Bootable USB external HD

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Brian K, Jul 25, 2012.

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  1. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Another method to "automatically" restore an image (stored on a USB external HD) to an internal HD. No floppy, CD or USB flash drive is used. The external HD is the bootable medium.

    Boot from the external HD and either restore an image automatically or choose an image to restore from a menu. It's done with Image for DOS and it's for frequent restorers of course.

    Basically, make an IFD USB flash drive and create an IFW image of the flash drive partition. Restore the image to unallocated space on the USB external HD and select the Active option. Now you can boot from the USB external HD and it boots to IFD. If you get this far I can post the remaining instructions.
     
  2. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Excellent post Brain,

    Best regards!
     
  3. huntnyc

    huntnyc Registered Member

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    Brian,
    Thanks much but will that method work with Image for Linux because on my Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex USB drive, Image for DOS sppeds are terrible while Image for Linux speeds are at least 2.5 times faster. Thanks again.

    Gary
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Gary,

    I'll see what I can do. As you mentioned, IFL often works better than IFD with USB external HDs. I'm fairly sure you could get IFL to boot from the external HD but creating a menu might be the stumbling block. But I'll try.
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Yes, IFL boots from the external HD. I restored the flash drive image into 65 MB of unallocated space on the external HD and chose Set Active.

    I have both IFD and IFL on the external HD now. I can use BIBM to set either Active and that one boots.
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Gary,

    IFL is a little over twice as fast as IFD with my USB external HD too.

    I'm just using the standard IFL (GUI) on my external HD. I won't bother with a menu for the time being. It's nice having the HD boot into IFL.
     
  8. huntnyc

    huntnyc Registered Member

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    Thanks Brian. Even with no automation or menu, booting external drive into IFL will be great.

    Gary
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Gary, I agree. I'm working on that TeraByte page now but without any success.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I had no success with the TeraByte tutorial until I tried a different USB flash drive. It works every time now.

    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/howto/ifl_ufd_restore.htm

    Initially I found the tutorial intimidating but there is a lot of explanation of procedures, which is necessary. Now that I understand what to do I can rush through it in a minute. You can set it up to do an auto restore or have it boot to a Restore menu where you can choose which image to restore. It is very impressive.
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    The above procedure removes configuration files from the flash drive so the IFW image of the flash drive will now restore into 20 MB of unallocated space on a USB external HD. My unallocated space was at the end of the HD.

    I have 5 items in the Menu. The first just gives the manual Backup/Restore IFL window and the other 4 are different image restores.
     
  12. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Good news for anyone attempting that TeraByte tutorial. If you use the GUI version of IFL you can copy/paste the command lines. This will make the restore disk creation much faster with no risk of typos.
     
  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Some instructions if you would like to try it....

    This adds one item to the menu. You can add several if you wish.

    start IFL
    run through the restore sequence and save the command line as (say) win7.sh
    exit IFL window
    right click the desktop
    Configure Restore Disk
    Configure Restore Commands/Menu
    Add Command Line
    drag the Configure Restore Disk window to the top left
    click Terminal and drag the window to the bottom right
    in Terminal enter
    cat win7.sh
    copy/paste the command line to Configure Restore Disk window (avoid the trailing ifl:~# )
    add --uy to the command line (remember to precede it with a space)
    add --rb:8 to the command line if you don't already have it. This is the Shutdown command. (remember to precede it with a space)
    click OK
    Configure Restore Disk Menu
    Edit Command Names For Menu Items
    Edit Menu Item 1.... Call it Default
    Edit Menu Item 2.... Call it Restore Windows 7
    Finished/Exit Menu
    Enable Restore Disk Menu OK
    Finished/Exit Menu
    Finished/Exit Menu
    Finished/Exit Menu
    select the Terminal window and press Enter
    enter blkid
    make a note of your IFL Label line (mine is /dev/sda1 but yours will be different)
    I'll use
    mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
    df (to check if my /dev/sda1 is present)
    mc cdboot /mnt
    copy with the three files as per the tutorial
    type
    umount /mnt
    press Enter
    press any key
    F10 to close MC
    close Terminal
    right click desktop
    Reboot

    Your IFL flash drive boots to a Menu
     
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    To create an auto restoring IFL flash drive: the restore happens without user input....

    Create only one command line
    Don't Enable Restore Disk Menu

    You can restore an image of this flash drive to your USB external HD if you desire.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  15. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Great stuff Brian! Thank you! Great info to boot an external USB drive...now I have to try that LOL

    I would like to add also that I have used Easy BCD to create a boot flash drive and have BIBM, IFL, IFD ISO files on the drive and some other utilities on it. It is an 8GB flash drive and works great, booting directly from the ISO files.

    One thing I learned though, is *some* ISO files need to "run from disk" instead of "load from memory" option when adding an entry with Easy BCD, but most will work fine with the "load from memory" option and it runs quicker.

    I changed the BIBM ISO to run from disk (flash drive) but it seemed to run fine when load from memory was used also, other than I had a freeze up with BIBM when running from memory when I tried exiting from Previewing the MBR. But I since changed the way I access drives with it from BIOS to BIOS (Direct) and that seemed to work better at least for me. That is why I changed from memory load to run from disk, but I think the problem was more the access mode rather than the manner it was loading and being run. The benefit of loading from memory or in memory is that one can remove the flash stick, while running from disk you need to keep the stick inserted. Overall, easy BCD really helped to create a multi file boot flash drive that works great.

    Does this sound proper Brian? Thanks again for all the great info :)

    Jim
     
  16. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Jim,

    Sounds good. I have a multi ISO Grub4DOS flash drive but I don't seem to use it anymore. No special reason. I just grab the relevant CD.
     
  17. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Thanks so much Brian :) Actually, now that I think about it, easy BCD does offer using grub4dos also when creating bootable ISO flash drive boot entry, but I just used the Win7 BCD and installed it onto the drive, then built from there. But even doing that, it seems to me that when I look on the flash drive, it also does utilize some grub4dos files for each boot element, not sure though.

    Thanks again! :)
     
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