[Idea] iReboot for Linux?

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#1
Well since iReboot is such a hit do you think you could release a version that is Linux compatible? That way no matter what OS we are running we can have this nifty little tool there to restart in a flash?

Just a thought...
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Believe me, I'd love to... but unfortunately not :frowning:

This is a technical impossibility, since the BCD data is modified via Microsoft's bcdedit.exe or via the WMI interface, neither of which are available under Linux.

It may be possible to reverse engineer bcdedit.exe to interface with a BCD file directly and get it to run on Linux, but that's certainly illegal...
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#3
That sucks...:frowning:
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
Technically, a copy of the BCD registry can be accessed from the Registry, but that's freakin dangerous.

I'd have to
1) Use a beta driver to read from a NTFS partition
2) Load the registry hive (C:\windows\system32\config.sys) into a custom parser so I can check its contents
3) Manually modify the registry hive to set the default OS
4) Write to an NTFS partition to save the changes back

Step 3 is suicide on a Windows machine, there is too much that can go wrong.
Step 4 isn't even recommended for normal files on most linux distros (Ubuntu being the only exception that comes to mind).

I don't know..


Addendum:


Crap... now you've got me seriously considering it :|
edit windows registry from within linux - Google Search
 
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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#5
So it doesnt look like it could be that hard. Hey it was just a idea. You dont have to do it. I know you ahve a lot on your plate right nwo with the HnS.
 
#6
What about in cases of Grub being installed to the MBR? Couldn't you design a program that could change which OS boots by default by simply modifying the menu.lst? :wink:

Cheers,

Jake
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#7
Not really. Point #2. Still would have to mount the NTFS Drive and load the Registry.

Now while for many this wouldnt be a issue, what about those that do not auto mount their NTFS Drives? You would then have to create a part to mount the drive, but that would run for all systems including those that are already mounted and that would throw out a error at that point.

He even went further with Point 3 saying you would have to manually edit the Registry. While i would love to see this. I would not want to run the risk of corrupting my Registry.
 
#8
Not really. Point #2. Still would have to mount the NTFS Drive and load the Registry.
No it wouldn't, because I'm speaking here of Grub being installed to the MBR, in which case the system reads from the menu.lst located on the Linux partition, and then uses it to boot whatever other OSes you have installed, such as Windows. :wink: The BCD file does not need to be accessed for the purpose of simply rebooting, and changing which OS boots by default (not if we're speaking here of rebooting from Linux). There's no need to since Grub controls the boot. The system would only need to use the BCD file once you select the Vista entry in the Grub menu, not before.

-Coolname007
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
Except in Windows you cannot modify menu.lst
 
#10

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#11
Lets look at it differently.

GRUB is installed to the MBR.
The MBR is over-written with EasyBCD to make the BCD the boot loader.

So at that point GRUB no longer controls the boot. The BCD does. So yes Windows would have to be accessed since that is the bootloader that is in use. Not GRUB. Since GRUB only becomes active once you select the Linux entry on the BCD.

So even upon restarting Windows would have to be accessed to let it know to

a.) bypass the selector scree
b.) boot the OS selected in iRebot be it XP/Vista/Win7

If a person used GRUB as the bootloader then by all means something like this could be done. But since the BCD has over-written GRUB as the main boot loader it would not work.
 
#12
Well, obviously I'm speaking here of someone using Grub as their default bootloader, not the Vista MBR. And of course using the program from Linux, not Windows...:wink: I thought that's what you meant anyway when you said "a Linux compatible version of iReboot". :smile: Read Post #6 again.

-Coolname007

EDIT: And iReboot can be downloaded and installed separately from EasyBCD if you're making the case that someone would only use iReboot if they've already installed EasyBCD in Windows...
 
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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#13
Alright sorry mis-read. But then what Guru said comes into play fully. As Windows cant edit the menu.lst therefor making iReboot useless in Windows and only work from a Linux stand point. :wink:

Since the Windows version will require the BCD to be in control of the boot.

So in theory what you are talking about could work. But only from a single stand point as it does now.
 
#14
Alright sorry mis-read. But then what Guru said comes into play fully. As Windows cant edit the menu.lst therefor making iReboot useless in Windows and only work from a Linux stand point. :wink:

Since the Windows version will require the BCD to be in control of the boot.

So in theory what you are talking about could work. But only from a single stand point as it does now.
Yes, I had realized that before even posting. Obviously, one wouldn't be able to use both versions (Linux and Windows) at the same time. :wink: But the Linux version would still be useful for those who prefer to let Grub control the boot on a multiboot, instead of the Vista MBR.

I imagine it would probably also boost the interest in NeoSmart products as well, as more and more Linux users hear of the cool new program that lets them easily reboot into a different OS. :brows:

Anyhow, just a thought, and is something I just wanted to bring to everyone's attention, as ya'll had apparently been only thinking of the Vista MBR at first for the Linux version of iReboot. :wink:

Cheers,

Jake
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#15
Thanks for the input - all these discussions are very inspiring.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#16
Well thinking about it from a GRUB POV there are options but not one that is a solve all. I mean there are ways to be able to access the Linux dirve/partition but again you come across the same issue with that as you would trying to get Windows to boot from Linux.

I have read about explore2fs and while that seems like it could be of use it doesnt support Vista or Win7.

So while in theory what you are thinking could be accomplished it would be a lot of work.

Any way this is looked at it will take a lot of work and additional software to be installed for such action to be taken. It will require either explore2fs to be installed in XP to use iReboot properly if GRUB is the loader or run the risk of having your system bricked from having to access and modify the registry from Linux.

Lots of thoughts but sadly until there is a new boot method to come along that can access all file systems and do what is needed i dont think it will work.

There you go Guru. Your next project. iBootloader. :wink:
 
#17
Any way this is looked at it will take a lot of work and additional software to be installed for such action to be taken. It will require either explore2fs to be installed in XP to use iReboot properly if GRUB is the loader or run the risk of having your system bricked from having to access and modify the registry from Linux.
I don't follow you...:wtf: What does explore2fs have to do with using an iReboot-like program from Linux to reboot into another OS (e.g. XP), if Grub's installed to the MBR?

-Coolname007
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#18
He means so that Windows can edit the menu.lst file.
 
#19
Ok, but as long as you use the program from Linux, then that wouldn't be a problem, right? :wink: And that is what I was talking about anyway when I first bumped this old thread.

-Coolname007
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#20
This is a great idea, but just about everyone here is either dual-booting with Windows as well or are looking for support to fix thier Windows only machines.

Let me go ahead and add to it though. Just an idea of how to get it to work:

To get passed the Windows barrier with no support for accessing a linux partition's contents what if we got the author's permission to use the ext2fs driver in Windows so that a machine primary controlled with grub could utilize rebooting into linux with iReboot? Than on the linux side of things, all that would need to be done is have a linux version of iReboot preform the necessary actions to menu.lst since there the file system can be read/written to natively without the need to do any modification to the Windows registry.

You'd probably want to have two versions of iReboot for Windows not to mention the version for linux though :frowning:. Could make things really complicated, especially if the user decides to use EasyBCD to get back the windows bootloader like mentioned.