Monday, April 28, 2014

Make UBCD's Parted Magic boot from a USB drive

I love UBCD. It's a bootable CD with tools to do everything from securely shred hard drives to modify Windows registry from Linux. I also love YUMI. It allows you to create a bootable USB flash drive with multiple operating systems on it and even has support for adding or removing specific distros without killing your whole setup.

One problem. If you use YUMI to create a bootable USB drive with UBCD on it, the bundled version of Parted Magic will not boot. Parted Magic is really awesome for rescuing systems, etc. so I was disappointed about this. I checked my md5sum and it was good but when booting from my USB drive it would complain that it couldn't find the sqfs. When I burned the very same ISO to a CD, Parted Magic worked fine, though!

After not finding the information on Google and banging my head against a wall for a while, I was able to figure it out. Here's what I did:

1. Download YUMI and UBCD and use YUMI to add UBCD to the USB drive. If you need help with that part, there's lots of info on Google.

2. Extract your downloaded UBCD ISO. There is lots of info on Google on how to extract an ISO, also.

3. Once you've extracted your ISO, look for the pmagic folder and copy it to the root of your USB flash drive.

That's it! Pretty easy but was a bit of a headache to figure out! Hope this post helps you! If so, please comment and say hello. I try to respond to as many comments as possible.

By the way, if you use WINE to run YUMI from Linux as I did, beware that YUMI cannot format the drive even if you use sudo. The only way I was able to use it from Linux (Kali) was to use a USB drive that already had YUMI on it (which I installed from a Windows box a while ago). In other words, you can only modify your existing YUMI install from WINE, you can't do the initial YUMI install. If anybody finds a way around this, please comment below and let me know! Also, don't forget you'll have to use winecfg to connect WINE to your USB drive.

Happy hacking!

Tested on:
Kali Linux 1.0
SanDisk 16GB USB flash drive
VirtualBox 4.3.10 r93012 (using raw disk hack to boot to USB drive)
Ultimate Boot CD V5.2.9