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Installation of full preboot environment

Posted on 2010-09-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Hi,

A friend of mine just bought a HP notebook. What is very nice is the preboot environment. When booting, you immediately get a preboot menu in which you can surf, see pictures, browse etc.
Then you have the option to boot into Windows.
Well, it should be possible to install my own preboot environment on my current laptop. There are a lot of “Live CD’s” (Ubuntu, BartPE …).  Is there a way to set it/install it to my hard disc?

Thanks for your input.
E.
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Question by:exchangeexpertsdelijn
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11 Comments
 
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33617850
Get any linux installation CD i.e http://www.mebbi.net/marks-out-of-10-meerkat-part-1/ ( its a beta version - but good ) that will allow you to install or try, if you install any modern linux distro you can dual boot it with windows.

It doesnt give you the 'pre boot' your after, as the whole concept of that is the hardware supports it, and often its booted from SSD or another MB located flash, meaning its loaded quickly before any other boot processes happen.
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Author Comment

by:exchangeexpertsdelijn
ID: 33624389
I know the dual boot principle. I'm not looking for that.

I'm really looking for the pre-boot environment in which you can choose to boot to Windows.
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33624470
But they aren't preboots. They are cutdown Linux distros for netbooks...
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Roe
ID: 33625561
This sounds to me like an extension of the Pre-boot eXecution Environment (PXE) which has been around for some years. PXE accesses the network card anyway, so I guess they have put a browser into the BIOS. This on the basis that BIOS memory gets bigger but the boot sector size stays the same.
If I am right, then:
- the offer to boot Windows is given because Windows is the installed OS, and you would be offered to boot Linux if that were installed
- you can't install this. It has to be in your BIOS
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33625577
Exactly as I said above. A preboot is generally run from rom or sd. You can't really emulate it by installing anything. It runs before the traditional boot order then runs the installed OS
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Accepted Solution

by:
exchangeexpertsdelijn earned 0 total points
ID: 33634320
Thanks for your feedback guys.

Correct that it probably is built in into the BIOS.
However Acronis has the option to make a (hidden or not) recovery partition on which they put their recovery software. So when you boot you have the option to boot into Acronis (F11 option) or just Windows. This helps a lot in case your system crashes.
=> This kind of solution would be the perfect solution: a hidden partition on which you can put a BartPE a Parted Magic or other which boots quickly and has basic features available.
Goal is to have a bootable OS at any time which is static: all basic soft is there, no soft can/should be installed what makes that viruses, malware etc have no impact: reboot and you have a clean boot.

I know how to dual boot, the question now is: how to dual boot from a hidden partition that cannot be erased (only by booting into a partition manager which can delete the hidden partition) and put there the bartpe/parted magic or other.

E.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Roe
ID: 33634539
Please keep to 1 Q per thread. If you have a new Q, post it in a new EE Q
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Author Comment

by:exchangeexpertsdelijn
ID: 33634608
Hi, it is no new question. There are multiple ways to solve this issue. One of them is preboot in BIOS, another is dual boot to hidden partition. The full thread is necessary to explain the question.
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Author Closing Comment

by:exchangeexpertsdelijn
ID: 33680569
Answer ok.
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