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Customizing Bootable Overlay CDs

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Jason Shropshire

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Posted: 9 Aug 2005

"This is a really good tip. Many customers want to consolidate media onto DVDs and instructions on doing so are always helpful."
--Aaron Gresko, Product Specialist

We had the need to do multiple installations for NetWare 6.5 SP3 and wanted to customize the installation with a response file, and consolidate the overlay CDs to a DVD. The main problem was that modifying the original bootable overlay CDs would render them non-bootable. Here is the work-around:

  1. Copy the OS and Products CD to a hard disk. Combine the two sets of files by copying root of Products CD over the root of the OS CD, overwriting existing files (I noticed the same files were on both discs in a few places, but all dates and sizes were the same).
  2. Create a new bootable DVD image with the iso editor of your choice, but with the Win98se boot disk found here: (choose the link "Windows 98 SE Custom, No Ramdrive")
    This bootdisk already has generic cd-rom drivers that work for our servers and workstations. Add drivers to suit your purpose.
  3. Modify config.sys and autoexec.bat to recognize D: as the CD-ROM drive:
    Set autoexec.bat to change drive to d: and execute install /rf=dos_path\response_file_name

I've also tried DOS 6.22 bootdisk and WinMe bootdisk and each had its own set of problems. DOS6.22 had memory problems (64Mb limit), and WinMe had a different, non-memory related issue. Win98se seems to work perfectly, as all RAM is recognized.

Note: I imagine that NwDsk could be modified to use this for its OS, and the network installation would work great.

Most image editors allow multi-boot CDs that provide menus, and we plan on using this to provide access to several options when the DVD boots including a New Server build, Pre-migration build and a default installation (no response file) option.


DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS /testmem:off



@echo off

install /rf=d:\install\response.rsp

If you have any questions you may contact Jason at

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