livecds in the future

Peter Jones pjones at
Tue Dec 1 16:18:36 UTC 2009

On 12/01/2009 10:42 AM, Sir Gallantmon wrote:

> I found another tool that claims to be able to search and boot a USB device,
> from a floppy disk no less! The tool is called PLoP[1], and it is a custom
> boot manager that can boot USB, CD, and hard disks.
> Maybe that will help some people figure out how it is done.
> [1]:

That's pretty neat, but probably not much help to us.  What this is is a
custom (proprietary, closed source, it seems) bootloader which basically
does this:

1) installs what amounts to a DOS TSR driver for each of:
  a) IDE (of some unspecified variety)
  b) [EOU]HCI
  c) ATAPI and similar (i.e. SCSI MMC/SBC command sets along with
     encapsulation for CDROM and USB-storage)
  d) notably not any SATA/AHCI/etc
2) acts as a chainloading boot loader for whatever bootloader is on
   media that it finds.

Which is also just a fancy way of saying it /replaces/ some of your BIOS's
int 13h routines with what are plausibly slightly smarter (but also
plausibly slightly dumber) ones.

If somebody wants to implement an open source version of this, it could be
helpful, I guess. But it's a lot of fairly difficult work, and the only
real advantage it has over the other scheme I've discussed is that the CD
(or whatever) you're booting from doesn't have to match the OS being

Anyway, if somebody's looking for a truly complex and isolating project to
work on, go right ahead, but I'm not going to ;)


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