Edited March 5, 2010
The original PEtoUSB (22.214.171.124) is probably the best tool for creating plain BartPE UFDs. This tool however is unable to handle UFDs larger than 2GB.
The purpose of this topic is to develop a quick fix to enable PEtoUSB handling large UFDs. Please help me testing the following procedure. If successful, it will be automated in a plugin, running either from the standalone BartPE or from XP (build folder or CD).
================= SUGGESTED TESTING PROCEDURE =================
0) Build BartPE in the usual way (no need to generate the ISO image) or have your BartPE CD at hand.
1) Download the original PEtoUSB tool (126.96.36.199) from here.
2) Download USB Image Tool from here.
3) Download the FAT16 start image from here. This image contains the start sectors only.
Optional: Download the FAT16 partition from here. CHANGE the extension to .imz in case you get it as .zip. This image contains the entire partition filled with 00.
4) Optional: Download UBUSB from here (very handy for testing the created UFD in QEMU)
5) Optional: Back up all valuable data stored in the test UFD. Start USB Image Tool, select Device from the pull-down, click the USB icon, click Backup, select the destinaton folder and name of the image, click Yes. In Device mode, USB Image Tool will make a bit-by-bit image of the entire UFD. In this mode, you should be able to replicate the exact original contents, including any special partitions/software that may have been present in the UFD.
6) WARNING: all partitions and data on the UFD will be IRREVERSIBLY LOST. You may back up the UFD as described in 5) above.
Start USB Image Tool, select Device from the pull-down, click the USB icon, click Restore, select the FAT16 image and click Yes.
NOTE: the start image will be the fastest to restore, but contains the start sectors only. Puritans like me will prefer restoring the entire partition as to wipe any garbage data left on the UFD.
7) Eject the UFD and insert it again, or restart the computer (otherwise XP may get misled by the image just restored)
8) Start PEtoUSB
DESELECT Enable Disk Format
In Source Path... select the folder that contains your BartPE build or the drive where your BartPE CD is loaded.
SELECT Enable File Copy
Select Overwrite Always from the pull-down.
Press Start and wait for PEtoUSB to finish.
9) Optional: Start UBUSB. Click Test USB to start the newly created UFD in a virtual machine (QEMU). My DataTraveler G2 works perfectly.
10) Boot the computer from the UFD. My DataTraveler G2 also works perfectly in the actual computer.
===================== NOTES =======================
(1) The above procedure will create BartPE on a single FAT16 partition of 2GB. All the remaining capacity will be lost under XP/BartPE, even if you create additonal partitions (XP/BartPE will not be able to see/access them anyhow without tweaking). The loss of storage capacity should not be a problem, given the low prices of UFDs in the 4-8GB range.
(2) To bring the UFD back to its normal capacity, format it in XP or use the HP USB Format Tool.
(3) When selecting an UFD for BartPE on FAT16 give preference to read/write speeds (especially 4K-512K file sizes) over capacity.
(4) The reengineered PEtoUSB (188.8.131.52) creates BartPE in UFDs over 2GB with NTFS. There are two main drawbacks though:
* Certain mainstream UFDs (eg Kingston DataTraveler) do not boot. My brand new (cheap) 8GB DataTraveler G2 for example halts on boot with an "Error loading the operating system"...
* NTFS wears out UFDs much faster than FAT.
(5) There are excellent utilities for creating BartPE on UFDs over 2GB. I have tried the Bootable USB Utility and UBUSB. My only annoyance with these two is the start menu, which can be disabled with some tweaking. I always prefer using the venerable USBtoPE which never let me down.
Please try this procedure and report back. If possible, kindly specify the brand, model and capacity of the UFDs tested.
Any other feedback is also gratefully acknowledged.
Thanks in advance,