by October 11, 2003 0 comments



If you are a system administrator, then you probably have a whole bunch of CDs of all the operating systems installed on your network. So you’d be hunting for the right CD every time you have to install an OS on any machine. This can be difficult and time consuming. The way out is to put all your operating systems on a single DVD. These DVDs can also be made to support multi-booting. So whenever you insert the DVD into a drive and reboot the machine, it will list all the operating systems it has so that you can choose the one you want to install. Here’s the way you can do it.

First you need a boot loader for the DVD, which supports multi-booting. There are many ways to burn a multi-boot
DVD.

The easiest is to use a software called Easy boot 4.1, which is a shareware utility. It even lets you create colorful boot menus with background pictures. It is easy to use and creates an ISO image as the output file, which can then be used to burn a DVD using Nero. You can download the tool from
http://www.ezbsystems.com/enindex.html.

After the utility is installed, it creates an EasyBoot shortcut on your desktop. Double click it to open a preview menu window and the Easy boot window. From the Easy Boot window, you can change the menu layout and boot menu settings. Click on the Menu tab to set the text for each menu and the command for each to load its corresponding boot image. This command will be executed when the menu is selected. In multi-booting, the boot loader calls the selected boot sector, which will be present in an .img or .bin file. The boot sector, then further searches for the OS kernel and loads it.

After configuring the menus, you need to dump installers for all the operating systems to C:\EasyBoot\Disk1 folder. Then copy the OS boot image (a .bin or .img file) to the C:\EasyBoot\Disk1\ezboot folder. This is the same image file that you specified in the menu command while creating the menu.

Now from the EasyBoot window, select the File tab and click the Make ISO button. This will prompt you to create an ISO image out of all the contents dumped in C:\EasyBoot\Disk1. Click Make button. The tool creates the bootable ISO file in the C:\EasyBoot\iso directory.

Finally you need to make a Bootable DVD out of this ISO image. Start the Nero burning software and select Recorder>Burn Image from the menu bar. Here a burn compilation window will pop up. Select DVD from the drop down list and click the Burn button to make your multi-boot
DVD.

Now whenever you insert this DVD into a drive and boot the machine, it will show you a menu of all the operating systems stored in it. Choose the one you want to install and you’re ready to roll.

Sanjay Majumder

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Creating a simple Bootable DVD

To create a simple bootable DVD with one OS, you need the .img or .bin file. Then you need to dump all the installer files for the OS on your hard drive. Since the capacity of a DVD is large, putting in a single OS would be a waste of space. So you might also want to throw in the installers of software you frequently use.

You can create the bootable DVD using Nero 6, which is the most commonly shipped software with most DVD-Writers. Run the software and select DVD from the drop down menu. Click the DVD boot icon from the list, and on the right panel, you will find the settings for the selected DVD-Rom (boot) option. From the right hand panel, click on the boot tab and select the image file radio button and specify the path for the bootable image file.

You can also select a bootable logical drive if you want to create the bootable DVD from a floppy. Then select the check box Enable Expert settings, set the kind of emulation to No emulation, and the number of loaded sectors to 4. Finally, click the burn tab and click the New button. This will open a window for you to select the content you need to burn. Select all files and folders from the distribution folder and drag it to the ISO compilation window. Then click on the Menu>Recorder>Burn compilation. This will open a window to burn DVD. Click on the Burn button to start the DVD burning process.

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