[syslinux] syslinux tool for Win2k and 'safeboot' option

Luis.F.Correia Luis.F.Correia at seg-social.pt
Wed Oct 30 00:30:04 PST 2002

For syslinux to work as you want under Win 2000/XP, you will need to
write a 'kernel' driver for direct access.

Since the USB driver is already a 'kernel' driver, I don't think
you can get away with it.

I have syslinux'ed my CF with plain old dos with my IDE<->compactflash 

But remember, once the CF is syslinux'ed, you can copy and 
replace all content with the USB adapter. 

That's how I do backups now :)

-----Original Message-----
From: Ole Hansen [mailto:ole at danelec.dk] 
Sent: Monday, October 28, 2002 8:08 PM
To: 'syslinux at zytor.com'
Subject: RE: [syslinux] syslinux tool for Win2k and 'safeboot' option

Hello Josef

Thanks for replying.

> Hi,
> Ole Hansen <ole at danelec.dk> schrieb am 25.10.02 23:24:40:
> > 1.
> > We use an IDE<->compactflash-adapter in our target-system. We use a 
> > USB-compact-flash reader/writer(SanDisk/ImageMate) on our
> linux-host to
> > write the flash. It appears in the Linux-system as
> '/dev/sda', and we can
> > use syslinux and mount for copying kernel, syslinux.cfg and our 
> > initial-ramdisk. This works very elegant.
> note that linux uses this device as /dev/sdX, just like any
> other disk drive. 

Yes, but Linux allow you to access any devices according to /dev/xxxx -
permissions Windows NT/2K/XP does not allow that.

> > If we try the same technic on a Win2k-system, the USB-compact-flash 
> > reader/writer appears as a non-permanent-disk and I can
> read/write kernel,
> > syslinux.cfg and our initial-ramdisk as expected, but
> syslinux.com reports
> > an error trying to write to bootsector(most likely a
> permission-problem).
> > In the user-notes for syslinux, it says that this can be
> ignored and that it
> > is likely to work anyway. I have now tried on 3 different
> systems without
> > luck(Win2k/sp2).
> > 
> > Has anybody made a version of syslinux.com that works on
> win2k on flashdisks
> > ??
> Are you sure that W2K treats the 'removable device' it
> reports as a plain
> disk drive, or that the driver of the USB reader interferes 
> with the MBR? 

No, I guess it treats it as a SCSI-harddisk... ??

> Did you try this (just for confirmation) with the IDE-CF
> adaptor attached to the
> W2K machine? This would prevent changing the CF card while 
> W2k is booted,
> though ...

This is same problem. It is the way SysLinux tries to gain access to
'raw'-device that makes the problem. I mean, when other tools like
PartitionMagic can, it should be possible...

> I think there's something wrong with accessing the MBR in the
> CF reader, 
> and so syslinux fails.

No, it gets a permission error. There is a message saying that a program
tried to gain access to the device raw, and the choices: ignore or cancel.
If I choose ignore, it only copies the bootloader on to the flash, but does
not setup a pointer to it !!

best regards

ole at danelec.dk

* danelec electronics a/s
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