DOS USB CD boot disk

several homebrew/Asus & B
May 20, 2006 at 19:45:07
Specs: XP Pro etc, 1 Gb Mushkin
So far the following DOS boot disk has worked on every system I have tried it on (3 homebrew desktops, a Dell desktop, and a Sony notebook). I found this site 2 weeks ago while trying to get DOS to recognize a Sony Q120 CD-R/DVD-R drive mounted in a Gallaxy external case. The disk works to write and read to CDs with Ghost 2003 but not yet with DVDs.
I quickly found that none of the packages that reportedly work with CDs, HDs, floppies, and memory sticks would work with any of my systems. Since I only wanted CD support (and hopefully DVD), I finally built a floppy with just 10 files that (so far) is a universal DOS USB boot disk. In the process I learned the following:
There are 3 basic requirements for a USB CD drive to work in DOS.

1. The config.sys file must contain a valid name for the USB CD drive.
USBCD001 works with a Sony Q120 CD-R/DVD-R drive in a Galaxy
external case. UBCD001 is not a file name and it is not on the boot
disk except in other files. However, if an unacceptable drive name
is used, DOS will report "File not found".
MSCD001 is not an acceptable name for the USB drive. It only
works for an internal IDE drive. Using a cute name like "tomato"
might work if you are clever enough to rewrite the device driver.
I do not have the time.
2. Next, the config.sys file must contain the necessary commands and
switches to mount/map the drive. You can see when the drive is mounted/mapped because the firmware name (SONY Q120, not USBCD001) prints on the screen.
3. After the drive is mounted/mapped, MSCDEX, which runs from the
autoexec.bat file, assigns a DOS drive letter to the mounted/mapped
If the drive gets mounted/mapped but no DOS drive letter has been
assigned, GHOST 2003 can still find the drive and write to it.
However, neither GHOST nor DOS will be able to find the files
unless the disk is placed into a fully operational drive
(e.g. internal IDE).

The boot disk started as a Win'98 emergency boot disk (created with EBD on the
Win'98 CD).

The disk must have the following ten files:
drvspace.bin hidden system file
io.sys hidden system file
msdos.sys hidden system file
usbcd.sys 5,509 bytes (may be named usbcd1.sys on sites with multiple versions) usbaspi.sys 39,093 bytes (from version 2.15, may be named usbaspi1.sys)

At boot, DOS first runs the config.sys
My config.sys has the following 20 lines ending with "last drive=z":
menuitem=USB1, Start with USB CD-ROM support. (Pause allows plugging in drive)
menuitem=CD, Start with IDE CD-ROM support. (Files deleted. See REM below.)
device=USBASPI.sys /W
rem device=usbcd.sys /D:mscd001
rem Temporarily unREM the line above if you want to test the effect of using
rem the wrong drive name. Then temporarily REM the the line below.
device=usbcd.sys /D:usbcd001
REM all REMed out because the files were deleted to make room for GHOST
The autoexec.bat file has the following lines 6 lines ending with "mouse6":
LH mscdex.exe /d:usbcd001
SET DIRCMD=/a /og /p
REM mouse6 doesn't work with a USB mouse
(Ghost is rather difficult to use without a mouse)

After the disk worked, I added 4 other optional files:
TED (a very small text editor), DR (dirmagic), and FINDIT are useful DOS
utilities that came on a freeware disk from PC Magazine at least 15
years ago. MOUSE6 is a mouse driver. Note that to open a file with TED,
the full file name and extension must be entered and TED creates a backup
(.bak) file each time a file is edited.
Comment: There was nothing useful on Motto Hairu that I had not already found here.
Good luck. I hope this speeds up the process for someone else.

See More: DOS USB CD boot disk

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May 21, 2006 at 02:47:51
Thanks for the Diatribe, though most of this has been covered already.

You are using Windows XP, this a Standalone DOS Forum, I always use the version of DOS Ghost on a floppy which is more relevent to this forum. You are using WinDOS which is the W95/98 sub-system never standalone.

Symantic Ghost has flaws in USB support, Acronis products based on Linux negate the need to try and get MS/PC-DOS to run Windows Software. Natively PC-DOS which is the basis for Symantec boot Disks did not support FAT32, LFN, LHDD etcetc.

So maybe someone running an NT5 based O/S would be more interested in how you buggered around with WinDOS to GHOST your Windows Install, I personally with FAT12/16 8.3 FN aware PC-DOS7 and a 4GB HDD see no relevence whatsoever......................

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May 22, 2006 at 05:04:32
Here are a few things that I forgot to mention in my original "Diatribe".

When I first started looking for info on a DOS USB boot disk, a Google search found "USB mass storage driver for DOS" (message #15416, posted by madmaxUSB2 on Jan. 17, 2005). That was my first contact with this forum and it was a lot of help. Some of the links there will actually create a FAT 32 DOS USB boot disk. Unfortunately, none of them worked for me.

One of the reasons that they didn't work is that they all use the V (verbose) switch with device=USBASPI.sys. For some reason V always causes a fatal error with my systems. W (wait) works and so does E (extended, to force USB 2.0 only). I use some systems that don't like legacy support (USB 1.x) to be turned on but it hasn't mattered here so I don't use the E switch.

I also forgot to mention that the Sony Q120 drive works with 2 different USB hubs. Apparently connecting through a hub causes problems with some systems.

In response to some of jessejames' comments, my listed OS is "XP Pro,etc". The "etc" includes DOS, UNIX, Linux, Beos, QNX, VMX, etc. The Win98 EBD (paragraph 3) that I used to build the USB boot disk is DOS version 4.10.2222. I copied GHOST.exe to the floppy and it works fine to image 7Gb of XP on a 75Gb partition to CDs. With high compression it takes 3 CDs so any advise on getting it to recognize a DVD would be appreciated.

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May 22, 2006 at 11:13:16
'DOS version 4.10.2222' LoL!

Yeah right, fgs that is Windows version 4.10.2222 aka W98, as already stated that is WinDOS, not Standalone MS-DOS which ended at Version 6.22 Retail.....

If you read all about DOS USB you would of found that most testing was done with MS-DOS6.22.

So right-on not standalone MS-DOS, Windows yet again...............

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Related Solutions

May 24, 2006 at 11:52:16
Hi there,
I would like to create a boot menu DOS. I would like to promt user for select download image from different server.

Anyone has any idea


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May 26, 2006 at 03:25:37
tieuphi: what is the relevence to this posting ????

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