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Help me figure out how to best boot from a USB flash drive

post #1 of 12
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Here is what I want to do. I want to put all of my bootable little programs like Seagate's Seatools (a HDD checker) and Memtest on a USB flash drive. And be able to keep them all on it, while also being able to boot into any of them any time I want. Many people do this. However I have two questions about doing it.


1. If you have multiple programs on 1 flash drive, how does the computer know which one you want to run? Do you get to select which one to boot into, when it's booting up? Like it shows them all in a list or something, then you just move the arrow down, till you get to the one you want, then hit "Enter"?

2. I take it that if you want to boot from a USB flash drive, you change the first item in the boot order to "Removable", correct?
Edited by Bennylava - 11/3/09 at 7:34pm
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post #2 of 12
I have a guide:

http://www.overclock.net/intel-mothe...herboards.html


Once the drive is bootable, just put whatever DOS utilities you want.

if you want to run a program, just type the .exe file at the prompt. For example, I have memtest 400 on my bootable usb. So after booting to the USB, I type: "mt400" and the program runs.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


*Disclaimer 1: Bios flashing is always a risky procedure. So please do so at your own risk. But I will add that DOS flashing is much less risky then windows flashing!

*Disclaimer 2: This tutorial can be for AMD and Intel. You will also notice that the tutorial includes video cards as well. But this is the section a Mod recomended that I post it in for now. I hope once it is complete that it gets moved to a more central location!

This is a planned project I have wanted to do for a while. I am working on a USB bootable bios flashing tutorial to help the community. It is still a work in process, but I have a big portion of it done (consider it a rough draft).

My goal with this thread is to pool OCN's resources and knowledge so we can create an exhaustive tutorial for bios flashing usinf a USB Bootable drive. What we need to get this tutorial completed is to get as much input from everyone on different motherboard manufacturers as possible. So if you have figured out how to bios flash a motherboard from a specific manufactuer, or even a specific motherboard, please list it. I only ask that it be done using a bootable USB.



Directions on how to make a bootable USB with the following 3 bios flashes:

1. Motherboard bios

2. NVIDIA bios

3. ATI Bios



Start off by making the USB bootable.

*Creating a Bootabe USB*
Quote:
1. Make a USB bootable drive using this creator:
USB Boot drive (HPUSBFW)

2. Then download the boot files and extract them to a folder of your choice

3. Run the HPUSBFW program.



Select the correct USB device from the drop-down menu, set file system to FAT32 and check Create a DOS startup disk.

4. Then browse for the extracted boot files (now in the folder of your choice) and press start to begin formating it.

Motherboards
Quote:
*Note* It is highly recommended that you first go into bios to load default bios options. Then set the ram voltage to manufacturer specs (You dont want an unstable system when flashing bios).

ASUS:

1. Download the new bios from ASUS ftp site or ASUS ftp site (2 different sites). Then rename it to newbios.rom and save it to the USB drive

2. Download and save the AFUDOS flash utility to the USB.

3. Insert the USB drive into the USB port. Then, while the PC is booting up, press F8 to enter the boot option. Select the USB drive.

4. At the C: type afudos /inewbios.rom /pbnc /n

5. The bios will then begin flashing. Dont do anything until the bios is finished flashing and you are instructed to reboot.

6. Finally, shut down and CLR CMOS.


Gigabyte:

1. Simply copy the bios file to the USB Drive.

2. At bootup press F9 to run Qflash. The bios will aotomatically flash from the USB drive.

or if your board does not have Qflash, or it isnt working, continue with the following:

2. Go into bios (with USB drive inserted) and make it the first bootable drive, then reboot.

3. On posting, the bios will automatically be updated from the USB drive.

Others

I am hoping that over time with user input, other manufacturers can be added
....
...
..
.
*For NVIDIA Bios*
Quote:
1. Download nvFlash v5.67 and put it on the USB drive.

2. Get the bios you want to flash (call it something easy like newbios.rom).

3. Reboot and select the USB to boot from.

4. From there use the appropriate command to flash:

nvFlash v5.xx Commands...
nvflash -b backup.rom (Backup Original BIOS)
nvflash -5 -6 newbios.rom (Normal BIOS Flashing)
nvflash -4 -5 -6 newbios.rom (Forced BIOS Flashing)

*For ATI bios*
Quote:
1. Download ATI Flash tool (Dos) on the USB drive.

2. Get the bios you want to flash (call it something easy like newbios.rom).

3. Reboot and select the USB to boot from.

4. From there use the appropriate command to flash:

ATI Flash commands...
atiflash -s backup.rom (Backup Original Bios)
atiflash -p -f 0 newbios.rom (Forced Bios Flashing)

for the second card in crossfire plugged into the 2nd PCI-E slot use the following:
atiflash -p -f 1 newbios.rom




*References*
Quote:
mvktech.net For video card bios

XtremeSystems.org For bootable USB

Edited by ericeod - 11/3/09 at 7:35pm
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericeod View Post
Once the drive is bootable, just put whatever DOS utilities you want. If you want to run a program, just type the .exe file at the prompt. For example, I have memtest 400 on my bootable usb. So after booting to the USB, I type: "mt400" and the program runs.
So you have to have the .exe command memorized? (like mt400, for example)? There is no way to go through any kind of list?
Edited by Bennylava - 11/3/09 at 7:48pm
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post #4 of 12
To run any command in DOS, you have to know what the command is. I know you can run autoexec.bat for DOS based programs and see what options are available, but i dont know about making your own. I'm sure you can make one.
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm afraid that I am not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean that if I made such a "autoexec.bat", that I could see a list of the commands that would open the various programs?

Also, on an unrelated topic. Do you know if there is a list of cool or helpful Bootable programs somewhere? Ones like Seatools and Memtest. I think it's fun using those little bootable discs and I would like to have a lot more of the apps that you can run. What exactly do they call those? Just DOS programs?
Edited by Bennylava - 11/4/09 at 7:39pm
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post #6 of 12
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Also, do ALL of the files that you want to be able to boot with (for example memtest, and seagate seatools) have to be added at the time the bootable drive is created? What if I want to add more later on? Do I have to go through the whole process all over again? Or can I just click and drag them into the USB flash drive? You know, like you could if it were a regular old NTFS flash drive.

Also, which memtest do I download? I downloaded the USB key one, and when I use your HP program to try to add the programs to the USB drive, I get the message in the pic below.

http://www.memtest.org/#downiso
Edited by Bennylava - 11/10/09 at 6:24pm
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post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennylava View Post
Also, do ALL of the files that you want to be able to boot with (for example memtest, and seagate seatools) have to be added at the time the bootable drive is created? What if I want to add more later on? Do I have to go through the whole process all over again? Or can I just click and drag them into the USB flash drive? You know, like you could if it were a regular old NTFS flash drive.
The boot files you add to the USB drive to make it bootable do just that, they load DOS onto the drive so that you can boot to the c prompt. All you have to do is copy the exe files onto the USB drive whenever you want. Then just reboot the PC, boot to DOS, then type the .exe command.

For example, if you wanted to, just copy the memtest exe file (mt400.exe is the file) to the USB drive. When you boot off of it, just type mt400 and memtest will launch.
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post #8 of 12
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Here is the pic. Also if you use the link to download the other thing (in your guide) it's missing some files so you might want to look into that.
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennylava View Post
Here is the pic. Also if you use the link to download the other thing (in your guide) it's missing some files so you might want to look into that.
You have to unzip the folder with the dos files. I just checked and they are there...
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post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericeod View Post
The boot files you add to the USB drive to make it bootable do just that, they load DOS onto the drive so that you can boot to the c prompt. All you have to do is copy the exe files onto the USB drive whenever you want. Then just reboot the PC, boot to DOS, then type the .exe command.
Ok cool. I understand that part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericeod View Post
For example, if you wanted to, just copy the memtest exe file (mt400.exe is the file) to the USB drive. When you boot off of it, just type mt400 and memtest will launch.
So are you saying that I really do not have to format the USB flash drive to a DOS drive? By using the little program, I mean. I can just click and drag the DOS programs into the drive's root directory? Cause as you can see from the pic, I am having some trouble getting the little hp program to realize that there are actually some DOS files in the folder that I specified.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ericeod View Post
You have to unzip the folder with the dos files. I just checked and they are there...
I extracted with winrar... I will try it again and post a pic of my results.
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