USB boot diskette - talk nerdy to me

Does anyone know whether I can make a Win98 boot diskette that would enable the USB ports on a PC, as well as the HD, CD-ROM, etc? It would be enormously healthy to me, especially if I can hook up an external USB HD to a notebook that won’t boot.


See if this helps:

Your mainboard BIOS has to support botting to a USB device. Go into the CMOS setup and look to see if it will let you set a USB drive as one of the boot devices. The next best thing is to create a bootable CD-ROM. Your mainboard must support booting from an ATAPI drive, but most made in the last 5 or 6 years do.

Per what QED said if the BIOS does not support “legacy mode” booting of USB devices without the OS being present you are probably SOL.

In most cases like you describe removing the malfunctioning notebook hard disk and slaving it to a working IDE master with a little 2.5 to 3.5 IDE interface adapter (about 8-12 dollars) to run diagnostics or re-format it (assuming no hardware failure) is generally the best way to go.

Can’t you just install full-blown Windows on a USB HD and tell the BIOS to boot from that?

If not, how about burning a bootable CDROM with USB drivers, would that work?

If the motherboard can’t boot from a USB hard drive (and I’ve never seen one that can) then you’ll never be able to install Win98 to a USB hard drive and boot from it.

The situation with a bootable CD-ROM is the same as that with a floppy, only the CD-ROM can hold more data. The same fundamental problem still exists - lack of real-mode (the mode things are running in before Win98 fully boots) USB support. Full USB support only exists when the operating system completely boots and the 32-bit protected-mode drivers for the USB subsystem are loaded. Until that happens you’re likely to be limited to USB keyboard support only, and even then only if the BIOS supports it.

No, the BIOS does not have to support booting from a USB drive for the drive to be accessible from DOS. He didn’t say he wanted to be able to boot from it.

No, he isn’t.

The link provided by xash is to a page about USBASPI.SYS, a driver that will allow access to USB storage devices from DOS after booting from diskette.

What do you think he wanted to do with an external HD? Slice pizza? From the OP:

Get files off the USB drive so he could fix the machine, maybe? If he wanted to specifically boot from the USB drive, he probably should have said so.

How about booting from some kind of removable media, then?

I’m accustomed to Macintosh. I admit that I don’t know from practical experience whether or not Macs boot from USB devices either, I just assumed USB devices were bootable.

Back to the CD thing again: why can’t you boot Win98 from a bootable CD and in that fashion access the files from the no-longer-bootable internal HD? Who cares if it has to boot all the way into Windows first? Or am I missing something here?

everything you always wanted to know about them & how to make them & how to deal with windows issues & ah, :

I have seen this site mentioned a few times on the board.