Bootable Rescue Flash Drives - First Pack of Tools
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One of the most popular, convenient, and free bootable computer troubleshooting bootable CDs (yes, not a typo; we’re talking about compact discs here) is the so-called “Ultimate Boot CD” (a.k.a. UBCD). It sports a huge collection of over 100 freely available tools and utilities. It’s designed to be a useful computer servicing/repair toolkit.
It does its job well, and almost all computer professionals use some kind of bootable media with the applications of their choice. For a complete list of the applications included on the UBCD, just head over to the official website (it’s specified in the paragraph above). Our task now is to create a so-called “Ultimate Boot Thumb-Drive.”
If you have followed our series up to this point, then you should know by now how to configure your BIOS to boot from USB devices. Therefore, that part is quite straightforward, and we can skip it. Later on, we can download the latest Ultimate Boot CD available from here. At the time of writing, the latest version is 4.1.0 and it is exactly 115MB. The next step is extracting the ISO image to a specific folder on your hard drive.
Fortunately for those that are too lazy to do things manually, the author of UBCD has included a batch script that ought to automate the process of installing the Ultimate Boot CD on USB flash drives. However, be aware that executing the tool formats your thumb drive (thus, you lose all of your data on it) to FAT32 (to allow >2GB support). You can find the script located at toolsubcd2usbubcd2usb.bat in the extracted folder.
Nevertheless, it is not guaranteed that the script will be able to finish what it’s required to do and, thus, it is by no means guaranteed that your flash drive will boot right away. Don’t lose hope just yet; hook up your thumb drive to your system, reboot, and see what happens.
If it refuses to boot no matter what you do, but you know that your computer was able to boot from exactly that same USB flash drive, then our situation is pretty clear. The script failed to get the job done. Here’s what we can do about it… plan B!
Another “automated” approach (because it’s going to require almost no interaction at all) is courtesy of PenDriveLinux.com. They have a blog entry dating back to 2006, before the UBCD2USB script was included by the author, which explains how to boot the UBCD from a USB thumb drive. Once again, there are batch scripts that do the work. Please read and pay attention to the instructions included in the aforementioned blog post.
Assuming the flash drive is already formatted (FAT32, just for safety), you just need to download the UBCDfix2.exe self-extracting archive from PenDriveLinux. This archive will create a UBCD folder, along with some additional files. You need to move your already-downloaded UBCD ISO image file to the UBCD folder the self-extracting archive created earlier. Once everything is ready, launch the fixubcd2.bat batch script!
This batch script automates the file copying part as well, so basically you don’t need to copy anything to your flash drive; just run this script. The only requirement is that the flash drive ought to be formatted (thus, empty) beforehand. Once the script finishes its work, you can try again by rebooting. Chances are, it will work now.
Should it refuse to boot this time, please read some of my earlier parts already published here. Also, try to run the scripts from a command prompt (start -> run -> “cmd.exe”) so that they won’t disappear after execution. You need to see what’s wrong (if something goes wrong at all). Then again, try to work with different BIOS options, and try to make it work. If all else fails, you can ask for help in our forums.
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