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  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    Guest:
    The 3rd release of SpinRite v6.1 is published and may be obtained by all SpinRite v6.0 owners at the SpinRite v6.1 Pre-Release page. (SpinRite will shortly be officially updated to v6.1 so this page will be renamed.) The primary new feature, and the reason for this release, was the discovery of memory problems in some systems that were affecting SpinRite's operation. So SpinRite now incorporates a built-in test of the system's memory. For the full story, please see this page in the "Pre-Release Announcements & Feedback" forum.
    /Steve.
  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for some very handy tips!

    /Steve.
  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

    GRC's “BootAble” freeware allows anyone to easily create BIOS-bootable media in order to workout and confirm the details of getting a machine to boot FreeDOS through a BIOS. Once the means of doing that has been determined, the media created by SpinRite can be booted and run in the same way.

    The participants here, who have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience, their successes and some frustrations with booting their computers into FreeDOS, have created a valuable knowledgebase which will benefit everyone who follows.

    You may click on the image to the right to obtain your own copy of BootAble. Then use the knowledge and experience documented here to boot your computer(s) into FreeDOS. And please do not hesitate to ask questions – nowhere else can better answers be found.

    (You may permanently close this reminder with the 'X' in the upper right.)

PXE boot?

#1

D

drwtsn32

Anyone get this to work with PXE boot? (I have PXE set up on my network to boot to dozen+ utilities.)

I tried booting the IMG file but it didn't work for me.


#2

P

PHolder

Does PXE booting automatically imply non-EFI booting? I've never played with it, so I don't know if there are any ties to legacy booting.


#3

EdwinG

EdwinG

No it doesn't.

PXE booting exists in all three UEFI, EFI and legacy modes. Depends on what architectures your PXE server offers.
The booting firmware, (U)EFI or UNDI, will send out a different DHCP architecture option for themselves.


#4

P

PHolder

I tried booting the IMG file but it didn't work for me.
So according to what @EdwinG said, you may not get PXE to boot a FreeDOS image on a machine without legacy booting support (which implies either BIOS or a CSM.)


#5

D

drwtsn32

Yeah I'm doing legacy boot for sure.

Is there a way to write the IMG to a standard 1.44MB floppy disk image? That's how I boot many utilities with PXE. Alternatively an ISO would also work.


#6

Steve

Steve

@drwtsn32 : The IMG file is for an 8MB file system. So we'll need one for a bootable diskette. I believe that @millQ has assembled one for his bootable CD & ISO... but I haven't popped the stack on my ToDo list far enough yet to do that.


#7

millQ

millQ

Yeah I'm doing legacy boot for sure.

Is there a way to write the IMG to a standard 1.44MB floppy disk image? That's how I boot many utilities with PXE. Alternatively an ISO would also work.
1.44 MB Floppy disk image
It currently places rs.exe in a small 128 kb RAMdrive but it can be disabled in autoexec.bat ( if you prefer to stay on A: )


#8

D

drwtsn32

Thanks @millQ, will check it out...


#9

millQ

millQ

Thanks @millQ, will check it out...
I started AIOBoot-v0.9.9.19 and then PXE booted for the first time :)
(I first made an .ISO from the .img file) and it did not like the splash screen(hangs after enter is pressed :( (no hang when booting from USB)).

So if you have the same problem, then use this Autoexec.bat file instead
(and if you don't need a RAMdrive...then just remove the RAM.BAT line)

Code:
@echo off
SET PATH=\;\FREEDOS
SET DIRCMD=/OGN /Y
SET COPYCMD=/-Y

CALL FIXPATH.BAT
CALL RAM.BAT

fdapm apmdos
alias reboot=fdapm warmboot
alias shutdown=fdapm poweroff
alias edc=edit \config.sys
alias eda=edit \autoexec.sys
menu


#10

D

drwtsn32

I started AIOBoot-v0.9.9.19 and then PXE booted for the first time

I'm not really following this part. AIOBoot looks like a USB boot creation utility, maybe similar to YUMI (which I use quite a bit). I'm not sure how a USB boot utility relates to PXE booting.

By the way, I tried your image file and it wouldn't PXE boot for me. I didn't have time yet to try and troubleshoot why. Strange....


#11

millQ

millQ

I'm not really following this part. AIOBoot looks like a USB boot creation utility, maybe similar to YUMI (which I use quite a bit). I'm not sure how a USB boot utility relates to PXE booting.

By the way, I tried your image file and it wouldn't PXE boot for me. I didn't have time yet to try and troubleshoot why. Strange....

It looks like that, but instead it fixes the menu for the pxe boot => Tiny PXE server 1.0.0.23

I decided to download the Tiny PXE server(for windows portable version) separately
and then by hand editing the files to boot a floppy image file instead
..and this time it had no problem with the splash screen :)

Code:
C:\pxesrv\files\menu.ipxe


item --gap -- ------------------------------ Advanced ---------------------------------
item readspeed  ReadSpeed (using Memdisk)
item spinrite60 Spinrite6.0 (using Memdisk)
item spinrite61 Spinrite6.1 (using Memdisk)


Code:
C:\pxesrv\files\menu.ipxe


######################## other items

:readspeed
kernel ${boot-url}/memdisk
initrd ${boot-url}/images/readspeed.img
boot

:spinrite60
kernel ${boot-url}/memdisk
initrd ${boot-url}/images/spinrite60.img
boot

:spinrite61
kernel ${boot-url}/memdisk
initrd ${boot-url}/images/spinrite61.img
boot

tinyPXE.PNG


#12

D

drwtsn32

I'm also using iPXE and memdisk to boot floppy disk images and ISOs. But it didn't work for me with ReadSpeed.img, presumably because of what has previously been discussed - it's not a floppy image. It also didn't work with the custom img file you provided in the mega.nz link. Your custom img file worked for you with iPXE?


#13

millQ

millQ

I'm also using iPXE and memdisk to boot floppy disk images and ISOs. But it didn't work for me with ReadSpeed.img, presumably because of what has previously been discussed - it's not a floppy image. It also didn't work with the custom img file you provided in the mega.nz link. Your custom img file worked for you with iPXE?
I used my floppy image RSRAM02.img
and renamed it to readspeed.img
and yes it works everytime.

The file you download is 1.4 MB (1 474 560 bytes)?


#14

D

drwtsn32

The file you download is 1.4 MB (1 474 560 bytes)?

Yep, it's exactly the same size as my other floppy images.

I figured out the issue - I was PXE booting a DOS virtual machine that only had 4MB RAM assigned to it. I used a different DOS VM that had 16MB RAM and it worked fine. So...... user error!


#15

D

drwtsn32

it did not like the splash screen(hangs after enter is pressed

I have tested PXE boot on a few machines and all hang at the splash screen as well, so I commented it out of autoexec.bat.

I also PXE boot SpinRite and have no issues with its splash screen, interestingly enough.

Thanks again for making the PXE boot version!


#16

G

gdalgliesh

Trying to get SpinRite 6.1 SRPR-053 to work PXE using iPXE memdrive and it hangs with just cursor _ with both DOS 6.22 and FreeDos 1.3 But 6.0 works fine
I created a SpinRite.img with spinrite.exe in Windows and then edited it and saved it as SpinRite61.img while adding srpr.exe and modifying config.sys to be the following

config.sys
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
DEVICE=SRSPLASH.SYS
SHELL=srpr.exe
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

/pxeboot/config/boot.ipxe
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
set os_root os-images/spinrite61
kernel http://${server_ip}/${os_root}/memdisk
initrd http://${server_ip}/${os_root}/SpinRite61.img
boot
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

I have booted the SpinRite61.img in VirtualBox and it runs fine but when I boot via iPXE with memdisk I see the 6.0 splash screen and then just a blinking _ cursor. Also, same results with DOS 6.22 and FreeDOS 1.3 img's.

Any Suggestions?

Thanks


#17

P

PHolder

I decided to download the Tiny PXE server(for windows portable version) separately
http://erwan.labalec.fr/tinypxeserver/pxesrv.zip
Ummm I hope you used the necessary precautions, because my PC blocked that download and said it had a virus... so I went to virus total (see attached.) I also looked at the Windows Defender report, and I find the reference to Android strange, and it says "unwanted behaviour" so I don't know... but I'm unwilling to install or investigate further because I don't want to risk it.

Attachments


  • PHolder_2023Oct25_PXEServerVirusTotal.png
    PHolder_2023Oct25_PXEServerVirusTotal.png
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  • PHolder_2023Oct25_PXEServerWindows.png
    PHolder_2023Oct25_PXEServerWindows.png
    12.7 KB · Views: 87

#18

D

drwtsn32

Trying to get SpinRite 6.1 SRPR-053 to work PXE using iPXE ...

I tried the same procedure as you. Edited the SR 6.0 disk image and replaced `sr.exe` with the new executable. I also removed the DEVICE line from config.sys.

In VMware workstation, I do a PXE boot and get as far as the main screen for SR 6.1 where it shows my name and serial number. But it hangs at that point.

On a physical machine (early gen ThinkPad X1), it doesn't even get that far and just hangs after 'InitDisk'.


#19

ManChicken

ManChicken

Trying to get SpinRite 6.1 SRPR-053 to work PXE using iPXE memdrive and it hangs with just cursor _ with both DOS 6.22 and FreeDos 1.3 But 6.0 works fine
Hah, I just posted about this on the newsgroup over the weekend :p

Unfortunately I have had the same experience; 6.0 runs fine booted PXE with memdisk (been using it that way for several years) but 6.1 currently does not. I've been messing with it a bit on and off for a few days but haven't made any useful discoveries.


#20

millQ

millQ

Ummm I hope you used the necessary precautions, because my PC blocked that download and said it had a virus... so I went to virus total (see attached.) I also looked at the Windows Defender report, and I find the reference to Android strange, and it says "unwanted behaviour" so I don't know... but I'm unwilling to install or investigate further because I don't want to risk it.
I used it a couple of years ago...2021, so I don't know if they changed anything in the code 2023.
I used a VM so I am not too worried :)


#21

millQ

millQ

If you run Spinrite 6.1 from a RamDrive (xmsdsk) it will work (copy Spinrite6.1 to RamDrive after PXE boot)


#22

ManChicken

ManChicken

If you run Spinrite 6.1 from a RamDrive (xmsdsk) it will work (copy Spinrite6.1 to RamDrive after PXE boot)
Hmm. I gave that a try but didn't have any success.


#23

millQ

millQ

Hmm. I gave that a try but didn't have any success.
this works for me


replace the spinrite.exe demo (here be dragons) with your version...if it works ;)


#24

ManChicken

ManChicken

Well color me confused :p
Your image does work though I'm at a loss as to why (compared to what I'd tried.) I had pretty much the same thing right down to the size of the RAM disk chosen. Maybe it's the memory manager -- I can't recall if I used the same one in any of my gyrations of testing...

Sooooo, it seems like something changed from Spinrite 6.0 in whatever 6.1 is doing fairly early on in the code such that it now doesn't like being run from the environment of the 'memdisk' RAM disk. It'd be nice to get figured out eventually, but the additional XMS ramdisk is an easy enough workaround for the forseeable future until we're off of DOS :D

Thanks millQ for figuring out a solution.


#25

millQ

millQ

Maybe it's the memory manager -- I can't recall if I used the same one in any of my gyrations of testing...
Yes..It's probably HimemX, I used a newer version.


#26

millQ

millQ

Thanks millQ for figuring out a solution.
no problem.

It is also possible to use TFTPD32/64.exe +
grub4dos...

then SpinRite could be started from A:


menu.lst
Code:
title SpinRite6.1
map --mem /boot/spin61PXE.img (fd0)
map --hook
chainloader (fd0)+1
rootnoverify (fd0)


#27

millQ

millQ

Running PXE server from Raspberry Pi worked too, but I had to run SpinRite from RamDisk




#28

D

drwtsn32

Anyone make progress here? I tried PR5 but with same results on the ThinkPad X1.