How to make a NT Bootable CD-ROM

Posted on 1998-09-21
Last Modified: 2013-12-14
Is there software around that would allow me to make a bootable NT CD-ROM ???

I have made a re-installable system rom... with all the stuff I want on it. It would be nice to be able to place the rom in my drive and have it bootup and execute the un-attended install.

How do I make a CD-rom boot NT.... or to rephraise... how do I write a NT boot to a CD-rom ???

Any help would be appreciated,

Question by:Bren
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Expert Comment

ID: 1770994
You can using Adaptech CD duplicator application to mirror the CD, and the duplicated CD will be bootable.

To make your CD-Rom driver bootable, you have check your system BIOS, if it supports in your motherboard BIOS, your CD-Rom can be bootable.


Author Comment

ID: 1770995
Can I assemble some software in a directory ... (the contents to be burned to the CD) and then put a 'boot sector' from a bootable CD in this directory .... and burn the whole folder contents to the cd ... and then have it boot ???

My bios DOES support bootable cdroms.

Expert Comment

ID: 1770996
Well, I have no idea about your way.  You sound like to make a boot disk, but instill on a floppy, you want to make on the CD.  I never try this way before, so I don't know.  Good Luck my friend, let me know if you get it to work.

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Accepted Solution

Mujeeb082598 earned 100 total points
ID: 1770997
Hi :)

Maybe the following article help u what u looking for.

PSS ID Number: Q167685
Article last modified on 05-11-1998
The contents of this article are, in part, derived from the El Torito
Bootable CD-ROM Format Specification version 1.0 from Phoenix Technologies
and IBM and from the white paper "Constructing a Bootable CD" version 0.5
from Phoenix Technologies. For additional information regarding the El
Torito Specification, please refer to these documents.
What Is El Torito?
El Torito is a specification written by Phoenix Technologies and IBM for
bootable CD-ROMs. The El Torito specification allows for the creation of a
CD-ROM as an image of a hard disk drive or a floppy drive. When you make an
image of a hard disk, the CD-ROM will boot as drive C and all hard disk
drive letters will be shifted up one letter. When booting a floppy disk
image, the CD-ROM will be identified as drive A. The original drive A will
become drive B and the original drive B will be unavailable.
What Is Needed to Be Able to Use a Bootable CD-ROM?
The system BIOS must be capable of supporting a bootable CD-ROM. If the
system BIOS has this capability, an EIDE (ATAPI) CD-ROM drive attached to
the system should be able to boot from the compact discs.
If the CD-ROM drive is a SCSI drive, the SCSI BIOS must also support
bootable compact discs.
Note that some system's BIOS may have a setting to control the boot order
between drive A, drive C, and the CD-ROM drive. Some systems, although able
to support bootable compact discs, may give no such indication. Even though
they may allow you to change the boot priority between floppy disk and hard
disk drive but give no option for booting from a compact disc, the system
may still support this feature. Such systems always place the priority on a
bootable compact disc so that, if one is inserted, the system will boot
from it.
What Can Be Done with a Bootable CD-ROM?
Anything that can be run from a hard disk drive or floppy at DOS can be run
from a CD with one exception: Since a CD is read only the program must not
attempt to write data to the CD or it will fail.
Items you will need to create a bootable CD-ROM:
 - An empty hard disk drive of less than 650MB capacity OR a floppy drive.
   An exact copy of a hard drive will be made onto the compact disc. In
   other words, because the capacity of a CD is 650 MB, a hard disk drive
   smaller than this is required so that it can fit onto the CD. Please
   note that partitioning the hard disk drive is not sufficient as the
   entire physical disk will be imaged.
   The hard drive should contain only the data you want placed on the CD.
   Removable media can be used in place of a hard disk. Some optical disks
   are particularly well suited for this task.
   If you are making an image of a floppy disks, a floppy disk will be
   needed in place of the empty hard disk drive.
 - Another drive with at least twice the space of the drive in above.
   Two additional drives each with at least as much free space as the drive
   listed above.
      To clarify this information: A bit-for-bit image of the first drive
      will be created AND an ISO file will then be created from that image.
      Thus, one drive will contain the original files, again as much space
      is needed for the image, and finally once again as much space for the
      ISO file.
      When imaging a floppy disk, only a few megabytes of free space is
      required. As described below, when properly configured, the remainder
      of the compact disc can be accessed by drivers loaded from the floppy
      disk image. For this reason, as well as the greatly reduced system
      requirements and time requirements, the imaging of a floppy disk
      image will be far easier to accomplish.
 - A compact disc authoring package that will allow a real ISO image file
   to be created. Adaptec EZ-CD Pro is an example of such a package.
   Packages such as Corel CD Creator (now Adaptec CD Creator) will NOT
   allow the creation of real ISO images and, as such, are not suitable for
   creating bootable compact discs.
 - A utility to allow byte-level editing of a disk. The instructions in
   this article assume the use of Norton Utilities Diskedit from Symantec.
Creating the Bootable CD from Start to Finish
Please note that the steps below assume that a hard disk drive will be
imaged. Only a single byte will need to be changed to image a floppy disk.
This change is described in step 12 of this procedure.
Also, because these instructions assume the use of the Norton Diskedit
program, here are a few tips on using Norton Diskedit:
 - The HOME key will take you to the beginning of the file.
 - To search, select Find from the Tools menu or press CTRL+S. To search
   for the next occurrence of the same item, select Find Again from the
   Tools menu or press CTRL+G.
 - To move the cursor from the Hex editing side to the text side of the
   screen or vice versa, press the TAB key.
Follow these steps to create a bootable CD:
1. Prepare the hard disk drive or floppy disk exactly as you would want the
   CD to appear. Organize all the files and directories to suit your needs.
2. Make certain that the hard disk drive has an operating system on it,
   that it is bootable, and that the partition is marked active. It is
   strongly suggested that you actually boot from this drive to make
   certain that it behaves as expected. After burned onto the CD, you
   cannot modify it without burning another CD. For this reason, it is
   suggested that careful testing be performed before writing a CD.
3. Use Norton Diskedit (or similar application) to copy the hard disk drive
   contents to a file. In Norton Diskedit, follow these steps:
   a. Select Object, and then Physical Disk. Select the hard disk drive to
      make an image of.
   b. Select Tools, and then Write.
   c. Select Write to a File.
   d. Save this file as Osboot.img.
      NOTE: This may be a lengthy process.
4. Create a file named Bootcat.bin that is exactly 2,048 bytes in size.
   This file will serve as a dummy boot catalog. An easy way to create this
   file is by using either the MS-DOS Edit program or Windows Notepad and
   typing in any characters until you have a file exactly 2,048 bytes in
5. Use DISKEDIT to edit this file. Starting at the beginning of the file,
   enter the data below. Note that the left side shows the hex equivalent
   of the characters on the right. It is suggested that you enter the
   actual hex characters for accuracy. In addition, some of the ANSI
   characters shown on the right are not correctly represented here. Just
   enter the hex data as shown for proper operation.
      01 00 00 00 50 68 6F 65  -  ....Phoe
      6E 69 78 20 54 65 63 68  -  nix Tech
      6E 6F 6C 6F 67 69 65 73  -  nologies
      20 4C 54 44 34 E4 55 AA  -  LTD4_U~
6. Make certain to write Hex "00" to all the remaining bytes of the file.
7. Instruct the compact disc authoring software to create an ISO image
   containing the two files Osboot.img and Bootcat.bin. Save the ISO file
   as Bootcd.iso. Be sure to create the file as a MODE 1 file. Before
   actually performing this step please read the notes below.
   Notes on adding additional files:
   At this point, you will want to be aware of a few additional items
   should you want to add any additional files to this CD.
    - When booting from the compact disc, all the files that were on the
      original hard disk drive or floppy disk that was imaged will be
      visible. Any files added to the CD after the imaging process will not
      be visible at this time.
    - When the compact disc is viewed on a system that has been booted from
      the hard disk drive or a floppy disk, and CD-ROM drivers are loaded,
      the additional files will be visible. The contents of Osboot.img
      (which, in turn, contains the files from the hard disk drive or
      floppy that was imaged) will not be visible. Instead, the actual
      files Osboot.img and Bootcat.bin will be seen in addition to the
      other files that were added.
    - If the bootable compact disc loads CD-ROM drivers at startup, it is
      possible to then see all files on the CD. The files that were on the
      imaged hard disk drive or floppy disk will be visible at drive A or
      C, and any additional files can be accessed through the CD-ROM drive
      letter assigned by the CD-ROM drivers.
   If you want to have additional files on the compact disc, now is the
   time to add them. To do so, simply instruct your compact disc authoring
   software to include not only Osboot.img and Bootcat.bin, but any
   additional files as well.
8. Use Diskedit to open Bootcd.iso.
9. Go to sector 17 (this is at offset 8800h). "CD001" should be on the
   first line.
10. Enter the following data:
      00 43 44 30 30 31 01 45  -  .CD001.E
      4C 20 54 4F 52 49 54 4F  -  L TORITO
      20 53 50 45 43 49 46 49  -   SPECIFI
      43 41 54 49 4F 4E 00 00  -  CATION
   Continue entering hex "00" after the characters above through offset
   8FFF (2048 characters total).
   NOTE: Although a number of characters near the beginning may already be
   identical to that shown in the table above, take note that the very
   first line starts with 00. These characters are often overlooked. The
   information should be entered exactly as shown in hexadecimal.
11. Creating a valid Boot Volume Descriptor
   a. Go to the beginning of the file, and then search for BOOTCAT.
   b. Count back 31 characters. To do so in Diskedit, place the cursor on
      the letter "B" in BOOTCAT and go up two lines and to the right one
   c. Write down the next four hex bytes (including the one the cursor is
   d. Go to offset 8847h. This will be just a bit after the data you
      entered in step 10. Enter the 4 bytes you just wrote down above.
12. Creating a valid Boot Catalog
   a. Go to the beginning of the file, and then search for OSBOOT.
   b. Count back 31 characters. To do so in Diskedit, place the cursor on
      the letter O in OSBOOT and go up two lines and to the right one
   c. Write down the next four hex bytes (including the one the cursor is
   d. Go to the beginning of the file, and then search for LTD4. You should
      see the contents of the Bootcat.bin file created in step 5. If not,
      repeat the search until you find the data as you entered it in step
   e. At offset 20h enter the following bytes:
      1) 88 04 00 00 00 00 01 00
      2) The four bytes you just wrote down.
         These should follow one after the other. In other words, 88 04 00
         00 00 01 00 B1 B2 B3 B4.
         NOTE: B1-B4 are the four bytes you wrote down.
         NOTE: In 1) above, the 04 specifies a hard disk drive image. Use
         01 for a 1.2 MB floppy disk image, 02 for a 1.44 MB floppy disk
         image, and 03 for a 2.88 MB disk floppy image.
13. Exit Diskedit, saving any changes.
14. Burn the ISO file to the compact disc. Please remember that, if you
   decide to add additional files (in the optional section for step 7) that
   have long file names, you will want to burn the CD using the Joliet
   format rather than ISO 9660 so that the long file names may be seen in
   Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.
Please note that additional sessions cannot be added to a bootable compact
disc. Adding additional sessions will cause the CD to no longer be
bootable. For this reason, it is suggested that the CD authoring software
be instructed to close the CD as well.
Norton Utilities Diskedit is manufactured by Symantec Corporation and Easy
CD Pro is manufactured by Adaptec, Inc., vendors independent of Microsoft;
we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding these products'
performance or reliability.


Author Comment

ID: 1770998
Thanks for your very informitave answer.

I have been semi-successful in my attempt to create a NT bootable rom.

I have also realised that it isn't as crucial as I first thought.

My initial reasoning was to make a backup of the NT install rom, but that isn't as crucial as I first thought.

Now that I have more of a handle on NT it is 'not as important'.... once I learned that the clients directory has an NT installation within it.

I used Adaptec's Direct CD and made it into a 'normal CD' after I had put most of the i386 install data (plus the boot file in the root of the rom) onto the wrireable.

This was a workable result.

Thanks, once again for your assistance.

Expert Comment

ID: 1770999
Hi :)

You welcome :)

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