Disk Preparation
Make a 4-in-1 Boot Floppy
Disk Preparation

For the purposes of teaching, I have developed a floppy disk which allows a system to boot with various options. The following explains how to make this network boot disk, which connects to the training servers. Forget the 5-in-1 and pre-2005 versions of 4-in-1..

The prestigious new 2005 4-in-1 Disk is better than ever!

Read the section on Floppy Management with Winimage to understand how to use the Winimage program to create floppy disks.

Firstly let's address a point of personal consternation. At TAFE there are in fact two Ghosts. Firstly, there's the program called Norton [Symantec] Ghost which is used for creating and using images of hard disks. Secondly there's a TAFE Server which runs Windows NT/2000 which is called \\Ghost and which is used to store some Norton Ghost images on.

This has always seemed to me to be a really daft name to call a server; it's an obvious source of confusion to newbies and a drag having to explain the difference between the two. I mean any other name would have been better. This is one reason why I store all my teaching images on my own server \\Goth.

Why Ghost?

Norton Ghost allows you to install an operating system and software to specification and then take a 'snapshot' of that state and to save all the files and directories in one huge file. It's a bit like a slightly more sophisticated WinZip. See Using Norton Ghost for more detail.

You are going to make a floppy disk which you will use to boot a PC and let it to talk to the network, connect with a Server and download and install a Norton Ghost image to your hard drive from the server.

TAFE only The Winimage file for making the floppy is kept here:

Click on the above link and save it to your hard disk. You should now have the file andys_disk.imz in a folder somewhere on your system. Open Winimage and open the above .imz file. Stick in a floppy disk and image the floppy with the andys_disk.imz file [CTL-W]. Winimage is a bit like Norton Ghost for floppies.

Stop Press 2005: New information for the new 4-in-1 Disk!

Once your disk is imaged, close Winimage and that's it. No more configuration necessary! The hot new 4-in-1 will generate a random computername, so no worries about it conflicting with other machines. It's also been configured to automatically log you onto the network as user student, password: hello. Terrific.

Just map those drives and away you go. If you still have the older, less pristine, vastly inferior and probably a bit-smelly-by-now, pre-2005 4-in-1, it will still work and the instructions are here.

The new 4-in-1:2005 has been completely redesigned using parts of that Godforsaken operating system, Windows ME of all things (shudder). The ME version of DOS, I believe Microsoft try to call DOS 8 - but ignore that. I don't know why they'd bother calling it anything really, considering they busted a gut (and a previously good OS) trying to hide it from the user. My apologies, I'm starting to rave..

So, the new 4-in-1 basically still works like a Win98/FAT32 boot disk, but with smaller files (that's the only reason ME gets used). Of course I had to find ME versions of fdisk.exe and because the '98 versions don't work with ME's have to keep changing things for change's sake, don't they.. Sorry. Anyway FDISK and FORMAT are sitting there, loyally anticipating your command. There are the old favourite options for CD/DVD-ROM drivers and (some)(maybe) DOS USB functionality, as well as some rather clever network connectivity.

New features include the ability to ping, ipconfig, view MAC Addresses - all from the default auto boot options. Additionally there's reduced diskette file occupancy which means there's still around 300KB to put some of your favourite DOS apps. Coolerino.
- A.

Put 25.05.2002 | | Refresh Page |