Creating a DOS Boot CD for a PC

It has been years since I faced the need to boot a PC without Windows up and running, in order to do some kind of hardware flash, and yesterday I decided to take the plunge. I had several Western Digital WD2002FYPS 2TB hard drives that were giving me fits and the information posted about a firmware update to go from 04.05G04 to 04.05G05 seemed like it would be worth a try.

I needed to run a file called 0405G05.exe in DOS with a file called 0405G05.bin in the same directory. At first I remembered that Windows XP would format a floppy and install a bare bones system on it thus making it bootable. Great, but then when I added up the sizes of the two files I needed after booting I remembered 2.1MB is a lot bigger than a 1.44MB floppy. (It really has been a long time since being in floppy world!) I then poked around with the idea of booting DOS from a CD. I found an image of DOS on the internet for a boot CD and thought I could just add my files to it, which I did, but when I booted I did not see them there. (Yes, they were on the CD but not visible from DOS – go figure that one) Replacing the CD after booting with one that only had my files did not work either. (It would not read the CD for some reason) I then toyed with using a USB drive to boot from but when I plugged in my multicard reader (as I had a spare 16MB CF card in my desk) I saw it mount with 4 drives instead of just the populated one. So I moved onto a single flash drive but it was 8GB big and only seemed to be able to format in FAT32 instead of FAT/FAT16. Needless to say I wasted several hours on it and was to lazy to even try to start editing CONFIG.SYS files on a floppy trying to get it to boot with CD support.

I was a Mac user lost in PC land and needed a real (not virtual) PC to flash my hard drives. After trying all of the above I found something that worked, and worked quite well, so without further talk of my trials and errors here is the solution:

  1. Download UBCD. Be sure to download it from the lost list of links as you scroll down the page and not to click on any misleading Google ads before the real downloads.
  2. Extract the files from the .iso into C:\UBCD. On a Mac this is easy (and the way I went about it), if you are stuck in PC land WinImage might be a good option.
  3. Extract the files you want to add into a directory within C:\UBCD\DOSAPPS. For the Western Digital firmware update I created a WD directory and placed 0405G05.bin and 0405G05.exe within it.
  4. Create an iso with the following commands:
  5. C:
    CD \UBCD\TOOLS\UBCD2ISO
    UBCD2ISO C:\UBCD C:\UBCD40.ISO
  6. Burn the iso image to a CD with your favorite burning software
  7. Boot from the CD and navigate down the following prompts:
  8. DOS/Linux Boot Disks
    DOS Boot Disks
    FreeDOS Boot Disk V3.40
  9. Just hit Enter at all of the prompts to accept the defaults
  10. When you finally get to the DOS prompt:
  11. T:
    CD \DOSAPPS\WD
    0405G05

Done! I wish Western Digital would just create a bootable iso for the flasher but without this shortcut available at least I now have a method in place for doing it again if needed, and yes, I am glad I still keep a PC hardware box in the house. Besides being a game host for the kids it still serves a cause when the hardware needs to be called on to work its ancient magic.

  • Cartman

    Thank you for this post! Works flawlessly, following this I updated all my hard drives. You saved my day!

  • Nick

    Can you upload 0405G05.exe and 0405G05.bin as well? The only site that appears to have had it available (3ware, http://www.3ware.com/kb/Article.aspx?id=15592) is down. WD tech support claims the firmware update doesn’t exist, and that I need to RMA my 100 drives that are having problems to get replacements back with the new firmware.

  • http://www.raymonds.com/JRsBlog/ jraymonds

    Post a comment using your real email address and I will email you the two files.

  • Nick

    My e-mail is xxxxxxx. It’s in the mail field of the comment form, but I’m guessing you can’t see that. Thanks!

  • http://www.raymonds.com/JRsBlog/ jraymonds

    Hmmm… Yes, I did get that before and it bounced. I assumed it was just the address that was bogus but now I see it is because of an ‘illegal attachment’. So… I will try a different method! Bottom line is I will get it to you.

  • Nick

    Thanks for the files! Since we have so many disks, we researched and found out we could use the LSI (the manufacturer of the RAID cards we are using) megaraid cli command like so:

    MegaCli -PdFwDownload -PhysDrv ‘[58:0]’ -f 0405G05.bin -a1

    And everything seems to be happy.

  • http://www.raymonds.com/JRsBlog/ jraymonds

    Speaking of LSI — Looks like you can find the firmware here: http://kb.lsi.com/KnowledgebaseArticle15592.aspx

    …in case anyone else is looking for it.

  • David Mooney

    Thanks for the information – it was very helpful. Is there any chance you could send me the iso you created for the UBCD with WD directory. I can’t seem to get mine to compile using the command above “Uh oh, I cant find the boot image ‘isolinux/isolinux.bin’ !”… If you could post your iso on an ftp server it would be appreciated or I coudl give you a site to upload to.

  • jraymonds

    Your in luck — for some reason I still have the CD on the shelf. I think I made an ISO of it (I’m a Mac user) and if you give me an ftp sight to send it to that might be the easiest.

  • jraymonds

    Thanks but close it up — something seems to be bad with my connection now as it was listing 10 hours or something to transfer. I will try to put it somewhere else and let you know.

  • David Mooney

    I think my router was the issue. You might have better luck if you give it a go now.

  • jraymonds

    It is still moving slow so try this: files.me.com/jraymonds/o3ov64

  • David Mooney

    Thanks for the iso. I now have a working CD and will do the flash tonght. If you could mask the ftp details above it would be great. Thanks again for your assistance. Dave.

  • David Mooney

    Thanks for the iso – I finally managed to create the CD. I will give flashing my disks a go tonight. I think I will also make sure I remember my DOS skills; no telling when (or for how long) they will come in handy. Dave.

  • Marco

    Hi, can you please upload the two files or send them to me as email? I left my real address

  • jraymonds

    Marco — that was a long time ago. I am not even running any WD drives anymore never mind have access to the files.

  • Marco

    ok, I asked the WD support and they gave me the files. This is very untypically for wd as they normally dont give firmware files to end users. If anyone needs these files I can upload them just email me: qqiphone@me.com