XBoot - Merge your Boot CDs together!

Stereodude

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#1
This has to be one of the coolest utilities I've come across. XBoot

It lets you combine several bootable ISO's together. It's similar to MultiCD, but it runs in Windows.

It even lets you test / preview the resulting disk & menus in a built in lite VM.

I used it to make a combined Clonezilla / Gparted / Memtest86+ / Ubuntu bootable image that I put in a 2GB FAT32 partition on my 2.5" 1TB Samsung HD in it's external enclosure. Now I can boot from the 1TB 2.5" drive and do partitioning, imaging, memory testing, or boot into Ubuntu to mess with files on the system I'm using. In addition the other 900+ GB of the 1TB drive can be used for storing images.

I wasn't a fan of the original menu structure, which force categorizes your programs under submenus since I wanted them all in the main menu, but that was easily fixed by a little manual editing of the syslinux.g4d file after the drive was setup.

Screenshots:

Program:


Main Menu:


Clonezilla Menu:


Gparted Menu:
 

Stereodude

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#6
Would this utility be able to do multiple versions of Acronis on one disc?
I don't know. You would have to try it. It was not happy when I tried to include the i686 and x64 version of Clonzilla on the same image. It generated an error on the second instance and omitted it. The program is very new so more functionality could be right around the corner.
 

Bozo

Storage? I am Storage!
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#9
"I wasn't a fan of the original menu structure, which force categorizes your programs under submenus since I wanted them all in the main menu, but that was easily fixed by a little manual editing of the syslinux.g4d file after the drive was setup."

Could you explain this for us dummies?
 

Stereodude

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#10
On the "disk" I made all the menus are in .g4d files. They're all plain text so the structure is pretty simple to edit. I made the main syslinux.g4d look like this:
MENU title Backup Boot Disk
INCLUDE /boot/syslinux/theme.g4d

LABEL -
MENU LABEL Clonezilla 1.2.6-40 i686
LINUX /boot/syslinux/grub.exe
APPEND --config-file="ls /images/clonezilla.iso || find --set-root /images/clonezilla.iso;map --heads=0 --sectors-per-track=0 /images/clonezilla.iso (0xff) || map --heads=0 --sectors-per-track=0 --mem /images/clonezilla.iso (0xff);map --hook;chainloader (0xff)"
TEXT HELP
CLONEZILLA-LIVE-1.2.6-40-I686.ISO (121 MB)

Clonezilla, based on DRBL, Partclone and udpcast, allows you to do bare metal
backup and recovery. Clonezilla live is suitable for single machine backup
and restore. Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the harddisk.
This increases the clone efficiency.
ENDTEXT

LABEL -
MENU LABEL Memtest86+ 4.10
LINUX /boot/syslinux/grub.exe
APPEND --config-file="ls /images/MEMTEST.IMG || find --set-root /images/MEMTEST.IMG;map /images/MEMTEST.IMG (fd0) || map --mem /images/MEMTEST.IMG (fd0);map --hook;chainloader (fd0)+1;rootnoverify (fd0)"
TEXT HELP
MEMTEST+410.ISO (2 MB)

Memtest86+ software is designed to be a stand alone memory test. BIOS based
memory tests are a quick, cursory check and often miss many of the failures
that are detected by Memtest86+.
ENDTEXT

LABEL -
MENU LABEL Gparted 0.7.1-1
LINUX /boot/syslinux/grub.exe
APPEND --config-file="ls /images/gparted.iso || find --set-root /images/gparted.iso;map --heads=0 --sectors-per-track=0 /images/gparted.iso (0xff) || map --heads=0 --sectors-per-track=0 --mem /images/gparted.iso (0xff);map --hook;chainloader (0xff)"
TEXT HELP
GPARTED-LIVE-0.7.1-1.ISO (112 MB)

GParted (Gnome Partition Editor) is a free partition editor for
graphically managing your disk partitions. GParted is useful for tasks
such as: creating space for new operating systems, restructuring disk
space to separate user and operating system data, and copying partitions
to enable upgrading to a larger hard disk drive. Your hard disk drive or
USB flash drive can be subdivided into one or more partitions. GParted
enables you to reorganize your disk partitions while preserving the
contents of these partitions.
ENDTEXT
by moving the entries from and utility.g4d and adding a nice description.

Original utility.g4d:
MENU TITLE Utility
INCLUDE /boot/syslinux/theme.g4d
INCLUDE /boot/syslinux/mainmenu.g4d


### MENU START
LABEL -
MENU LABEL Clonezilla 1.2.6-40 i686
LINUX /boot/syslinux/grub.exe
APPEND --config-file="ls /images/clonezilla.iso || find --set-root /images/clonezilla.iso;map --heads=0 --sectors-per-track=0 /images/clonezilla.iso (0xff) || map --heads=0 --sectors-per-track=0 --mem /images/clonezilla.iso (0xff);map --hook;chainloader (0xff)"
TEXT HELP
CLONEZILLA-LIVE-1.2.6-40-I686.ISO (121 MB)
ENDTEXT
### MENU END


### MENU START
LABEL -
MENU LABEL Gparted 0.7.1-1
LINUX /boot/syslinux/grub.exe
APPEND --config-file="ls /images/gparted.iso || find --set-root /images/gparted.iso;map --heads=0 --sectors-per-track=0 /images/gparted.iso (0xff) || map --heads=0 --sectors-per-track=0 --mem /images/gparted.iso (0xff);map --hook;chainloader (0xff)"
TEXT HELP
GPARTED-LIVE-0.7.1-1.ISO (112 MB)
ENDTEXT
### MENU END


### MENU START
LABEL -
MENU LABEL Memtest86+ 4.10
LINUX /boot/syslinux/grub.exe
APPEND --config-file="ls /images/MEMTEST.IMG || find --set-root /images/MEMTEST.IMG;map /images/MEMTEST.IMG (fd0) || map --mem /images/MEMTEST.IMG (fd0);map --hook;chainloader (fd0)+1;rootnoverify (fd0)"
TEXT HELP
MEMTEST+410.ISO (2 MB)
Memtest86+ software is designed to be a stand alone memory test.
BIOS based memory tests are a quick, cursory check and often miss
many of the failures that are detected by Memtest86+.
ENDTEXT
### MENU END
 

Stereodude

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#20
I subsequently discovered that you can keep adding to an existing compilation. Just open XBOOT add the .iso you want to add and point it to your destination USB drive that already has your compilation on it.

Keep in mind if you've customized the menus structure you may have to mess with them to make it show up where you want it (or at all).
 

Stereodude

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#21
All those disk tools are on Hiram's boot disc and probably the ultimate boot CD if you can track down a copy of either.
It turns out they can be added to the XBOOT. They added using Grub4dos emulation.

Of course the Samsung ES-Tool ISO doesn't ultimately work because Samsung is a bunch of :bstd: who apparently think it's 1998 and we're using IDE CD-ROM drives. So they try to load a CD-ROM driver (which fails on anything modern) to read the 798k ES-Tool executable from the data side of the ISO that they should have just put it in the floppy image side. Idiots...

So, I made by own ES-Tool ISO that actually works. It's pretty easy.

1) Make a bootable floppy
2) Copy ES-Tool exe to floppy.
3) Edit autoexec.bat to autostart ES-Tool
4) Make bootable CD ISO with the floppy as the source
 

Mercutio

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#23
Hiren's boot CD. The last version is 13.0, but my favorite remains 10.6 because after that one, they removed many useful (and not free) tools like Paragon Partition Manager and Active Password Changer.
There's a released that's tagged "Restored" that has all the goodies left in. My .iso for version 13 is 680MB.
 

philipb645

What is this storage?
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Mar 30, 2011
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1
#24
How come BartPE won't work on Xboot?

I thought I'd like a copy of BartPe on my Xboot utility USB. BartPE will start and get so far and then blue screen. I'm assuming it's because Bart is trying to load windows on top of the linux or whatever Xboot is loading on. Is that why it's crashing?

Thanks.

Phil
 

Stereodude

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#26
Xboot either uses Syslinux or Grub4dos to load the images, but that doesn't mean it's running Linux. I'm not sure it supports a BartPE boot disc. It shows support for PE, MSDART, ERD (Vista, 7, & XP), but I'm not sure if a BartPE disc qualifies.

Perhaps post on Xboot's support forum?
 

sedrosken

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#29
Very interesting tool. It should make my life a fair bit easier, no longer will I have to keep track of a dozen or more flash drives for my bootable utilities, now just one.
 

Stereodude

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#30
Very interesting tool. It should make my life a fair bit easier, no longer will I have to keep track of a dozen or more flash drives for my bootable utilities, now just one.
I'd suggest you find a different alternative if you're starting out. Apparently the author of xboot died unexpectedly a number of years ago. The last released version has some bugs. It's not open source so no one can carried on the work and older releases are not available. Since it's not being updated it also doesn't work with some newer bootable images.
 

Queensney

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Dec 14, 2016
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#31
I'd suggest you find a different alternative if you're starting out. Apparently the author of xboot died unexpectedly a number of years ago. The last released version has some bugs. It's not open source so no one can carried on the work and older releases are not available. Since it's not being updated it also doesn't work with some newer bootable images.
Hirens Boot CD is a quite good alternative to Xboot
 
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