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Bootable CD-ROM Format Specification

Bootable CD and int 13 BIOS extensions

(by phoenix technologies / ibm)

This 17 page doc file explains how a bootable CD works. It shows BIOS int 13 extensions and how ISO 9660 standard is maintained.
This article is online from 2559 days and has been seen 11426 times





"El Torito" Bootable CD-ROM Format Specification Version 1.0
Phoenix Technologies / IBM

Contents

1.0 OVERVIEW                                             3
1.1 Scope                                                3
1.2 Notation and Conventions                             3
1.3 Introduction                                         3
1.4 Implementation Options                               4
1.5 Definition of Terms                                  5
2.0 ISO-9660 AND THE BOOTING CATALOG                     6
2.1 Validation Entry                                     6
2.2 Initial/Default Entry                                6
2.3 Section Header                                       6
2.4 Section Entry                                        6
2.5 Section Entry Extension                              7
3.0 THE INT 13 ACCESSIBLE IMAGE                         11
4.0 INT 13 AND CD-ROMS                                  11
4.1 INT 13 Function 08                                  11
4.2 INT 13 Function 48                                  11
4.3 INT 13 and Booting                                  11
4.4 Boot Entry Selection                                12
5.0 CD BOOT PROCEDURES                                  13
5.1 Floppy Booting                                      13
5.2 Hard Disk Booting                                   13
5.3 No Emulation Booting                                13
5.4 System Optimization                                 13
6.0 NEW INT 13 FUNCTIONS                                14
6.1 INT 13 Function 4A - Initiate Disk Emulation        14
6.2 INT 13 Function 4B - Terminate Disk Emulation       14
6.3 INT 13 Function 4C - Initiate Disk Emulation & Boot 15
6.4 INT 13 Function 4D - Return Boot Catalog            15

 
1.0 Overview

This specification defines how makers of CD-ROMs can package several "images" 
of floppy and hard disks on a single CD with the ability to catalog these images
 
and to selectively boot from any single image.
The possibility of booting a PC from a CD ROM has raised several possibilities, 
including:
1. Self-configuring CD-ROMs that manage their own resources, including 
        operating systems and drivers
2. The embedding of multiple operating systems and drivers on the same 
        CD-ROM for a variety of applications, e.g., multi-language
3. The ability of the end user to select which operating system to boot
4. Copy protection for the CD ROM software and data

To accomplish this facility, there are currently two available technologies: 
1. DOS-based drivers (e.g., SCSI or ATAPI)
2. The system BIOS.

Attempting to use DOS-based drivers (e.g., SCSI or ATAPI) to boot from a CD ROM 
creates a number of problems such as resource conflicts and inordinate use of 
memory. The BIOS, however, avoids these problems and offers other advantages, 
including:

1. Can boot from a variety of operating systems by accessing a Boot Catalog 
        on the CD-ROM.
2. Offers the choice of configuring the CD ROM as a hard disk (C: or D:) or
        floppy (A:).
3. Renames existing drives when necessary.
4. Uses existing BIOS technology (Logical Block Access) to access code and 
        data.
5. Compatible with all DOS and Windows applications using INT 13 functions.
Using the BIOS to boot from the CD ROM requires using the available system 
header on the CD ROM

1.1 Scope

This document describes in detail how to format a CD-ROM from which you can boot
a suitably-equipped computer system. It assumes you are familiar with standard 
BIOS INT 13 functions, ISO document number 9660, IBM/Microsoft INT 13 Extensions
Dated 9/92, Version 1.0 of the Enhanced Disk Drive Specification (authored by 
Phoenix), and ATAPI.

(*** download for full text ***)




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