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I have many CD ISOs downloaded from the Internet. They are each about 100 MB in size and consist of repair/diagnostic programs and other tools. Some of them are Linux-based; others are based on DOS clones, like FreeDOS.

I want to put all of the ISOs onto one bootable DVD, so that when I use the DVD, I will get a menu prompting me to select the ISO I want to boot. How can I do this?

I've seen some rescue CDs that are combinations of other people's ISOs, but I have no idea how they were made.


Regarding bounty:

I, a different person than the OP, have placed a bounty on this question for a solution that meets ALL of these criteria:

  • Is for DVDs (not flash drives!!!)
  • Is free
  • Works with any ISO file, regardless of original OS
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+1: Definitely interested in this –  Callum Rogers Apr 6 '11 at 14:22
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There is a way to do it with flash drives...reboot.pro/13555 –  Moab Apr 6 '11 at 14:50
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7 Answers 7

I did some research and found this tool called SARDU. This tool is free for non-commercial use. I read the website, and I think it can do what you're looking for. You may also want to look at the "Extra's" page to learn how to install ISOs that aren't officially supported by the software.

EDIT: Found you something else, although this has a specific list of supported .iso's that you need to use; you can't use anything other than these. It's called MultiCD, and it's a shell script. Here's the list of supported distros. Most stuff I've looked at has a specific list of stuff you can intall. SARDU is the only one I've seen so far that lets you use whatever ISOs you want.

But seriously, what's wrong with using flash drives? This is certainly a very interesting question, but flash drives are more practical in my opinion. You can get flash drives in MUCH larger sizes than even the highest capacity DVDs.

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The tool seems interesting, but for some reason all of its checkboxes are disabled when I run it. Any idea what might be causing that? [ Edit: I think I figured out why, never mind.] (As for why I don't want flash drives: the very fact that they are rewritable is the reason. Same reason why you shouldn't store backups on flash drives: they can be accidentally messed up.) –  Mehrdad Sep 5 '11 at 0:38
    
That's a very good point, but you could just keep a backup image of the drive. –  ephilip Sep 5 '11 at 1:08
    
Where do I keep the backup? On another rewritable drive? The entire point is to keep the ultimate backup on something read-only. ;) –  Mehrdad Sep 5 '11 at 1:23
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It seems like SARDU "works", but it's quite limited (at least without going through a lot of pain). +1 it's a great option, but I'd really rather something easier (or at least more extensible). –  Mehrdad Sep 5 '11 at 1:24
    
@Mehrdad On a DVD. xD –  ephilip Sep 5 '11 at 1:53
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Consider switching to USB flash drive. I carry 6 isos around on a USB drive, some Linux, some utility and rescue disks. The USB experience is so much faster, and it is incredibly easy to create using this tool:

Pen Drive Linux

How to Create a MultiBoot USB Flash Drive

  1. Run YUMI-0.0.2.8.exe following the onscreen instructions
  2. Run the tool again to Add More ISOs/Distributions to your Drive
  3. Restart your PC setting it to boot from the USB device
  4. Select a distribution to Boot from the Menu and enjoy!

Once you have a drive created it is easy to add and remove manually from the list if you come across a distro that isn't automatically supported by the software. (or at least it was with the previous version which I use)

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+1 I use this tool all the time, it's helped me out so many times –  Sandeep Bansal Sep 6 '11 at 17:57
    
Certain firmware won't allow USB boot without configuration changes –  twinturbotom Mar 14 '13 at 0:50
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Customize the UBCD template

Using the template that is provided with the UBCD, you can easily sub in your own ISO images and have a nice menu for a user to select from:

To add your own ISO images to UBCD, copy them to c:\ubcd-extracted\ubcd\custom. You can optionally compress each image using gzip (via a tool such as 7-Zip) to make them smaller. Then edit c:\ubcd-extracted\ubcd\custom\custom.cfg and add each ISO image to the menu.

For example:

LABEL -
MENU LABEL Windows 98
TEXT HELP
 Windows 98 boot disk
ENDTEXT
LINUX /boot/syslinux/memdisk
INITRD /ubcd/custom/win98.iso.gz
APPEND iso raw

I have done this on numerous occasions to build customized UBCDs or just alternative boot CDs with other utilities or options (such as multiple live operating systems)

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Wait, what!! Is it really that easy?? I really hope I get a chance to test this, and that the Note that not all ISO images can be successfully booted this way. warning doesn't apply in my case... let's see how this goes. –  Mehrdad Sep 8 '11 at 8:52
    
This sometimes seems to work. However, it needs exactly as much RAM as the ISO size (or more??)... is there a way to avoid that? Otherwise I'd be reading 700 MB of data into memory, just to boot... and I even got "not enough memory" on a 2-GB virtual machine, when my ISO file is 700 MB. Any fix? –  Mehrdad Sep 8 '11 at 19:03
    
Ah, OK, it seems like it works fine on VirtualBox, if I have enough memory. 700 MB is still a lot, though... –  Mehrdad Sep 8 '11 at 19:12
    
It seems like I get error 0x0000007B if I try to use the XP installation ISO this way (INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE) on VirtualBox. I'm not sure if I'll try it on my actual computer, but I'm guessing this method might not always work. –  Mehrdad Sep 8 '11 at 20:10
    
hmm, I've never tried to use the XP installation ISO, just BartPE with XP live. –  MaQleod Sep 8 '11 at 20:10
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Have a look at this article : Super-Disc: Multi-Boot Project CD/DVD Using ISOLINUX.
The method uses ISOLINUX to assemble the DVD.

The article is oriented Linux, but contains also at its end directions for including XP, which should work for all versions of Windows.

You must understand that before making a Multi-Boot DVD, you should already be able to make a working, bootable CD of each of the OS's you intend to include.

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Hmmmmm doesn't look trivial but seems like it's worth a shot, I'll look into it. Thanks! –  Mehrdad Sep 3 '11 at 3:05
    
I tried getting it to work, but it's hard to follow -- I can't find binaries for syslinux, for instance. :( –  Mehrdad Sep 5 '11 at 1:40
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The article lists at the beginning all the required tools and their websites. The Syslinux download contains ISOLINUX. –  harrymc Sep 5 '11 at 5:49
    
Yes, I found the website and the download, but the problem is that it seems to be source code. I can't figure out which files I need and which ones I don't. –  Mehrdad Sep 5 '11 at 6:03
    
I found the binaries in the "core" subfolder in both the Windows and Linux releases. The HowTo details exactly which files to copy where, so just follow the steps. If you don't see a file, just search for it in the directory you unpacked the release into. –  harrymc Sep 5 '11 at 6:17
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Have a look at XBoot

https://sites.google.com/site/shamurxboot/tipsntrick

or YUMI

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/

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+1 I would have recommended X-Boot. –  paradroid Sep 6 '11 at 23:15
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@paranoid, Moab: Are you sure XBoot works for arbitrary ISOs? It seems to be very limited... –  Mehrdad Sep 8 '11 at 20:13
    
from the xboot site page I posted, " Some ISO files which are not supported can be added using Grub4dos ISO Emulation Go to page Tips & Tricks for further details." –  Moab Sep 9 '11 at 2:23
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This page has a lot of information: http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootablecd mostly about how they created the Hiren's Boot CD menu but could be adapted for other uses.

You may also want to take a look at Bart PE to create bootable windows environments as well. http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/

Regards

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You can easily make a multiboot DVD with EasyBoot.

enter image description here

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6  
Commercial : $29.95 –  harrymc Sep 2 '11 at 9:05
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