The other night on my way home from work, I was tired and exhausted. I didn’t feel like going grocery shopping for dinner so I punted.
I stopped by the pizza parlor, grabbed three large pies. We ate one for dinner, then have been snacking on cold-pizza leftovers for the past two days.
I’m almost out of slices so I guess it will be to the grocery store tomorrow for some real food again.
USB-based Windows System Install Options
The other day at work, a co-worker asked me for some feedback on a particular problem they had at home.
Seems that he had decided to upgrade (actually a fresh install) a laptop from Windows XP to Windows 7. Only problem was the CDROM drive was in pretty bad shape, and all he had was optical install disks. So how could he get the upgrade on.
Although I supposed he could find an external USB-based CD/DVD-ROM drive to use, that seemed like an unnecessary purchase. He did have a working Windows desktop system, however, so the solution seemed quite simple: create a bootable USB drive with the installation media present. Boot the laptop from the USB drive and install away!
So here are three methods to accomplish that task; full-hands on, Windows tool, and automated utilities.
If you are game and want to learn a bit of the structure of creating such a tool, then this TechRepublic post is perfect: How do I ... create an installation flash drive for Windows 7? I noticed it doesn’t have instructions to make the partition/device bootable via bootsect. BOOTSECT /NT60 <usb drive letter> (Where <usb drive letter> equals your USB device).
Microsoft has a nice and simple tool to assist you with the process: Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool. This guide How To Create Bootable Windows 7 USB To Install Windows 7 From USB Flash Drive (Using Windows 7 DVD/USB Tool) from Into Windows provides a nice walkthrough of the process.
Finally, there are some specialized utilities that give you a bit more control over the creation process. I particularly like these two:
Piece of cake.
- EMET 3.5: The Value of Looking Through an Attacker's Eyes - ISC Diary - This was a fascinating post about the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience 3.5 toolkit and how it can leverage additional anti-malware protection on systems. I’m not sure a site-wide deployment would make a lot of sense, but for workbench systems and testing it might be a smart move to consider.
- Hunting Down and Killing Ransomware - Mark's Blog. Mark Russinovich provides an excellent technical review on dealing with scareware/ransomware infections on a system.
- A picture worth a 1000 barcodes? - ISC Diary - be careful what you post!
- Adobe Security Bulletins Posted - Adobe Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) Blog
- Microsoft and Adobe close almost 40 holes - The H Security: News and Features. Time to patch Windows and Adobe holes again!
- Carving Station – RAR Files - M-unition. Mary Singh has a highly in-depth post coving file-carving from unallocated disk space. Not exactly light reading, Mary provides some excellent coverage on this topic.
- Freeware Release: Redline 1.7 - M-unition. New version released. download page
- TeamViewer 8 - Forensic Artifacts - Useful information on system artifacts left by TeamViewer 8 usage.
- You down with LNK? - SpiderLabs Anterior
- How to install Ubuntu on Acer’s $199 C7 Chromebook - Ars Technica
- Installing Windows XP to SSD - TinyApps.org
- Repurpose PCs with Windows ThinPC - Anything about IT (via tip from TinyApps bloggist). See also AnandTech - Windows Thin PC: Windows, Slimmed Down
Tips for Techs
- No sound from Google Chrome: Adobe Flash issue and workaround - MarkWilson.it
- Easily Fix Or Delete Broken Desktop & Start Menu Shortcuts - AddictiveTips. Uses NirSoft tool ShortcutsMan for housecleaning.
- Free e-books for Windows administrators (updated) - 4sysops
- 150 Best Windows Apps Of Year 2012 - AddictiveTips
- Standalone Sysadmin - blog. TinyApps bloggist pointed me to Matt Simmon’s great website a while ago. In addition to the great posts, Matt also provides a super-handy List of Subscribed Feeds covering all kinds of tech/sysadmin/forsec goodness. If you are new to RSS feeds and need a great “seed list” to get started with, look no further. Matt also provides a more current OPML file for use. Whew!
- PCAP Files Are Great Arn't They?? - SpiderLabs Anterior - fantastic examples of tshark-fu and other tricks for extracting great data-points out of PCAP files.
- Filtering with Message Analyzer - MessageAnalyzer Blog. It’s been a while since we have seen much chatter regarding the replacement for Network Monitor. Paul E Long has some great tips for filtering in the new tool; especially useful for those used to filter use patterns in Network Monitor. More posts promised soon.
- Installing Wireshark 1.8.4 and WinPcap 4.1.2 on a Windows 8 System - Moon Support Weblog
Tools, Utilities, and Updates
- Updates: Autoruns v11.4, ProcDump v5.12, SDelete v1.61 - Sysinternals Site Discussion
- GMER 2.0 arrives - BetaNews review. Rootkit detection tool now adds support added for Windows 8 and x64 systems. GMER download pager
- JavaRa Definitions Updated - SingularLabs - Use these with JavaRa to help install/update/remove Java Runtime Environment installations on your systems.
- Dev Eject - version 1.0.26 beta - this is a fantastically clever tool that can not only help you eject removable devices from Windows, but it also can tell you specifically what is causing (locking) the device from ejection.
- Oracle VM VirtualBox - Now at version 4.2.6. Overview of significant changes: VirtualBox 4.2.6 delivers many fixes - BetaNews.
- TightVNC: What's New in TightVNC - Now at version 2.6.4. Download TightVNC
- DMDE (DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software) - free/$ versions - Interesting advanced file recovery tool. The free version is pretty limited but is a good place to start and play around with. Portable so no installation required. DMDE is a handy free data recovery tool for Windows experts - BetaNews review.
- Mozilla to Continue 64-Bit Windows Firefox Builds - Firefox Extension Guru's Blog
- Private windows coming to Firefox - Mozilla Links