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Creating a multi-boot DVD that is greater than 4GB

Posted on 2008-10-24
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I'm in the process of creating a multi-boot DVD using magicISO. I want to fill up a DVD+R DL disk with software and OS installations (unattended setups). The problem I'm running into is when my iso image size gets above 4GB, all of the Windows related install CDs fail to boot from the DVD. Does anybody have an idea why this is so? Has anybody created a multi-boot DL DVD (over 4GB) with success?

If I keep the size to less than 4GB, everything works fine.
Greater than 4GB, XP,Vista, and Bartpe CD don't boot.

Here's what I'm wanting to boot:
1) Windows XP SP3 install
2) Windows Vista SP1 install
3) BartPE Live CD
4) PC Doctor 6.0
5) Custom Build Ubuntu 8.04 Live CD

...And other things like MS Office,Adobe Acrobat, Novell Client, and general software utilities.
Total size of my needed DVD is about 7.5GB.
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Question by:TCB1
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5 Comments
 
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by:SysExpert
SysExpert earned 800 total points
ID: 22805835
Have you tried different DVD settings ?

It could be a limitation of the DVD or even the program installations themselves.

You may end up having to use 2 DVD's


I hope this helps !
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by:TCB1
ID: 22831692
Yeah, I ended up puting XP, Vista, BartPE, and PCDoctor on one SL disk. I'll make another with Ubuntu. I would still like to know why this is happening. I'm guessing it's the bootloader that magiciso uses, or maybe a limitation that xp and vista setup files can't be on a dvd that's over 4GB. I've tried it with magiciso's multi-bootloader and bcdw with the same results. I'll try CDShell next to see if it will work.

I think for compatibility reasons, I'll probably just stay away from DL Disk for now. I've noticed that some older DVD-ROM drives don't like them and a SL Disk seems to boot faster.

Any other ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 22835515
I think you have this covered. DL DVD can be problematic, and 1 vs 2 DVD solution is still not bad at all.

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VXDguy earned 1200 total points
ID: 22837290
When booting from DVD you're running through the BIOS to read the DVD.  Placing startup file too far away from the start of the DVD will cause addressing issues.  While DVD access is by LBA (logical block address), when it's emulating a bootable device via the BIOS, you're working CHS mode (cylinder, head, sector).  If anyone remembers the old 1024 cyliner size limit, that was a CHS mode limitation... if you want to read more, there's an execellent link from Google Books:
  (http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=2&q=http://books.google.com/books%3Fid%3DOuPtI5fHhBoC%26pg%3DPA78%26lpg%3DPA78%26dq%3DCHS%2Bboot%2Blimitation%26source%3Dweb%26ots%3DYEcyxtsGQS%26sig%3D8OH75uBeqgugjQd-7UeKe14xYwg&usg=AFQjCNEeMIZzygos0lfi-HXmk9rUTn7Qfg&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result)

A fix is to make sure that *all* the necessary files for the OS to start up are at the beginning of the DVD where they're in range of the limited CHS addressing mode. On an ISO you usually don't have much choice on where the files lives on the DVD. Sometimes you can set the position by putting the boot files first, but that's no guarantee that the files will live at the beginning of the DVD.

Anyway, good luck on your creation :)
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by:TCB1
ID: 22868823
VXDguy

Your answer sounds like a likely reason for the problem. Thanks. I've decided to split my DVD into two disks. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time to experiment any more with this.
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