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FalconFour’s Micro BootCD v2.5

February 18, 2010

A little preview of what’s to come.

Possibly the most powerful 50mb you will ever download. On this disc is a bootable Windows XP installation containing many useful tools for PC diagnostics and repair… or anything else you want to use it for. Live XP based on Hiren’s XP 10.1 gives you a working copy of Windows on any bootable PC, even without a hard drive. From there you can edit the PC’s registry offline, run an offline Chkdsk, or run a quick offline temp file cleanup with CleanExternal. All sorts of cool offline stuff here.

But 50mb gave me a little more room to work with. So I added a few DOS-based utilities as well, like Spinrite to refresh/repair a hard drive, PTEdit to reveal if your old system is 48-bit LBA compatible (137gb barrier on old IDE systems), and Kon-Boot to log in to any local account without a password – and without breaking the existing one. Pretty powerful stuff.

Suck on that, Damn Small Linux.

How’d this all start? Well, I had created a MiniBootCD of the v2.5 F4UBCD to fit on an 8cm 185mb CD-R (we had a lot of ’em laying around), and those became the de-facto shop standard. Then, I was browsing around and I saw a business-card CD-R that held 50mb. Well, 50mb was about the size of the raw XP image. Why not try cramming it in there? Cram, I did. But in making it fit, I found some extra free space laying around. And I found that I could apply those techniques to other parts of the system as well. Next thing I knew, I was thinking of all the useful tools I could cram onto the disc. Instead of wasting space with flat floppy images, they’re now cleared and GZipped, decompressed on startup with memdisk. And it worked well.

Now you can see what’s in store for v2.5 ahead of time. Since this isn’t actually being used officially in shop I can give it to you guys for your consumption. Hopefully it’ll make up for the relatively unpolished v2.0 (by current standards)!

Once you dive into this disc, you’ll never need another boot CD. ™


On the Disc

  • Live XP based on Hiren’s XP 10.1
    Includes: HD Tune Pro 4.01, RegEditPE v2.0 Beta, Ghost 11.5, fix_hdc, network support, Keyfinder, NTPWEdit, RemoveWGA, Unstoppable Copier, 7-Zip, and Solitaire
    Tweaks
    : Desktop icons, Taskmgr as task manager, 1024×768 res, 7-zip instead of UHA compression, FAT32 image filesystem to save space, various other tweaks
  • SpinRite 6.0
  • PTEdit
  • Memtest86+ 4.0
  • Kon-Boot 1.1

jfgi

34 comments

  1. Great project, keep it going.


  2. Awesome! Can’t wait for 2.5! Just what I needed! Waaaaay easier than WinPE!


  3. how do i customize hiren’s boot cd? I wanna add some stuff, take out others …


  4. Seriously, that MiniXP image does NOT allow me to see my SATA drives, how do I fix that?
    I’ve noticed that so far, only Roadstarter CD has that capability, Hiren’ s itself ALSO does NOT show me my SATA drive.

    Please, please, tell me how to do that!!!

    (the e*Lisa)


  5. also, how do i increase the size of the minixp virtual drive? Since I want to have the freedom to install lots of software, sometimes.


    • Hmm, while getting your HDC to be detected is one thing, installing programs is a whole ‘nother thing. Now you’re asking for things the BootCD was never designed to do; perhaps you don’t understand the purpose of the BootCD.

      To get a driver loaded for your HDC, you need to dust off that old floppy drive and load F6-floppy drivers during startup (“Press F6 to load SCSI drivers” or something like that). Then, with the proper driver loaded, it should recognize your HDD. It has nothing at ALL to do with your drive being SATA – the MiniXP system recognizes over 95% of current hard drive controllers, with few exceptions (thanks to the hard work of Hiren for integrating those). For those 5% exceptions, you need an F6 floppy.

      As for installing programs, let me stop you there… DON’T TOUCH the base XP image. You can “install” programs by linking shortcuts and icons in the DesktopIcons.7z and Icons.7z archives, and placing the programs in \Programs or whereever you want them to be, then use launch.cmd to run them – that is, for programs you want embedded and linked on the disc. If you just want to install programs under the running OS, you can install supported programs by directing the installer to B:\ (the RAM drive), which will get cleared on shutdown – then run the program. MiniXP is just a small subset of features from real Windows, and many programs will fail to install or run properly. It’s also not meant to be a working copy of Windows – simply an environment with which you can browse a hard drive, edit the registry, scan the hard drive, etc. Any more than that and you should just install real Windows!


      • no matter i already was able to see it when i changed something in the RAID thing. idk what, but it worked.
        Not that it helped me get rid of the W32virut worm, but hey.


      • Oh, Virut is a bitch!! If it’s infected your system files (and it’s the only virus I know of that literally “infects” files), you’re fucked… but if you can get into safe mode, I’d suggest running Malwarebytes, then run Microsoft Security Essentials to clean up anything else (MSE is, curiously enough, the best/most effective AV product I’ve seen to date). If you can’t get into safe mode (just reboots), boot into MiniXP and check System32\Drivers for atapi.sys – if atapi.sys doesn’t have a Description (it just shows the file size), you’ve got the beautiful TDSS rootkit as well. Go back to System32\dllcache and pull a good copy out of there, or if there isn’t one there, check Windows\ServicePackFiles\i386.

        If you can’t boot the computer into windows after changing that RAID setting, try fix_hdc on the desktop of the BootCD to fix the drivers, too.


  6. I love the LiveCD I downloaded using BT but I was wondering how I can get the latest version. I’ve been looking around quite a bit and can’t find it anywhere. Can you please clue me in so I can download and utilize this excellent toolkit? Thanks and all the best!


    • So far this is actually the latest version… even internally. If you’re looking for this version, it shouldn’t be too hard to find, just look for the name😉


  7. Where is the link to download?


    • Wow, um, if I thought I should link directly to the download, don’t you think I would have? This is just a blog post describing the BootCD, not a place to download it, much like any other author that posts about something that may not be strictly 100% legit, y’know?

      That’d be the part about “it shouldn’t be too hard to find, just look for the name”.


  8. your boot cd’s are the best. I use them at work, definitely legit. any chance you could include MRI on the boot cd, as a menu selection? or PC CHECK, whichever you want to call it.


    • Hey, thanks for the comment! I’d love to know more about MRI or PC Check… MRI is a vague medical term and PC Check is… well, I can’t be sure I’m seeing the same thing you’re thinking of. It sort of seems like a hardware diagnostics tool, which could come in very handy if it does more than just run DMA and I/O checks (which always pass on a booting system since the BIOS does those tests during startup…). Does it test sound and full video, or does it just do basic VESA/VBE functions? It’d be quite useful to have a tool that can do real diagnostics… meanwhile, I hadn’t found one, so I just included a tester for the most common failure: memory😉

      Drop me a few links and I’ll check them out!


  9. F4:
    I’ve really been enjoying F4UBCD 2.0 which just now helped get out of a minor scrape where I had mangled my MBR and boot.ini …. I’ve put F4UBCD 2.0 on my 2Gb Kingston Traveler USB Key Drive and it works a treat.

    I have 2 questions for you.

    1.) Can F4MCD 2.5 be loaded onto a USB Key Drive?

    2.) Also are there any docs anywhere which can explain to me how to deconstruct either F4 to customize it to my own personal taste. I need to add NIC drivers and I’d like to upgrade Hiren to 10.4…
    I have bothe BartPe, and UBCD4Win/BartePe suite of utilities…plus a bunc of other stuff.

    Keep up the great work!!!
    Thanks!
    TG


    • Sorry for the slow response. Apparently my mail server neglected to tell me I had a response back in May😉

      1) Of course, just initialize your USB stick using the USB Kit from F4UBCD 2.0 (it’s a separate file in the torrent, should be able to download it by itself pretty quick), then adjust the “menu.lst” entries to pick from (hd0,0) instead of (cd).

      2) I haven’t written any docs about customizing the BootCD yet, sadly. I probably should, though. Upgrading the version of Hiren’s on the disc is faaaaaaar more involved than is easily comprehensible, though. I’ve made some very significant changes to the way HBCD works between the original and here, which is why I don’t even call it Hiren’s MiniXP anymore. It’s still based on it, but a good amount of it has been gutted and rearranged to make it more flexible and operable. I’m working on unifying the modification system for future releases, though, so it can be adapted without having to piece through every part by hand… primarily, changing the file compression from UHA (seriously? I think he’s just showing off there) to 7-Zip is better compression in a more flexible container, but involves modifying every script that calls it. Ouch. Then, many changes to the MiniXP image itself (icons, resolution, etc) and trying to fit it back in the same space with good compression, pain in the butt. It’s on its way though…


  10. I booted this CD up and when I hit “B” to boot, it just goes back to the screen it was at before. The menu, that is. I turned error checking on and it then tells me it can’t find any of the files, yet they are on the CD where they should be…

    I also noticed someone else had this problem over at piratebay, and the only response he got was to quit being a retard. Hm.


    • Maybe because nowhere in the system is it listening for, nor does it even say to press, “B” to “boot”. There is no “B to boot”. Where did you get that idea? You use the arrow keys to make a selection, and press enter to select it. I’m totally lost where you’re getting the idea to hit B…o_O


    • Ah, just figured out what comment on TPB you were referring to… seriously, if “text on a screen and linux commands wtf??” (this disc has no Linux on it, btw) scares you, this is not something you should be playing with.


      • Ok, so perhaps me and this other guy are just insane, because it DEFINITELY says press B to boot OR enter. I’ve tried both ways. Either way gets the same error of no file found (which looks like just nothing happening if error msgs are turned off as per default). But we are the only 2 having this problem, so I won’t fault you for not knowing wtf we’re talking about.


    • Hrm. Well, I’ll take a closer look out for that next time I have it up (I use this disc at least 5 times a day, lol). But if it’s a file not found thing, can you… perhaps… I dunno, tell me exactly what error you’re getting? “An error” doesn’t tell me much😉


  11. Ok, well I already said the error is file not found for all of the files, but you don’t seem to understand for some reason. Maybe it will help if I write exactly what it says on the screen when i turn on error checking:

    Booting command-list
    configfile /menu.lst
    Error 15: File not found
    Press any key to continue…

    ——-

    Oh and I’ve also burned your full disc (the 670mb one) and it has the same problem. Why on earth is no one else experiencing this?


    • That’s very strange. And yes, the actual error message tells me what I need to know, whereas “file not found” tells me nothing. Hate to say it, but if you’re having trouble understanding why “file not found” doesn’t tell me anything, then as I told the other guy, this might not be the tool for you. The disc is just a collection of tools, then it’s up to you to figure out which tools to use, and how…

      To have /menu.lst come up missing is very strange. What program are you using to burn the image? “menu.lst” is the descriptor for the entire BootCD, sets up the logo behind the selections, puts the items on the screen, tells it how to boot. Maybe you’re getting that “pressing B” thing because it can’t find the file… which could be a bad burn or a goofy BIOS setup (although in the hundreds of PCs I work on each month, I’ve never had that happen).

      At any rate, that’s not something the disc is programmed to do, so it’s out of my control. All I can say, sadly, is to check your equipment and try again… or, if you really don’t think the specifics of an error message are useful, step away from the disc and take your PC to a repair shop😉


      • The weird thing is, your ISOs are the only ones I’ve ever had problems burning. Also, that menu.lst file IS on there, as verified using windows explorer in another computer that does work.


      • Hi,
        I have a similar error to this.
        When I added a file (imagex.exe) to the root directory of the bootable ISO (Falcon Four UBCD v 4.5) and saved the ISO using UltraISO Premium, it will not boot most of the utilities.
        I get an error 15: file not found error (details below). However the MiniXP utility boots fine.
        I also tried opening the original ISO and saved it to a different file name using UltraISO Premium without making any changes at all, and I get exactly the same problem. The original ISO runs perfectly fine, but the saved ISO gives the error (see below).
        I have tried booting direct from the ISO using an external USB ‘Optical’ drive (the Zalman VE300), and also get the same symptoms when burning the ISO to a CD.

        The ISO is saved under Windows XP SP3. Using UltraISO Premium version 9.5.2.2836.

        The full error details are:
        When selecting any item from the boot cd main menu (Except for “Boot First Hard Drive”, “Remap & Boot First HDD” and “MiniXP Environment”) results in the following error:
        “kernel /F4UBCD/Images/memdisk
        Error 15: File not found
        Press any key to continue…..”

        I thought, maybe its a problem with UltraISO, so I also tried PowerISO. That was even worse; the resulting ISO gives the following error screen (ie just saving the ISO as a different filename without making any changes):
        At the top: “GRUB4DOS 0.4.4 2009-03-31, Memory: 639K /1918M, MenuEnd: 0x481B7”
        In the centre box: “find /menu.lst, /boot/grub/menu.lst, /grub/menu.lst”
        Below the centre box the following options are given:
        “Use the ‘up arrow’ and ‘down arrow’ keys to select an entry. Press Enter or ‘b’ to boot. Press ‘e’ to edit the commands before booting, or ‘c’ for a command-line.”

        Any idea what is wrong?


  12. Awesome looking disk!! unfortunateluy have not been able to use it yet. Tried on a couple newer laptops with 7 on em no luck loading correct cd drivers (hbcd folder not found) ive neen using hirens for about 4 or 5 yrs with much success. Thanks forr your hard work and great looking tool look forward to using it in the future.


  13. I’d like to use the XP build ONLY and boot it from PXE. I am having issues when I open and save the ISO in UltraISO. I don’t make any changes yet the size is reduced by about 90K and then I get NTDETECT not found when I try to boot it. All the other tools continue to work fine. What an I doing wrong?

    Thanks for the great disk!


  14. Hi,
    I just wanted to ask a question I think I know the answer to but figured I would ask. Currently I work as a tech support for a few temp agencies and want to use your boot CD it seems much simpler/time saving compared to Ultimate Boot CD.

    The main tool I am found of is the Mini-XP with NTPWEDIT. Is this part of the Boot CD 100% Legal? Should I be using this in a commerce/office setting?

    Thanks.


    • Yep, it’s 100% legal. It’s a freeware utility: http://cdslow.webhost.ru/en/ntpwedit/

      It’s being replaced by Microsoft’s own “Locksmith” utility in the upcoming v4.5, though. Full version of 4.5 is in RC-testing now (see facebook.com/F4UBCD), and planned for release this Saturday, with the Micro version likely coming within a week of that.🙂


  15. One more request for a PXE version from an underpaid tech.
    🙂


  16. When I try to start minixp it starts to load and then the monitor goes blank and it says input signal out of range, this happens with the linux prog also. Any ideas?
    Thank You


  17. Quick question – does your Ultimate Boot CD replace the Micro Boot CD? Which one should we use to be most up to date?


  18. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be running
    off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but
    I thought I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though!
    Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Many thanks


  19. Notice: Undefined index: pid in D:\Web\falconfour.old\PROJECTS.PHP on line 13

    (viewed the page by Firefox on UBCD 5.32)

    Don’t using a Linux Server – but Windows XP? Gosh!

    regards ohm8h



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