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Multi boot usb key

I am attempting to create an multi boot usb key.  I can create a bootable usb key with each of these tools independently, but I want to be able to choose between multiple isos to boot.  I would prefer not to partition the usb key.  I followed the instructions at this website http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=18846, and got the usb key to boot into the menu screen,  but the isos will not boot.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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mowit
Asked:
mowit
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1 Solution
 
ai_ja_naiCommented:
have you followed passages like this?
* Download the latest Puppy Linux ISO file - Tested using "puppy-2.11-seamonkey.iso"
* Extract the following from the ISO file - initrd.gz, pup_2**.sfs, vmlinuz
* Copy initrd.gz, pup_2**.sfs and vmlinuz to the root of your USB Drive
* Create USBFLASH file in the root of your USB Drive
* Edit menu.txt and include the following text "3.- Linux Puppy"
* Edit syslinux.cfg and add the following lines

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mowitAuthor Commented:
The iso's I am trying to use are Hiren boot cd, I have a seperate iso of a cd.  There are no specific instructions on how to allow these iso's to boot. I have no interest in the Puppy Linux iso file, and the instructions dont seem to be general to any iso file.
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ai_ja_naiCommented:
I belive the problem is explained here:

"Booting Linux is more complicated and involved some trial and error. If the distro includes its own syslinux config file (syslinux.cfg), this can be edited"

But have you tried all the methods listed in that page?
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ai_ja_naiCommented:
Now that I note it:

>but the isos will not boot

have you extracted those ISOs before adding the entries to the menu?
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mowitAuthor Commented:
if i were to extract the iso, which file would i point the menu to in order to run the cd?  for example, the hiren boot cd does not have an executable that runs the cd.  

i extracted the files and it gets less further.  the error is could not find ramdisk image.
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mowitAuthor Commented:
I have attached a picture of what happens when i attempt to boot from the iso.
IMG-0077.jpg
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ai_ja_naiCommented:
Of course, you can't assign a iso as a ramdisk image... can you list the files inside the iso?
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mowitAuthor Commented:
they are all uha files, except for a file called uharcd.exe.  In the startup.bat file, this is what it says:


"@echo off
if %1'==' goto EOF
REM -- For Alternative USB Config --
REM -- DELETE "REM " from Next line
REM if exist bootcd\uharcd.exe set RAM=102400
IF "%RAM%==" goto s
echo Creating %RAM% Kb Ram Drive as %ramd%:
REM xmsdsk %RAM% %ramd%: /t /y
shsurdrv /D:%RAM%K:D512:$RAM-DRIVE,%ramd% /QQ
set ram=
goto cp
:s
echo Creating 50Mb Ram Drive as %ramd%:
REM xmsdsk 51200 %ramd%: /t /y >nul
shsurdrv /D:51200K:D512:$RAM-DRIVE,%ramd% /T /QQ
:cp
if exist %ramd%:\nul goto ramok
echo.
echo !! Failed To Create Ram Drive as %ramd%: !!
echo    this could be because of more than 2GB RAM
echo.
echo Loading Standard RamDrive.sys with 32Mb...
devload ramDrive.sys 32767 512 512 /E >nul
findramd
IF ERRORLEVEL  3 SET ramd=C
IF ERRORLEVEL  4 SET ramd=D
IF ERRORLEVEL  5 SET ramd=E
IF ERRORLEVEL  6 SET ramd=F
IF ERRORLEVEL  7 SET ramd=G
IF ERRORLEVEL  8 SET ramd=H
IF ERRORLEVEL  9 SET ramd=I
IF ERRORLEVEL 10 SET ramd=J
IF ERRORLEVEL 11 SET ramd=K
IF ERRORLEVEL 12 SET ramd=L
IF ERRORLEVEL 13 SET ramd=M
IF ERRORLEVEL 14 SET ramd=N
IF ERRORLEVEL 15 SET ramd=O
IF ERRORLEVEL 16 SET ramd=P
IF ERRORLEVEL 17 SET ramd=Q
IF ERRORLEVEL 18 SET ramd=R
if exist %ramd%:\nul echo RamDrive.sys Successfully Loaded as %ramd%:
echo.
if exist %ramd%:\nul goto ramok
echo error creating ramdrive
pause
goto stop

:ramok
for %%v in (command.com extract.exe mouse.com drivers.cab usb_aspi.cab) do copy %%v %ramd%:\ >nul
set comspec=%ramd%:\command.com
if exist bootcd\uharcd.exe BootDriv.exe>%ramd%:\z.bat
type autoexec.dat>>%ramd%:\z.bat
type autoexec.bat>>%ramd%:\z.bat
REM -- For Alternative USB Config --
REM -- if you get "General failure reading drive"
REM -- DELETE "REM " from LINE 5 (if exist bootcd\pqpm.uha set RAM=102400) and
REM -- DELETE Next Line "GOTO NORMAL" (or add REM)
GOTO NORMAL
if not exist bootcd\uharcd.exe goto NORMAL
md %ramd%:\BootCD
md %ramd%:\BootCD\vdefs
copy bootcd\uharcd.exe %ramd%:\BootCD
copy bootcd\*.uha %ramd%:\BootCD
copy bootcd\vdefs\*.* %ramd%:\BootCD\vdefs
:NORMAL
%ramd%:
z %1 %2
:stop
"
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ai_ja_naiCommented:
it's a rather old style batch script in dos language. You'll never succeed in using it in the actual configuration. My advice is to partition the pendrive and use grub to point to the separated systems
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mowitAuthor Commented:
my ultimate goal is to just drop iso's onto the usb drive, change some settings, and then be able to boot off the iso's.  is grub going to be the best way to do that? i would prefer not to partition the usb key, but if that is going to be the best and easiest way to do that i will concede .  thank you.
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ai_ja_naiCommented:
An ISO is an archive.
You can't boot from an archive.
You have, normally, to burn it on a cd and you find yourself in the end with all its files correctly deployed in order to boot from the device that's hosting 'em.

To do what you want to do, you first should extract all the ISO in separate folders, so that they don't conflict with each other. After that, you can HOPE to modify all the syslinux files of all the isos to have them firing up at menu will, which in my opinion is a thankless fatigue... Those files have been designed to work in a different way.
However, here's the code to have a cd iso working in a grub environment.
-create a mountpoint to mount the ISO with loopback:
mkdir /mnt/LiveISO
 
-mount the image:
mount -t iso9660 -o loop,ro /DOWNLOADS/Knoppix-3.7-en.iso /mnt/LiveISO
 
-create a directory on the device where you are going to boot from:
mkdir /mnt/hda4/KNOPPIX
 
-copy the contents of the mounted image to that directory:
cp /mnt/LiveISO/KNOPPIX/* /mnt/hda4/KNOPPIX/
 
-copy kernel and initrd files to yor boot device:
cp /mnt/LiveISO/boot/* /boot/
 
-edit the menu.list located in /boot/grub and add an entry like this to it:
 
CODE
title  KNOPPIX
root  (hd0,0)
kernel  /linux26 ramdisk_size=100000 fromhd=/dev/hda4
initrd  /minirt26.gz
savedefault
boot

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ai_ja_naiCommented:
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mowitAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much for your help.  I will take all of the information and see what I can do.
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