Build the Ultimate USB Thumb Drive Toolbox

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Kjdavis1288

So I am trying to make the USB toolbox and when I try to do the syslinux -ma code into the command prompt it says it is an invalid command.

How do I do this.

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vpsmith66

Hindi jokes are very much in demand.We all love reading and listening them.Look here for the best
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bberry

Does anyone know if it is possible to increase the volume size at a later date. If so, how does one do this?

Thanks for your help
bberry

 

 

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sjsajj

the only way would be to make a new larger file and move everything to the new one the other thing about larger sizes is that the max you can get on a FAT system is 4GB

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oblikfan

 

I have both 32 and 64 bit Vista OEM versions at home, I was wondering if there is a way to combine both in the thumb drive installer to be able to chose wich version you wan't to install dependong on the system, and/or how to create a custom installer between Vista and xp.

 

 

Thanks!

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nmarler

I'm interested in a discussion of pros/cons of using FAT32 vs NTFS on my USB thumb drive. In particular, I'm always concerned with catching a virus on my USB key, which does not have a "read only" hardware switch (such switches seem to be very rare these days). It it possible to use NTFS to somehow make a USB thumb drive read only? Any other things to consider when making the FAT32 vs NTFS decision?

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donster

I happened accross this article in search for information on how to make a flash drive autoload an ISO file.  Anyone know how this may be done?

Thanks!

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dessa

For those of us that want to carry around just ONE USB stick with everything on it (say, on our keychains:), how can I get Parted Magic (or another partition manager) to run on the same bootable USB as Knoppix?

 I've played around a little, but just copying the files on and browsing to them and trying to launch didn't work :-(

 Reference article on USB Bootable Partition Managers: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/how_to_repartition_your_hard_drive_for_free_without_formatting_or_losing_data

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Eaglesong3

I have Windows Live OneCare installed and I can't use any of the internet applications on the thumb drive.

Here's the rundown...

 I called the OneCare support and we found that if the firewall AND UAC were turned on that I could not use the net apps.  But we found that if either one of those was turned off that I could.

 The thing is that now I have UAC turned off and the firewall on and I can't use the apps again.  I have given them permission to tunnel through the firewall.  The only thing that I've changed since I had it working is that I'm running my apps from a different thumb drive.

 Does anyone know if there is a specific port or protocol that I can open or activate to allow internet access to applications on a thumb drive without disabling my firewall?

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jfigura

To easily make Knoppix bootable on any thumb drive.. download fixkp2.exe. Run and it will create a "USB-Knoppix" folder on your thumb drive.

Put the Knoppix ISO directly into the USB-Knoppix folder and then run fixkp2.bat from inside the same folder. The batch file will take care of everything that needs to be done. just follow the directions. When done, reboot your system selecting the thumb drive to boot from. 

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Eaglesong3

Despite the title, information first.  I'm running Windows Vista Home Premium and I have Windows Live OneCare installed for my computer safety and health.  I installed the applications on the thumb drive and found that I could not use Pidgin, Firefox or any of the other internet applications.  They could not connect.  I gave them permission to tunnel under the firewall and they still would not function.

 They would work if I turned off my firewall (which seemed odd since they had full permissions to function) and they would work with the firewall ON but only if they were being run from my hard drive.

 After an hour on the phone with technical support for Vista and OneCare it was found that if the OneCare firewall (and I'm including this information in case other firewalls cause the same issue) was turned on AND User Account  Control was turned on that applications on a thumb drive are not allowed internet access.  If either of those is turned off then it works just fine.

I turned off UAC since common sense can protect you from threats it defends against.

 

As for the suggestion, I keep a freeware alarm clock on my thumb drive that I got from Bluefive  Software http://bluefive.pair.com/alarm.htm  It wil beep or play sound files at alarm time (My kid set it up with his speakers to blast some ACDC at 5:30 in the morning to get him up for school)  It's a good thing to have since not all computers have a good alarm program.

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Eaglesong3

You might consider listing the total installed size of each of your kits.  It might be less expensive to buy 5 thumb drives at 250 meg than one at 1 or 2 gig.  Also, if people want to split the utilities into separate drives it would be nice to be able to get the appropriately sized drives for the job.

 I can offer the following though. I installed (or just saved the installers depending on instructions) everything except that I did not make my drive bootable and did not include an operating system install.  All told minus those items it is taking up 501 meg on my thumbdrive.  So if that's all you need then a 1 gig will do you just fine.  I don't know how much more space would be required to make it bootable but would imagine that it would fit in the remaining space.

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Ari

Any one know how to install XP using a USB drive?

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badamsz

This should get you started: 

http://www.vandomburg.net/installing-windows-xp-from-usb/

Basicly you get BartPE (http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/) to boot from USB and install from there.  It works pretty well. 

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n00b *sigh* BOUGHT

iso of knoppix i found seems to not have the .bin files. it was the newest dated torrent file i found linked to them on their site, so what version was used in this test? 

 

think like a gun.

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nekollx

you knwo i have 5 thumb drives (512 mb, 2 GB, 4, GB 8 GB x2) and 3 usb hard drives

 

it would be knice to know the size imprint of each "Tool"

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Eaglesong3

That's kind of funny.  From the first day I read this guide I was wondering the same thing.  I posted a comment in regards to it before I realized you had asked the same thing.

 Although I did not break up the files into their individual "kits" mentioned I did install everything except for the OS installation and the bootable capabilities onto my drive and it took only 501 meg.  I would think that a few 250's and a 1 gig would do the trick.  The four gig I would use for the OS installation drive of course.

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jwalch.hawk

I know I fit the the Windows 7 Beta on a 4GB key just fine, so I presume #5 would be fine on your 4GB.

#3 and #4 I'm less sure on, but obviously your pair of 8GB sticks would manage if the 2 and .5 are too small.

I have the vast majority of the software in #1 and #2 on one 1GB stick, so as long as one either #1 or #2 can fit on 512MB, then the I'm pretty sure the 2GB would more than suffice for the other one. 

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jlgcs

right off the bat... You WILL need over 4GB for #4. At or less will not fit knoppix

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DRAGONWEEZEL

WDS is the bomb.  There is nothing better in the world for viewing what's taking up space, where and why.  I used it once while on vacation in Leavenworth, WA  I wanted to buy an eyglass repair kit because I lost a screw from my RayBans... So I pop into the pharmacy on Front St.  but they said they can't sell anything, they're having a computer glitch.  I say, no prob, I read MPC, I can fix it...  I take a peek, HD has <5mb left on a 120G drive...

 Load WDS, find tons of crap, remove 650 mb and poof, they are up again.  I tell them to call their computer guy and have him reallocate space (they had an empty partition on the same physical drive) w/ GPARTED.  They said I could have anything in the store, but I just wanted to be the hero and pay for my little screwdriver & screws. 

THERE ARE ONLY 11 TYPES OF PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD. Those that think binary jokes are funny, those that don't, and those that don't know binary

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Pentium 0

I agree, its amazing and extremely useful. I removed 10GB of files that i didnt even know where there like the cache from that electric sheep screensaver i uninstalled long ago and 2 temp copies of win 7 beta.

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maxime29

Don't know why anyone would recommend Spybot anymore. Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware does a substantially better job.

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zbeckerd

Malbytes is great.  I have used it many times.  Spybot however does pick up stuff that Malbytes misses.  Also if you keep spybot up to date it stops most stuff from getting on in the first place. 

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jcollins

Re. Truecrypt, can you boot/use the key without Windows?  It's not really clear from this article, but it looks like it's all being done inside Windows (obviously problematic if you can't get into Windows).

The other thing not covered is making a backup of your flash drive once it is complete.  You don't want to go through the work of creating this and then lose or get it corrupted...

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Sard

Has anyone benchmarked Defraggler under Vista the way MPC did for the three defraggers in the mag a few months back? Vista's built-in defragger performed better than all 3 of the retail programs. Makes me wonder if Defraggler is any better.

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kc7wbq

Great article.

May I also suggest the Portable App “KeePass”?

It stores your usernames and passwords in an encrypted file. This gives you the obvious advantage of having all your passwords with you. It can also help thwart any key loggers. KeePass will copy your password to the clipboard, then you past your password, and KeePass will erase the password from the clipboard. No key pushing to get logged by an infected machine.

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neo1piv14

I wasn't terribly impressed with KeyPass, honestly. I believe you can have it use the keyboard method, but by default it just types it in for you. To test this, just open up a notepad window, tell it to auto fill in one of your passwords and you can watch it go character by character (albiet, very quickly). Also, for some web based logins, when it Alt-Tabs to get back to the window it needs to be entering in, the webpage will not put the cursor in the place it obviously needs to be. This has led to my password being typed into the address bar, Enter was pressed by the program, and now there's a google search on my screen for my password. A little frustrating to say the least.

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nekollx

Tweak UI is good and all but what if your frend is running Vista?

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zbeckerd

A tool that I always have on the thumb drive is PC Repair System 1 (Windows).  It was put together on Daily cup of Tech.

http://software.techrepublic.com.com/abstract.aspx?docid=772815

It is 37 apps for computer repair.  I use driveimage xml often, product key, SIW and others as needed.   Not all of these run directly from the drive, so that needs to be considered.

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The Relic

I just tried to get that, and strangely, when I went to Tech Republic and tried to download it, I got a redirect to Amazon, of all places...(I have a login to Tech Republic too).

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zbeckerd

I to got sent to Amazon from Daily Cup of Tech.

I was able to get it here

http://www.savefile.com/downloadmax/408393

 Also I mispoke - everything does run off usb drive.  Some Antivirus does not like ProductKey and sees it as a hack.

Always thought this was a mainstream package that eveyone knew about.  It also has a a menu that loads in the tray to run the programs fron if you wish.

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Marcus_Soperus

Knoppix works extremely well for data recovery. I discussed using it in a comment on a recent review of data recovery software: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/data_recovery_software_roundup_don_your_detective_cap_and_find_your_missing_data#comment-18685

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's amazing how illogical a business built on binary logic can be.

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SEALBoy

I honestly thought you were gonna tell us how to make that metal flash drive case LOL

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jcollins

I was thinking From Russia with Love myself.  Nothing like securing your flash drives like a case with a tear gas trap, dagger in the bottom, and a stack of gold coins in case you're trapped in a foreign country...

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scuzzo

I find having InfraRecorder on my usb  very handy. The ability to offload files from a damaged harddrive to CD so whoever I'm working for can keep their photos and documents is too handy. And I think you can find those metal cases at Lowes, although I've never saw one with a mirror. I'm sure a small mirror with some epoxy would create the same look.

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icebird

Where the heck do you find metal briefcases like that?  I've been looking for an affordable aluminum briefcase or laptop case for a long time.  I swear there's an outlet store for these someplace in Hollywood, because every evil terrorist, every illicit deal on TV & movies has an aluminum briefcase full of cash, drugs, bombs, etc.

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jcollins

Fry's Electronics has them, along with a bunch of other types of briefcases for electronics and the like.  I also got a dinky one from an old hairclipper set I bought way back when.   I've found the hard part is finding the static resistant foam insides to fit it. 

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Asevening

That actually just looks like one of those cases poker chips come in.  You could probably buy one of those long cases and a small one like this and put everything in the long one, then buy some pluck foam to make form fitting spots for the USB drives or some other kind of foam and cut it to replace the lining of the poker case and boom you're done.  You could even attach a mirror to the lid if you wanted and that is essentially what this case Mr. Castle has looks like.

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neo1piv14

Just judging from the mirror on the lid of the thing, I honestly would have to say that looks like my ex girlfriend's makeup case. It's about the right size considering it's only holding thumb drives.

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rockey

Hindi jokes are very much in demand.We all love reading and listening them.Look here for the best Hindijokes .

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Quakindude

Some very good info here in this article! Sure to bring in some traffic for the site. The only thing I would add to this is an additional 1GB USB key. They are cheap enough to use instead of CD's now a days and I have one key dedicated as an Ultimate Boot CD, http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

 

Put the .iso on the USB key and roll without a scratcheable CD to worry over. You can also use this on site to make a CD in case you have a puter that won't boot from USB.

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jstullick

Anyone know how to run TrueCrypt on a computer where you account is non-administrator. My limited account on my school's system won't let me run TrueCrypt. It tells me to log in on an Administrator account because it needs to load the TrueCrypt driver.

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