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#1 2023-10-07 02:06:46

alexkemp
Member
Registered: 2018-05-14
Posts: 314  

What ISO for an Any-OS-Boot HDD?

I'm anticipating a possible need for a USB-connected HDD to be able to boot on a large-range of unknown-OS systems (in BIOS switch to USB-boot & then boot from the portable HDD). However, it will NOT be me doing the boot, but rather another person. That person is well-experienced in computing, but not in Linux.

There are two possible operations that I would want to make easy for them:

  1. Use DD to obtain a mirror of a local-or-remote HDD

  2. Use TestDisk to recover deleted files from the mirror onto the portable HDD

The other person is experienced in using some Windows software in making a mirror (he told me what it was but it was unfamiliar to me & I cannot recall it's name), so #1 may not be necessary. Obviously, I can also do #2 once the mirror is obtained (although any thoughts on the best means to set that up with the HDD would also be appreciated).

I've recently obtained a WD 4TB portable HDD (it is called "My Passport") and am wondering which ISO would be best to install as the default bootup. If it could be setup to dual-boot with Windows that would be perfect for the other guy. The HDD is pre-formatted with modern NTFS, and hopefully I can partition that with GParted (possibly with FAT32 to allow wide-usage?). I'm 20 years out of date with Windows & would appreciate any skilled suggestions of how to set it up (Live Daedalus?).

To pre-answer enquiries, this would be in connection with a soon-to-start civil trial and a possible need to recover deleted files from a computer in connection with that. I have zero idea of what the computer system would be, not even it is local or remote. Obviously, a court order would be required to obtain the mirror. It would also be another useful tool for the other guy in his work (he makes his living from his computer expertise).

My thoughts are not fully-formed with this yet, so the above is a bit sketchy, but I'm behind in my timings, have zero experience with the Live ISOs & need to do this very soon.

Any help much appreciated. TIA.

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#2 2023-10-07 06:26:47

aluma
Member
Registered: 2022-10-26
Posts: 630  

Re: What ISO for an Any-OS-Boot HDD?

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#3 2023-10-07 07:56:57

rolfie
Member
Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 1,114  

Re: What ISO for an Any-OS-Boot HDD?

Look into Ventoj.

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#4 2023-10-07 08:45:49

alexkemp
Member
Registered: 2018-05-14
Posts: 314  

Re: What ISO for an Any-OS-Boot HDD?

Thanks for replying.

I cannot find Devuan on that page. However, it is an interesting option, even if it means that I have yet another new app to learn from scratch.

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#5 2023-10-07 08:48:53

Camtaf
Member
Registered: 2019-11-19
Posts: 420  

Re: What ISO for an Any-OS-Boot HDD?

Use a Ventoy pendrive, if you need multiple Linux distros - https://www.ventoy.net/en/index.html

Devuan Live has Refracta Snapshot already installed - https://files.devuan.org/devuan_daedalus/desktop-live/

Check out these for recovery programs - https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ftsa&q=recove … nux&ia=web

Last edited by Camtaf (2023-10-07 08:50:10)

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#6 2023-10-07 09:03:51

alexkemp
Member
Registered: 2018-05-14
Posts: 314  

Re: What ISO for an Any-OS-Boot HDD?

rolfie wrote:

Look into Ventoj.

Thanks rolfie. I see these:

My final desire here is to know if legacy + UEFI are supported simultaneously. This one looks damn good.

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#7 2023-10-07 09:07:24

rolfie
Member
Registered: 2017-11-25
Posts: 1,114  

Re: What ISO for an Any-OS-Boot HDD?

A Ventoj stick can boot both legacy and efi and displays its mode on the splash screen.

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#8 2023-10-07 09:15:45

alexkemp
Member
Registered: 2018-05-14
Posts: 314  

Re: What ISO for an Any-OS-Boot HDD?

Camtaf wrote:

Devuan Live has Refracta Snapshot already installed - https://files.devuan.org/devuan_daedalus/desktop-live/

Check out these for recovery programs - https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ftsa&q=recove … nux&ia=web

Thanks Camtaf.

I'm already familiar with TestDrive and find it completely reliable. I've used it in anger 3 times now (on a FAT32 hdd) and it is odd but works fine - I'm comfortable using a TUI since I started with MSDOS & progressed to BASH.

If TestDisk works with a mirror from his Windows utility then the HDD will likely be redundant, but I'm also trying to think ahead for his purposes as well as mine.

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#9 2023-10-07 09:55:25

steve_v
Member
Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 366  

Re: What ISO for an Any-OS-Boot HDD?

alexkemp wrote:

I cannot find Devuan on that page. However, it is an interesting option, even if it means that I have yet another new app to learn from scratch.

Camtaf wrote:

Use a Ventoy pendrive, if you need multiple Linux distros - https://www.ventoy.net/en/index.html

FWIW current versions of YUMI use Ventoy under the customised menus anyway, all it really adds is the windows-based GUI setup utility. Whatever config it uses for Debian will almost certainly work for Devuan as well.

On the OP, if the intent is to gather evidence from a system (and we're not talking about professional clean-room hardware-level data recovery, which is well beyond the scope of a livecd/usb), the only thing the live system really needs to do is aquire a block-for-block (i.e. dd) image of the target disk in a verifiable manner, without mounting it r/w or otherwise tampering with it's contents.
Actual analysis can then be done on the image (or more likely a copy of it), with a conventional install that has access to any additional tools one might need.

Personally I tend to use PartedMagic (not a free download, but cheap enough or readily available through the usual back-channels) rescatux or clonezilla live for disk recovery and imaging, but really anything with decent hardware detection and dd and/or ddrescue preinstalled would do. That's pretty much any distro's livecd these days.

If I was motivated enough to go outside in the cold I'd check what exactly is on my recovery/utility drive, but if memory serves it's a yumi ventoy install with all of the above (multiple versions to accommodate ancient hardware), plus the Gentoo based fork/clone of systemrescuecd (I forget what it's called), UBCD, a couple of versions of hiren's boot disk, and install images for Devuan, Debian, Windows XP, Windows 10 and FreeDOS.

Ed. If you're looking for a live distro specifically geared for system forensics, CAINE might be worth a look. I haven't gone any further than a quick tire-kick in a VM as yet, but it looks like it does what it says on the tin and comes with pretty much every tool anyone could ever want.
It's Ubuntu based (unfortunately) and kinda slow, but I'll probably be adding it to my collection.

Last edited by steve_v (2023-10-07 10:33:55)


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