Linux USB Flash Drive Recovery!!!

Apr 22nd, 2009 Posted in And You Did What? Where?, Sharing What Have I Learned, System Administration, Useful Applications | 3 Comments »

Hi Betty!, and to all those LinuxChix and LinuxGuys who need to recover files
or partitions off dead flash drives, usually fried by Windows, or any hard drive
or removable media :-)

Here is the website for the TestDisk and PhotoRec software that
was used to recover your flash drive in Linux at our last LinuxChixLa meeting at

It is also available for Windows and Mac OSX.

To install and run TestDisk and PhotoRec In Ubuntu Linux:

“sudo apt-get install testdisk” from a terminal and then run
“sudo testdisk” or “sudo photorec”
Both the photo recovery program and test disk are included in the
debian package.
The PhotoRec software is what was used to recover the files off your
dead flash drive.  It will recover many types of files, not just multimedia :-)

The detailed instructions for running PhotoRec are demonstrated on the
PhotoRec main site:

TestDIsk/PhotoRec is usually faster at data recovery than Ddrescue, but
Ddrescue is more thorough and efficient:
Ddrescue and fdisk is what I always used to use until Chad gave us the heads-up
on TestDisk :-)

Knoppix Linux Live CD has TestDisk/PhotoRec and Ddrescue already installed!
Here are the instructions for using these utilities in Knoppix:

The Ubuntu Rescue Remix Live CD ( is also a great option.  It includes TestDisk and Ddrescue as well.

And the Ultimate Boot CD (, one of my favorite
boot cds, includes TestDisk as well.

Have fun recovering files :-)


Info For LinuxChix LA Booth at SCALE 7x :-)

Jan 25th, 2009 Posted in Sharing What Have I Learned, System Administration, Useful Applications | 4 Comments »

Hello linuxChix and linuxDudes too! I can’t wait for SCALE! Yeeeaaaahhhhh!!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and has a happy new year!

Since our last LinuxChix LA meeting I have been writing some info and tips on how to install linux on a flash drive and what portable apps can be installed on USB drives. I wanted to be as prepared as possible for this topic because we decided this is what we are going to demonstrate at our booth and I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t forget any of my findings on this wonderful subject. Running linux and apps from flash drives is one of my favorite geeky things to do, and one I have been excited about since the introduction of USB technology. Anyways, here are the notes that I have written on this subject. If anyone finds them useful I would be happy to print out lots of copies for our LinuxChix SCALE booth for us to use or to hand out as flyers. Just thought I would run this past everyone and see what you thought ;-)

SCALE 7x LinuxChix LA /JilliX Notes For Installing Linux On A Flash Drive and
Portable Flash Drive Applications Information

This is one of the best websites for tutorials on installing
Linux on a flash drive–
It includes tutorials for installing:
-Ubuntu & Xubuntu–Persistant Install Using Linux & Windows
-Pendrivelinux 2008
-PCLinuxOS MiniME 2008
-Fedora 8 or 9
-Knoppix Linux
-Portabel SUSE
-BackTrack Linux
-Damn Small Linux
-Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD)
-CrunchBang Linux
-Linux Mint
Etc. Etc. Etc.
It also lists portable software applications that run from a USB device:
* New Infra Recorder – Portable CD and DVD Burning Utility
* New WebVideoCap Download Flash Videos from a Web Page
* New Windows Vista Serial Key Finder
* New Totally Free Burner – Portable CD/DVD Burning
* Daniel AI – Portable Artificial Intelligence
* KiTTY – Portable SSH Client
* SiteShoter – Portable Webpage Capture tool
* USBDeview – USB Device information tool
* EjectUSB – Portable Safe USB ejection tool
* 12VOIP – Portable Voice over IP Software
* Portable Opera – Internet Web browser
* Portable MSN Instant Messenger
* eMule – Filesharing utility
* Money Manager Ex – Personal finance tool
* Recuva – File recovery tool
* Torpark – Internet Web browser
* KampoZer – Webpage editor
* Avast Portable – Antivirus utility
* RockXP – Password recovery
* uTorrent Portable – Bittorrent client
* WhoIsThisDomain – Domain information tool
* SIW – System information tool
* PC Wizard – Info and benchmarking tool
* Savage – Portable Strategy Game
* Sumatra PDF – Portable PDF Reader
Etc. Etc. Etc.

And here are some of my favorite portable USB flash drive apps:
* QEMU Manager for windows is also a portable USB app:

* Deep Burner windows portable CD and DVD burning app:

This is one of the best applications for installing Linux/BSD on a flash drive:
UNetbootin from
It installs in almost every Linux Distro and Windows and has
a very easy to use GUI!
Here is a list of some of the default Linux/BSD Distributions you
can automatically download and install:
-Arch Linux
-Damn Small Linux
-Puppy Linux
-Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu
Etc. Etc. Etc.
And it doesn’t stop there! Using UNetbootin you can also install any Linux ISO
of your choice to a flash drive :-) !!! That also includes floppy disk images
as well as your own custum kernel and initrd :-D !!!
UNetbootin can also be used to install any distro to your hard drive as well
;-) !

Qemu, Qemu Launcher GUI For Linux, Qemu Manager GUI For Windows, VirtualBox Virtual machine emulators are a great way to test that your flash drive linux Etc. distribution has been installed correctly!
Here is a sample of testing your flash drive in a linux console:
qemu -m 512 -hda /dev/sda [Or sdb Etc. Do not include the partition number of the drive, just the name! -m is for the amount of memory you would like to emulate. It could be -m 64 or -m256 Etc.]

Of course most modern Linux Live CD distros have there own applications for creating a bootable flash drive. Ubuntu, Puppy Linux, Damn Small Linux, Gentoo, PCLinuxOS are just to name a few.

Mk-boot-usb: a Script to Create Multiple-Bootable USB Keys
can be downloaded from:

BootFlashDOS For Windows
Small utility that will format and make DOS bootable your USB Flash Stick.

PeToUSB For Windows
Application for formatting and making bootable, USB Flash Memory Drives and USB HardDisks.

HP bootable flash utility for Windows

Go to for all the latest linux distro ISOs :-) !

QTParted for Linux is the best app for repartitioning and reformating
your USB device!:

Keep all USB drives formated in FAT32 or FAT16. Many computers, including
the ASUS EeePCs, will only boot a USB Drive formatted in FAT. There are
exceptions to this rule though.

Bootable Flash Drive Linux Distros For The ASUS EeePC :-) :

ubuntu eee–An Ubuntu Linux Distro of course!:

You have to have at least a 4gig drive to install on the Eee.
Boots to a window manager enhanced with an EeePC
Desktop. Sweet :-) !

Breeezy for the eee–A Puppy Linux Distro:

This is one of my favorites! And it works great on the 2gig Surf :-) !

#! CRUNCHBANG LINUX–A Lightweight Ubuntu Linux Distro that comes in
Standard Desktop Edition, Lite Edition and now CrunchEee Eee PC Edition:

This is also one of my favorites and it also works great on the 2gig
Surf :-) . I am running an older Lite Edition on my Eee, but the new
CrunchEee already has the enhanced Eee PC Linux Kernel included so no
compiling and updating is needed and everything works out of the box :-) !

Enjoy using open source apps and operating systems with yuor USB flash drives :-)

Jill Bryant

Written in Nedit in Debian Linux
November 2008-January 2009