Monday 17 October 2022

Boot or Install ReactOS Live from E2B

If you want to try ReactOS (which is at Alpha status - so still very buggy!) you can download a .imgPTN23 file here which should boot to the LiveCD ISO.

ReactOS itself does not fully support USB 2/3 AFAIK, so you may need to attach a PS/2 keyboard and mouse if using a real system. 

I used QemuBootTester to test under Win10.

To make a bootable USB drive I followed the instructions here:

and then I made a .imgPTN23 file from the USB drive using the E2B MPI Tool Kit and MakePartImage.cmd.

Note that the file inside the .imgPTN file must be called livecd.iso. In this case I used reactos-livecd-0.4.15-dev-5200-gac0a0ad-x86-gcc-lin-dbg.iso.

Install ReactOS

If you add a \bootcd.iso, you can also install ReactOS to a PC. This .imgPTN23 file will run the LiveCD and the BootCD ISOs (but it only contains the LiveCD ISO - add the boot cd iso if you also want that too). 

Make your own .imgPTN23 file

1. Make an new empty folder on your Windows Desktop (e.g. ReactOS)
2. Download the files from here and extract into the new folder
3. Download a LiveCD and BootCD version from the ReactOS site (0.4.15 is a debug version) and copy them to the root of the new folder. They must be named livecd.iso and bootcd.iso and must be v0.4.15 or later. You can add just one or both ISOs.
(You could instead of steps 2 & 3, just open my .imgPTN23 file and extract the contents to the new ReactOS folder and replace/add the two ISO files).
4. Install the E2B MPI Tool Kit
5. Drag-and-drop the new folder (e.g. ReactOS) onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop link created by the MPI Tool Kit.
6. Choose option 1 (no EFI). If asked about Syslinux version choose '604'. If asked about Auto-config then choose 'N' as the config files do not need to be changed as they are already correct for USB booting.
7. Now copy the .imgPTN file to the E2B USB drive and rename it as required (use a .imgPTN23 extension if you like though UEFI-booting is not supported).
8. Run \MAKE_THIS_DRIVE_CONTIGUOUS.cmd to make the new .imgPTN23 file contiguous.

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