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Running SERT on older Pentium 4 systems

Created: 14 May 2013 • 2 comments
Wally's picture
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Hello all - I just want to share this information with you.  It worked for me, but no guarantees...

We have a couple of older P4 systems (XP SP3 32-bit) with the Intel 865PE chipset and ICH5 controller.   We couldn't boot from the SERT CD on these systems - got a boot error 5 - probably has something to do with the older chipset and WinPE.

So, here's what we did to boot from a USB memory stick

First follow the instructions in TECH131578 -

with the following exception in Step 6.    Format the USB stick as FAT (format fs=fat) instead of FAT32.  We used 7-zip to unzip the SERT .iso and also unzipped the latest AV defs to the root directory of the USB stick.   Once you boot up the SERT, you can point it to the root directory of the USB stick and the SERT will update itself with the latest AV defs. 

NOTE:   You'll need to get a PIN from Symantec Support to run the SERT.    Just e-mail them and they will send you the PIN.

Go into BIOS SETUP and set USB Device Legacy Support to ENABLED.  You should find the setting under Integrated Peripherals or something similar.

Save the BIOS change and then boot from the USB device.   PF11 on our machine pulled up the "boot from" list.

Then wait - the boot up of WinPE and the SERT is s-l-o-w.  May take 10-20 minutes.  Just be patient.

Be sure that you update your AV defs - the loaded defs date is in the lower right hand corner of the SERT UI.

Run the scan.

After the scan is completed, go back into BIOS SETUP and set USB Device Legacy Support back to DISABLED.

That should do it.   I don't mean for this to be a definitive document on how to use the SERT, just sharing my experience with getting it to run on an older machine.   

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Wally's picture

Update - one of those things that make you go "hmmm".  Just a general USB 3.0 quirk we want to share.

For newer hardware supporting Intel i3,i5,i7 processors with the Intel chipset, our experience has been that you can't boot from a USB 3.0 memory stick unless it's plugged into a USB 2.0 port.  USB 3.0 support comes in the form of an Intel USB 3.0 controller driver that's loaded when the OS boots up.  We've verified this with both the flash drive manfacturer and motherboard manufacturer.

To further confuse things, you can boot from a USB 2.0 flash drive (memory stick) that's plugged in to a USB 3.0 port because the USB 3.0 port downshifts to USB 2.0.

So, the bottom line is that from our experience you can only boot from USB 2.0, either by plugging a USB 3.0 flash drive into a USB 2.0 port -- or -- plugging a USB 2.0 flash drive into a USB 3.0 port.  

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Wally's picture

Latest update, BIOS update allow booting from a USB 3.0 flash drive plugged in to a USB 3.0 port.   However, the port downshifts to USB 2.0 speeds.

USB 3.0 speeds are only supported in the OS with the appropriate USB 3.0 driver loaded.

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