Boot from CDROM unit

By Ididmyc600 ยท 12 replies
Mar 13, 2010
  1. Not sure if this is the right place (and god knows ive been around here long enough) but its a windows problem or maybe it isnt..

    I own one of those nice little netbooks, the one that doesnt have a CD or DVD rom drive..

    Now all i want to do is take the image i have of the system drive (created with ghost and stored on the D partition) and put it on a DVD,

    This DVD must be bootable.........

    Thats easy i can do that with my eyes closed and wearing boxing gloves...


    Im using an external USB DVD drive and no matter what i do i cant get it to boot from the dammed thing.

    Ive googled loads and tried for 4 hours to create a disk that can boot using the USB DVD drive and i have had no luck at all

    I can get the disk to boot using the standard method of creating a bootable disk but when it boots DOS complains that no drives are found and although the disk boots to a ghost shell it cant see the image files on the disk,

    However using the above disk in a laptop that has an inbuilt DVD drive it works fine, i assume its because its connected via the IDE controller as opposed to connected via USB

    I have tried all kinds of USB drivers most result in a non bootable disk, i have even tried a Ghost Boot disk with USB drivers loaded on it and that just sticks at the first attempt to load the USB drivers.

    Now dont think for one minute there is something wrong with the unit because.......

    I have used an XP Pro disk with the same setup and successfully set XP Pro on the system and I have a USB HDD that is bootable and that works fine.

    Im assuming that something is missing in either the autoexec or config sys files that tells the boot process to load USB drivers and that the disk is a USB device..I just cant work out what it is.

    Strange that an XP disk works fine so there must be a way to do it..

    Any ideas ??

    Oh and ive also had a collegue at work spend 2 days with the same issue and he's scratching his head as well
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    I don't know anything about netbooks but does its BIOS allow booting from a USB optical drive? If it does, then setting it to that first doesn't work as expected?
  3. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,415

    Yeah it supports booting from a USB optical drive,

    It sees the drive, it boots, then at the point where it would load MCSDEX it fails out and doesnt see the cdrom, yet it continues to load but behaves as if it has booted from a floppy.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,000   +2,532

    OK, stupid question wouldn't you need the imaging software already installed on a partition to pull this off...? I said it was a stupid question.

    Although, manufacturers seem to pull this off all the time with recovery discs. But in this case, I think that the BIOS is modified to detect the recovery discs.

    One would think if the image created was intended to be bootable, then a DVD burned from it would be also.

    Myself I would be thrilled to have it install Windows, perhaps my expectations are a bit too low.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,154   +985

    divide and conquer:

    hmm; boot from dvd may be different than boo from cd, so I would first prove I COULD
    boot the media and image of choice on some other system without the necessity of the USB

    next the issue is can we boot indirectly thru a USB to that same media?
    The BIOS will (I think) only see the USB device type and I am afraid that will interfer with
    getting DVD (or even CD) boot to work.

    keep us posted on your results ...
  6. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,415

    right just an update

    cheers so far for the suggestions...

    the dvd can and will boot on a standard laptop with an inbuilt dvd drive

    so i know its viable

    after much research ive come across several sites that have a bootable usb floppy ideas and after trying some of these they just hang on this laptop.

    Im gonna have another go at this tonight and will repost again if i get any luck.
  7. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    You don't need DVD ROM, you can do it all on SDHC 4GB. Take that image and dump it onto SDHC 4GB chip. Your laptop should support SD cards if it doesn't you can use SD read/write USB adapter. This is how I did on my two netbooks, 4 laptops and 4 desktops. I started from within XP and image the systems to Windows 7 U 32-bit. There is a way to boot from USB stick and then launch the setup.exe that way. But I could never get that to work.

    Here's a youtube video I had made showing how to change from XP to Windows 7.
  8. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 319

    The problem is that Ghost probably does not have USB drivers. Yes the BIOS will allow a boot from a USB device (DVD-Drive) BUT once you are inside Ghost it lacks the capabilities to see a USB device. This task would be easy if you were using Acronis which does include USB drivers. I use it all the time like this to backup to image and restore from image on my PC's here at work.
  9. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,415


    ok tipstir, to start with a standard full image of the drive in its preprep state is a little over 8gb, its this size as its built by acer to be a full image intended for retail use, so i would need at the least a 16gb stick ( i dont think they do a 10, 12 or 14gb)

    the problem isnt that i cant use a USB stick, i can do that with my eyes closed, i have a 320GB external USB HDD which is fully bootable (that was easy i just stuck it in my laptop and booted from a win98se disk and formatted the drive in FAT32 and sys'd it, a little editing of the autoexec and config sys and that works fine.

    what im trying to achieve is to build a bootable dual layer DVD bootable via a USB to IDE adaptor onto an acer one netbook which doesnt have a dvd unit.

    the USB to IDE adaptor functions fine under windows as the dvd can be seen and written to,

    the problem lies in finding the correct USB driver that will work,

    ive tried a whole ton of them and each one of them has trouble identifying the USB chipset on the mainboard.

    these include but not limited to usbaspi.sys, usbcd.sys, mato hairu drivers, usbstor.sys etc etc, the list is limited to several and all dont work.

    ive googled for hours and like i said i cant find a single bootdisk that works on this unit.

    i understand ghost doesnt have USB drivers, yet forum after forum says you can add USB drivers to a standard ghost bootdisk and get it to see a USB CDRW and write to it, i cant get it to do that so maybe Arcronis is something i must look into.

    as for this thread ive accepted that the A one is a bit of an enigma and im going to buy the correct USB dvd drive that is on ebay and see if that works.
  10. zeta27

    zeta27 TS Rookie

    U can install windows from USB Pendrive or if you have a external usb u can do.
  11. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    Didn't your Acer netbook come with XP home? The Youtube video just shows you how I did it with a 4GB SDHC. But I am able to get the full Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit DVD onto the 4GB SDHC. Created ISO and then use Magic ISO extract the files onto the 4GB SDHC is one process. I also did the same with Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit DVD onto 4GB SDHC but on quad-core systems that have Vista Ultimate 64-bit on them already. Eventhough I had the DVD I wanted to see if I could use the same method. It worked!

    The way you want to do it is with a full fresh install. Well yes but you see what you have to do just for that to work on a netbook. Too much of a hassle to me.

    Netbook can boot to a SD.
  12. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,415


    i know i can install from a pendrive, for crying out loud that isnt what the thread is about, as for your last bit of post,,

    yeah it did, but it was a basic image about 4gb in size, but then i went back and asked about recovery and they redid it for me with the full hidden partition, this is the image of the drive i have now got as a ghost image and like i said its about 8gb in size, i will redo the ghost image and choose high compression and see if it reduces the size down.

    ahh you see there in lies the problem, with a fresh clean install i can get XP to about 2GB however like i said this is a prewritten install of XP by Acer and includes a lot of bundle ware and other lovely programs no one needs.
  13. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    Well yes if you don't use the ACER 7 Upgrade you don't get the extras, but you can download them from their site though. Same with ASUS both Web Cam works as I am using ACER Web Cam software and ASUS Web Cam Software. Most what comes with these netbook are bloated software.

    I would stick back XP then run the update 7 from Acer onto a SDHC reader/writer via by USB as shown in the video. But what they send you is going to be limited 7. I know 7 U is over kill but I need full remote control as I use this to remote into systems an such.
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