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Recent News
Make a bootable USB installer for W...
How to: Windows 7 Recovery Disk/Boo...
EasyBCD 1.7.2: Dual-Boot Windows 7 ...
Windows Vista ReadyBoost Compatibil...
Make a bootable USB installer for Windows 7, Vista or XP with WinToFlash
Making a bootable USB flash drive for Windows Vista and Windows 7 isn't all that tricky, but it's always nice to find an app that simplifies things. Not only does WinToFlash make the process about as easy as it can get, but it can also create Windows XP, Server 2003, and Server 2008 installers.

The default options make it easy to roll a silent Windows install, or you can flip the custom switch and specify the exact setup parameters you want to use.

The handy app also has one more trick up its sleeve: moving Windows Preinstall environments. PE discs can be extremely handy for troubleshooting and repairs, and being able to painlessly zap them over to a USB flash drive means not having to burn a new copy every time someone's haggard old optical drive decides to chew up your CD.

WinToFlash is a free download and is totally portable. It's an excellent tool to add to your USB-related utilities.

Download: WinToFlash

How to: Windows 7 Recovery Disk/Bootdisk
What if your Windows 7 becomes corrupt and fails to boot? Most laptops and PCs today come with Windows pre-installed and the manufacturers sometimes don’t include Windows installation disc.

This is where Recovery Disk come into play. It is recommended that users create a recovery disk as soon as possible and keep it in a safe location. In case your Windows 7 fails to boot, the recovery disk can help fix the problem.

To create a recovery disk in Windows 7, go through the following steps:

Click Start Orb and go to Control Panel. Here, select Back up your computer under the System and Security option.

From the left sidebar, select Create a system repair disk. Finally select your CD-R/RW or DVD-R/RW drive from the new dialog window and hit Create Disc.

It will start creating a disc instantly. Once complete, hit OK, label it, and save the disk in a safe location.

The total file size of the recovery disk is 164MB which means you can burn it to a CD instead of DVD.

In case you forgot to create a recovery disk and your Windows 7 fails to boot, you can ask your friend or co-worker to create you one. If all else fails, below you will find the ISO image I have created, you can download and burn the ISO image directly to a CD or DVD.

EasyBCD 1.7.2: Dual-Boot Windows 7 and Anything!
EasyBCD is NeoSmart Technologies' multiple award-winning answer to tweaking the new Windows Vista bootloader. With EasyBCD, almost anything is possible. Setting up and configuring Windows boot entries is simple, and there is no easier way to quickly boot right into Linux, Mac OS X, or BSD straight from the Windows Vista bootloader - on the fly, no expert knowledge needed!

EasyBCD is geared for users of all kinds. Whether you just want to add an entry to your old XP partition or want to create a duplicate for testing purposes; if you're interested in debugging the Windows Kernel or septuple-booting your seven test operating systems, EasyBCD is the key.

EasyBCD is used and recommended by Microsoft, PC-World, PC-Magazine, Softpedia, PC-Welt, and dozens more! In the words of Harry McCracken (VP & Editor-in-Chief of PC World): "[EasyBCD] impressed the editors with its functionality and usability. These are some of the most well-crafted services available - congratulations to EasyBCD!" Don't get left out – download it today, it's free!!

Automated MBR and BCD backups, boot sector restore kits, support for a dozen+ operating systems, detailed configuration of all boot entries, and award-winning guaranteed technical support is what makes EasyBCD stand out - all for free!

Article: EasyBCD 1.72 Vista bootloader

UBCD4Win is a bootable CD which contains software that allows you to repair, restore, or diagnose almost any computer problem. Our goal is to be the ultimate free hardware and software diagnostic tool. All software included in UBCD4Win are freeware utilities for Windows®. UBCD4Win is based on Bart's PE©. Bart's PE© builds a Windows® "pre-install" environment CD, basically Windows® booted from CD. We include many free hardware and software diagnostic tools that allow you to fix almost any problem you will face with your computer. With network support, the ability to modify NTFS volumes, recover deleted files, create new NTFS volumes, scan hard drives for viruses, etc. this project includes almost everything you need to repair your system problems. This project has been put together to be the ultimate recovery cd and not a replacement OS (Operating System).

Download: Windows Ultimate Boot CD Download

Windows Vista ReadyBoost Compatibility List
ReadyBoost is a new feature of Windows Vista which uses flash memory on a USB drive to boost system performance. It uses the USB drive as a hard disk cache and/or virtual memory store to speed up file access and increase the apparent RAM available.

By placing many small files on the USB drive, Windows can randomly access these files much more quickly than is normally possible from a hard disk.

The key point is that the USB drive must have very fast seek times. Many USB flash memory devices, even those with high data transfer rates, don’t have sufficiently fast seek times to make them useful for ReadyBoost. Unfortunately, manufacturers don’t normally publish random seek times for flash memory like they do for hard disks.

Link: Windows Vista ReadyBoost Compatibility List

Ultimate Boot CD v4.1
You need the Ultimate Boot CD if you want to:

Run floppy-based diagnostic tools from CDROM drives. More and more PCs are shipped without floppy drives these days, and it is such a royal pain when you need to run diagnostic tools on them.

Free yourself from the slow loading speed of the floppy drive. Even if you do have a floppy drive, it is still much much faster to run your diagnostic tools from the CDROM drive, rather than wait for the tool to load from the floppy drive.

Consolidate as many diagnostic tools as possible into one bootable CD. Wouldn't you like to avoid digging into the dusty box to look for the right floppy disk, but simply run them all from a single CD? Then the Ultimate Boot CD is for you!

Download: Ultimate Boot CD Download

...Read More |

Windows Sysinternals
Sysinternals website now officially points to Microsoft and the company has rebranded sysinternals to "Windows Sysinternals".

The Sysinternals web site was created in 1996 by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell to host their advanced system utilities and technical information and Microsoft acquired Sysinternals in July, 2006. Whether you’re an IT Pro or a developer, you’ll find Sysinternals utilities to help you manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications including several Boot utililities.

Featured Resources are File and Disk Utilities, Networking, Processes & Threads, Security Utilities and System Information Application.

Article: Windows Sysinternals

Windows Vista Boot Configuration Data (BCD) Overview
When you start your computer, the first code that executes is the BIOS. The BIOS reads the master boot record (MBR) from the boot device and transfers control to the boot code stored in the MBR. (The Windows setup program writes the MBR to the first sector on the hard disk during installation.)

The boot manager reads the boot entries from the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store so they are available to the loader and displays a boot menu to the user. The boot environment provides a native application programming interface for primitive graphics and other system support. Boot applications are pieces of code that are located on a boot device and run in the boot environment.

Article: Boot Configuration Data (BCD)

Windows Vista introduces a new boot loader architecture; a new firmware-independent boot configuration and storage system called Boot Configuration Data (BCD); and a new boot option editing tool, BCDEdit (BCDEdit.exe).

Article: Boot Options in Windows Vista

FreeDOS v1.0
FreeDOS is a free DOS-compatible operating system for IBM-PC compatible systems. FreeDOS is made of up many different, separate programs that act as "packages" to the overall FreeDOS Project.

To support an embedded DOS system, such as a computerized cash register or till
You can run FreeDOS on pretty much anything. While can run FreeDOS on a dedicated PC, now it's most often run inside a PC emulator. You can find PC emulators for all computer platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac.) If you are new to DOS, we recommend you use an emulator to install and boot FreeDOS.

Download: FreeDOS v1.0

DOS USB Drivers
There are several ways folks are getting their USB CDroms, Hard Drives, and other drives to work in DOS. One is using what's known as DUSE driver system. The second method is using what looks somewhat like standard CDrom driver files and a USB driver. Both methods appear to require loading an usbaspiX.sys file first in config.sys in most cases. The third method is a bootdisk from a USB vendor. Method 4 is getting good reviews also.

Guide: DOS USB Drivers

USB Memory Drive Projects
The USB memory key appears well on its way to replacing the floppy drive completely; as flash memory prices have dropped, these devices have become cheap enough that anyone can afford them. This, coupled with the easy support of such drives in Windows XP, has made them an extremely attractive device for anyone that needs to move files from place to place. USB memory drives are not just geek toys anymore!

As you will see here though, there's a lot more you can do with your USB memory key than just transfer files. These flexible miniature storage devices can put a whole range of portable applications, and even operating systems in your pocket.

View: USB Memory Drive Projects

Dos USB Drivers Ressource incl. Download
Having an external USB Stick, cd-writer or hard disk works wonders as long as your operating system is in good shape. But if someday the system stops booting, you are lost. Booting from good old MS-DOS or Windows boot diskettes - even fitted with the needed third party NTFSDOS or EXTFS drivers - gives you access to your fixed hard disk only, but none of the USB peripherals can be accessed from the DOS command line.

A great article Ressource with different ways of using DOS USB Drivers including Downloads and Informations.


USB Support in DOS

Boot Options in Windows Vista, new architecture
Windows Vista introduces a new boot loader architecture; a new firmware-independent boot configuration and storage system called Boot Configuration Data (BCD); and a new boot option editing tool, BCDEdit (BCDEdit.exe).

Boot Loading Architecture in Windows Vista
Windows Vista includes new boot loader components that are designed to load Windows quicker and more securely. The traditional Windows NT boot loader, ntldr, is replaced by two components:

Windows Boot Manager (Bootmgr.exe)
System-specific boot loaders

In this configuration, the Windows Boot Manager is generic and unaware of the specific requirements for each operating system while the system-specific boot loaders are optimized for the system that they load.

When a computer with multiple boot entries includes at least one entry for Windows Vista, the Windows Boot Manager, which resides in the root directory, starts the system and interacts with the user. It displays the boot menu, loads the selected system-specific boot loader, and passes the boot parameters to the boot loader.

The boot loaders reside in the root directory of each Windows partition. Once selected, the boot loaders take over the boot process and load the operating system in accordance with the selected boot parameters.

Article: Boot Options in Windows Vista

Windows Unattended CD Creator
The program was tested meanwhile with German Windows 2000/2003/XP Home/Pro and English Windows XP pro x64 edition.

Creation of a bootable ISO image, Integration of service packs, Creation of user accounts

Integration of:
Drivers, Hotfixes, Patches, Software

Installed .Net Framework 1.1, Windows 2000/XP/XP 64/2003 CD (as source), A Program, which is able to burn a iso image on CD/DVD and CD and/or DVD burner
This tool is freeware

Article: Windows Unattended CD Creator

With this BootDiskToBootStick Utility you can easily make your USB-Stick bootable.
The Sources are Bootdisk Images, can be Linux, Windows etc. .Net Framework v2.0 needs to be installed.

Article: BootDisktoBootStick


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