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Thread: replace Express Gate with UNR on alternate power button

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    4

    Re: replace Express Gate with UNR on alternate power button

    Try Again

    I will try your program as soon as I get a few spare hours and report back my experience! Probably I'll use it to boot Chromium OS or maybe Ubuntu on my ASUS UL30Vt. Who knows.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    26

    Re: replace Express Gate with UNR on alternate power button

    Quote Originally Posted by Try Again View Post
    Hi. I found a way to boot whatever OS you want using the Splashtop button, using the CEFULL file to hijack the boot process and execute your own boot code. A Splashtop OS installation is not necessary to achieve this, eliminating the need for Windows. It's my first true program in assembly, I didn't try to optimize my code and everything is pretty much hard-coded (suggestions are welcome). However, it's been a good exercise to practice switching between protected mode and real mode.

    The tarball, containing source and binaries : stboot-0.1.tar.gz

    Documentation and instructions can be found in the README.

    Testers needed!
    Man, you're awesome! This is precisely the reason why I want to become a real programmer. To have the absolute control over what my machine does.
    I myself won't be able to test it for you but fingers crossed. This looks like the real thing.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    8

    Re: replace Express Gate with UNR on alternate power button

    I'm eager to get feedback!

    I've made a new tarball, it's mainly a code clean-up, but copy operations should be a little faster : stboot-0.1.1.tar.gz

    With a lightweight installation (including readahead and systemd) and a 5400rpm HDD, I manage to get from POST to Chromium in about 30 seconds, POST and GRUB4DOS taking about 7 seconds before loading the kernel, so there's still much room for improvement. I'm now looking for a lighter alternative to GRUB4DOS. SYSLINUX would get my preference, but even more stripped-down bootloaders exist.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    26

    Re: replace Express Gate with UNR on alternate power button

    OK, even without a Splashtop hardware I couldn't resist, so I attached the CE_BZ header to your program and tried in VirtualBox. It works right but the runtime is about 5 seconds (from grub to grub ). I haven't tried your update though.
    Anyway, you've done a great job. I only wish I could understand this stuff but assembler is still a wizardry to me.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Beans
    4

    Re: replace Express Gate with UNR on alternate power button

    OK, so I installed ubuntu 11.04 on a partition on my hdd and used your program to chainload grub2. It was a bit tricky, but it worked at last!

    Works like a charm, except it's taking a long time to boot. I'll tinker a bit with grub2 config, but the step from boot to grub4dos it's not that bad actually.

    Thanks a lot man! You just made my splashtop button useful!

    Maybe I'll install chromium os to get an "instant-on" OS (my original idea) this week.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Winchester, UK
    Beans
    263
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: replace Express Gate with UNR on alternate power button

    Probably academic but does it make any difference in boot time between which power button is used to boot a system?
    e.g. if both power buttons booted the same system.

    Edit: Currently my alternate button boots Express Gate and the normal button boots to Grub for selection of Ubuntu or XP.
    Last edited by welshmike; August 27th, 2011 at 08:03 PM.
    MSi CR620 (Novatech i3 Core i3-350M) 2.27GHz 2GiB RAM, 250GiB SSD, Ubuntu 14.04 & XP
    ASUS Eee PC 1001P Atom N450 1.66GHz 1GiB RAM, Lubuntu 14.04 & XP
    Toshiba Equium M50&M40, Lubuntu 14.04 & XP
    Raspberry Pi B, SD bootable Raspbian or OpenElec/XBMC

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Beans
    8

    Re: replace Express Gate with UNR on alternate power button

    Quote Originally Posted by welshmike View Post
    Probably academic but does it make any difference in boot time between which power button is used to boot a system?
    e.g. if both power buttons booted the same system.
    Technically, the boot procedure is the same from the one involving the normal power button (copy a bootloader at 0x7c00, load a kernel, boot), there's no magic in it. But the entire purpose of the Splashtop button is to have a non-interactive way of booting an OS. So, theoretically, you're saving time from not having to choose, but it's not that obvious at the moment : GRUB4DOS does partition probing in the order specified by the partition table, so if your stboot partition is not the first one, it might take some time... That's why I'm looking for a lightweight alternative or another boot method (for example, by reading boot sectors with stboot).

    But, sincerely, there's no point in booting your regular OS with the additional button, except for rescue purposes. With two power buttons, your PC is not tied to only one bootloader anymore, thus you are free to find a specific purpose for one button or the other.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Winchester, UK
    Beans
    263
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: replace Express Gate with UNR on alternate power button

    OK no magic just some hard graft research and coding to make use of one button to boot one opsys and the other to boot another opsys.
    MSi CR620 (Novatech i3 Core i3-350M) 2.27GHz 2GiB RAM, 250GiB SSD, Ubuntu 14.04 & XP
    ASUS Eee PC 1001P Atom N450 1.66GHz 1GiB RAM, Lubuntu 14.04 & XP
    Toshiba Equium M50&M40, Lubuntu 14.04 & XP
    Raspberry Pi B, SD bootable Raspbian or OpenElec/XBMC

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Beans
    7

    Re: replace Express Gate with UNR on alternate power button

    Right, so I have my laptop - installed expressgate (cloud) - no menu.lst file. What now?

    EDIT: Actually, the C:\ExpressGateUtil folder is only 17mb, where is the rest?
    Last edited by HuRRaCaNe; September 9th, 2011 at 11:14 PM.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Beans
    26

    Re: replace Express Gate with UNR on alternate power button

    HuRRaCaNe: Well, unless they've come up with a new type of EG, it should certainly be there. Have you tried to look for it on a hidden partition?
    (First, unhide it using gparted, for instance.)

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