Jump to content
jmenkes

How to create a Rescue Disk on a Dell system

Recommended Posts

If you're reading this, you already know there are problems trying to make a Rescue Disk from a Dell-supplied OEM Windows XP installation disk. There are several reasons the process fails with Dell disks: 1) One or more of the Registry files on the Dell installation disk isn't compatible with this operation; 2) There are files in the installed PEBuilder folder on the hard drive that need to be deleted and/or replaced -- but they're write-protected by default, so any attempt to delete them or copy over them gives an error message; 3) Some of the driver files that the Rescue Disk normally looks for on startup are missing.

 

Bits and pieces of help are strewn throughout various forums on the Web -- an add-on file here, a suggestion there -- but typically the response is the same: "I tried that but it still doesn't work." Nowhere is the entire solution presented in one place in step-by-step fashion. Yes, there is a solution. Despite the posts that say it's impossible, it actually *can* be done!

 

The workaround resolves the above issues by: 1) Using as a source, Windows installation files that have been copied to the hard disk, where they can be modified, rather than using the installation CD itself, which can't be written to; 2) Un-protecting the files in the PEBuilder folder that need to be deleted or overwritten; and 3) Preventing the Rescue Disk from looking for the missing driver files (that you don't need anyway).

 

So here goes. I'm sure there will be special situations that the following steps don't cover, but hopefully most Dell users will find this helpful:

 

 

I. Copy the Dell Windows Installation CD to the hard drive

 

Some files on the disk need to be modified. Since the disk isn't writable, you need to copy the entire contents of the disk to the hard drive, where the files *can* be overwritten. This location, rather than the CD, will be used as the "Source" of the installation files.

 

To do this, open My Computer, right-click on the CD drive icon, then click "Copy", then right-click on the root C:\ directory and click "Paste".

 

 

II. Download the latest version of PEBuilder. (As of this writing, it's v. 3.1.3. The link provided in the Kaspersky 7.0 popup actually takes you to an older version -- 3.1.1.0a. Version 3.1.3. can be found at:

 

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/#download

 

(You'll probably want to choose the self-installing version, which requires fewer steps than the ZIP version.)

 

 

III. Double-click on the pebuilder313.exe file you just downloaded, and install the program to the root C:\ directory as prompted. (Bart Lagerweij, the developer of PEBuilder, recommends it not be installed to "Program Files", "My Documents", or any other sub-folder of C:\ .

 

 

IV. Obtain three necessary "helper" files (described below) and save them all to a temporary storage directory of your choice. Later, you'll copy them to the locations where they actually belong. I wish I could say I wrote even one of those files, but they're all the product of others' time and talent.

 

A. First file: Fixdell.cab

 

1. Find it at:

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/faq/

 

It has a link about halfway down the page. If you can't find it, use Edit|Find and search the page for "fix dell" (don't forget the space).

 

2. Save the file to your designated storage directory. If using IE, click the link, then click Save (not Open). If using Firefox, right-click the link and click "Save link as...". (Don't directly click the link, or the file will simply open with nonsense characters.)

 

B. Second file: Fixdell.cmd

 

I couldn't find this file on the Web as a download, but here's the code. Copy-and-paste the following into a *PLAIN-TEXT* editor like Notepad (*not* a word-processor like MS-Word or WordPerfect). Save the file under the name "fixdell.cmd". To do that, in the "Save As" dialog box, put the name (including extension) in *quotes* to prevent the *.TXT" file extension from being automatically appended to the file name. (You don't want it to be called fixdell.cmd.txt) Save the file to your designated storage directory.

 

The code is:

 

================= (Don't copy this line)

REM Version 1.3

reg query HKU | find /i "pebuilder" > fixdell.txt

for /f %%a in (fixdell.txt) do reg unload %%a

reg load HKLM\DELL setupreg.hiv

subinacl /subkeyreg hkey_local_machine\dell\controlset001\services\iastor\ /objectcopysecurity=hkey_local_machine\dell\controlset001\services

reg unload HKLM\DELL

del fixdell.txt

del /ah setupreg.hiv.log

echo Check output to see if there are any errors.

pause

================= (Don't copy this line)

 

 

C. Third file: subinacl.exe (Downloaded as subinacl.msi)

 

Find it at:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;displaylang=en

 

Download subinacl.msi to your designated storage directory. You'll expand it later.

 

 

V. Now put the three helper files where they belong

 

A. Fixdell.cab

 

This file creates a plugin for PEBuilder that tells the Rescue Disk not to look for certain driver files. If you omit this step, you might still make your way to burning a CD, but when you try to boot from it, you'll get an error message saying a particular file couldn't be found. (IASTOR.SYS, CERCSR6.SYS, and AFAMGT.SYS are a few examples), after which the boot process will simply terminate.

 

To install the plugin:

 

1. Launch pebuilder.exe

 

2. In the "Source" box, use the "..." button at the right to navigate to the folder where you copied the Dell Windows Installation disk. (You're actually not going to perform the Build operation at this point, but you can't do the next step unless you've designated a valid Source location.)

 

3. Click the "Plugins" button (which is now available).

4. Click the "Add" button

5. Navigate to the folder where you stored Fixdell.cab

6. Double-click the file, and click "Open"

 

7. Once the plugin is installed, use the following method to verify that it's current. (Some older versions of fixdell.cab exist on the Web):

 

a. Navigate to the PEBuilder313\Plugin\fixdellxp folder. (If the folder doesn't exist, you didn't install the plugin correctly.)

 

b. Right-click on the file fixdellxp.inf, then click "Open" (*not* "Install"). It should look like this:

 

[Version]

Signature= "$Windows NT$"

 

[PEBuilder]

Name="Fix Dell Windows XP OEM boot problems"

Enable=1

 

[sourceDisksFiles]

iastor.sys=4,,4

a320raid.sys=4,,4

aarich.sys=4,,4

aac.sys=4,,4

cercsr6.sys=4,,4

afamgt.sys=4,,4

nvatabus.sys=4,,4

nvraid.sys=4,,4

 

 

If some of the "xxxx.sys=4,,4" lines are missing, you need to add them. (The safest way, to avoid typo's, is to copy-and-paste from the code above, or to copy-and-paste an already existing line and just change the name of the xxxxx.sys driver file.) When done, Save and close.

 

B. Fixdell.cmd

 

Copy this file, which you saved to your designated storage area, to the i386 subfolder of the location on the hard disk where you copied the Dell Windows Installation Disk files.

 

C. Subinacl.exe

 

The subinacl.msi file installs a file called subinacl.exe to a location that you designate. If you're interested in what subinacl.exe does, it's function is described on the Microsoft page you downloaded it from.

 

1. Double-click the file subinacl.msi, which you downloaded to your designated storage folder.

 

2. *DO NOT* accept the default installation location for subinacl.exe. Instead, navigate to the i386 subfolder of the hard disk location where you copied the Dell Windows Installation Disk files, and install it there.

 

 

VI. Un-protect the files in PEBuilder313 that need to be overwritten

 

The build process requires that certain files in PEBuilder be deleted and/or replaced by modified versions. Error messages at this point may include:

 

Error: loadKey() failed:

Error: DeleteFile() "C:\pathname\petmphive" failed

Error: DeleteFile() "C:\pathname\petmphive.log" failed

Error: DeleteFile() "C:\pathname\setuphiv" failed

Error: DeleteFile() "C:\pathname\setuphiv.log" failed

 

Another common error-message is that a file "can't be accessed because it is being used by another process." Yet when you examine all running processes, none of them has anything to do with those files. I scoured the Web but couldn't find a definitive explanation of why this was happening. This is the part I had to discover myself.

 

Actually, these files are *not* being used by any other process. They're just write-protected. This becomes a matter of setting Permissions. For those not familiar with Permissions in Windows XP, they're what determine users' rights to a particular file or folder -- anything from "read-only" to "full control."

 

To make the files accessible to being deleted or over-written:

 

A. Right-click the PEBuilder folder

B. Click "Properties"

C. Do you see where "Read-only" has a green check-mark? Ignore it! It's a decoy!

D. Click the Security tab on top

E. In the box labeled "Group or user names", CREATOR OWNER should be present. If it's not:

F. Click the "Add" button.

G. Click the "Advanced" button.

H. Click the "Find now" button.

I. In the list of users, double-click CREATOR OWNER

J. Click OK

K. Check the "Full control" box

I. Click the "Advanced" button

J. Check the box that says "Replace permission entries on all child objects etc."

K. OK and APPLY your way out.

 

 

VII. Execute the Fixdell.cmd file to replace the original Registry hive file with a Dell-compatible one

 

A. Navigate to the i386 subfolder of the location where you copied the Dell Windows Installation Disk files

B. Double-click the file "fixdell.cmd"

C. Inspect the output in the popup window to make sure there are no error messages.

D. If no errors, just hit Enter to close the Window.

 

 

VIII. If there's not already a subfolder under PEBuilder313 named "BartPE", create one.

 

IX. Put a blank CD or DVD in the drive. (You know we must be getting close!)

 

X. Launch Kaspersky

 

XI. Click Scan, then "Create a Rescue Disk"

 

(The following three steps assume your hard disk drive letter is C:)

 

XII. Set the "Installed PE Builder folder" to C:\pebuilder313\ (Don't type it in -- navigate to it with the "Browse" button.)

 

XIII. Set the "Output folder" to C:\pebuilder313\BartPE (Use "Browse")

 

XIV. Set the "Path to Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 installation CD" to the folder on the *hard disk* to which you copied the Dell Windows Installation files from the CD. (Again, use "Browse".) *Don't* use the CD drive.

 

XV. Click "Next" and follow the rest of the prompts. You should now be able to create a bootable Rescue Disk with Kaspersky available on it to scan your hard disk from the "outside".

 

I apologize for the length of this post, but if the solution were simple and concise there wouldn't be so many frustrated people (including me!)

 

TwltZone

 

Share this post


Link to post

It would be nice is someone from Kaspersky Labs or someone from the moderators group could test or cofirm this method of creating a rescue disc for a Dell Computer. In fact, if it works, it would be nice if Kaspersky could have an official support document regarding how to create a Kaspersky rescue disc on a Dell PC.

 

If the method does work, it will be very helpful to Dell users. Thanks TwltZone, for your post. I have tried to make a rescue CD several times and always failed. :-( I don't have enough expertise to be able to evaluate this information that you have posted. One would think that there are enough Dell computers for Kaspersky Labs to create a support document.

Share this post


Link to post

Actually, my post was intended for the average user, who might not have an advanced level of expertise. I know it's lengthy, but if it's too dense to follow, then that's my fault.

 

Actually, you *can* evaluate the information -- just set aside some time, print it out, and give it a try, step-by-step. If it works, there's your evaluation (and your rescue disk)!

 

Let me know how it goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Actually, my post was intended for the average user, who might not have an advanced level of expertise. I know it's lengthy, but if it's too dense to follow, then that's my fault.

 

Actually, you *can* evaluate the information -- just set aside some time, print it out, and give it a try, step-by-step. If it works, there's your evaluation (and your rescue disk)!

 

Let me know how it goes.

 

I don't think that it is "too dense to follow"---I'm grateful for your post, and may eventually give it a try, but I hope other Dell users at this forum will join in the discussion. I definitely want to keep an eye on this thread.

 

P.S.: Already printed it for future reference!

Edited by OldRebel

Share this post


Link to post

Hi TwltZone,

Since you said "let me know" here are my experiences.

Your instructions are just perfect.

Before I found these instructions I had tried to build a bootable BartPE-disk for my Dell-laptop (Latitude D505).

All my efforts failed until..... I found,printed, and followed your instructions.

And all worked rightaway!!

I used the Dell-supplied OEM Windows XP-Professional disk.

The only change I had to apply to your instructions was from paragraph X.Launch Kaspersky onwards, since I don't have that program.

Instead I launched pebuilder.exe and checked the box "create ISO".

The ISO-file ( named 'pebuilder.iso') than is made in the C:\pebuilder313-folder.

Subsequently I burned that iso-file on a DVD ( wanted to have some extra space for extra plugins) with the help of the CDBurnerXP-program (freeware). And that was it: my laptop booted perfectly from the DVD !!

I thank you very much for this nice step-by-step instruction and can recommend it to other DELL-computer owners.

For information: The main reason why I need this boot-dvd is that I can restore complete partitions in case of a system-crash .I use the 'DriveImageXML'-program for that and therefore added the DriveImageXML plugin onto BartPE. This prevents time consuming XP-re-installation.

Last week my harddisk crashed and I had to install a new one. An old version of the BartPE-bootCD on which DriveImage was installed and a backup of the partitons, saved on an external harddisk brought me back into business in an hour.

Again: thanks !!

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you very much for the excellent tutorial. However I've run into a roadbloack here and I'm fighting for days to get the excellent BartPE tool (pebuilder ver 3.1.10a) to create a bootable CD for my Dell XPS 530 with SATA HD and a SATA CD/DVD drive (TSST Corp TS H653B).

 

The only modification I had to make to your tutorial was in the Fixdell.cmd file:

REM Version 1.3

REM reg query HKU | find /i "pebuilder" > fixdell.txt

REM next 2 lines by kimvolker to do what above 1 line is suppose to do

reg query HKU > fixdell_1.txt

findstr /i /F:fixdell_1.txt "pebuilder" > fixdell.txt

 

for /f %%a in (fixdell.txt) do reg unload %%a

reg load HKLM\DELL setupreg.hiv

REM by VP subinacl /subkeyreg hkey_local_machine\dell\controlset001\services\iastor\

REM by VP /objectcopysecurity=hkey_local_machine\dell\controlset001\services

subinacl /subkeyreg hkey_local_machine\system\controlset001\services\iastor\ /objectcopysecurity=hkey_local_machine\system\controlset001\services

reg unload HKLM\DELL

del fixdell_1.txt

del fixdell.txt

del /ah setupreg.hiv.log

echo Check output to see if there are any errors.

pause

 

I can create a BartPE CD using the Win XP / drivers from the Dell XPS machine (using all steps from the above tutorial) that will just boot fine on another Laptop (with an IDE CD drive). Whenever I try it on the Dell, the CD boots and then gives me the message "Setup is inspecting your hardware" (for about 1 second) and then the screen goes blank and the machine hangs. With Crtl-Alt-Del I can restart the boot procedure over again but the machine never boots.

 

I did include the Dell Fix Plugins in the BartPE CD build.

 

I did attach the latest pebuilder log file for your reference.pebuilder.log

 

Another tidbit of info: When I try to use a functioning Knoppix (Ver 5.2) DVD I get the error message "can't find Knoppix filesystem.........." and machine goes into a minimum shell.

 

I believe the problem might be that your BartPE doesn't read the SATA CD drive after the initial boot.

 

Any ideas? I would be grateful for some suggestions.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Hi TwltZone,

Since you said "let me know" here are my experiences.

Your instructions are just perfect.

Before I found these instructions I had tried to build a bootable BartPE-disk for my Dell-laptop (Latitude D505).

All my efforts failed until..... I found,printed, and followed your instructions.

And all worked rightaway!!

I used the Dell-supplied OEM Windows XP-Professional disk.

The only change I had to apply to your instructions was from paragraph X.Launch Kaspersky onwards, since I don't have that program.

Instead I launched pebuilder.exe and checked the box "create ISO".

The ISO-file ( named 'pebuilder.iso') than is made in the C:\pebuilder313-folder.

Subsequently I burned that iso-file on a DVD ( wanted to have some extra space for extra plugins) with the help of the CDBurnerXP-program (freeware). And that was it: my laptop booted perfectly from the DVD !!

I thank you very much for this nice step-by-step instruction and can recommend it to other DELL-computer owners.

For information: The main reason why I need this boot-dvd is that I can restore complete partitions in case of a system-crash .I use the 'DriveImageXML'-program for that and therefore added the DriveImageXML plugin onto BartPE. This prevents time consuming XP-re-installation.

Last week my harddisk crashed and I had to install a new one. An old version of the BartPE-bootCD on which DriveImage was installed and a backup of the partitons, saved on an external harddisk brought me back into business in an hour.

Again: thanks !!

 

Share this post


Link to post

Well, DoubleScotch, 9 months might be a little late for me to respond, but I stopped following the thread after a few weeks, and only now just came back onto the forum.

 

But I'm glad you found the tutorial helpful. Hopefully others did too.

 

Thanks for the feedback!!

 

TwltZone

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

We use cookies to make your experience of our websites better. By using and further navigating this website you accept this. Detailed information about the use of cookies on this website is available by clicking on more information.