hard drive in the subdirectory 'Extracted Files'.

    Screen Shot--Extracting Win98 Boot Disk Files.

    Screen Shot--'Extract' dialog box + Browse.

  4. Open Windows' 'Notepad' program (found under 'Start|Programs|Accessories' --it's a simple text only program that will not add 'formated text' to the text file--just simple 'ANSI' text). Select 'File|Open' . In the 'Look in:' box navigate to 'C:\Bootable CD Project\Extracted Files', and then click on the down arrow for the 'Files of type:', and select 'All Files'. Now select 'config.sys' and 'Open' .

    Screen Shot--opening 'config.sys' in Notepad.  

    Now, select the 'Edit|Select All' menu item to highlite all the text, and then select 'Edit|Delete' to clear all the text. Now copy the following text, and then paste it to the 'config.sys' file in Notepad:

    device=oakcdrom.sys /d:nightowl

    Screen shot--Your 'config.sys' file should look like this:    

    And, finally select the 'File|Save as...' and save it back to the same directory and with the same name as you started from, i.e. in 'Extracted Files' as 'config.sys'.

  5. Still using 'Notepad', select 'File|Open', you should still be in the 'Extracted Files' subdirectory, and now select 'autoexec.bat' , and 'Open' . Now, select the 'Edit|Select All' menu item to highlite all the text, and then select 'Edit|Delete' to clear all the text. Now copy the following text, and then paste it to the 'autoexec.bat' file in Notepad:

    mscdex.exe /d:nightowl /l:x /m:16 /v

    Screen shot--Your 'autoexe.bat' file should look like this:

    And, finally select the 'File|Save as...' and save it back to the same directory and with the same name as you started from, i.e. in 'Extracted Files' as 'autoexec.bat'.

  6. The DOS program 'mscdex.exe' is inside the '' file (Emergency Boot file) that was extracted to the 'Extracted Files' subdirectory. Using Windows Explorer you can click on '', and it will open that cab file and you will see the 'mscdex.exe' file listed with several others. You need to 'drag-and-drop' or 'copy-and-paste' it to the 'C:\Bootable CD New\Extracted Files' subdirectory so it is outside of the cab file. 

    (Alternatively, the files 'oakcdrom.sys' and 'mscdex.exe' can be found in directories created when Ghost 2003 was installed in Windows.

    In WinXP, the path is:

    'C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application(space)Data\Symantec\Ghost\Template\common'. 

    In Win98se, the path is:

    'C:\Windows\Profiles\All Users\Application Data\Symantec\Ghost\Template\common'.) 

    Notes: To explain what's going on in #4 and #5 above: We are changing the boot files for DOS, 'config.sys' and 'autoexec.bat' , so they perform the steps we need them to do.

    1. The 'oakcdrom.sys' file is a 'universal' driver that mounts a CD or DVD drive so you can 'read' from it. The '/d:nightowl' after 'oakcdrom.sys' is a 'command line switch' that tells oakcdrom.sys what name to give to the CD-ROM drive that 'mscdex.exe' in the autoexec.bat file will look for--it's just a designated name--could be anything that is eight or less characters after the '/d:' .

    2. The 'lastdrive=z' tells DOS to reserve memory space so drive letters A: through Z: can be used.

    3. The 'path=' instructs DOS to look in the root directory of the drives with these letters for the listed programs that are called for in the autoexec.bat file, or typed at the DOS prompt--so, in this case, the root directory of A: and X:. You can also specify specific folders (directories), and subdirectories if you wish.

    4. The '' will load that mouse program if found in the 'path=' statement path.

    5. The 'mscdex.exe' program assigns the drive letter to the optical drives.
      The 'command line switch' '/d:nightowl' is the link to the config.sys program 'oakcdrom.sys' that mounted the optical drive.

      The 'command line switch' '/l:x' tells 'mscdex.exe' to use as the first possible drive letter, the letter X:--so the first optical drive letter can be no less than X:. If you have a second optical drive, it will be assigned the drive letter Y:. 

      If you wish the first letter to be assigned to the optical drive to be M:, then change the 'x' to 'm' so it looks like this '/l:m'.  But, in DOS, that letter has to be after all the hard drive partitions have been assigned, or else it will default to the next available letter after the hard drive partitions.  You would also have to change the path statement above so the 'x' is 'm', like so:  'path=a:\;m:\'. 

      The 'command line switch' '/m:16' is telling DOS to set aside 16 memory sector buffers for better performance.

      And the 'command line switch' '/v' is for 'verbose'--it tells 'mscdex.exe' to display after loading the full text results of what it has done.

    6. The 'ghost.exe' tell DOS to automatically start Ghost.

  7.  Now, copy '' from the 'C:\Bootable CD Project\Downloads\Mouse (Microsoft)' to the 'C:\Bootable CD Project\Extracted Files' subdirectory.

  8. And copy 'ghost.exe' from your 'C:\Program Files\Norton SystemWorks\Norton Ghost' (assuming that's where your Ghost program is located) to the 'C:\Bootable CD Project\Extracted Files' subdirectory.

  9.  Screen shot--Now, your 'C:\Bootable CD Project\Extracted Files' subdirectory should have the following:

    • autoexec.bat
    • config.sys
    • io.sys
    • msdos.sys
    • oakcdrom.sys
    • mscdex.exe
    • ghost.exe

    In WinImage, select 'File|New' , in the 'Format selection' dialog box, click 1.44 MB, then click 'OK'. Then select 'Image|Inject'. In the 'Inject' dialog box, using the 'Look in:' box, navigate to the 'C:\Bootable CD Project\Extracted Files' subdirectory, and holding down the 'Ctrl' key, single click on each of the above named files except '' to highlite them. Now click 'Open' and confirm by clicking 'Yes' that you want to inject all 9 files.

    Screen Shot--'Inject' dialog box.

  10. Here's a critical step--now select 'Image|Boot Sector Properties...', in the 'Boot Sector Properties' dialog box click on the 'Windows 95/98' button, and then 'OK' .

    Screen Shot--WinImage--Boot Sector Properties...

    Now, select 'File|Save as...', in the 'Save as' dialog box, select 'Save in' and navigate to 'C:\Bootable CD Project\Boot Image'. In the 'File name:' box type 'bootcdp1'(that's for Bootable CD Project 1), and in the 'Save as type:' box, select 'Image file (*.IMA)' .

    Screen Shot--WinImage--'Save as...*.IMA file'

    You should have 'bootcdp1.ima' file in the 'C:\Bootable CD Project\Boot Image' subdirectory now.

  11. Now it's time to head to your CD/DVD burning program. I would suggest using a Re-writable CD at first so you can erase and start over if something doesn't work out right the first time.

    I will be using Roxio's Creator Classic v7.1.1.183 for the steps below:

    1. Open Creator Classic. Select 'File|New Project|Bootable Disc' . In the 'Choose Type of Bootable Disc' dialog box select 'Floppy Disc Emulation (1.44 MB)', and 'Use Existing Image file' and click on 'Browse'. Go to your 'C:\Bootable CD Project\Boot Image' and click on the 'bootcdp1.ima' file, and then click 'OK' .

    2. Now click on 'File|Project Settings' . On the  'General' tab, you can change the CD's 'Volume Name'--I typed in 'Ghost Boot CD'. I selected the 'File System:' as 'Joliet'. And I checked the two lower boxes 'Validate source files before recording' and 'Automatically verify File System after recording' .

      On the  'Advanced' tab, I left everything blank, and clicked on 'Use original file date' .

      On the  'Exclude file types' tab, I made sure 'Exclude all hidden files' and 'Exclude all system files' were not checked.

      Click on 'OK' .

    3. Time to burn! (Remember, if possible, I suggest you use a re-writeable CD for testing so you can erase and re-use and not waste CD's until you're sure it going to work okay.)

      Press the 'Burn' button.

      In the 'Roxio Creator Classic-Burn Progress' , select '>>Details'.  In 'Record Method', select the check box 'Read-Only Disc (Cannot add data at a later time)'. And click 'Burn' . When finished, my program ejects the disk tray.

  12. Time to test the bootable CD. Close out any other programs and save any information that needs saving. Leave the newly burned CD in the drive.

    Re-boot.  You may have to enter the BIOS to make changes to the 'boot order sequence' or whatever your system requires to boot from the optical drive. 

    When testing a DOS boot disk, when you reach the point were it says 'Starting Win98...', I like to press 'F8', and then select 'Step-by-Step Confirmation' . This makes the DOS boot process go through both the 'config.sys' file and the 'autoexec.bat' file line-by-line, and you get to see the results of the line being executed.

    If there is an error message, you can see it and record the information for trouble shooting. After each command, the system waits for you to press 'Y' for yes before proceding to execute the next line.

    (Note:  On one of my machines, when you press F8, it brings up a 'Boot from...' menu.  I select the CD-Rom drive, and once the system starts booting from the CD, I then press F8 again, to get the 'Step-by-Step Confirmation'  menu.) 

 Questions?  Go to Radified Forums


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