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Windows 7: USB stick device, made under Win 7, trying to boot a Dell Optiplex 780

22 Apr 2017   #31
JohnPat

Trying to move to Windows 7 Professionsl 64 bit
 
 
Further feedback

Hello

OK precautions taken: (a) tea made and (b) biscuit tin open

Surgery on USB stick as follows:

A. Delete all top level files and directories except ISO
Open ISO
Cut all files and directories
Paste all cut files back at the top level
Delete empty ISO directory

The structure now is:
G:\boot
......\fonts
.........(5 .ttf files)
......bcd
......boot.sdi
......bootfix.bin
......etfsboot.com

...\EFI
......\microsoft
.........\boot
............\fonts
...............(same 5 .ttf files as earlier)
............bcd

...\sources
......boot.wim
...bootmgr

Thus bootmgr is at the root level.

Restarted machine with one time menu set to boot from USB device. Result:

"
Selected boot disk not available.
Strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility
Press F5 for onboard diagnostics
"

If this message seems familiar, it is actually what I wrote about initially on April 12th.

Consumed one cup of tea plus two biscuits, prepared for second surgery. Here, all directories were emptied onto the root level.

B. The structure was now:

G:\bcd
....boot.sdi
....boot.wim
....bootfix.bin
....bootmgr
....chs_boot.ttf
....cht_boot.ttf
....etfsboot.com
....jpn_boot.ttf
....kor_boot.ttf
....wgl4_boot.ttf

Restarted machine with one time menu set to boot from USB device. Result:

"
Selected boot disk not available.
Strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility
Press F5 for onboard diagnostics
"

Consumed: two teas and four biscuits, wrote this posted reply.

I also checked both sector 0 and sector 2048, and the contents were as reported in previous posts. I can still manipulate the USB stick (read and write files). Naturally I do not want to abandon this job, but I have definitely run out of ideas now.

Any comments gratefully received. Message for SIW2: your sector 2048 and mine differ considerably. Do you know why this is? Was your sector from a bootable USB or some other device.

Kind regards
JohnPat


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
22 Apr 2017   #32
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

"your sector 2048 and mine differ considerably"

fat32 vs ntfs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2017   #33
JohnPat

Trying to move to Windows 7 Professionsl 64 bit
 
 
How does one handle a bootable .iso file?

Hello

When working with the Win PE bootables, it seems, according to both SIW2 and dg1261 - and I am in no doubt that they are correct - that the contents of the \ISO directory is to be placed so that the bootmgr executable is at the root level on the USB stick. However, this still does not enable a boot from the USB stick on the Optiplex.

The package file that carries the 'meat' of the Win PE files is boot.wim, and, when the build environment is made it should be placed in the \ISO\sources directory. Thus, when it is transferred to the stick following the SIW2 and dg1261 rules it will be in \sources.

I am curious as to why the \ISO directory doesn't actually contain an .iso file. There is an option to convert the main file - boot.wim - into an .iso file using the WAIK utility oscdimg.exe. However I do not know how to use a .iso file in a bootable context. Is there any information widely available?

Kind regards
JohnPat
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Apr 2017   #34
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

It is just the standard way to name the folder whose contents are to be captured to create an iso.

It could be named anything e.g "Target", or "Thisisit", it is just the parent folder, the contents are captured as an .iso file, or copied to usb.

In a similar way , it is usual to create a folder "mount" to mount a wim. It is not necessary - any name is fine for that also.

It is also standard to call a bootable wim boot.wim, and to place it in the sources folder.

That is the standard structure of the installation media. The supplied bcd store points at \sources\boot.wim

Standard BCD:

USB stick device, made under Win 7, trying to boot a Dell Optiplex 780-bcd.jpg

It is not required. You can name a bootable wim file anything.wim. The bcd entry would have to be adjusted to point at anything.wim rather than boot.wim.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Apr 2017   #35
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

An .iso is a wrapper which may also have a bootsector written to make it bootable. Usually that would be burnt as an image to optical media. It can also be extracted to a usb stick.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2017   #36
JohnPat

Trying to move to Windows 7 Professionsl 64 bit
 
 

Hello SIW2

Thanks for the information about \ISO and .iso.

Should I therefore turn the .wim file into a .iso?

Net research seems to suggest that 'rufus' is a reliable way to create a bootable .iso on CD. Should rufus also be used to produce a .iso on USB, or do you have a better suggestion? What is it that makes a CD bootable, is there a bit set somewhere at the start of the CD disc, or is it the presence of bootmgr inside the .iso container? How does the machine know the container contains boot files?

I do not have a lot of experience with optical media, in fact I do not have any permanently here. In the past when I have needed to produce data on optical media, I have borrowed a USB optical drive. The software I have used to do this has been Alex Feinman's ISO Recorder, which I have had no trouble with and would strongly recommend. However, Alex has said that his utility should not be used to produce bootable USB sticks.

I am a little concerned with the Optiplex that if I cannot get it to boot from a USB stick, it will not boot from a USB CD that I have created. I have already borrowed a drive and it boots OK from a MS Windows system disk, but I do not seem to be having any success with media I produce.

Any comments would be gratefully received and checked out.

Kind regards
JohnPat
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2017   #37
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Rufus doesn't create .iso files afaik. It formats the usb drive and extracts the files from an existing .iso

Useful because often people download installation media already in .iso format.

An .iso is needed to create bootable optical media, but not needed to create bootable usb. Copying the correct file struture to a properly formatted usb is what is needed.

Seems to be something wrong with what you did.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2017   #38
JohnPat

Trying to move to Windows 7 Professionsl 64 bit
 
 
Response SIW2's latest posts

Hello SIW2

Seems to be something wrong with what you did.[/QUOTE]

Yup, I agree; but the important question is what?

Acronis DD contains a utility called Bootable Media Builder, whose stated aim is the production of bootable media on either CD/DVD or USB.

So I bought another brand new 16 GB USB stick - I 've become quite a popular as a visitor to the local computer shop as a result of this project.

1. Start machine, plug in stick and do basic checks
2. Start Acronis DD
3. Start Bootable Media Builder (BMB)
4. Choose Win PE as the environment
5. Choose .iso as the media
6. Choose media (.iso) location
7. Press the firing button to create media on local hard drive
8. Run rufus to create a bootable from the .iso stored on the HD, but pointing at the new USB stick
9. Go to target machine and attempt a boot
10 Get message:
"
Selected boot disk not available.
Strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility
Press F5 for onboard diagnostics
"
which is becoming familiar by now.

Consume tea and biscuits.

Running rufus to create the bootable USB produces:
1. An NTFS formatted bootable.
2. Sector 0 contains the MBR
3. Sectors 1 - 127 are zero'd
4. Sectors 128 - 2047 are AA throughout (possibly a read/write test on the new stick at the factory?)
5. Sectors 2048 - 2056 (first three lines - in total this might be the PBR code, but I have not checked yet by formatting one of my other USB sticks
6. Sectors 2057 - 2079 are zero'd
7. Sector 2080 on are AA throughout.

The file structure as a result of using the Acronis utility and rufus is as follows:
/

/boot
.../fonts
(5 .ttf font files)
...bcd
...boot.sdi
...bootfix.bin
...etfsboot.com

/EFI
.../microsoft
....../boot
........./fonts
(5 .ttf font files as before)
.........bcd

/sources
...boot.wim [Note this is 179,676 KB]

autorun.ico
autorun.inf
bootmgr

I can upload the results of running bootice as before if you require, and I promise to try very hard not to bork these.

When I create boot.wim manually using the WAIK, and transfer to a stick using your and ds1261's suggestion for file structure, I get the following file structure:

\

\boot
...\fonts
......(5 .ttf files)
...bcd
...boot.sdi
...bootfix.bin
...etfsboot.com

\EFI
...\microsoft
......\boot
.........\fonts
............(same 5 .ttf files as earlier)
.........bcd

\sources
...boot.wim [Note this is 111,415 KB]
bootmgr


So the only differences in the file structure are (1) boot.wim, which one would expect because BMB has added Acronis DD functionality and (2) the two autorun files are not present.

With both BMB and manually produced bootable USB stick, I now get the same error message, so there is some consistency.

There is one other hardware inconsistency I cannot at present explain. When I use the F2 key on the Dell to access the BIOS, and go to the section that sets the boot priority, I get 5 options to be arranged in order. These are:
(a) Onboard or USB floppy drive
(b) Onboard SATA hard drive
(c) Onboard or USB CD-ROM
Onboard Network Controller
(e) USB device

whereas if I use the F12 key, I am only offered 3 options:
(f) Onboard SATA hard drive
(g) Onboard CD-ROM drive
(h) USB device

I would dearly like to know what Mr. Dell's definition of a 'USB device' is, given that there are 3 USB options in the BIOS at F2 and only one at F12.

Kind regards
JohnPat
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2017   #39
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2017   #40
JohnPat

Trying to move to Windows 7 Professionsl 64 bit
 
 
SIW2 You Tube

Hello

What the user does here is boot, go to F2, and get a text(MS-DOS style) interface running BIOS Rev A17. The user then selects Onboard devices, next USB controller, and ensures it is set to On. He doesn't go to the field for checking which USB locations are turned on, which is sometimes an area where a whoopsy can be made.

The Optiplex doesn't have this style of interface. BIOS Rev A15, which is what I am running, presents itself on the Optiplex as a nice shaded screen, using .ttf style fonts - Arial I believe - with full mouse control available. You just click on boxes, which become checked (or otherwise) when your selection is made. There is no facility to modify the menus

USB controller was initially checked at the start of the project, found to be on and remains on. The note with this screen says:
"
USB Controller Disable/Enable/No Boot {This is the same as the video}
Note: Operating systems with USB support will recognize USB storage devices regardless of the No Boot setting
"

I interpret this as meaning you can set the No Boot to be checked or unchecked, and the operating system will - if it supports USB booting - will go ahead with the boot regardless of the setting.

So question. Does Win PE 3.0 support booting from a USB?

I have experimented with the boot priority screen. Currently only USB device and SATA HD are checked and the USB device has priority. All other devices are unchecked and therefore in Dell terminology 'dormant'.

I have set the USB locations dialogue with Front, Rear Dual and Rear Quad all on, and have, apart from a testing session with all ports used, used the bottom one of the quad 4 at the rear.

Any other suggestions?

Kind regards
JohnPat
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 USB stick device, made under Win 7, trying to boot a Dell Optiplex 780




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