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Accessing a USB DVD drive from a DOS boot

Posted on 2004-08-10
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I'm new to EE, so if I'm doing this incorrectly, please forgive me...

I have a SONY DRX-530UL DVD+-RW external USB drive.  I have successfully created a ghost image on the drive.  I have also made a bootable CD-R with ghost.exe on it.  However, when boot that CD and run ghost, the DVD drive is not offered as a selection in the dropdown as a source for an image file.  

Does anyone know what drivers and/or config.sys and autoexec.bat settings I need so that I can access the DVD drive after the dos boot?



Question by:JonPCole
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Expert Comment

ID: 11769561
usb and dos , are a difficult thing to set up , especially if their are any unkown drivers for it.
it can be done , but your journey on getting it up will be a long 1.
id start by doing a google for usb dos drivers.
i remember starting from their , eventaully i found 1 solution that would work for me
but that was some time now , id wait till someone else post and hopefully has a link
to start you up on.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 11770224
There is generic driver software for USB drives in DOS.
Try it out.


Expert Comment

ID: 11773594
Hi Jon,

First off, how and with what device and software did you get the image of your drive?  I guess you didn't use the DRX-530UL, is that right?  If you did, you should be able to do the reverse.  BTW, did you use Norton Ghost to make that image?  What version of it if so?

The DOS drivers for USB or firewire devices are very picky and system specific.  There is no such thing as universal driver for the animals still living in DOS land.   You need to give us more specific system and software info in order for us to pin-point which driver may be suitable for you.  Even then, you may still have to tweak and tinker your config.sys and autoexec.bat for sometime in order to make them work to your spec.

Trust me, I'd gone through hell with them before and depending on where and who you asked, you may get many answers that seem to work but only turn out to be working for the answerers' own specs.
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Author Comment

ID: 11773736
First, thanks for the help...

I DID make the image using the same drive, the Sony DRX-530UL.  I had no trouble doing so.  I  plugged it into a USB port on the machine from which I wanted to burn an image (XP Pro with Office 2003), and then ran Ghost which I had previously installed on this machine.

Separately, I made a bootable CD (I've made a pile).  On the new machine (ie the one on which I want to restore the image) I booted the CD.  Once booted, I ran ghost from the dos prompt (I had placed ghost.exe on the bootable CD).  It runs, however, it does not offer the usb dvd drive as an option from which to load a GHO file.

Is that clear enough?


Author Comment

ID: 11774028
By the way, I did try the pockettech drivers mentioned above, but they didn't make any difference. I still have no drive letter for the DVD drive.

Expert Comment

ID: 11774578
OK you did with the DRX-530UL.  What USB driver did you use in the config.sys?  Is it the Iomega one that comes with Norton Ghost(what version)?

Do you have similar specs on you "new" machine to the XP Pro w/Office 2003 from which you made the image?

Once you booted from your bootable CD, were you able to access the DVD drive(DRX) from DOS prompt?  In other words, can your "new" machine assign a drive letter to the DRX during the loading of device drivers in config.sys?  Again, what USB driver did you put in your config.sys?

Try the USB drivers from -  Bootdisd.com at

And the Panasonic USB driver - which is the only one work for my previous experience.

or at:


The other alternative with success with the DRX-530UL is to use the Firewire port with the Iomega 1394 driver that comes with Ghost 2003.

Hope these may help.

Author Comment

ID: 11775279
I have tried a number of USB drivers including the Iomego ones that come with Norton Ghost (I'm using Ghost 2003).  I have also tried Panasonic drivers, some listed on the Sony site, the DUSE.EXE driver (from bootdisk.com), and some others.

I have also tried booting the Ghost 2003 CD and allowing it to use its own drivers (USB 1.1 and USB 2.0), but this hasn't worked.  The USB DVD drive is seen, proper identification is echoed to the console, but the driver hangs while loading (flashing cursor forever).

I don't have a firewire port on this machine, so that's not an option.  I AM able to find other ways to get a restore to work (temporarily dropping an IDE DVD reader in the box), but I was hoping to find a way to get this external drive to work.  I may have to live without that luxury, though, since nothing else seems to work.

Expert Comment

ID: 11775574
I could see where the bus goes round and round and stops - your USB port/card - who's the manufacturer of it?
Some USB cards won't work with the DRX-530UL no matter what you try, e.g. for me, the ALi USB cards.

To be more specific - here's what works for me, with XP home, DRX-530UL(exact same one) and have tried on VIA USB and one ALi combo card.


device=himem.sys /testmem:off
device=aspicd.sys /D:mscd001
devicehigh=usbaspi.sys /v /w

devicehigh=usbcd.sys /D:mscd001



@echo off
LH MSCDEX.EXE /D:mscd001

Like I said before, what works for one may not for the other - it's very physical-device-and-computing-environment dependent.  Yes, the backup/restore process may work much easier with internal setup, but hell-bent to get it work with external devices such as some USB ones.


Accepted Solution

eXPaine earned 750 total points
ID: 11775808
BTW, what DOS you have on your boot disk - MS-DOS or PC-DOS?

I use MS-DOS (win 98) to go along with the config.sys and autoexec.bat and they work.  but I have no luck PC-DOS with the exact same set of config.sys and autoexec.bat, that combination has never worked for me.

So you have to spend a lot of time to try various combinations for your own system to work.  So far I've been successful with the set I provided on HP, Compaq and Toshiba with ALi, VIA and Intel USB controllers among them.

Author Comment

ID: 11782214
The USB port is on the motherboard, which is an Asus A7N8X-VM/400.  They are USB 2.0 ports.

I have tried both PC-DOS and MS-DOS (win 98).

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