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How do I Burn a "Bootable" DVD/CD Correctly?

Posted on 2011-02-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi Experts,
This is embarrassing, but I have been  burning certain bootable DVD/CD incorrectly for many years.  When I insert it and set the BIOS to boot to DVD-Rom, I get the old, I guess DOS, (windows 98 looking) thingy,scrolling, before it finally stops at some sort of (DOS, I guess) prompt.  As follows: A:\>


I have no idea what to type in there and I am not great with DOS.  I especially have a problem with using the "CD"prompt in DOS.  I really just wish these disks would just boot to the CD/DVD.  Here is why it matters all of a sudden.  I would like to have these CDs boot up @ the BIOS before windows boots (like safe mode) because what these disks are, is Anti-malware Kits with exclusive deep Trojan and Rootkit removers.  And some other reasons, mainly the malware removing tools.  I believe that it is when I try to make something bootable from an ISO, I am missing something or actually putting something extra in, like maybe a boot image (boot.ima, etc.) that I do not need.  Who knows.  Not I.  That is why I am here.

However, all I get is this drive A: prompt.  I am building these disks incorrectly and do not know what to do about it, so it  is time that I ask you experts, after all these years of doing it wrong.
Now some of these disks I build are perfectly bootable and I have done them correctly.  I have
correctly Built bootable cds and dvds before. Including Win XP, Vista, Win 7, Repair Disks, Recovery disks, UBCD4W, UBCD, Bart's, etc.  they all work, but some of them DO NOt and I get the "A" prompt instead because I did something wrong. For years, I cannot seem to get  Hirem's Boot Cd to boot, for example. The trojan removal  toolkit cd I am talking about is a beauty called SARDU.  I just  cannot seem to make it boot from the BIOS.  I just get that prompt.  I have ruined 3 cds.  If they would boot, I could do my malware removal outside of windows and life would be so much better.

So THE QUESTION IS:  How do I correctly burn an ISO image so that it is bootable?  Or Maybe How do I prevent a burned ISO from booting to DOS?

Some of them ISOs appear to be much more difficult than others.

I want this one badly, so that is why I am finally asking the Experts.

And I am thanking you Experts in advance because I know that you know what I am doing wrong.

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Question by:Donnie616
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10 Comments
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:skrga
ID: 34892119
ISO image should by it self be "bootable" or not when burned on cd... You burn them all in the same way..
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LVL 84

Accepted Solution

by:
Dave Baldwin earned 1000 total points
ID: 34892500
When 'create' a bootable CD rom scratch, it usually involves putting boot sectors from a floppy on the CD to boot it.  I've had to do that.  ISOs have that already done for you.  Here's one description for you: http://nightowl.radified.com/bootcd/bootcdintro.html
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 34893398
Thank you both  This "Sardu is one amazing tool.  Being a beginner, I am not sure what to do with it yet.    I am now in the process of downloading the makings of a Win 7 PE boot disk.  Dave ---your site reccommendation was very helpful.  I have to go to bed soon so I will be back in the AM.  Please google SARDU.  You will be in for a pleasant surprise.  As more Expert thabn i am you will appreciate it more than I do because you will know what to do with it, unlike myself.  thanks again.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 34897343
Good morning.  I am truly sorry to have bothered you all.  What I want to do is pretty basic, but this SARDU in particular, is way, way over my head.  It is great for those of you who understand it, but I am not ready for that yet.  My question is partially resolved by Davebaldwin, but I would like to know what I would type in The A:\> prompt when it appears instead of a live CD just booting up like I expect it to.  This has happened  a lot with disks I have made.

I am going to leave this open for a while so that I can share this new discovery (Sardu) with you all.  I just wish I knew what to do with it, so at least you guys please enjoy it.
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:skrga
skrga earned 1000 total points
ID: 34898423
SARDU is great, but there's tons of same quality (or even better) live rescue cd's on the net (i don't wont to count them here because of rules - pirated software,..etc..).


...what I would type in The A:\> prompt when it appears instead of a live CD just booting up like I expect it to.

There's weary little you can do, it depends on cd. For example UBCD (bootable cd with system tools) have command "menu" i think that loads menu like it shows when cd is normally booted, same cd dont have that. It's same like with windows or other OS. Bootable CD's have MBR (master boot record) in first sector on disk (sector 0). When computer starts, BIOS is trying to find hardware that have MBR on first sector and if it's found it load's it, from then MBR do what is written to do (load menu, program etc...)...  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record
0
 
LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34898972
Ideally, DOS loads a runs a couple of drivers and programs.   If you have 7-ZIP http://www.7-zip.org/ , you can open the ISO's and see what files they run when you load them.  I imagine there's more than one way to do it.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 34899013
Ok Thanks ==What i didn't realize is that I had to build this from scratch.  I thought I was going to burn an ISO to DVD and it would boot with all those nice utilities there for me to remove the nasties before windows booted.----WRONG !!  These "projects"  are too far over my head, with inserting scripts and drivers, etc.  I am too much of a beginner for that stuff, however, I would love to give it a try one day soon.  Just not today.  I will be back.
0
 
LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 34899265
Most downloaded ISOs can be burned directly to CD/DVD.  There are specialized programs just for burning ISOs.  If you want to make a custom bootable CD/DVD, then you'll need the more complicated procedures.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 34909893
Thanks guys---I am done for now.  "custom bootable CD/DVD">> Those are the key words.  too advanced for me.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:Donnie616
ID: 34910075
Just made a Win 7 PE disk from am ISO.  Worked like a charm with one of the famous long-time ISO burning tool. That's right!  WIN 7 PE! Pre-customized like the old XP Live CDs.  thanks again
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