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 PostPost subject: Multibooting pendrive        Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:08 am 
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Seeing my 2GB USB pendrive lying around gave me the idea to make it bootable. And since multi-boot configurations are one of my favourites, I decided to play a bit with the poor pendrive :twisted: This is what I've got so far, almost all of the OSes worked without modification, some needed minor tweaking. Only downside is my testing box doesn't support booting from USB HDDs, only FDDs, so I can't test it there. It does, however, work on my Intel Mac and in Qemu. Updated versions of this might be created, containing updated versions of the distros or new ones...

Version 0.1 – 2007-07-14
Screenshots of the boot menu
Image
Image


Screenshots of various systems:

MenuetOS
QNX Demodisk
Space Invaders multi-boot compliant game
Olive

For those of you wanting to say I'm crazy, feel free to do so. :lol:


Last edited by empireum on Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Multibooting pendrive        Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:41 am 
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empireum wrote:
For those of you wanting to say I'm crazy, feel free to do so. :lol:


You're crazy!

:P Just kidding hehe

Cool idea

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:19 am 
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Wow, that looks amazing...

(Clears 2Gb Flash Drive for multi-booting... 8) )

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:33 am 
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Just think -- If we can do all this with a 2GB flash drive, imagine the devices you could build with QNX realtime technology.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:58 am 
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blahsucks-two wrote:
Just think -- If we can do all this with a 2GB flash drive, imagine the devices you could build with QNX realtime technology.

That's why I included the awesome QNX demo disk.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 3:53 am 
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Would there be any way you could upload the files you use on your flash drive? I would love to try it out for myself...

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:45 pm 
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that's cool, imagine Windows 3.1 (Or even the Windows 1.0 on a floppy at toastytech.com) on one!

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:23 pm 
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My USB key has DSL and DOS for backup purposes (nothing too fancy, it's just for emergencies).


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:21 pm 
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ppc_digger wrote:
My USB key has DSL and DOS for backup purposes (nothing too fancy, it's just for emergencies).

My pendrive is for emergencies as well, that's why I included some DOS boot disks and distros like DSL and Mpentoo, but it's also a toy to check how many I can get on there.

Compact-mac wrote:
that's cool, imagine Windows 3.1 (Or even the Windows 1.0 on a floppy at toastytech.com) on one!

I hope/plan to include some one-floppy versions of Windows and a minimal Windows 95/98 running from a RAM drive in one of the next versions.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:35 am 
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Compact-mac wrote:
that's cool, imagine Windows 3.1 (Or even the Windows 1.0 on a floppy at toastytech.com) on one!


I planned some time ago to install all Windows OSs on 1 device and have them multiboot, but that proved to have a lot of issues... it shouldn't be difficult to install a bunch of versions from each class of Windows though (as in DOS + Win1, 2, 3, then a seperate menu for 9x, then another for NT).


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:41 am 
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That would be really cool! Though I'm not sure that it's possible to boot 1.0x or 2.x on a modern PC, and 3.x and even 9x (if you had too much Ram) would be difficult these days. Not really sure how you'd set up your bootloader either - if you installed all of the older versions first and then the NTs, the NT loader can boot 98 etc but I don't know about the really old ones like 3.x.

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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:02 am 
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Vista Ultimate R2 wrote:
That would be really cool! Though I'm not sure that it's possible to boot 1.0x or 2.x on a modern PC, and 3.x and even 9x (if you had too much Ram) would be difficult these days. Not really sure how you'd set up your bootloader either - if you installed all of the older versions first and then the NTs, the NT loader can boot 98 etc but I don't know about the really old ones like 3.x.

You can load Windows 1.x, 2.x and 3.x on modern PCs, you might just need an older version of MS-DOS and the help of setver.exe. As for having too much RAM, you can limit 9x/ME to avoid problems (actually, I'm running 98SE right now on a system with 1024MB of RAM and have it limited to 800MB because giving it access to more RAM prevents it from booting). About the bootloader, that's not much of a problem, use the "almightly" GRUB and the necessary number if primary partitions and chainload the other bootloaders, and you're set. It's even possible to dual-boot 95 and 98 on the same partition, although you need to manually change the boot files and the boot sector accordingly.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 8:29 am 
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Things like this have been done before with DVDs, AFAIK... I would be really interested in something like this, except with all the OSes running on a hypervisor or in VMs atop a minimal Linux system. Easy comparison between OSes, no boot setup needed (just use disk images..)/modern hardware hacks. Not sure if there's software that can be distributed that way (Xen?), but it would be a neat thing to see in action.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:57 am 
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Well I've seen the AIO install DVDs, I've not seen AIO bootable DVDs with the OSs preinstalled... One of the problems with running them from DVd is that you have nowhere to write perminant data to, though you could run the actual OS from a RAM drive providing it doesn't puke on different hardware every time.

It is possible to read/write USB thumbdrives in MSDOS though, so that could be one way to store data if you're actually using the OSs to work in.

I started thinking about working on this a little tonight, see if I actually do it this time... One thing I'm debating though is whether to emulate them or boot natively...

Emulation is good because:
- The OS always sees the same hardware.
- It's easier to move around since it's in its on HDD image.
- The underlying OS controls the drivers for different host machine configurations.

It's bad because:
- It's slow. Very slow.
- It requires an OS beneath the emulator.
- The OS beneath the emulator needs a lotta diffferent drivers if you wanna use it on multiple machines.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:05 am 
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You're confusing emulation with virtualization. Both have overhead, but virtualization is significantly faster, because it runs as much code as possible directly instead of through an emulation layer. Bochs and co are emulation, while VPC/VMware is virtualization. Even XP can run at a decent speed in a virtualizer. With OSes as old as these, it shouldn
't be a problem.


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 PostPost subject:        Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:07 pm 
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Well yeah, I get that bit, but the reason I said emulation is because I'm still debating what to base the whole thing on... I could also virtualise, which as you say is quicker. Now I come to think about it though, I'm not sure why I specifically noted emulation but I know I had a reason to choose that over virtualisation but I don't remember what it was... :/

Both are possible routes, as is just running natively (obviously the best option). It's probably better to have the thing self contained and bootable at the very least because you don't know what OS a particular system will have.

I'm a little scatterbrained this evening, you'll have to excuse my disjointed thoughts :P

While I'm here though, anyone know if there's any way to mount virtual disk images under MSDOS?


Update: Got MSDOS 5.00, Windows 1.04, 2.10, 3.10 and 95C coexisting atm, works well. Currently doing it in Virtual PC 2007 (guess I'm going for virtualisation after all lol) over 2 HDD images. Choosing could be a bit cleaner, but it works. Trying to add 98SE now.

If I'm hijacking the thread please do say, I'll move to another thread, seemed appropriate to start with but if it turns in to proper project here's probably not the place for it.


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