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Create a Vinux Rescue USB Flash Drive including Image for Linux

By Don Marang

These instructions should enable you to create a bootable live Vinux 3.0.1 or Vinux 3.1 Rescue USB Flash Drive which has speech enabled in both console and the gnome graphical desktop. The USB Flash memory device should have a capacity of at least 4 GB. It can not have the U3 feature. These USB Flash Drives will have a squashed read only filesystem and a persistence file, which mimicks a writable filesystem for files that have changed and your personal settings and data. It features the Image for Linux application. This is sold with the popular Disk Image backup program "Image for Windows". It is the best way to provide speech during an emergency situation where the Windows partition fails and a recovery is necessary.

It also includes many of the Ubuntu packages used in the "Ubuntu Rescue Remix" disk for Windows plus a few extras. I am not familiar with the operation of all of these commands, but I thought it would be nice to have handy in an emergency. Any on-line documentation regarding how to use the "Ubuntu Rescue Remix" should be applicable. I assume the Command Line programs will be mostly accessible.

It is also possible to create a Vinux 3.0.1 or Vinux 3.1 live installation with Image for Linux on a DVD using the Create a Vinux Emergency DVD with Image for Linux instructions.


Note, commands that should be typed in at a command prompt will be displayed on a separate line and in bold.

  1. Purchase Image for Windows at the site if not done so already. It will direct you to the secure download page. Download the Image for Windows program if you have not already done so. While on the download page, download the Linux software, "" file as well. As of this writing, the version of Image for Windows and were version 2.6.1, dated 4 December 2010. It is very important to get this version or later if you are using Vinux 3.1. It fixes a fatal error that was broken in Maverick.
  2. After purchasing Image for Windows, an email will be sent to you containing product keys for; Image for Windows, Image for DOS, and Image for Linux (IFL). Save the email message as a text file for future use. Highlight the Image for Windows product key and press Control + c to copy it to the clipboard. Note that these product keys are also available when you login to the site on the download page.
  3. If the Image for Windows program is not yet installed, install it now. You may want to experiment with the features of Image for Windows, listen to the audio tutorials on the jaws-users website; Image For Windows Creating A Backup and Image For Windows Reloading Your System and create an image backup to a USB external hard drive. Make sure that the copy of Image for Windows is no longer a trial version and that you have entered the product key into the registration dialog. It can be somewhat difficult to locate this dialog since it only stays on screen for 10 seconds. Additionally, if you have enabled User Account Control (UAC) in Vista or Windows 7, the dialog can easily disappear before you find the Reminder dialog. Press Enter on the dialog to stop the countdown timer. Type in your name as it appears on your order and paste the product key, with Control + v, into the dialog. Any backup performed during the trial period will not be valid after the trial period is over.
  4. Download the Vinux 3.0.1 USB edition from the website. The direct download link is: Vinux 3.0.1 USB DVD edition -Includes everything, based on the X86 DVD release. Minimum recommended pen drive size required is 4GB.File Size: 1.45GB. MD5Sum: bdb2e4ebce108ba4513999357bdc1278 Vinux 3.0.1 is based on Ubuntu 10.0.4 and will have Long Term Support (LTS). It is the latest and most preferred version as of this writing. However, if you have newer hardware only detected by Vinux 3.1, which is based upon Maverick, You might want to create your USB Flash drive with Vinux 3.1 instead. For instance, if the live CD /DVD do not install working audio drivers, then creating a talking emergency USB Flash Drive would be useless. Just download the Vinux 3.1 USB Installer for Windows and the Vinux 3.1 DVD Edition ISO instead. Just make sure to use 3.1 as the version number in all filenames and commands in these instructions. Vinux 3.1 USB Installer for Windows - Based on Ubuntu 10.10 -File Size: 668MB. MD5Sum: 93695bbf54b01d30832d1ba74daf7b76 Vinux 3.1 X86 DVD ISO - Based on Ubuntu 10.10 -File Size: 1.8GB. MD5Sum: 075fe0f64f75dc7a7de7978157ef7cc5
  5. Unzip the file you downloaded in step 1. You can press the Applications key when the file is selected. Use the down arrow to the "Extract here…" entry and hit Enter. If the entire path of the directory it plans to extract all of the files is very long or contains spaces, you will avoid issues with this DOS utility by renaming the directory at this point. A location near the root of the drive, such as C:\VinuxUSB\ would be fine. If you are going to use Vinux 3.1 to create your USB Emergency device, unzip the first file.
  6. If you are going to use Vinux 3.1 to create your USB Emergency device, copy the second file ending with .ISO to the same folder the files were extracted to in step 1. Rename the "os.iso" file so that you do not lose the standard Vinux 3.1 CD ISO contents. Press F2 on the file to rename. A name like "cd.iso" would be sufficient. Now select the larger DVD edition just copied to this folder and rename it by pressing the F2 key again. This file must be named "os.iso". If you are creating your USB Emergency Flash Drive with Vinux 3.0.1, the "os.iso" file is already a DVD edition. Since it is not great to install many packages on this type of USB Flash Drive after installation, I prefer to use the larger DVD edition during creation.
  7. Plug in your 4 GB, 8 GB, or larger USB FlashDrive into one of your computer's USB ports.
  8. Please be sure to format your chosen USB Flash Drive using the fat32 file system as the utility will not do this for you! this can be done in my computer (Windows + e will open this windo) by highlighting the drive with the arrows, going to file and clicking format, then following the on-screen prompts.
  9. Back inside the unzipped folder, there is a "[Readme First].txt" file. Now would be a good time to read it.
  10. Press Enter on the "cd2usb.bat" file to execute this program in a DOS Command Window. If you are using Vista or Windows 7, press the Applications key instead of hitting Enter and arrow down to the "Run as Administrator" entry in the context menu and hit Enter instead.
  11. Press your up arrow. The program should be asking you if you want to use an existing ubuntu CD, a ubuntu iso, or download an iso, options 1, 2, or 3. In this case, we do not want options 1 or 3 as we are not using an orriginal ubuntu iso. Please press 2 and press enter.
  12. You will then be prompted to enter a drive letter. in this example, we will assume the USB drive is drive f. Enter your drive's letter on its own, f in this case with nothing after it, not even a colon and press enter.
  13. you will then be prompted to enter the size of your persistance file. It is strongly recommended that you enter a size as this will allow you to save your changes. For these instructions with a large Vinux DVD Edition, enter 2048 if using a 4 GB device, enter 4096 if you are using a device with a capacity of 8 Gb or larger. You only need to type the numbers, not the letters MB so 4096 and press enter.
  14. You will then be prompted to confirm your settings, the drive letter, size of the persistance file, etc. if everything is correct, press 1 and press enter to continue. The progress of the files being copied will then be displayed. Note: if at any point the window displays file not found, don't worry, this does not affect the installation in any way and the program will continue copying regardless. the copying process can typically take from ten minutes to half an hour depending on the speed of your Flash Drive or computer, and the size of the persistance file being created. When the program has finished copying the files needed to run Vinux, another message will be displayed in the dos window informing you that the process is all finished. when this is displayed, press enter to close the program, then type exit at the dos prompt and press enter, this will bring you out of dos.
  15. Shutdown your PC currently running Windows.
  16. Press the power button to turn on your computer again. In order to boot from a USB device, either a change is required in the BIOS Setup screen or select the USB device from a boot menu. Since this is only an Emergency disk, the change to the BIOS Setup, which requires sighted assistance to add USB devices before the hard drive is probably not necessary. Most computer brands have a key, that when held down during startup will present a list of devices to boot from. On all my Dell computers, this key is the F12 key.
  17. The boot menu has no sound feedback either. After holding down the key for several seconds, press the down arrow once. This should select the USB device. Press Enter and give Vinux a while to boot.
  18. While starting, Vinux will ask you for a username and password. Enter vinux (v i n u x) twice. As soon as the desktop is loaded, Orca will say "Welcome to Orca". Note Orca is the name of the screen reader.
  19. Open a File Browser window of your Windows hard drive or partition directory by pressing LeftAlt + F1 to bring up the menus, then arrow down and right to Places > OS (or the label associated with your Windows drive) and select by hitting Enter on the main keyboard (not the keypad). Navigate to the location where you downloaded the file. Press Control + C to copy the file.
  20. Use the Alt + Control + n key combination to open another Nautilus window of your home directory. Press Control + V to paste the file here.
  21. Go to the location where you saved the Image for Windows text file of the email Terabyte Unlimited sent you with your product keys, that you saved in step 2.
  22. Press Enter on the text file to open it and highlight the Image for Linux product key. Press Control + C to copy the key text.
  23. Unzip the IFL software file to a directory named ifl_en. sudo unzip -d ifl_en This can also be done in the Nautilus File Manager. Select the file, press the Applications key, and select "Extract here" .
  24. move inside the folder (Change directory). cd ifl_en
  25. Run the setup program. Just press "y", then Enter to accept the license agreement and the defaults. It will ask for the product key. Type the following in a terminal window: sudo ./setupy
  26. Paste the product key into the edit box when asked using Control + Shift + V, then hit Enter.
  27. Press Enter four (4) times to finish setup using all defaults.
  28. A gnome desktop Launcher shortcut can be created by moving to the gnome desktop with Alt + Control + Tab. Simulate right clicking on a blank area of the desktop with Control + Shift + F10. Select "Add Launcher…" from the context menu. A dialog will appear to create a desktop launcher. Press Shift Tab once to the Type combo box. The default value is "Application". Press the Down Arrow once to select "Application in a terminal". Press Tab through the edit fields and fill in the following values:Name: Image for LinuxCommand: sudo /home/vinux/ifl_en/imagelComments: Provides recovery for Image for Windows backups Press Enter or Space on the Ok button.
  29. Install Ubuntu packages from the "Ubuntu Rescue Remix" disk providing many command line tools handy in an emergency that were not included in the standard Vinux 3.0 distributions. Many of these are now included in Vinux 3.0.1 and Vinux 3.1. I leave them listed here to let you know some of the packages that might help you out in an emergency. Do not forget the standard Linux commands are available as well, including gparted. The gparted application is an easy tool to partition hard disks. It is used within the gnome graphical desktop. Additionally, I found a few others that might be useful. Some are graphical interfaces to the command line tools. Copy and paste the lines beginning with "sudo apt-get" into a terminal window and press Enter. Update the current available package information:sudo apt-get update Command Line Interface (CLI) packages in Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix :(have a man page)sudo apt-get install chntpw scalpel foremost testdisk wipe scrounge-ntfs recover magicrescuesudo apt-get install array-info gptsync kpartx ext3grep(do not have a man page)sudo apt-get install ddrescue gnu-fdisk aoetools sleuthkit Additional tools:(have a man page)sudo apt-get install ntfs-config mountmanager mdadm e2undel autopsy memtester(do not have a man page)sudo apt-get install mondo mondo-doc smartmontools computertemp
  30. Add any Additional packages you might want on the USB Flash Drive. All of the packages installed by the EasyInstall scripts are already installed, including the EasyInstall - Security applications (which includes clam to scan for viruses). It would be a good idea to make all settings to meet your preferences as well, so booting from a disk is not so annoying.

To use the recovery Vinux live CD with IFL

Make sure that your USB device is in your computer's boot chain sequence. If you plug in the bootable USBFlash drive and restart your computer and it does not boot, it is probably because the USB device is not in the boot chain. To add devices permanently, a change would need to be made to the boot sequence in the BIOS Setup. This requires sighted assistance.

On many computers, a key can also be pressed while powering up to select a source to boot from for that session. Dell computers will provide a list of boot sources if the F12 key is pressed and held for a few seconds after pressing the power button. Arrow down once to select CD/DVD and press Enter. Note, if a bootable USB device is also present, it will appear above the CD/DVD device. This method is probably preferable for a Emergency device, since this should not be needed often. After holding down the key during startup, presss the down arrow once and press Enter.

If your hard disk fails and you need to recover from an image stored on an external hard disk, do the following:

  1. Insert the Vinux Live CD with IFL CD into the drive and boot the computer.
  2. Plug in your external hard disk.
  3. Switch to the console by pressing Alt + Control + F1. Log in to the vinux account. It should leave you at a command prompt. Change to the ifl_en directory. vinuxvinuxcd ifl_en
  4. Run Image for Linux. sudo ./imagel If the optional desktop shortcut was created, moving to the gnome desktop by pressing Alt + Control + Tab, arrow around to the "Image for Linux" icon, and pressing Enter will also start the application within gnome rather than switching to the console.
  5. Select the Recover radio button and then hit Enter.
  6. Select the "file OS" option.
  7. Browse to the location of the backup image on the external hard drive. Note that it may be easier to type in the directory name where the backup file is located. In my case, "/media/Elements/Backup/" represents my external hard drive G:\Backup\ in Windows.
  8. Select or confirm the partitions to be restored.
  9. Select where to find the target device or partition. First select "file direct", then "Linux drive". Select the device or partition where the backup should be placed.
  10. Select any additional options or Next to go to the summary dialog. If all of the parameters are correct, press Alt + s to start the recover operation.
  11. When the recover operation completes successfully, turn off the computer and reboot to Windows. If using the console, press Alt + Control + F7 to return to the gnome desktop. From the gnome desktop, press Alt + F1 for the main menu, Up Arrow once, then Enter on Shutdown and press Enter once more to power off the computer.

Send any comments to:SpeedyChair at live dot com

create_rescue_usb.txt · Last modified: 2013/07/03 14:27 (external edit)