User:Oldman/A layman's guide/Installing from a USB memory stick

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RamDisk boot instructions (Windows).

Make a bootable usb memory stick with Rufus (install version https://github.com/pbatard/rufus/releases/download/v3.10/rufus-3.10.exe or portable version https://github.com/pbatard/rufus/releases/download/v3.10/rufus-3.10p.exe) to install ReactOS from a RamDisk.

Put the stick in a usb port and start Rufus. You will see that Rufus has detected the stick, if it displays the label or the manufacturer's product name under device. If you have more than one device attached to your computer, then you will have to activate the drop down list under device and select the correct USB stick. Next activate the drop down list under Boot selection and select System linux 6.04. If everything is as in Rufus No2 screenshot, then click on Start.

If Rufus fails to download ldlinux.c32 (you will get an error message), continue with Rufus and let it create the bootable USB stick, but you will need to download the package syslinux-6 from: https://mirrors.edge.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/syslinux-6.03.zip or newer versions from: https://mirrors.edge.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/

Extract the syslinux zip. Then in the extracted folder, go into the bios folder, then into the com32 folder, then into the elflink folder, then into the ldlinux folder where you will find ldlinux.c32. This is my example path to ldlinux.c32 where syslinux zip was extracted to the folder syslinux-6.03:

\syslinux-6.03\bios\com32\elflink\ldlinux\ldlinux.c32.

Copy ldlinux.c32 and paste it into your bootable USB stick.

You now need to down load usbramboot package from: https://svn.reactos.org/packages/usbramboot.zip. Extract the files (freeldr.ini, freeldr.sys, libcom32.c32, mboot.c32, syslinux.cfg) and copy all of them, then paste them into your bootable USB stick.

Next you need the ReactOS ISO file which you are going to install. The ISO needs to be called bootcd.iso or livecd.iso, so you will have to change the name from some thing like this: reactos-bootcd-0.4.15-dev-95-g7895704-x86-gcc-lin-dbg to just bootcd. Reason: the ini file looks for that short name. Now copy the ISO file to the usb drive.

If the contents of the bootable USB stick are the same as in the screenshot Folder contents, you are done and ready to use it.

Note: When you come to use it, make sure that the BIOS will boot from it first; you have to change the boot order in the BIOS setup.

The loading of the RamDisk, on older computers and with a USB 1.1 memory stick, can take almost three and a half minutes, but the installation process is much quicker than from a CD/DVD. The progress bar moves in stages and it may look like the process has stopped.

Screenshots

Press any key to boot from the ReactOS medium....
(Folder contents)


Layman's guides

ReactOS Development Wiki Installing_ReactOS