Ever have a situation where you need a Windows friendly (DOS) boot CDROM with network support? If you tinker with network utilities often, you'll likely find the need sooner or later. With 1.44MB floppy drives starting to disappear I figured it was time to create a bootable CDROM, complete with network drivers and network support. This decision was accelerated by the fact that my laptop doesn't even have a floppy drive. I can attach a USB based floppy but this is a little too much work to try and get running off of a bootable CDROM (at least that's my perception - if you have some cool input, drop me a line at email@example.com).
I decided to make my bootable CDROM so that I could incorporate my laptop within a library of GHOST images, re-imaging and hitting the road with the right tools for the right job, without having to monkey around installing, partitioning, configuring every time I had to modify my configurations. The scenario described below outlines how to create a bootable CDROM for use with Symantec GHOST (seeing as I found their documentation was less than adequate).
If your system boots fine with IBM DOS and you have a floppy drive, I strongly urge you to use Ghost Boot Wizard.exe (GHOST7CE). Symantec has come a long way since I last had to create a network bootdisk and this utility is very helpful. First off you will need to create a bootable floppy disk. If on the other hand you can't boot from IBM DOS and/or you don't have a floppy drive on the system you wish to GHOST, you can follow these instructions. They should get you started or at least guide you in the right direction.
I used Windows Millenium Edition and modified the configuration to make everything fit onto a bootable floppy. This disk is compatible with all x86 architectures I know of - thanks to the proliferation of Microsoft OS'. If your using Win9x your file listings will be different but the majority of the steps below can be used as a guide.
|1.||Insert a High Density 1.44MB floppy disk into the floppy disk drive|
|a)||Bring up a command prompt|
|b)||type format a: /s|
|Windows Millenium Edition|
|Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Hardware|
|b)||Click on the top right tab titled Startup Disk|
|c)||Click Create Disk|
|3.||Wait until the disk has been formatted and the led on the front of the drive goes off|
|4.||Find the NDIS2 (DOS) drivers for your network card. Try your manufacturers web site or use your favourite search engine (such as Google).|
|5.||Remove the unnecessary files from your newly created boot floppy disk. The file listing should look something like this:|
Directory of A:\
18:23 672 AUTOEXEC.BAT
|6.||Search your hard drive for mscdex.exe. If you can't find the file you can look for it on the web at sites like http://www.techadvice.com/tech/M/MSCDEX.htm. At the command prompt type:|
|copy x:\path_to_file\mscdex.exe a:\|
|7.||Go back to where you saved your downloaded network drivers, uncompress or unzip them as required, then find the file PROTOCOL.INI within the subdirectory hierarchy. Something like:|
Directory of C:\sis900\NDIS2\DOS
13:33 <DIR> .
|8.||Edit this file (not other PROTOCOL.INI's outside of your driver subdirectory root) with your text editor of choice (notepad.exe or whatever) and modify as indicated by the manufacturer. It should look something like the following when completed:|
|9.||Save this file as a:\PROTOCOL.INI and close|
|10.||Make a directory on the floppy to keep your network drivers in. This is not necessary but does help to keep things organized. At the command prompt type:|
|11.||Copy your network NDIS2 (DOS) driver (the one you downloaded from the manufacturer) from its current location on your hard drive (something like C:\sis900\NDIS2\DOS\).|
|copy C:\sis900\sis900\NDIS2\DOS\SIS900.DOS a:\ndis|
|12.||In your Ghost7 installation directory (path something like this: C:\Program Files\Symantec\Ghost\ndis) you will see something like the following:|
Directory of c:\progra~1\symantec\ghost\ndis
16:58 <DIR> .
|13.||Copy netbind.com to a:\ by typing:|
|copy netbind.com a:\|
Copy DIS_PKT.DOS, protman.dos, protman.exe to a:\ndis by typing:
copy protman.dos a:\ndis
copy protman.exe a:\ndis
|15.||Open up a:\CONFIG.SYS with your text editor and modify to read something like:|
|16.||Save the file as a:\CONFIG.SYS and close|
|17.||Open up a:\AUTOEXEC.BAT with your text editor and modify to read something like:|
%ramd%:\MSCDEX.EXE /D:mscd001 /L:%CDROM%
|18.||Save the file as a:\AUTOEXEC.BAT and close|
|19.||Open up a:\SETRAMD.BAT with your text editor and modify to read something like:|
if errorlevel 255 goto no_ramdrive
if not errorlevel 3 goto no_ramdrive
if "%RAMD%"=="C" goto c_drive
|20.||Save the file as a:\SETRAMD.BAT and close|
|21.||Create another directory on a:\ by typing the following at the command prompt:|
|22.||Copy ghost.exe from your Ghost install directory to a:\ghost by typing:|
|copy c:\progra~1\symantec\ghost\ghost.exe a:\ghost|
|23.||You should be able to delete and remove reference to FIXIT.BAT and CHECKSR.BAT from a:\ as well (reference in AUTOEXEC.BAT). I didn't try this but they don't appear useful for our purposes. If you run out of room on your floppy, you'll have to scrounge to cut down on file sizes and save space. Try removing innocuous files from a:\ and then booting off the floppy. If you can bring the system up then you are probably OK.|
|24.||Your floppy should now look something like this:|
/F /A a:
/A HSRA /S a:
Volume in drive A has no label.
Directory of A:\
17:00 116,736 IO.SYS
Directory of A:\ndis
20:27 <DIR> .
Total Files Listed:
|1.||Open up your favourite CD-Burning software, prepare to make a DATA CD and follow your software's instructions on how to create a bootable CDROM using a 1.44MB floppy. Add whatever utilities you think you might need to the CDROM. Once booted you'll be in DOS so GUI utils are recommended ;-)|
|2.||Put a blank CD-R or CDRW into the CDRW drive and start the burn. When completed, you should have a bootable CDROM with network support. Boot the client machine from this CDROM (make sure your BIOS is set to boot from CDROM before the HDD) and proceed to perform your Ghosting as needed, multicasting, networked etc...|
|3.||A few years back I made a bootdisk for mapping network shares and logging onto the network, capable of retrieving .gho images from a shared drive. Its possible, you just need to include some more utilities on the bootdisk like net.exe and some other mini network drivers. Below is a listing of how I set the files up on the floppy.|
Volume in drive A is GHOSTB
Volume Serial Number is 100A-3F54
Directory of A:\
20:01 93,880 COMMAND.COM
Directory of A:\NET
15:08 <DIR> .
|4.||For those without good CD-Burning software, you can use Linux and enter the following commands to create and write a bootable CD:|
dd if=/dev/fd0 of=boot.img
# mkisofs -v -J -o /ghostboot.iso -b boot.img .
# cdrecord -v -dev=0,2,0 -speed=4 ghostboot.iso
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