Jump to content

A funny thing happened on the road to dual boot


Recommended Posts

Greetings from snowy Oregon!

Hey, I'm working on a dual boot project of a slightly different kind (hackintosh meets XP) but I figured y'all were more than qualified to master my my pesky little question.

The beginning of my road to dual booting the HD of my little sub notebook requires that I update the bios on the sucker.

To do that, I can't boot from the internal HD, so I have an external CD/DVD drive. So far so good, right?

I have two different Windoze cd's that are bootable but as luck would have it, they're both OEM restoration CDs that dive right into an unstoppable "let's nuke the HD and reinstall windows" routine. That's right, both CDs only sing one tune. :whistle:

This is going to sound very clueless :blushing: to all you veteran and budding admins out there but I just need a simble bootable CD or DVD that gets me to the desktop so I can run this bios update. Can someone point me to one, please?

I can't believe the hours I've spent looking for a downloadable image of such a beast or trying different recipes for how to make one. It's just silly how many hours I've wasted but it seems I'm always missing some pesky little ingredient. Some obscure DLL that someone's script can't locate, some special revision of a specific disc burning app, an non OEM installer CD, etc, etc.. :wacko:

I found this forum via nLite as I had read it's description a bit too fast and though it would let me make a stripped down my installer CD and remove the autorun that goes straight to the installer but alas, nLite actually serves a slightly different purpose. Definitely a cool one but not what I need. Apologies, I digress.

I'm sure there's a downloadable image site that's of some obvious name like www.doodWhatYouNeedIsRightInFrontOfYourFace.com but alas it has eluded me. Save me before my head banging against the wall becomes a fatal injury.

HUGE thanks to all, :thumbup


Edited by jkviper
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure there's a downloadable image site that's of some obvious name like www.doodWhatYouNeedIsRightInFrontOfYourFace.com but alas it has eluded me.

The good news are that you were accurate enough in your search, such a site does not exist.

The bad news are that if it would exist it would be probably illegal and we could give you a link to it but would have to kill you afterwards. :whistling:

Save me before my head banging against the wall becomes a fatal injury.

Sure, we'll do our best, cruelty on walls :w00t: is a misknown but really preoccupying trend, we like our walls healthy...;)

Usually flashing BIOS is better done from pure DOS, and there are DOS images for this aim available.

Post exact brand/model of your notebook, someone may be able to give you appropriate instructions/advice.

Most probably the CD you have is a recovery CD of some kind.

Usually - but not always - you can re-create a seemingly "standard" CD from the recovery CD+ (possibly) files on your HD + a ServicePack.

You won't like the procedure, as it is lengty and boring, but it will keep you from banging your head on that poor wall. ;)

See this and links therein:


For experimenting ONLY, you could also try using the EVALUATION release of Server 2003 (should have 180 days trial time):



Link to comment
Share on other sites

As expected, to update the BIOS, a DOS is needed:


PDF with basic instructions here:


The downloadable file:


is NOT a bootable diskette, it contains just the file to be added to to it.

Download a "clean" floppy disk image from here:


if you have a USB floppy you can use the "Driver Free Disk For BIOS Flashing" or, if you only have a CD-ROM drive you will need to use the slightly more complex procedure:

"Need To Flash Your BIOS On A PC With No 1.44"


If you have any doubt about the procedure, ASK BEFORE doing anything that you (or your wall ;)) might later regret.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will ask indeed, jaclaz. U da' man. Uh, I presume you're a man anyway. Am I sexist or what??!

Gee. Time for some deep self reflection on such matters. Then I will attack the cd creation process.

I don't have a floppy drive so I'll need to go with the flashcd.txt method. Thanks for including both methods.

I did already have the updater downloaded from MSI though.

HUGE thanks!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jaclaz,

Welp, I finally had the chance to play with this tonight.

I followed the instructions for the flash cd image from bootdisk.com as you so kindly referred me to.

Getting all the ingredients and making the CD was a breeze but alas, once I got booted from it, there was an error.

Device Driver not found, "TOMATO"

No valid CDROM device drivers selected.

Per the prompt, I strike any key and attempt to switch to the r: where it says my additional files would reside and it says, "Invalid Drive Specified".

I know I followed the instructions correctly because I do not get this error when using this CD to boot a different 'puter and am able to switch to the R: drive. All the files I'd expect to be there are present.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is possible that the particular CD drive needs a different driver. :(

However, no problem :) , you can use a different approach. ;)

Get this app:



and install it (read instructions)

Start it creating a Virtual Floppy A:.

Download the "Driver Free Disk For BIOS Flashing" from bootdisk.com

Double click on the downloaded file and expand the disk on A:

Copy to A: the BIOS flashing files from MSI.

Save the image.

Use the image with your prefered CD burning tool as Floppy emulation image and make a bootable CD.

This way all files are within the floppy emulation image and no drivers are needed to access them (everything will be on A: when the CD is booted).


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiya! Me again.

That's a pretty slick tool but the format it saves it's images in appears to be a mysterey. I get this generic icon when it saves the image and when I use ImgBurn to attempt to open it, it says it, "Invalid or unsupported Image File Format!"

At the Save dialogue within VFD, it doesn't exactly give you the means to pick a file format. There's a page for associateions but that's about it. You mentioned using the burning software of my preference but apparently ImgBurn (freebie) won't cut it. May I ask what you use and/or if you know of anything I can grab for free someplace?

Yep, I'm being cheap but this is one small stepping stone to a larger project so I am indeed pinching pennies this early in the game.

HUGE thanks!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the image you create is NOT a .ISO image.

It is a floppy image (a common extension used for these images is .IMA).

So you DO NOT "burn" the image.

You create a NEW disk using the whatever.IMA as El-Torito Floppy Emulation image.

In Imgburn you choose Create Image file from files folders, some tutorial is here:


Build mode:


(please note that the example in the last link is about a No-Emulation boot image, NOT for a Floppy Emulation one, which is the one you need to build)

You want to make a bootable disk, using the floppy image as Floppy emulation.

If you check the checkbox "Make Image Bootable", then choose "Emulation type"-> Floppy 1.44 Mb Floppy Image and supply the path to the .IMA image leaving the defaults as they are you should be all set.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Jaclaz. That makes a ton of sense now that I ponder it.

Dang! You're quick at finding threads on other sites. Thanks for all you do!

One other thing I find disconcerting is that after I run the thingy I downloaded from bootdisk.com, then check the virtualy floppy drive I've opened, don't see any files. Is that to be expected? Are what it places on the image invisible files or have I messed up somehow?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

hey Viper, are you the one that got all 3 of my modded EEE's? Your not too far from me, I already burned off a boot disk with the updated bios and verified its bootable. Contact me if you want it.

here is what I did:

grab a windows 98 boot image (I use this one)

Use nero to make a bootable cd, chose "image file" and select the image you just downloaded.

Select floppy emulation

add in the bios files

burn until crispy:)

Edited by gospeed
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all!

Some partial success to report! I made a bootable disk that works on my Dell laptop here but the sub notebook that truly needs the BIOS update is over at a friend's house just now. I should be able to try out the disk I just made later tonight.

Will report back on how it went.

Thanks to all!


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Got a working boot disk and the BIOS update has been successfully completed.

Good, so now you are at Step 0. ;)

Thank you for your patient guidance, jaclaz. You finally did it!

HUGE thanks!


Well, YOU did it, I just hinted you the directions to take, even small things can help in preventing wall injuries :whistle:.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...