Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


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

12 Apr 2017   #1
JohnPat

Trying to move to Windows 7 Professionsl 64 bit
 
 
USB stick device, made under Win 7, trying to boot a Dell Optiplex 780

Hello All

Not sure I've got the right thread group, but here goes.

My post 20/02/2017 under 'Software' describes what I'm trying to do. This is essentially the creation of a bootable Win PE environment that will run Acronis Disk Director. Haven't achieved that yet, but a feature of old gits like me is persistence, so I keep trying.

Since that post I've become more familiar with the kit (WAIK) from which a PE 3.0 environment is built. However I have run into another problem.

I build the Win PE 3.0 environment on what Microsoft term a technician computer. This runs Win 7 with SP1.
For a trial I built, with scrupulous adherence to the documentation, a trial Win PE 3.0 file set using the standard, winpe_x86.wim file as boot.wim. This file set was transferred to a new USB stick prepared as per the MS instructions using diskpart, then running bootsect.exe to produce a bootable stick, and finally transferring the file set to the USB stick. I used two methods to do this: (a) at the command prompt I used XCOPY to move the contents of the winpe_x86 directory to the stick and (b) I used a utility called ViceVersaPro to 'burn' (strange term this - thought it was just for CD's and DVD's) the file set to the stick.

On moving the stick physically to the target machine, the Optiplex 780, and setting the BIOS so that USB is the priority boot medium and then trying to boot, I get an error message:

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

I have run the onboard diagnostics, result all OK.
I have looked inside the boot.wim file and found that there are the 'proto' USB drivers present.
I have checked all the USB ports work by either attaching USB memory sticks or hard disks and reading/writing to them.
I have updated the machine BIOS from version A04 to the current version A15.

There is no improvement, and frankly I am running out of ideas. What causes this error message?

Hope somebody out in the community can suggest (a) how I could test the Win PE USB, (b) how I could test the USB ports for booting functionality in some other way. and (c) give ma a clue as to what is causing this error message. I am uncertain as to whether the problem is my preparation of the Win PE 3.0 file set on the technician computer or whether the problem lies in the target Optiplex's USB sub system

Thanks in advance for any help rendered.

Kind regards
JohnPat


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
12 Apr 2017   #2
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

May be worth looking at the description on this link;

Dell Booting Problems Solution - YouTube

If you are sure bios is configured properly, it could be your usb isn't bootable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2017   #3
JohnPat

Trying to move to Windows 7 Professionsl 64 bit
 
 

Hello SIW2

Thanks for your quick response.

I should have added in my list of things tried that I have used two new USB sticks (both SanDisk 16 GB) and two pre-used (but re-prepared sticks) - one HP 8GB, and one Cruzer 8 GB. Not sure if this means anything other than I can read/write at least 4 memory sticks.

What I would like to do is check whether there is a bit set that denotes the stick is bootable. Problem here is I don't have a disk editor, and I do not know where to look on a stick for the bit that denotes bootability. Do you know what to look for and could you recommend a disk editor?

I'll look at the Dell link later today, got to have some medical treatment shortly.

Thanks again.

Regards
John Pat
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Apr 2017   #4
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Bootice will do it BootIce (2).zip

If you are interested in pe look here


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2017   #5
JohnPat

Trying to move to Windows 7 Professionsl 64 bit
 
 

Hello All

Following advice from SIW2 I looked at the link to the Dell problem he recommended. The solution there was to make the primary boot device '#1 <USB media name>', secondary '#2 <Other media>', etc.; unfortunately the BIOS on the Optiplex presents the user with pre-defined and uneditable boot media names, so this interesting approach was a non-starter.

However, the BIOS does have a facility to make a boot device 'dormant' - Dell's terminology, not mine - so I did this for all boot devices except 'USB Device'. Result was a slightly different error message:

"
No boot device available
Strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup utility
Press F5 for onboard diagnostics
"

Because I am uncertain about whether it is my preparation of the bootable USB stick, or the USB sub-system on the Optiplex, I borrowed a USB DVD/CD reader writer. Hooked this up on the target machine - currently 32 bit Win XP with SP3 - to the same USB port that I was using to try and boot from a stick. Then I set the OS to boot from a USB DVD/CD, put a Win 7 system disk in the drive and attempted to boot into the loading phase of the OS. This worked fine, so I concluded that the USB sub-system is OK as regards booting from a DVD/CD, in so far as it would boot when pointed at a USB DVD/CD device.

I downloaded SIW2's suggested utility in bootice.zip. Unpacked it and ran it to update the MBR on the stick containing the standard Win PE boot.wim, this time on the technician machine (Win 7 Pro). Moved it to the target machine, reset the BIOS to boot from a USB device, but again failed with the same error message.

Next I intend using the Bootice that SIW2 recommended in sector edit mode to look at the first sector of the file system, as this is where I understand the boot bits are set. I will do this after a disk format, again after I have refreshed the MBR with Bootice, and lastly after I have gone through the process of creating the bootable stick with Win PE on it.

Does anybody in the community have (a) a bootable USB stick that works, and (b) a disk editor, that they could use to let me have a file containing hex data? I understand that only the first three bytes are absolutely required, but if any body has the first 446 bytes off a bootable stick as a file that could be sent to me, I would be VERY grateful.

Once again thanks in advance for any help that is available.

Kind regards
JohnPat
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2017   #6
JohnPat

Trying to move to Windows 7 Professionsl 64 bit
 
 

Hello all (again!)

Just reporting the latest work carried out.

1. Using Bootice as recommended by SIW2, I took a USB memory stick that I could read to and write from. Went to the elevated command prompt, entered diskpart and cleaned the USB stick. Exited diskpart and cmd. Started Bootice and went to sector edit. This screen shows the first sector with the master boot record (MBR).
Did a screen print, put the screen print into Paint, saved as a .png. Moved to PS Elements and cropped the screen print to the essentials, then produced a hard copy on a printer.

2. I then went back to the elevated cmd prompt and diskpart, and formatted the USB stick FAT 32, exited out again and ran Bootice. The sector edit screen was grabbed as before and processed to produce a hard copy. The hard copy was identical to that produced in 1 above.

3. Then I went back to to Bootice and looked at the machine's HD. Repeated the screen grab.

4. On comparison I found the following:

(a) the screen grabs from the USB stick have no data i.e a load of zeroes, between 0x01b8 and 0x01fd.
(b) the terminating signature at 0x1fe and 0x01ff are correct on all screen grabs as '55 aa'.
(c) the screen grab from the hard disk has 56 bytes of data from 0x01b8 and 0x1ef.
the screen grab from the hard disk has, at 0x01be, an entry 80, which I believe to be the boot
indicator. This is the byte that indicates the volume is the active partition for booting.
(e) the values 80 does not appear in any of the offsets for the four allowed partitions.

Conclusion: despite following the USB preparation instructions, it would appear that no data to indicate the USB is active has been inserted into the MBR of the USB stick.

I think I could edit this MBR value in using Bootice, but I am unsure about what other data is required for the 16 bytes of a partition table for a USB.

Are there any knowledgeable persons who can (a) comment on what I have done and the interpretation or (b) let me have the correct partition table entry for a USB?

Kind regards
JohnPat
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2017   #7
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

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

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


My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2017   #8
dg1261

Windows 7/8.1/10/XP multiboot
 
 

I've no experience creating bootable PE media on flash drives, but you've asked some specific questions I can help with. Although I avoid diskpart like the plague, it sounds like you don't have a partition on the flash drive. Did you create a primary partition first before trying to format it FAT32? (It may sound pedantic, but you don't format flash drives or hard drives, you format partitions.)

You haven't posted a screenshot, but I'll use SIW2's screenshot for reference. The bytes from 0000h-01B8h are the MBR boot code. It's only necessary if the device is meant to be bootable. Assorted Windows versions used slight variations on the MBR boot code. The 65 6D at 01B0h is indicative of boot code created by Win7's diskpart. Vista put the same 65 6D at 01AFh, while 2000/XP put it at 0179h. Not that it really matters, though, because they're all meant to do the same thing: find the active partition, load it's first sector into RAM, and redirect the CPU's instruction counter to that RAM location to pickup the instructions for loading whatever particular OS on that partition.

The four bytes from 01B8h-01BBh are the DiskID, and meant to uniquely identify each disk in Windows. Therefore, they should not be the same as any other disk in your system, and should not be zero. I believe Disk Management's "Initialize disk" procedure is supposed to create a random DiskID if it's not present, but you can also create a DiskID manually by putting in there any random values you wish. (I have a habit of using the DiskID to help identify my disks when I'm mucking around in a sector editor, so I use IDs like "250G" or "WD1T", and such.)

The partition table consists of four partition descriptors, 16 bytes each, spanning 01BEh-01FDh. A first byte of 80h indicates the "active" partition, and the other three descriptors must be 00h.

The next 15 bytes of each descriptor define the partition. If you said you've got all zeroes there, then no partition has been created. I never use diskpart, but I would think it ought to prompt you to create a partition before trying to format it, doesn't it?

Those 15 bytes are divided into groups of 3/1/3/4/4 bytes. The first and third groups are the beginning and ending sector locations of the partition, bit-encoded in the old fashioned cylinder-head-sector scheme. The fourth and fifth groups are the same partition defined as starting LBA sector number and total number of sectors in the partition. The second group is a single byte indicating the type (format) of the partition's file system (07h for NTFS, 0Bh or 0Ch for FAT32, etc.)

Now, of course, if you and SIW2 have different disks your values may be different, but chances are most values could be the same. Your partition-type byte will be 07h if NTFS, and the starting-location values are probably the same. In SIW2's example, 20-21-00 and 00-08-00-00 both mean LBA sector 2048, the usual starting sector for a standard MB-aligned partition in Vista/7/10. (Tip: the LBA numbers are stored in little-endian fashion, so 2048 is 00000800h. Similarly, the size of SIW2's partition is 03b5f800h, or 62257152 sectors.)

The old C-H-S scheme maxed out at 8GB, so if your flash drive is larger than 8GB the third group (ending CHS location) will be "pegged" at FE-FF-FF, it's maximum value, regardless of how much larger it actually is.

Hope this helps you interpret what you're looking at. It sounds like your immediate issue is to create a partition before formatting it and installing the PE stuff to it. As I said, my experience is too limited to direct you how to do that, but hopefully this info helps point you in the right direction.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2017   #9
JohnPat

Trying to move to Windows 7 Professionsl 64 bit
 
 

Hello

Thanks both SIW2 and dg1261, a lot to work to do following study of your replies. Will have a session later after more medical treatment. Is this typical of trying to do something with Win PE?

Kind regards
JohnPat
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2017   #10
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Quote:
Is this typical of trying to do something with Win PE?
Nothing to do with winpe, seems like flash drive was not initialized properly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

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




Thread Tools




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
New CPU/GPU for Dell Optiplex 390
Hi everyone, I have been looking up about getting a replacement for my existing CPU which is an Intel Core i5 (Version: 2400) and upgrading to the new Intel Core i5 4460 which does support HD better for what I needed, such as movies and gaming (I only need up to 60FPS). But other than that, I...
Graphic Cards
Dell Optiplex- bad RAM stick or just dirt?
File this in "I don't need this crap right now". I have a Dell Optiplex 745 running XP which is used mostly for older games(of which I have a couple that seem to dislike 7, especially Shadow Man which has odd physics bugs) as well as a Youtube video watching- it's sort of a media device so I...
Hardware & Devices
How do I get to the boot menu on Dell Optiplex to install 64bit W7?
This is a recent model Optiplex 7010 running 32bit. Got a 64bit disc I want to install but can't even get to the boot menu. The Dell manual says to press F12 when the Dell logo appears on the screen after a restart. Tried that a dozen times but it still goes to Windows. Any way to access the boot...
General Discussion
windows 7 dell optiplex 755 boot fail
Hi please help i have got a dell OptiPlex 755 (discontinued model) i boot up that takes a bit longer than normal then it goes to the windows 7 logo twirly thing it pauses half way through a flash of blue screen (too short to get a code) then it restarts i can then go to the option to start up...
General Discussion
Dell Optiplex GX 280
Has anyone installed Windows 7 on a Dell Optiplex GX 280? I am trying to install and and I get as far as the initial "starting windows" where setup begins at, and I get STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error} Anyone know what is wrong?
Installation & Setup


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:41.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App