[syslinux] Windows 2000 boot to ram

Dietmar Stölting dietmar.stoelting at t-online.de
Sat Oct 23 13:40:28 PDT 2004

Hi all,

I found a strange behavior in memdisk:

I build an image of Windows 2000 (Fat32) with geometric of
C=115 H=255 S=63. I testet it as a real harddisk and it works.
I boot it to ram with memdisk initrd=w2000.img from my first harddrive, as
discribed to boot  with syslinux.
It crashs with reboot, the time is to short to recognice the appearing
letters before reboot. (Can I stop the screen?)

Thats nothing new to me, I know this behavior from many USB Sticks.
If I change the geometrie to C=229 H=128 S=63 it stops with NTLDR not found.

But an image with Windows 98 boots to ram  with memdisk as described above.
(I don't know, why the CD Rom and the harddrive only works in 16 Bit mode,

With Norton Diskeditor I was able to examine the whole image w2000.img in
ram !

I found something strange:  Media descriptor in the Bootsector is F0 (for
Floppy Disk?!) but not
F8 for harddisk. I looked at the original image, there stands F8 for the
Media descriptor.

All other bytes in ram are the same as in the original image.

I am not sure what this means, but is there a chance to correct this
behavior in or with memdisk?

Can I stop memdisk after loading the image to ram, correct this byte and
boot then with a Floppy disk ?

Will this Windows 2000 image work, when I boot it from CD with Isolinux and
Memdisk to ram?
 Is there a tutorial how to do this?

(If there is a bug in memdisk in use with harddisk (see above the behavior
with Win 98) this might help?)

I am sure, that it is possible to boot Windows 2000 or XP to ram, not only
with Windows Embedded.
I succeed to boot Windows XP to ram with VMware an Cenatek RamdiskXP, boots
in 5 seconds.

Glad to here from You
Dietmar Stölting

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