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Bootloader that can boot multiple ISOs at startup?

path0s - March 6, 2009 - 1:32pm

I hope this is the proper forum to post this in. Apologies in advance if not!

I've seen an app on a bootable DVD quite a while ago that lets you select from multiple ISOs on the dvd to boot from. I can't for the life of me remember what the DVD was though.

I'd like to be able to do the same thing. Put several .iso files on a bootable usb drive and have a little menu at boot time to pick which iso to boot from. Like a rescue cd, my windows install disc, etc etc..

My only thought is to maybe use LILO or GRUB which I believe can read/boot/mount isos. I'm not sure if I'd have to use a non-windows partition to do it though. I'd rather have something a little simpler if I can find it, like a windows app that can create the files needed and that I can read/write to in windows.

Anyone have any thoughts?
Thanks!


( categories: )

magiciso

is one of those tools, but often when you get some disc from a magazine or so, this is also similar done. There is boot image on the disk, this is mostly done from a floppy image which needs to be edited accordingly. Can be some dos or linux , often it creates straight away a ram disk and and gives you secondary menu to chainload next iso from the DVD.

If you want make it yourself, it depends on what is the initial boot OS. If it is some dos, then you can do it from windows, if it is going to be linux, you will probably want have some native linux environment to do the initial editing of the floppy fake to make the disk bootable.

So if you want do it under win, produce boot floppy with all the bat files etc you need to start your menu. Then use this boot floppy to burn the CD or DVD with suitable burning software able to use external sources of boot records.
Such floppy you can produce under win and to edit all the autoexec and config files, you can use notepad as usual.

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

GRUB4DOS forum

Ed

Aero Studio

BINGO! Thanks a bunch.. Did a little browsing on that site. (who woulda thunk it.. An entire site dedicated to booting?!)

Found a really kick butt app called Aero Studio. It uses grub4dos at its core. It's kind of a frontend to create the config files for it, but it's laid out really well.

Lets you do a graphical vga boot screen, boot from iso's, and anything else grub4dos can do. The key command to use with grub4dos is "ISOEMU".

Anyway, here's the site for it: http://aerostudio.boot-land.net/

Enjoy, and thanks again.
-P

..

There is also the CD-forum ..
http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?act=idx
containing, amongst many other useful topics, the "Mother of USB-bootin XP"
mega-thread; it's about 170 pages !!
Many of the regulars at bootland are also members at the CD-forum.
jaclaz (Jacopo Lazzari), Dietmar Stolting & Uwe Sieber are very
knowledgeable people on the more obscure aspects of booting,
especialy booting from USB/Flash-drives .

grub4dos

Don't bother with iso emu, rather use grub4dos emulation. Read the wiki at http://grub4dos.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page and the guide at http://diddy.boot-land.net/grub4dos/Grub4dos.htm.

grub4dos supports also gfxboot.

If you are intersted in booting XP form USB then look at http://www.usboot.org/.