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Windows 7: How to clone bootable floppy to an HDD?

15 Mar 2016   #11
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Take the boot floppy to a professional computer place in your area, pay them to make another boot floppy.
They just might know how to solve your situation, and they may not: explain fully what you want and why you want it, and ask if either usb or dvd boot is possible to make from your boot floppy before paying.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Mar 2016   #12
pbcopter

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1, Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by strollin View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pbcopter View Post
... I'm not sure what you mean by "(Otherwise it'd be a very expensive repair if that floppy dies.)" ...
The floppy itself isn't the issue, it's the software on it that's important. If the one and only copy of the software is on that floppy and the floppy is lost, stolen, damaged or just plain fails, it may not be replaceable. It could also make it so data that can only be accessed via that software is lost as well since it may no longer be accessible.
He said he was able to clone it. I don't understand why he can't duplicate the floppy if that is true.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2016   #13
dc2000

Windows
 
 

Yes, guys, I can clone it to another floppy using WinImage. What I need to know is how to clone it to a hard drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Mar 2016   #14
kkehoe

Windows 7
 
 

First off, what's on the hard drive at the moment? If there's anything on it, what I'm about to suggest might do more harm than good. I'm assuming you're somewhat familiar with working at a command prompt.

The contents of your floppy look like they're from the Win ME era with minimum required boot files and your application files. For the sake of this discussion we will assume your application requires a Win ME environment.

The first step is to make the hard drive bootable. Again, assuming your existing disk is a Win ME boot environment, you need a full Win ME boot disk. You can get that here:

Bootdisk.Com - Free Windows Bootdisks, Free DOS boot disk

After making the boot floppy, use it to start the computer you're working on. You'll end up at an A:\> prompt, preceded by a message that gives you the drive letter where the diagnostic tools were loaded - make a note of that drive letter.

The next step is to SYS the hard drive or, in other words, copy the files that will make it bootable. That is done with the SYS command as described here:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/66530

I know the article specifies it as a DOS command but it is available on the boot disk. You'll have to navigate to the previously noted diagnostic tools drive letter to find the SYS command.

So, if the boot disk is able to see your hard drive and the SYS command executes without error, your computer should be bootable from the hard drive, leaving you at a C:\> prompt.

The next step is to copy your application files from your floppy to the hard drive - just do a straight file copy, no cloning or other processes. Do not overwrite any system files that are already on the hard drive.

If you need your application to run automagically when you start the computer, add its start command to the AUTOEXEC.BAT file on the hard drive. Hopefully your application is not hard-coded to run on a floppy.

Kevin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2016   #15
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

Unless you wish to dedicate an entire hard drive to that single piece of software, you're better off using a VM.

Regardless, you need to determine what version of DOS is required, then format the hdd (physical or virtual) along with the system files in order to make it bootable using that version of DOS. Once you have a booting drive, then you should be able to copy the files from the floppy onto the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2016   #16
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I'd also think running DOS in a VM would be my initial approach. The batch file autoexec.bat should tell you what is being run at boot (maybe the wattest.exe program). You may be able to copy all the non Dos stuff from the floppy plus the relevant hard disk contents to a modern PC. Of course the old PC is going to fail one day so a longer term solution may be worth the effort.

I don't know how you do anything without a keyboard. Maybe explain a bit more about the application and how it runs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Mar 2016   #17
dc2000

Windows
 
 

First off, really quick, let me answer this -- the reason this PC doesn't have a keyboard is because it has a special IR remote control.

Secondly, thank you, kkehoe, for your detailed instructions!

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kkehoe View Post
First off, what's on the hard drive at the moment?
Right now I have Windows XP on it. But I don't need it.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kkehoe View Post
I'm assuming you're somewhat familiar with working at a command prompt.
Yes, in the most part.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kkehoe View Post
The contents of your floppy look like they're from the Win ME era with minimum required boot files and your application files.
Yes, what I realized is that if I edit the original autoexec.bat and remove all stuff from it, the original floppy disk boots up into a command prompt. So when I did ver on it, it gives me this:

Quote:
Windows Millennium [Version 4.90.3000]
On the side note, they must have hacked something in there. Because I can't imagine that they were able to put Windows on a 1.4MB floppy in those two dozen files that I showed. But, nonetheless, this is what original floppy gives me.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kkehoe View Post
you need a full Win ME boot disk.
Thanks. Downloaded it from your link and burned it into a floppy. It boots up, so if I choose "Start w/o DVD support" it gives me command prompt and the same version as above. I'm still puzzled how it could be Windows, but, anyway...

Now the tricky part. when I tried running SYS C: like you suggested (with the target HDD plugged into computer as drive C: ) I get this error (see attached.) Moreover when I tried to do FORMAT C:/S it still refused to do it.



Then if I do SYS C: if I boot up from the original floppy, it gives me:

Quote:
Incorrect DOS version
Any idea where to go from there? I can see that I'm really close!!!!

And thanks again for all your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2016   #18
kkehoe

Windows 7
 
 

The boot floppy is not really Windows ME with a GUI, but rather just a command line interpreter.

If XP is on the HDD then the partition might be NTFS, which ME will not recognize. Actually, if XP is bootable I would take a stab at running your application under XP. It might work!

Otherwise, perhaps you could wipe the partition off, recreate it, format it (without /s), then SYS it?

I'm kind of guessing here because this is a 16-year-old operating system that I didn't much work with back in the day because one tended to avoid it in the same way one avoided Vista/8 in recent years. Perhaps the SYS command functionality is a bit different in ME?

It was around about the 9x/ME/XP era that drive management became tricky because drives were increasing in size to where other hardware/software could not deal with them without special overlay software installed on the drive. If you boot without that overlay being loaded, you couldn't see the drive correctly.

This KB mentions your error as part of a different scenario:

https://support.microsoft.com/EN-US/kb/314057

Perhaps you could run Step 3, up to and including e, after doing the format. Of course you'd have to manually create the C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\EBD folder structure. In step d, the source of your IO.SYS file would be your floppy since the HDD is empty.

Failing all that, you could go back to bootdisk.com and get a DOS 6.22 bootdisk, make the HDD bootable, and see if your app will run under DOS 6.22.

Kevin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2016   #19
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dc2000 View Post
... Now the tricky part. when I tried running SYS C: like you suggested (with the target HDD plugged into computer as drive C: ) I get this error (see attached.) Moreover when I tried to do FORMAT C:/S it still refused to do it.

... Then if I do SYS C: if I boot up from the original floppy, it gives me:

Quote:
Incorrect DOS version
Any idea where to go from there? I can see that I'm really close!!!!

And thanks again for all your help!
Assuming you have a full ME boot disk, try running fdisk and delete the existing XP partition, then create a new partition and see if you can format it with the format /s command.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2016   #20
dc2000

Windows
 
 

[QUOTE=strollin;3228799]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dc2000 View Post
Assuming you have a full ME boot disk, try running fdisk and delete the existing XP partition, then create a new partition and see if you can format it with the format /s command.
Sorry for the delay. I'm back now... it took me a while to find Windows ME disk. I eventually happened to borrow it from an old friend. I then booted off of it and ran FDISK on it, then deleted the primary partition off the HDD (the one that was used by XP) and then formatted it.

Unfortunately I was not able to run FORMAT C: \S - it told me that \S parameter is not supported. So I just did FORMAT C: which erased everything.

At this point I'm lost. If I run WinME setup, it simply installs it on that disk C:. I didn't see any option to just make disk C: bootable.

Is there something else I need to do?

PS. Again, all I'm trying to do is clone a floppy to that HDD. There must be some software to do this???
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to clone bootable floppy to an HDD?




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