[Announcement] FlashBoot - a tool to make USB Flash Disks bootable
FlashBoot is a tool to make USB disks bootable. Its primary focus is
USB Flash disks, but other types of USB devices are supported too.
Making disk bootable means reformatting of target media (that's
optional) and transferring system files to it. Different types of
systems are supported: DOS kernel (MS-DOS, PC-DOS and FreeDOS),
SysLinux-based disks, Windows NT/2000/XP bootloader, Linux kernel, any
other user-supplied bootloader.
You may create blank bootable USB flash with minimal set of system
files and then manually tune it for your needs, or convert a
full-featured bootable CD-ROM or floppy disk to bootable USB Flash
keeping all functionality.
FlashBoot is able to write its output to a physical disk or to image
file. So you may create customized flash disk manually or with another
tool and use FlashBoot to create image out of it and redistribute it
in local network or online.
FlashBoot is designed to be compatible with all types of hardware. It
is not binded to Transend, Kingston, HP or to any other particular
manufacturer of USB Flash or other types of USB disks.
FlashBoot is designed to be compatible with all types of media. It is
not binded to any fixed media size or disk geometry, specific for some
particular kind of devices.
FlashBoot is designed to be compatible with all BIOSes. Some of them
rely on so-called superfloppy format (called also USB-ZIP format,
originally introduced by external ZIP drives), some of them support
only partitioned disks (called also USB-HDD format, originally
introduced by external USB HDD disks), others work OK with both ones.
You can choose disk format in FlashBoot if you enable reformat option.
Even more, you can use FlashBoot to avoid such incompatibilities for
existing USB disks, i.e. to convert disk format of existing disk,
maybe created manually or by third-party software.
FlashBoot is a tool with wide feature list, for example there are no
other tools currently available to convert bootable floppies or
CD-ROMs to USB Flash disks, or to duplicate USB flash disks. You get
all the features "in one box" if you use FlashBoot.
The following types of USB bootable disk creation schemas are
* convert BartPE bootable CD-ROM to bootable USB disk
* install DOS kernel files only (you may get the files from installed
Windows 9x, from Windows 9x setup folder, or use built-in FreeDOS)
* convert floppy disk to USB Flash disk (a diskette or an image file
may be used)
* convert a bootable CD-ROM to USB Flash disk (again images are
supported). There are some technical difficulties with supporting any
type of CD-ROM here, see details below. But there should be no
troubles with the most real file cases. You may convert Knoppix and
EBCD, for instance.
* create Windows NT/2000/XP password recovery disk
* create disk with NT/2000/XP bootloader. It would be useful when you
have mistakenly configured it, and boot.ini file was left on
unreachable disk (NTFS).
* duplicate USB flash disk. Just creates a copy of existing disk USB
flash disk, different sizes of source and destination medias are OK.
Types of convertible CD-ROMs include so-called 1.44-floppy emulation
bootable CD-ROMs and no-emulation CD-ROMs based on ISOLinux.
For more infomation, see [url]http://www.prime-expert.com/flashboot/[/url]