Thanks to user700512 in the forums there is a new way to boot SystemRescueCd. It’s now possible to boot SystemRescueCd from the Windows partition.

 

It has been possible to install SystemRescueCd on your hard disk for a long time but it was necessary to have a linux file system (a filesystem supported by lilo or grub). This allows you to copy the sysresccd files from the cdrom and to boot sysresccd from your favorite boot manager. So it’s faster to boot sysresccd and it work on computers with no CD drive. Here is the chapter about this feature: Easy_install_SystemRescueCd_on_harddisk

 

Now you can also boot from a Windows partition. You just need to install grub4dos that is launched from the boot.ini file. (boot.ini is the configuration file of the windows boot manager). Here is the official grub4dos homepage: https://gna.org/projects/grub4dos/

 

Installation is really straightforward. In this mini tutorial, I assume Windows in installed on an NTFS disk (Disk-C) and your CD drive with Sysresccd is Disk-D. Of course you can also mount the ISO image in Windows using Daemon-Tools.

Here are the installation steps:

  1. Edit C:\boot.ini (see my boot.ini in the bottom)
  2. Create the config file C:\menu.lst (see my menu.lst in the bottom)
  3. Download grub4dos and copy grldr to C:\
  4. Create directory C:\sysrcd
  5. Copy D:\sysrcd.* C:\sysrcd\
  6. Copy D:\isolinux\* C:\sysrcd\
  7. Just reboot and choose “SystemRescueCd” in the menu

Be careful: don’t replace your boot.ini with mine. You must just add the last line to your boot.ini.

A. I used grldr from grub4dos-0.4.3-2007-08-27.zip

B. my boot.ini

[boot loader]
timeout=4
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Windows" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
C:\grldr="SystemRescueCd"

C. my menu.lst (there are only 4 lines: title, root, kernel, initrd)

# This is a sample menu.lst file for SystemRescueCd
title    SystemRescueCd-0.4.x from hard-disk
root     (hd0,0)
kernel   /sysrcd/rescuecd subdir=sysrcd cdroot=/dev/sda1
initrd   /sysrcd/rescuecd.igz

In menu.lst you will have to replace /dev/sda1 with the linux name for the windows partition. And you should add your own boot options (such as “vga=xxx” or “setkmap=yy”) in the kernel line.

One of the most interesting things you can do with the sysresccd ntfs installation is to troubleshoot windows when it has problems. This way you can mount the windows partition with ntfs-3g and repair your windows (replace a backup of the registry, …). The only problem is you cannot mount the windows disk read-write with ntfs-3g because it was already mounted read-only during the boot process. The solution to this problem is to use the docache option at boot time. When this option is enabled, sysresccd will cache its own files (found on the ntfs disk) into memory during the boot process, and the ntfs disk will be unmounted. So it allows you to mount it again with ntfs-3g. So you have to add docache to the menu.lst boot options if you want to be able to mount your windows disk with ntfs-3g after booting from the ntfs disk itself.

The docache option was broken on hard disk installation (including booting from linux partitions). This bug was fixed in version 0.3.1-beta4. You can find information about the recent beta versions in the beta-x86 section.