Thursday, January 29, 2009

Creating a bootable USB key with Syslinux and VistaPE

1) Format your USB key under VISTA or VISTAPE using diskpart:
select disk 1
create partition primary size=
select partition 1
format fs=fat32

2) Save the boot sector using Bart's mkbt.exe program. This is done on the command prompt using:
mkbt.exe -x -c E: E:\

Where E: is your USB drive.

3) Use Syslinux to install the syslinux bootsector. Download syslinux and then from the win32 folder execute the following:
syslinux -ma E:

Where E: is your USB drive.

-ma == update master boot record and make the partition active

You should now have a bootable SYSLINUX USB key. From here you can create a file on the root of your USB key called syslinux.cfg and enter the following:

#serial 0 19200
default boot
display boot.msg
timeout 250
prompt 1

label boot

When you enter "boot" you will boot the Vista boot sector. From here you can add Peter's NTPasswordChg and other linux utilities without having to use Grub4DOS or any others.