I have a set of 4 Dell Diagnostics floppies for my 10-year-old Inspiron 7500 laptop. The first floppy is bootable, and the diagnostics program is spread out on these 4 floppies. To run the Diagnostics, all 4 floppies have to be completely read in, only then can the hardware diagnostics be started. The boot floppy of the 4 floppies boots into Windows 95. [Version 4.00.950]
Because reading in 4 floppies is so time-consuming, the diagnostic floppies were hardly ever used. I have now repackaged/converted successfully these 4 floppies into both a bootable CD and a bootable DVD. The Dell Diagnostics now boot and load in about 40 seconds.
Creating a bootable CD/DVD from a single bootable floppy can be done quite easily with Nero Burning ROM. But creating a bootable CD from a set of floppies, one of of them being bootable, is a little more involved. Below are my notes on how I tackled this task, maybe these notes helps others facing a similar task, and there may be other better approaches. Of interest may be also the DOS DVD driver by Panasonic, which can be set to generic with the /C35 switch.
Here my notes on how to create a bootable CD from a set of floppies (i.e. from several floppies, 1 bootable floppy plus 1 or more other floppies).
1) create a folder "Application"
-> copy into this folder "Application" all the files and folders on the set of floppies ("Replace existing files?" -> No)
-> delete in the folder "Application" the boot files: command.com, io.sys and msdos.sys
2) create a folder "Startup_files"
if autoexec.bat or config.sys exist in folder "Application": -> copy these 2 files to folder "Startup_files"
-> edit in the folder "Startup_files" an existing autoexec.bat file (or add a new autoexec.bat file):
a) to create a bootable CD:
-> insert the following 2 lines before the application is called in autoexec.bat (e.g. before the line "delldiag.exe"):
A:\MSCDEX.EXE /D:oemcd001 /L:Y
-> edit in the folder "Startup_files" an existing config.sys file (or add a new config.sys file):
-> add the following line at the end of config.sys: device=A:\oakcdrom.sys /D:oemcd001
-> copy the 2 files Oakcdrom.sys and Mscdex.exe into the folder "Startup_files"
b ) to create a bootable DVD:
-> insert in autoexec.bat in the folder "Startup_files" the following 2 lines before the application is called (e.g. before the line "delldiag.exe"):
A:\MSCDEX.EXE /D:MSCD000 /L:Y
-> edit in the folder "Startup_files" an existing config.sys file (or create a new config.sys file):
-> add the following 2 lines at the end of config.sys:
DEVICE=A:\SR_ASPI.SYS /D:MSCD000 /C35
-> copy the 3 files ATAPIMGR.SYS, SR_ASPI.SYS and Mscdex.exe into the folder "Startup_files"
NOTE: I found the 2 files oakcdrom.sys and MSCDEX.EXE on other old bootable floppies
The possibly generic DOS DVD driver is by Panasonic and can be downloaded from: http://members.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php?driverid=42982 (log in/sign up first for a free account)
This DOS DVD driver is ancient (1997-1998), but works fine on my Mats***a UJ-815A (DVD-RAM burner) and older Samsung CDRW-DVD SN-324F in my 10-year-old Inspiron 7500 laptop
The switch "/C35" means "no check of vendor name"
NOTE: the application (e.g. delldiag.exe) will run from drive letter Y:, while the boot files are on A: (= the CD boot drive); the floppy drive has the drive letter B:
3) in the folder "Application": -> delete autoexec.bat and config.sys
4) run WinImage (e.g. v8.10.8100 under Win98) to create a bootable floppy disk image (e.g. "CD_boot_code.ima" or "DVD_boot_code.ima" )
from the bootable floppy disk (=floppy disk 1) plus autoexec.bat and config.sys, but not the application:
-> run WinImage:
-> insert bootable floppy disk #1 in floppy drive
-> Disk -> Read disk
in the image file window:
-> delete all files in the image except for the boot files command.com, io.sys and msdos.sys
NOTE: also delete autoexec.bat and config.sys in the image file window, their modified versions will be injected in the next step
NOTE: do NOT change the Label displayed by WinImage
-> drag and drop ("inject") all files from the folder "Startup_files" into the image file window
(autoexec.bat, config.sys, oakcdrom.sys [or ATAPIMGR.SYS and SR_ASPI.SYS], MSCDEX.EXE)
create a .ima image file of the floppy disk (i.e. without the files and directories of the application):
-> File -> Save As
-> change file type from .imz to .ima
-> enter file name (e.g. CD_boot_code.ima or DVD_boot_code.ima)
NOTE: this file CD_boot_code.ima or DVD_boot_code.ima has the size 1440 kB
-> exit WinImage
5) create with Nero Burning ROM the bootable CD/DVD:
-> insert blank CD or DVD
run Nero Burning ROM (e.g. v188.8.131.52 under Win98), in window New Compilation, in selector on the left:
-> select CD (or DVD) at the top
-> select CD-ROM (Boot) (or DVD-ROM (Boot)) (scroll down in selector at left, in the area with the icons)
a new tab Boot appears in window New Compilation, in tab Boot:
-> select Image file
-> enter path to the image file "CD_boot_code.ima" or "DVD_boot_code.ima" -> Browse -> Open
-> click on New button on left
-> drag and drop all files from folder "Application" to the burn window in Nero
-> change the CD/DVD label on left, e.g. to "DellDiag_1035"
-> Recorder -> Burn Compilation
in window Burn Compilation:
-> select Finalize CD/DVD
-> select lowest Write speed
-> select Buffer underrun protection [appears only when burning CD]
-> click on button Burn on right
This approach could possibly be also used to create a bootable rescue CD (=DOS version) from the 2 PartitionMagic v8.01.1312 rescue floppies.