Copying Windows system using Linux

Miroslav Hrachovec hrachovm at
Mon Nov 27 00:21:34 PST 2000

> Steve Loft wrote:
> > 
> > On Saturday 25 November 2000  6:58 pm, you wrote:
> > 
> > > the problem is that the ext2 options for files are different
> > > than the fat32/16 options for files.  I don't believe there
> > > is a way to declare files as "system" in linux, which may be
> > > a problem with your copying...
> > 
> > That was the problem. I changed the files which need the "system"
> > attribute, but that still didn't let me boot.  But it did let me do
> > "sys c:", and after that it booted!
> > 
> > Thanks to everyone for their help.
> > 
> > To summarise, in case it helps anyone else, these are the steps I
> > needed to take:
> > 
> > 1. Format the new windows partition, either under Windows or Linux.
> > 2. Mount the old and new windows partitions, say under /old and /new.
> > 3. cp -ax /old /new
> > 4. Remove the old drive, and put the new one in its place so it becomes
> > /dev/hda.
> > 5. Boot using a Windows boot floppy
> > 6. Add the "SHR" attributes to MSDOS.SYS and IO.SYS
> > 7. Do a "SYS C:".
> > 8. You should now be able to boot Windows from C:
> > 
> > This is what worked for me. YM, as they say, MV :)
> woohoo! 

It really look like the problem is IMHO with overwriting IO.SYS
MS-DOS has some limitations on placing of its IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS
files. I thing it is: first entry in the root directory, at the
most begining of the disk space, continuenous (grr, my English :(
It is understandable no one puts in bootsector whole FS logick ...
>From my point of view IO.SYS is bzImage of Linux, but with some little
less functionality :-))))

If you in step one use FORMAT.EXE C: /s you will have MSDOS.SYS
and IO.SYS with right attributes (no need for step 6).
And I do believe no need for step 7. if in step 3 not overwritten
IO.SYS. BTW MSDOS.SYS is from MS-DOS 7 (Win95) plain text file

> you know, I wonder  what exactly does.  Since it's a
> com file, it should be readable.  I wonder if it does
> something with the mbr, which would make sense.  perhaps a

I am ABSOLUTLY sure that MBR has nothing to do with this. Code in
MBR is very sipmle. Look in ptt table for entry with active flag set
(it has to be only one). Loads its pttion bootsector on the well
known place in memory and jumps into. The End. It is completely
independent of OS you are usnig. Good OSs has the capabilities to
start in the way: put its bootsector in the right place in memory,
jumps into (you have to be in CPU realmode!)
MS-DOS does. Linux too.
I do beleive LILO boot MS-DOS this way. If not I am sad.


> replacement might be fdisk /mbr from the A: prompt. 
> however, sys will work in either case :)... always searching
> to figure out alternative ways to do something :)
> not to be a "chearleader" or anything, but this is one of
> those times when one gets a sense of satisfaction with being
> part of the linux community.  This is how things are
> supposed to be.  congrats on your success with using linux
> to do this, and thanks for listing the steps.  This will
> help in the future... :)
> -- 
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___________________h__ Ustav pocitacove a ridici techniky, VSCHT Praha
__________________h___ Dept. of Computing and Control Engineering, ICT Prague
___m_mm___mm____h_hh__ 0420-02-2435 4174 _____________ Technicka 5
__mm___mm___m__hh___h_ 0420-02-2435 4095 ______ 166 28 Praha 6
m____m____m__h____h___ ing. Miroslav Hrachovec _______ hrachovm at

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