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Thread: Virtual Drive during boot?

  1. #1

    Default Virtual Drive during boot?


    I came up with an idea, and I was wondering whether it's possible.

    First I will start with a background, you see, recently with this Vista beta 2 release, I've hit a big problem. I don't have a DVD or a DVD burner. Yes technologically backwards I am. I just never saw a need to buy one. With Daemon Tools working so well. It completely eliminated the need to go and buy one.

    So, this causes a problem for anyone wishing to install an operating system from a DVD.

    See, I have this shiny new Vista Beta 2, and the key I applied for. But I have no way of installing it. See, I could try and mount it using DT, but what if it needs the CD after restart? I'm not sure, maybe someone else could answer this. But this is where I came up with my idea.

    Here goes:

    Is it at all possible to design software to mount an iso image during boot? Say you placed your own multi-boot software in front of Microsofts, with NTFS support, which could mount a preset image and boot from it.

    Sound completely farfetched? Is this idea possible?

    Another reason why this might be a good idea, is as follows. Does anyone other then me get sick of the slow speeds involved with installing XP? You know, first it copies files from the CD, which takes absolutely years. Wouldn't this speed be increased if the CD was actually the hard drive and higher access speeds could reduce the time it takes?

    Also, further from this idea, is it possible for this "image" to be located over the network?

  2. #2


    You'll find some useful info here:
    Everybody be cool! You, be cool!
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  3. #3

    Default Windows on a 99 min CDR

    I read about a way to install DVD-disc based Windows using 99 minute CDRs. I don't have a link right now though.
    the modern world:
    net helpmsg 4006

  4. #4

    Default Very Good idea

    I think, this idea is very usefull. It will specially solve, alot of usb flash disk and cd/dvd multi boot problems. Microsoft telling to hardware vendors that, Iso file selection must be in the bios.
    If any programmer write a memory resident virtual drive with boot support, it is will be go down in computer history.

    This idea is the biggest solution of boot problems. Boot from everything !!!

  5. #5

    Default This is real Computer problem.

    I have been looking for such a manager for some time and finaly landed on: isoemu download page by Gandalf
    This is an amateur solution.

    Yes, this is a very good software problem. It's very heavy for a lot of programmer.

    This new software project must work like this:

    1. This program must be boot from cd/dvd , usb flash/hard disk and every bios bootable places.
    2. Program may be memory resident.
    3. Program must have virtual drive solution without OS. User can be select a boot image from accessable drives.
    4. Program must continue to booting from selected bootable image.

    This is program logic. I dont understand that, Why somebodies think to load iso image to memory ? It's unneccessary.

    I hope some serious peoples start to work about this new software. This software will open a new gate to computer world.

  6. #6
    Experienced User

    Join Date


    Quote Originally Posted by Technogod View Post
    If any programmer write a memory resident virtual drive with boot support, it is will be go down in computer history.

    This idea is the biggest solution of boot problems. Boot from everything !!!

    kind of impossible if you actually think about it...

    bios scans for hardware that is bootable on the pc, be it usb, zip drives, hard disk, cd/dvd drive... bios checks each hardware found to see if it has a boot sector, if boot sector is found it boots it... ONLY at this stage could your memory resident virtual drive be initialised... the bios would NOT see it, as there is nothing loaded for the bios to see it, so for it to work the bios would have to boot from something bootable already, and in that bootsector you would have the code to initialise the resident virtual drive interrupt hooks and so-on.

    the only possible way for it to work would be if the bios code actually had this built in, where the bios 'supplied' a bootable virtual drive which would load a file from a harddisk etc..

    even for that to work the harddrive / usb stick / whatever would need to be formatted with a format that the bios understands otherwise its all for nothing...

    quite a task for the bios coders, do-able sure, but handling every possible format known... nah, not feasible... some formats like fat32, ntfs and so on could be, but some of those as proprietary, which ties the bios coders hands a lot...
    my views are 100% personal views..

  7. #7


    Windows 7 Ultimate allows mounting virtual hard drives at boot so I don't see why you can't get virtual CD images to load too. Maybe there will be a way to trick Windows 7 to mount them.

    Edit: boot manager that mount *.ISO files now directed toward this thread
    the modern world:
    net helpmsg 4006

  8. #8
    New User
    Join Date

    Default Grub

    I think that I read that Grub Boot Loader can do this. It is loaded in the MBR and is standard issue these days for booting up Linux. I have been trying to find out how to load different live cds on to a hard drive and boot the one that I need for a particular task.


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