Playing with BartPE and USB flash drive

Posted by: TCPMeta

Playing with BartPE and USB flash drive - 02/09/10 11:00 AM

For a few years now I have been playing with BartPE. Used it to repair systems and even as a host os for a embedded system.

Anyway since I have been repairing more PCs lately and most people are on the netbook bandwagon I decided to create a bootable USB flash drive that holds BartPE (Custom Windows PE). Even though the PeBuilder comes with software to make the flash drive "bootable" it doesn't really work. It installs the files but doesn't add a MBR correctly and you end up with the "No Operating System Found". Since I have Linux on my laptop with the Grub bootloader I was able to fix the MBR with in Grub's command prompt.

I just had to find what device ID the flash drive was and the rest was easy.

root (hd1,0)
makeactive
chainloader --force +1
boot

After issuing those commands I ran into a new error "NTDECT failed to load". I was about to give up and rebooted the system. I forgot to remove the Flash drive when I rebooted, the system automaticlly booted to the flash drive and it worked.

Now all what is left is to add in some common ethernet drivers and software to make this little project complete.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: Playing with BartPE and USB flash drive - 02/09/10 07:06 PM

BartPE live CD's are handy. They have made a few non-bootable drives I've run across bootable enough to recover data, and cleaned up others quite well.

Never tried the USB stick. It would be handier but I was wondering if it was as reliable as the CD's for the different kinds of systems they can boot?

Are USB boot sticks faster or just more convenient? Both?
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Playing with BartPE and USB flash drive - 02/17/10 08:37 AM

The difference is really is the jump drive is faster but requires more system memory but we are talking about XP here and with it slimmed down you would need at lest 256MB to 512MB of RAM for the ram drive.

With say a 1GB jump drive and a fully loaded PE environment taking about 512MBs you can backup drivers and a few small files to the same jump drive with out having to connect more hardware to the system and pray that PE notices it.

Oh, there is also another way to repair the MBR on the jump drive with just using windows. I always include the recovery console on my installs but you can also boot from the XP CD to access it. Run fixboot then fixmbr to the selected jumpdrive ether D:, E:, F: or what ever is the assigned letter. I think the resource kit tools also has the same tools. I know it has diskpart.