Sunday, September 02, 2007

Roxio Creator Plus Dell Edition Cannot Make Bootable Windows Discs

My Dell laptop (Latitude D820) came with Roxio Creator Plus Dell Edition for use with the built in DVD burner. I believe this odd OEM version is built based on Easy CD Creator 7.

Sometimes you need to burn bootable CDs for Windows. Mostly this is necessary when you want to create a Windows installer disc to reformat and install a fresh OS. While Roxio Creator Plus Dell Edition does have the option to make a CD bootable, it doesn’t appear to actually work. It requires you supply an image of the boot code (no problem, I have several such working image files, and they are easily found on the internet as well.) However, after burning the "bootable" disc it doesn’t boot the computer giving me an error code 4. Grrrr.

This is only a theory but I believe it is picking the wrong emulation type. There isn’t a dialog or setting that lets you manually control the emulation type (as there is on other versions of Creator) however, the Help File says:

  • An emulation format is selected based on the size of the image
    you select:


    • If the image is 1.44 MB or less, a bootable CD or DVD will be
      created that your computer sees as a 1.44 MB floppy disk. When you
      start your computer using this bootable CD or DVD, the disc will
      automatically be assigned drive letter A:.

    • If the image is between 1.44 and 2.88 MB, a bootable CD or DVD
      will be created that your computer sees as a 2.88 MB floppy disk. When
      you start your computer using this bootable CD or DVD, the disc will
      automatically be assigned drive letter A:.

    • If the image is larger than 2.88 MB, a bootable CD or DVD will
      be created that your computer sees as a hard disk partition. When you
      start your computer using this bootable CD or DVD, the disc will
      automatically be assigned drive letter C:.




Well thanks Roxio for taking out (or breaking) a very important feature in your software. In the full Creator software, you have the ability to choose the emulation type yourself. And for the record, I have yet to see a boot image larger than 1.44MB so it appears it will always choose floppy disk emulation.

Interestingly I’ve heard from several people who have non Dell OEM versions of Easy CD/DVD Creator 7 and 8 (which as I said do give you the manual option of choosing emulation) yet still are not correctly making bootable discs. Roxio, care to comment?

So if you’re like me, at the office, all you have is this version of Roxio software that won’t make a bootable CD (even though it claims it will.) What can you do? If only Nero had a 30 day free trial download or something.

There is hope… nLite is a pretty amazing free (donations accepted) software package that not only will create a bootable Windows install image but it will burn it to a CD bypassing the need for Creator at all, AND it allows you to easily slipstream new service packs into your install.

Now I went ahead and downloaded nLite, tried it out, and it worked great! If you are creating a bootable Windows install CD whether you want to slipstream hotfixes and service packs in your installation or not, this is the app to use!

2 comments:

phils said...

Thank you Aric! I was having the same problem on my Dell Inspirion. But nLite works like a charm. Your are a lifesaver! The XP repair is finally underway... Thanks again. Phil

puffypuff said...

Nero BurnLite 10 is one of the best CD and DVD burner software I tried and found it very interesting.