Skip to main content

Booting to DOS from a USB memory stick

Now that the floppy disk is ancient history and optical media is not far away, it seems we still have to boot to DOS from time-to-time to perform certain tasks, whether it is to flash a BIOS, or perform some hardware diagnostics. The preferred way of doing it these days is via a USB memory stick, and the easiest way to prepare your USB memory stick to boot to DOS is via a freeware tool called Rufus.

With Rufus, a few clicks is all you need to prepare your USB memory stick to boot to DOS. It comes with two DOSes embedded: MS-DOS and FreeDOS. No extra files are needed. After you are done preparing the stick, you can simply copy the extra application files you need over via Windows Explorer, whether it is to flash the BIOS or to diagnose that network card. It is pretty straightforward.

In addition, Rufus also lets you prepare the USB memory stick to boot to supported ISO images, including Parted Magic, Ultimate Boot CD, Windows 7 Setup etc., even Windows XP Setup (but I haven't tested it).

On an unrelated note, how I came across this tool was because I found myself having to help friends repair the Dell System Restore partition, twice, within the past few months. The DSRFix tool was immensely useful for that purpose, but I needed to boot to DOS from a USB memory stick. After scouring through the dozens of arcane/complicated instructions on the Web, this was the final solution I settled on. I am putting this on record because I am pretty sure it will come in handy for me again at another time!


Popular posts from this blog

Update: Line adapter for Ozito Blade Trimmer

Update (Dec 2021): If you access to a 3D printer, I would now recommend this solution , which makes it super easy to replace the trimmer line. I have been using it for a few months now with zero issue.

Attiny85 timer programming using Timer1

This Arduino sketch uses Timer1 to drive the LED blinker: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 /* * Program ATTiny85 to blink LED connected to PB1 at 1s interval. * Assumes ATTiny85 is running at 1MHz internal clock speed. */ #include <avr/io.h> #include <avr/wdt.h> #include <avr/sleep.h> #include <avr/interrupt.h> bool timer1 = false , led = true ; // Interrupt service routine for timer1 ISR(TIMER1_COMPA_vect) { timer1 = true ; } void setup() { // Setup output pins pinMode( 1 , OUTPUT); digitalWrite( 1 , led); set_sleep_mode(SLEEP_MODE_IDLE); // Setup timer1 to interrupt every second TCCR1 = 0 ; // Stop timer TCNT1 = 0 ; // Zero timer GTCCR = _BV(PSR1); // Reset prescaler OCR1A = 243 ; // T = prescaler / 1MHz = 0.004096s; OCR1A = (1s/T) - 1 = 243 OCR1C = 243 ; // Set to same value to reset timer1 to

3D Printer Filament Joiner

I have been looking at various ways of joining 3D printing filaments. One method involves running one end of a filament through a short PTFE tubing, melting it with a lighter or candle, retracting it back into the tubing and immediately plunging the filament to be fused into the tubing: One problem with this method is that you can't really control the temperature at which you melt the filament, so you frequently end up with a brittle joint that breaks upon the slightest bend. Aliexpress even sells a contraption that works along the same line. As it uses a lighter or candle as well, it suffers from the same weakness. I am not even sure why you need a special contraption when a short PTFE tubing will work just as well. Another method involves using shrink tubing/aluminium foil, and a heat gun: But a heat gun is rather expensive, so I wanted to explore other alternatives. The candle + PTFE tubing method actually works quite well when you happen to melt it at the rig