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How to Create a Bootable Restore DVD for Use with ImageAll (IDE/SATA-Based DVD Drives Only)

This article will explain how to create a bootable DVD (or CD) disc that uses ImageAll to restore an entire hard drive.  Please note that these instructions only fully apply to DVD drives that use either the IDE or SATA interface.

Here is a list of the hardware and software you will need to complete this procedure:

  • Image for DOS
  • IMGFLPYD (Not needed in all cases; please refer to the instructions below)
  • RAM drive software
  • DVD-burning software that supports the creation of bootable DVD discs
  • IDE/SATA-based DVD burner drive
  • Floppy diskette drive
    1. Create the Backup Set

      Use ImageAll with Image for DOS (or Image for Windows--see the note below) to create a backup of the desired hard drive.  When you create the backup, be sure to select a hard drive other than the one being backed up as the destination for the backup, unless you are using Image for Windows with PHYLock.

      After the backup has been created, you will end up with the following files:

      • Image files: One .IMG file for each partition on the source hard drive.  If one or more of the source partitions was large enough, you may also have additional, numbered image files (.001, etc.).

      • A .DIM file.


    1. If you used a secondary hard drive as the destination for the backup operation, all of the above files should be found on that hard drive, in the path you specified during the backup operation.


    1.   If you use

Image for Windows

    1. with ImageAll to create the backup, be aware that on some configurations, hard drives have different number assignments in DOS than they do in Windows.  If the hard drive you are backing up has a different number in DOS than it does in Windows, be sure to set the


    1. parameter in


    1. , as explained in step 3.


    1. Create a Bootable DOS Floppy Diskette with RAM Drive Support

      A RAM drive is needed to provide support for ImageAll.  For instructions on how to create this diskette, please refer to the article titled How to Create a DOS Floppy Diskette with RAM Drive Support from Windows XP.

      If you do not have an internal floppy diskette drive, you have the option of using an external, USB-connected floppy diskette drive.

    2. Add Supporting Software to the Floppy Diskette

      In order to use ImageAll with your IDE/SATA DVD drive in DOS, it must be assigned a drive letter.  This is done by adding the files MSCDEX.EXE and OAKCDROM.SYS to the floppy diskette, and then referencing these files in AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS, respectively.
      I.  Download OAKCDROM.SYS (or an equivalent), and place it on the floppy diskette.

      II.  Download MSCDEX.EXE, and place it on the floppy diskette.  (Please note that this link points to MSCDX223.EXE, which is a self-extracting ZIP archive that contains MSCDEX.EXE.  Extract the archive either by running MSCDX223.EXE, or by changing the extension from .EXE to .ZIP, and then extracting the archive like any other ZIP archive.)

      III.  Using a text editor such as Notepad, add/edit the file CONFIG.SYS.  Add the following line to the end of the file, and then save the changes to the floppy diskette:


      IV.  Using a text editor such as Notepad, edit the file AUTOEXEC.BAT, which is found on the floppy diskette from step 2.  Add the following line to the end of the file, noting that the /L:S parameter will set the drive letter of the DVD drive to S: in DOS:

      MSCDEX.EXE /D:MSCD001 /L:S

      V. Also in AUTOEXEC.BAT, and below the line you added above, add the following code.  This code (which is a modified version of the original file, RESTALL.BAT) will be used to initiate the restore process when you boot with the DVD disc you will create:

      rem Set ramdrive to the correct drive
      rem letter (according to AUTOEXEC.BAT).
      set ramdrive=R

      rem Set desthd to the hard drive number
      rem to be restored.  Leave this option
      rem blank to have IFD automatically try
      rem to restore to the original HD number.
      set desthd=

      rem Set filename to the path/file name
      rem where the .IMG files reside on DVD.
      set filename=

      copy image*.exe %ramdrive%:

      if %desthd%.==. echo This will restore the "%filename%" backup set.
      if not %desthd%.==. echo This will restore all partitions on HD%desthd% using the "%filename%" backup set.
      echo Press Ctrl+C to cancel, or

      rem Modify/add parameters below, if needed.
      imageall /r%desthd% %filename% >doimg.bat

      set ramdrive=
      set desthd=
      set filename=
      if not errorlevel 1 goto cont
      if errorlevel 1 set el=1
      if errorlevel 2 set el=2
      if errorlevel 3 set el=3
      if errorlevel 4 set el=4
      if errorlevel 5 set el=5
      if errorlevel 6 set el=6
      if errorlevel 7 set el=7
      if errorlevel 8 set el=8
      if errorlevel 9 set el=9
      type doimg.bat
      del doimg.bat >nul
      echo IMAGEALL error code: %el%
      goto end
      call doimg.bat
      echo Restore process complete.
      if %el%==0 goto end
      echo Image error %el% when %imsg%

      VI.  The AUTOEXEC.BAT code you added in the step above requires a few simple changes in order to suit your configuration:

      • Set the ramdrive parameter to whatever drive letter is assigned to the RAM drive in AUTOEXEC.BAT.  By default (according to the procedure outlined in the article How to Create a DOS Floppy Diskette with RAM Drive Support from Windows XP), the RAM drive is assigned drive letter R:.

      • If desired, set the desthd parameter according to the DOS-based hard drive number of the drive that would be the target of an eventual restore.  If you leave this option blank, Image for DOS will try to restore to the hard drive number that was current when the image was created.  (For example, if HD0 was the source during the backup operation, HD0 will be the target during the restore operation, unless you override it using the desthd parameter.  This is why you must be sure to specify the correct value for desthd if you created the backup with Image for Windows, and your hard drive number differs in the two environments.)

      • Set the filename parameter to the drive letter that your DVD drive will have in DOS, plus the backup path and name that was supplied to ImageAll when the backup was first created in step 1.  For example, if you used the file name BACKUP with BACKALL.BAT, and your DVD drive letter in DOS will be S:, set the filename parameter to S:\BACKUP.  Please note that the instructions provided in sub-step IV above (i.e. the instructions for running MSCDEX.EXE with the /L:S parameter) will establish the DVD drive with the drive letter S: in DOS.
      VII.  Add the following files to the floppy diskette:

      • IMAGE.EXE (the Image for DOS executable)
      • IMAGEALL.EXE (the ImageAll executable for use with Image for DOS)
    3. Create a Bootable Image from the Floppy Diskette

      Note:  This step is only required if your DVD-burning software does not allow you to specify a logical drive as the basis for a bootable DVD disc, but instead requires you to supply a bootable image.  If you are using software that allows you to simply point directly to the floppy diskette drive to use as a model for a bootable DVD disc (as Nero does, for example), you can skip this step entirely.  (However, it may be convenient to create an image of the floppy diskette, and have that image saved to your hard drive, rather than having to supply the floppy diskette itself each time it is needed in the future.)

      Create a bootable image of the floppy diskette you created in step 2, using the free utility IMGFLPYD.  Here is a sample command line:

      imgflpyd A: C:\dosimage.img

      Where A: refers to your floppy drive, and C:\dosimage.img represents the path and file name where the floppy disk image will be saved.

      The floppy diskette image file, or the floppy diskette itself, will be used in a subsequent step.

    4. Create the DVD Compilation

      Using your DVD-burning software, create an ISO-based DVD compilation, and include the following files:

      • All .IMG (and numbered image files, if any) from step 1
      • The .DIM file from step 1
    5. Burn the DVD

      If you created a bootable image from your floppy diskette in step 4, supply that image to your DVD-burning software as the basis for the bootable DVD disc.  Otherwise, keep the bootable floppy diskette from step 2 inserted, and point to it instead.  In Nero, these options are specified on the Boot tab of the Burn Compilation dialog.

      If you are using Nero and selected the Image file option, choose the following options on the Boot tab of the Burn Compilation dialog:

      • Enable expert settings (for advanced users only!):  Check this option
      • Kind of emulation:  Floppy Emulation 1.44MB
      • Boot message:  Leave blank
      • Load segment of sectors (hex!):  07C0
      • Number of loaded sectors:  1

      Regardless of whether you used a floppy diskette image or the floppy diskette itself above, burn the DVD using ISO 9660 and Mode 1, with no relaxed settings enabled.  Ensure that only the first session is used (i.e. do not use multi-session).

      If you are using Nero, then on the ISO tab of the Burn Compilation dialog, select the following options:

      • Data mode:  Mode 1
      • File system:  ISO 9660 only or ISO 9660 + Joilet
      • File name length (ISO):  Max. of 11 = 8 + 3 chars (Level 1)
      • Character set:  ISO 9660 (standard ISO CD-ROM)
      • Relax restrictions:  Uncheck all of these options


  1. Test the DVD Disc

    Boot with the DVD disc you just created.  If it was created according to the instructions provided above, it will not perform any actions without your confirmation.  Here is what will happen if everything was done correctly:

    • The code that was added to AUTOEXEC.BAT will prompt you with the message "This will restore the '<filename>' backup set" (or something similar).  You will be able to prevent the restore process from running by pressing Ctrl+C.

    • If you allow the restore process to begin, ImageAll will run, and you will be prompted again, with the warning that the existing data on the target hard drive will be overwritten if you allow the process to continue.

    After completing the process outlined above one time, you will be able to create an updated bootable restore DVD disc by carrying out steps 1, 5, and 6 alone (though step 7 is also recommended).  Remember to ensure that only the first session is used on the DVD disc (i.e. do not use multi-session).

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