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Custom deployment image Freedos and Windows 7

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Bryan
2014-02-04
2014-02-06
  • Bryan
    Bryan
    2014-02-04

    We currently are using a dual boot freedos/windows xp image for our field techs. With the last of the fleet computers that are licensed for xp retiring we are developing a freedos/win 7 image. The issue that we are running in to is that once we get freedos and windows 7 to play nice together we are not able to successfully take an image and reload it on another machine we run in to issues. Currently when we reload the image on to a new machine we are able to get a boot loader asking win 7 or freedos, selecting freedos is working. However windows, starts loading and then immediately blue screens and reboots.

    The image that I am creating needs to be able to just be loaded on to the machine and go in to windows with out effort from the end user. Once in windows I can use scripts to do anything that needs to be done for environment setup. I cant have a list of things for the end users to have to go through.

    I have tested 2 different setups so far both drive layouts are as follows:
    sda1 2GB fat32 freedos
    sda2 100MB ntfs bootmgr (windows 7)
    sda3 rest ntfs windows 7

    Setup 1:
    sda1 marked as boot, syslinux setup on sda1 to boot in to freedos (sda1) and windows 7 (sda2). Freedos works fine windows starts loading and blue screens.

    Setup 2:
    sda2 marked as boot, installed grub4dos grldr.mbr to c:\grub4dos\grldr.mbr on sda3 so inside windows itself. Added that to the BCD so now windows is the boot loader. Installed freedos to sda1 and installed grldr and menu.lst to the root of sda1 (freedos). The setup here worked fine as well start up and windows bootmgr had freedos and windows 7 selecting freedos passed it off to grldr.mbr and that found the actual grldr and menu and with a default and timeout of 0 got as close as i could to skipping the actual os selection (as at this point its just freedos) it would boot in to freedos. Windows 7 also worked just fine as I was going through the windows bootmgr for this one.

    Both setups after imaging with clonezilla, also tested ping, would take just fine and when I pushed it back to another machine it would go on just fine again. Freedos would work on both via syslinux or grub4dos I could also get as far as the bootmgr on both but it seems as soon as windows actually tries to load is where it loses it and blue screens.

    My next test is going to be trying to put the freedos partition at the end. as the partition layout seems to be the common thing here. I dont see how it is an issue though.

     
    Last edit: Bryan 2014-02-04
  • Steven Shiau
    Steven Shiau
    2014-02-06

    When you mentioned "another machine", is that same model with the source one?
    If not, sysprep from MS Windows might help, you can "sysprep" your MS Windows before taking an image. However, the chance to fail is also high.

    Steven.