[syslinux] Pxelinux/memdisk with XP "MS-DOS" boot disk

H. Peter Anvin hpa at zytor.com
Tue Dec 30 12:27:41 PST 2003

dpetersen55 at new.rr.com wrote:
> I'm trying to use this universal DOS TCP/IP boot disk available here:
> http://members.iinet.net.au/~bdriver/bootdisk/
> It requires an MS-DOS formatted disk created by Windows XP.  It works great as a floppy but doesn't boot at all with memdisk.  The problem can be simplified down to just the XP boot disk.  If you make an MS-DOS startup disk with XP on a floppy, dd the floppy to an image file and try to boot it with pxelinux/memdisk, it hangs.  It just says "Starting..." and won't even respond to ctrl+alt+del.  I've booted lots of PC-DOS, MS-DOS, Linux, and BIOS flash disks with no problems, but this one just won't run. 
> Any ideas how to debug this?

Is there an autoexec.bat/config.sys or the equivalent on the disk?  If 
so it might be possible to hit <f8> (is that right?) and single-step 
loading the drivers one after another.  It's probably HIMEM.SYS or 
EMM386.EXE or whatever the equivalents are that are causing pain.

Either that or it has the FreeDOS bug and assumes "one disk with EBIOS = 
all disks with EBIOS" which is incorrect (and won't work with a 
controller on a card.)


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