Saturday, 20 February 2016

Improved Plop! Boot ISO

The Plop! boot ISO allows you to boot from a CD and then boot from a USB drive. This is useful if the BIOS does not support USB booting or has buggy USB-boot support (e.g. if the BIOS tries to boot from the USB drive as a USB-Floppy or USB-ZIP drive).

The problem with Plop! is that it uses a USB 2.0 driver that is read-only. Because E2B requires the BIOS to be able to both read and write to the USB drive, Plop! can only be used to boot to E2B if you run the UTILITIES - Install fast grub4dos USB 2.0 driver menu option to load the grub4dos USB driver.

The USB_BOOT.ISO file can be used to burn a CD that will first try booting to USB via the grub4dos USB 2.0 rd/wr driver and, if unsuccessful, then try the Plop! USB driver.

The menu has a 10 second timeout, and so will auto-boot from a USB drive (in a USB 2.0 port) using grub4dos (and then Plop! if that doesn't work). No user key-press is required, which may be useful if your keyboard is not working or is not connected due to a lack of spare USB ports.

The USB_BOOT.ISO file is available from the Alternate Downloads areas used by E2B and can be used instead of your usual Plop! CD.

Making a grub4dos-bootable ISO

I made this ISO using the standard features in RMPrepUSB,..

1. First I created a bootable USB drive using RMPrepUSB and installed grub4dos to it.

2. Next, I added the files I needed (e.g. plopbt.bin) and added a \menu.lst file (F4 in RMPrepUSB loads the \menu.lst file).

3. I tested the menu using QEMU in RMPrepUSB (F11)

4. I then created an ISO using the RMPrepUSB - File - Make grub4dos ISO from Drive menu option.

5. I then tested that the ISO was bootable using the File - Boot from ISO file using QEMU Emulator (Ctrl+F11) function.

6. Finally, I burned the ISO to a CD and tested it on a real system.