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Is there a program (method) to make ISO image from bootable USB?


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#1 Eng Mohamed

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 07:59 AM

Dear All
I have made bootable-USB by using boot loader Grub4dos and now I'm seeking to do backup copy from USB, I attempted to get a program to do that and I have found ISO greator program to do ISO image from any source media but I have failed to determine the image file from USB stick.
So, Is there a program (method) to make ISO image from bootable USB? and aslo Is there a program (method) to draw out boot files from bootable USB as we do with CD/DVD by using MagicISO or UltraISo programs?


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By the way, I have found program specially to do backup copy from USB stick is called USB image tool but file extension is .img, I can't convert this .img to .iso to be changable by any suitable program.


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I'll be thankful for helping.

Engr. Mohammed



#2 steve6375

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:00 AM

When making a bootable ISO, you need to add the boot code separately (which is kept in a different location to the files). So you cannot just convert a bootable disk image into a bootable ISO without knowing what the bootloader code is and specifying the data that needs to go into the special position within the iso for the boot code. The boot code on a CD/DVD needs to load in the OS by reading sectors from a CD/DVD type of device, the boot code in your USB drives needs to read in sectors from a disk type device. CD 'sectors' are in 2048 byte chunks, most mass storage devices use 512 byte sectors (at least at the BIOS level). Some boot loaders will cope with either type of boot device, but the code still has to be added to the ISO file in the correct position which is a different position from where it would be in a disk image.

If there was such a program as a disk to iso converter, it would need to look at the boot code inside the disk image, determine what boot code was being used and then put the equivalent boot code to boot from a CD type device into the iso boot sectors.

Why do you want to do this - the only reason would be if you wanted to burn some CDs/DVDs or create a bootable ISO file for something like a Zalman VE200 HDD caddy?
If you just want to backup a USB drive there are other programs. If you want to make a bootable image so you can make a multiboot USB drive, then you can create a bootable disk image of the USB drive (rather than a bootable ISO file).

Basically what I am saying is that converting a bootable USB to a Bootable ISO is difficult and depends on how the bootable USB drive boots - so do you really need to have bootable ISOs or do you just need a backup image or do you want a bootable image?

#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:34 AM

Just to keep everything as together as possible, double posted here:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=24719

and triple posted here :w00t::
http://www.msfn.org/...m-bootable-usb/
(please read also reply on 911CD)

Eng Mohamed, you are seemingly missing a basic piece of info.

A file extension is a simple (and quite effective) method to "tag" the actual file with an indication of it's structure/content/format.
By convention:
  • a .iso file is a (or forensic sound or byte by byte) ISO (ISO9660 and/or later additions) image of a CD or DVD like device
  • a .ima file is a dd-like (or forensic sound or byte by byte) of a floppy or partition or volume super-floppy device
  • a .img file is a dd-like (or forensic sound or byte by byte) of a hard disk device
Each of these formats have their own characteristics and they are NOT "directly" inter-convertible between them.

Examples:
  • a .iso is an image of a device that uses 2048 bytes sectors, it's boot record is on sector 17, a bootable one can be of three types, El-Torito floppy emulation, No emulation, Hard disk Emulation
  • a .ima file is an image of a device that uses 512 bytes sector, it's boot record is on sector 0, it can contain *any* filesystem
  • a .img file is an image of a device that uses 512 bytes sector, it's master boot record is on sector 0, it can contain *any* number of volumes, each with *any* filesystem

So, what you want to do is pretty much impossible, in the sense that there is NOT a "one-size-fits-all" solution.

It is not clear (to me at least) the actual "final goal" you have.
Can you elaborate on what is the intended use of this?

If the USB device has been partitioned a HD-like you can make a hard disk emulation .iso out of it's .img image allright, but whether it will actually boot (or do whatever you expect it to do) has to be seen/verified.

:cheers:
Wonko

#4 Holmes.Sherlock

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:32 AM

Examples:

  • a .iso is an image of a device that uses 2048 bytes sectors, it's boot record is on sector 17, a bootable one can be of three types, El-Torito floppy emulation, No emulation, Hard disk Emulation
  • a .ima file is an image of a device that uses 512 bytes sector, it's boot record is on sector 0, it can contain *any* filesystem
  • a .img file is an image of a device that uses 512 bytes sector, it's master boot record is on sector 0, it can contain *any* number of volumes, each with *any* filesystem



#5 sambul61

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 02:12 PM

I'm seeking to do backup copy from USB

Nice looking post! :thumbsup: Please explain, why do you need a backup copy of USB in ISO format - for what purpose? Its not an investigation, just an attempt to help...productively. :)

#6 steve6375

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 04:05 PM

I have quickly tested OSCDIMG and MKISOFS and made a batch file (Wonko could probably do better!) here. I tested it by converting a bootable grub4dos USB flash drive to an ISO and it seemed to work on a DOS IMG and also booting XP setup and Win7 Winpe from an ISO inside the main ISO.

#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 04:45 PM

fixed. :blush:

@steve6375
Wonko won't probably be able to do any better, but he may suggest using a "monolithic" mingw mkisofs instead of the cygwin one to avoid the need for the external .dll's:
http://smithii.com/cdrtools

:cheers:
Wonko

#8 Arafat X Sa

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:35 PM

Nice looking post! :thumbsup: Please explain, why do you need a backup copy of USB in ISO format - for what purpose? Its not an investigation, just an attempt to help...productively. :)


I'm sure that some people might find it useful. I came here to find the solution as well. For example, I had downloaded Windows 8 ISO file from Microsoft and I make it boot-able on USB flash. I accidentally deleted the original ISO and now I attempt to recover the ISO file from the USB flash (in the same format *.iso before).

#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:26 PM

I'm sure that some people might find it useful. I came here to find the solution as well. For example, I had downloaded Windows 8 ISO file from Microsoft and I make it boot-able on USB flash. I accidentally deleted the original ISO and now I attempt to recover the ISO file from the USB flash (in the same format *.iso before).

Yep, but seemingly you have the same (wrong BTW) assumption the OP made, i.e. that .iso's are "all the same" and can be recreated "as they were", BTW, this is perfectly possible, but only on a "case by case" basis, and choosing "manually" the approach/programs to be used.
If you prefer, it is the SAME (while being the "opposite" :w00t:) of the TANSTAAFL issue here:
http://reboot.pro/8944/
as an example, we do have a small script/tool to "revert" a BartPE on USB to a BartPE .iso:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=23262
but it is specific to a specific build/method used to create the USB in the first instance.


:cheers:
Wonko

#10 Bladrunner

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 07:19 PM

Nice looking post! :thumbsup: Please explain, why do you need a backup copy of USB in ISO format - for what purpose? Its not an investigation, just an attempt to help...productively. :)

I know this post is from a while ago but I thought I'd add some info to this post:

I have been using ISO images for years and originally used ultra ISO for backing up bootable CD's (ISO images can retain the bootability of the original bootable CD from which the ISO was created)

over the last couple of years bootable flash drives have become much more common but there doesn't seem to be a utility which can create a single backup file including the bootability (boot sector) of a flash drive as a single file the same as an ISO file

There is one utility which can create a backup image file of a bootable flash drive (retaining the boot sector) which is imageUSB by Passmark, this still doesn't create one file but creates a .bin file and a .bin.log file

you can browse the .bin file by using another utility called osfmount.exe (also from Passmark)

both imageUSB and osfmount.exe have limitations

IS0 files are very flexible - if you create an IS0 file of a bootable CD you can add files to the ISO, re save the edited ISO and then re create the CD with the added files, obviously the only limitation is the size which the ISO image increases to (800MB for a CD, 4.7GB for a single layer DVD and 8.5GB for Dual layer) - haven't experimented with Blu-ray. yet)

 

So it would be good to have single standard  file type for creating a backup image of a bootable flash drive (similar to the .ISO format)

The uses for this would be to be able to use the image to create additional bootable flash drives when the original become corrupt orb the USB flash drive becomes damaged

 

Technolane.



#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 10:31 AM

 

 

So it would be good to have single standard  file type for creating a backup image of a bootable flash drive (similar to the .ISO format)

The uses for this would be to be able to use the image to create additional bootable flash drives when the original become corrupt orb the USB flash drive becomes damaged

 

Technolane.

We do have them and we have them since the dawn of time.

 

It is called RAW image (or "dd-like") and it is simply (just like the .iso is) a byte by byte (sector by sector) copy of the device.

 

Usually (though not compulsory) these images have extension .img (or .raw or .dd) and they are nothing "new" or special.

 

 

A .iso is a disc (whole disc) image.

A .img is a disk (whole disk) image.

The OFSmount.exe, though a nice tool, is derived from the IMDISK (and from a couple of earlier tools), as such they integrate "less" than other available solutions into a Windows NT.

Olof (the Author of IMDISK) wrote another tool that integrates at a lower level and it is more suited to work with disk images:

http://reboot.pro/to...iniport-driver/

http://arsenalrecon..../image-mounter/

and there is another excellent freeware Total Mounter:

http://www.kernsafe....talmounter.aspx

 

You have to uinderstand however how a USB stick is generally a "partitioned" device and NOT a "superfloppy" or a simple volume.

A .iso is instead (usually, i.e. in 99.99% of cases) a simple volume (though it is possible to make hard disk emulation .iso's).

 

The point is that a .iso file is not really-really flexible because it was designed as a WORM kind of standard (Write Once Read Many) and what most (please read all) the .iso editing utilities actually create on-the-fly a new .iso replacing the original one. (and editing a .iso is never a very good idea when it comes to bootable .iso's), see:

http://reboot.pro/to...ting-iso-files/

(mind you this does NOT mean that editing a .iso file doesn't work, only that it may not work, particuarly for Windows installs and PE 1.x booting .iso's) 

 

But you are correct that this approach has the advantage that until you add something to the .iso, the .iso is smaller.

 

A RAW image on the other hand is since day one already as BIG as the device from which it was created.

You could compare this to having a "blank" CD .iso with a fixed size of 650 Mb or so or a blank DVD .iso with a fixed size of around 4.3 Gb, that you can later "fill" with UltraISO or similar (but again this in some cases may cause issues).

 

There are tens of softwares (freewares or commercial) capable of creating a RAW image from a USB stick, if you like command line I usually recommend the DSFOK toolkit:

http://members.ozema...eezip/freeware/

but *any* dd port would do:

http://reboot.pro/to...uest-for-ddexe/

among the GUI tools, we have Clonedisk:

http://reboot.pro/to...8480-clonedisk/

http://labalec.fr/erwan/?page_id=42

 

Still "since the dawn of time", we have managed USB sticks as disk images and viceversa, see also:

http://reboot.pro/to...atch-001-alpha/

http://reboot.pro/to...ease-001-alpha/

 

:duff:

Wonko



#12 Timy

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 04:12 AM

There is a post that would show you how to burn an ISO to USB drive or/and copy ISO to USB flash drive for data storage only, rather than creating ISO to bootable USB flash drive.



#13 sebus

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Posted 19 March 2016 - 08:56 PM

and there is another excellent freeware Total Mounter:

http://www.kernsafe....talmounter.aspx

 

Thanks for this, very handy tool.






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