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I need to use this utility to change one of the parameters of my new WD hard drive: http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=609&sid=113&lang=en

It has truly unreadable instructions:

  • Extract wdidle3.exe onto a bootable medium (floppy, CD-RW, network drive, etc.).
  • Boot the system with the hard drive to be updated to the medium where the update file was extracted to.
  • Run the file by typing wdidle3.exe at the command prompt and press enter.

I understand that this bootable medium should be some version of DOS? How can I make my USB stick a bootable medium compatible with this utility (I don't have a diskette drive)? I have Windows 7 and Debian Linux installed.

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Translation: Extract update file, boot from DOS, run update file. –  Hello71 Jun 20 '10 at 2:54
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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Here's instructions for putting a bootable FreeDOS image on a USB flash drive. A similar post detailing other methods is at the FreeDOS wiki. A modified form of the first link's instructions:

  1. Download FreeDOS. The fdbasecd.iso is probably all you need (direct link).
  2. Download the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.
  3. Extract the ISO contents to a directory. (7zip will do this if you don't have another tool. You can also mount the ISO and copy the files from the virtual drive.)
  4. Run the HP tool. Format your flash drive in FAT format (FAT32 is reported as incompatible by the HP tool even though FreeDOS supports it), and make sure to tell it you want to make a boot disk. Point it at the "\FREEDOS\SETUP\ODIN" subdirectory of FreeDOS files.

Now you can follow the instructions your WD tool gave: extract the files to your now-bootable flash drive, boot to the flash drive, and run the utility.

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So FAT32 doesn't work? Maybe that's what I was doing wrong so far... –  Grzenio Jun 19 '10 at 17:46
    
@grzenio: honestly, i don't know. i wondered about that too; the info i found didn't specify. –  quack quixote Jun 19 '10 at 18:07
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In some cases you will have to format the USB flash drive first using command prompt and remove the attributes associated with write-protection. See here : http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/storage/3456666/how-format-write-protected-flash-drive/ I would recommend the command prompt route. If you decide to go the registry route, they forget to mention to ALWAYS backup the registry before making any changes.

After that, I would then recommend quack quixote's solution as it has worked for me on many different flash drives unlike the other solutions which have failed in some instances to work properly.

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I'm adding another answer as I just discovered an even better solution. Rufus! Here's the link:

http://rufus.akeo.ie/

Rufus is a small utility that helps format and create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys/pendrives, memory sticks, etc.

From version 1.2.0, a single version of Rufus is provided, that includes FreeDOS support.

It's small, fast and includes a FreeDOS bootable image. It's like Unetbootin but better (if you're on Windows).

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I had trouble with getting the accepted answer to work as of August 2012.

I found this page: http://goebelmeier.de/bootstick/ which was very quick and worked perfectly from Windows 7.

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You might want to try UNetBootIn.

For other ways of doing this, see here

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Welcome to Super User! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. –  Bob Jun 12 '12 at 7:16
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