[syslinux] Boot Sector Booting

Githlar githlar at gmail.com
Sat Nov 24 09:43:44 PST 2007

Apparently there's a semi-new feature in SYSLINUX that will allow you to,
from what I've heard, boot DOS. I've got a portable USB flash drive and I've
managed to make it multi-boot with disk images, but that takes quite a bit
of memory. I think bootsector booting is the best way to go, but I have no
idea how to do it.

Tell me if I've got this right:
So, I want to get a flash drive to boot into DOS using SYSLINUX.
1. I use qemu/virtualization to make a virtual drive and install DOS
2. Rip out the bootsector out using dd
3. Copy the bootsector.bss to my flash drive (I already have SYSLINUX
working on it).
4. Add something like this to the syslinux.cfg:

label dos
  bss bootsector.bss
  append -

I think I've got that so far. But after that I'm not sure. Do I then copy
all the system files from the virtual disk to my flash drive? If so, what if
I want them to be in a subdirectory? If somebody could explain how
bootsector booting works, I'd very much appreciate it. I'm having a little
trouble wrapping my head around it.


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