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Write Protected Bootable USB Stick


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#26 steve6375

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:37 AM

No, I have a card reader that works correctly and is WP if the switch is moved on the SD card. It was a cheap plastic one.

I agree about the speed, however this is because most of these card readers are very cheap. If you buy a USB 3.0 card reader (which I don't have and so have not tested - e.g. Kingston do one) then speed should not be an issue as these have good (fast) controllers. Of course, SD cards vary in speed a lot so you need a good fast one too.

 

Interestingly, on wiki it says

 

 

A host device can lock an SD card using a password of up to 16 bytes, typically supplied by the user. A locked card interacts normally with the host device except that it rejects commands to read and write data. A locked card can be unlocked only by providing the same password. The host device can, after supplying the old password, specify a new password or disable locking. Without the password (typically, in the case that the user forgets the password), the host device can command the card to erase all the data on the card for future re-use (except card data under DRM), but there is no way to gain access to the existing data.

 

I wonder if any s/w exists which will do this?



#27 Uvais

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:40 AM

maybe off topic..but i have burned an DVD its bootable...I have created its ISO ..but I want to make Non Copy-able..I means after burning that ISO..no one can Normally make its Image OR Copy its Contents..? Is it possible ?  :dubbio:



#28 MedEvil

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:55 AM

Only in Spy-Fi movies!

You can make it harder, but you can't stop it.
Many companies have tryed. All have failed! ;)

:cheers:

#29 steve6375

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:02 PM

If it contains files, encrypt them.



#30 MedEvil

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:34 PM

That will stop reading not copying.

:cheers:

#31 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:46 PM

@Uvais

JFYI:

http://www.pandreonline.com/tzcopy/

http://translate.goo...&hl=it&ie=UTF-8

the used approach reminds the good ol' times of "intermediate sectors" on floppies :whistling:

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#32 steve6375

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:04 PM

You could lock the CD to a particular system via it's MAC address (or you could use mainboard serial number).

 

e.g. in grub4dos

 

# check mainboard MAC address - e.g. MAC address is 00:23:54:58:32:6b
cat --locate=\x00\x23\x54\x58\x32\x6b (md)0x680+0x180 || pause --wait=3 WRONG SYSTEM! && halt

 



#33 MedEvil

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:22 PM

Again, this will stop reading / using it on another system, it will not stop making a copy of the DVD.

Uvais looks for a DVD, which can be used on any computer, but not made a copy of on any.

Having something readable, but not copyable, is just not possible.

:cheers:

#34 steve6375

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:27 PM

Having something readable, but not copyable, is just not possible.

I agree, which is why I was offering alternatives. It depends on why he wants it to be non-copyable to see if there is a work-around....



#35 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:29 PM

 
You could lock the CD to a particular system via it's MAC address (or you could use mainboard serial number).
But again that would prevent the built-in-bootability on a "non-given" system, the copy would still be possible AND access to contents as well (and also booting it thhrough an "external" bootloader bootmanager.
In the mentioned good ol' times you simply could not COPY a diskette, i.e. the COPY would not even work on the SAME machine (even if coupled with any hardware based protection, such as a parallel port dongle).
And then again, it was defeated in a short period of time, preventing "legal" users from doing backup copies, any IT guy's life more complex and making things for "professional software pirates" only very slightly more difficult.

I guess you are old enough to remember the Central Point Option board :unsure::
http://retro.icequake.net/dob/

:cheers:
Wonko

#36 steve6375

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 01:48 PM

Not sure if this would work but...

 

1. Make an ISO which has a large (say 200MB) dummy file written to the CD/DVD first, followed by your own payload files

2. Burn the CD/DVD

3. Put several large scratches in the tracks nearest the hub of the CD/DVD.

 

That should prevent any image copier from working! :dubbio: 

It won't prevent a decent hacker from re-making it though.



#37 MedEvil

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:43 PM

Decent hacker? :confused1:
Boy do we have lowered our standards! :lol:

Copy the boot sectore and files seperately and burn a new bootable DVD.
Every payware burn-software can do that, so we're hardly talking hacker ground here.

:cheers:

#38 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:49 PM

1. Make an ISO which has a large (say 200MB) dummy file written to the CD/DVD first, followed by your own payload files

2. Burn the CD/DVD

3. Put several large scratches in the tracks nearest the hub of the CD/DVD.

 

The stationery shop around the corner has no more any of the commonly used self-adhesive scratches, can you tell us how to make some?

(I would like to make a few large ones, I mean ;) from scratch :buehehe:)

 

 

:jaclaz:

 

More seriously, a recently loosely related topic:

http://reboot.pro/to...-with-grub4dos/

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#39 popov

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:51 AM

Going back to my protected stick discussion, I have tried some of those described methods, and nothing works. When drive is unprotected it's booting properly, when protected, it doesn't. I have even forced boot from BIOS and unplugged other devices, and all I had was some message about improper disk(but different one than when there was nothing connected). Device was normally detected in BIOS. I have also reformatted thing few times, each time with different tool, installed thing, did few tries with variously configured syslinux/grub and still no go. Steve6375's method of copying whole ISO was kinda helpful, one of my computers stopped at: Missing MBR-helper(others didn't report anything and just ignored drive). Of course it booted normally in readable mode. Now I am wondering what to do, maybe I should simple do some sort of low format? But then which tool is recommended for Windows XP, and is it possible that it's producers specific code in MBR that is causing it?

#40 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:42 AM

Well, it doesn't work like this. :(

 

I mean if you need help/assistance. :)

 

Basically you have an issue of unknown nature, that noone here has actually encountered/experienced (as in "no previous reference/solution"),  so you do a number of "random" tests, and come back saying "nothing" works, without detailing which tests you did and what happened (besides the final result "didn't work").

 

 

 I have also reformatted thing few times, each time with different tool, installed thing, did few tries with variously configured syslinux/grub and still no go.

It is difficult to try and suggest you something if you don't detail WHAT EXACTLY you tried and HOW EXACTLY it failed.

 

Please do ONE thing (and ONE only) and DETAIL it.

 

Get RMPREPUSB:

http://www.rmprepusb.com/

Partition the stick as having "Boot as HD C: 2Ptns", "FAT32" and install grub4dos to it (and nothing else).

Describe what happens when attempting to boot with NO write protection and what happens when attempting to boot with the write protection on.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#41 popov

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:03 PM

I wrote numerous because I can't even count them all. I was simply trying everything I know plus stuff I found online, including this thread. Those tests took me few hours of non-stop work, without any success. The way it fail is always the same - unprotected drive boots properly, protected doesn't. Either it simply skips USB completely(90% of times), or posts random generic junk messages, of which "Missing MBR-helper" is most common(and most detailed). Note: Different PC's display different junk messages, some don't display anything, while launching thing in VM always works.

 

Now RMPrepUSB results:

 

When stick is unprotected, drive is properly detected in BIOS and after boot grub command line is displayed.

 

When stick is protected, drive is properly detected in BIOS and after boot "Missing MBR-helper" message is displayed.



#42 popov

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:23 PM

Basically, I am wondering about this in RMPrepUSB:

 

http://reboot.pro/to...e-2#entry166301

 

Seems that MBR message might be coming because of it(?), but then, when its windows formatted, USB is simply skipped.

 

And out of curiosity, did anyone benched new USB 3.0 sticks that supposedly reach 200MB/sec transfer with the thing above? And compared results?


Edited by popov, 27 March 2013 - 02:25 PM.


#43 steve6375

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:29 PM

Now RMPrepUSB results:

 

When stick is unprotected, drive is properly detected in BIOS and after boot grub command line is displayed.

 

When stick is protected, drive is properly detected in BIOS and after boot "Missing MBR-helper" message is displayed.

This is most odd! Booting should not involve writing to the stick unless you have a virus somewhere??

How many systems did you try? What is your test system and does it have the standard BIOS?



#44 popov

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:43 PM

I've tried 4 systems and 2 VM's. Mainly for testing I am using ASUS A7N8X or P5GC-MX mobos, other than that it can be MSI 870A-G54. To this, there are few laptops, not sure about their details, I might be able to check later on. Tbh, I could even try it on old mobo with just USB 1.1 support, but I highly doubt it will change anything.

 

Tbh I was also considereing it to be possible virus or manufacturer driver.


Edited by popov, 27 March 2013 - 02:45 PM.


#45 steve6375

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:55 PM

Sounds like the issue is with the USb drive. How many have you tried and what are they?



#46 popov

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 03:30 PM

It's PQI U339 USB 2.0 4GB with write protection switch.

 

They have a tool that did not help me:

 

http://www.pqigroup....odid=245&nid=27



#47 Shahzaib

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:32 PM

The way use ultra iso-> write imake usb_> use option hide partition,.



#48 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:49 PM

Basically, I am wondering about this in RMPrepUSB:

 

http://reboot.pro/to...e-2#entry166301

 

Seems that MBR message might be coming because of it(?), but then, when its windows formatted, USB is simply skipped.

No, it is similar (actually EXACTLY like) as if grub4dos cannot find "itself".

Try again with NTFS formatting (this way we completely exclude FAT32 and it's optimization).

 

Maybe, for *any* reason, when the stick is Read Only the controller "REALLY" hides the "hidden sectors" (where part of the grub4dos code is written, but then again it should work with a "conventional" MBR. :dubbio:

Can you check the EXACT (in bytes) size of the stick?

RMPREPUSB should have an option to see that, otherwise use the method here:

http://reboot.pro/to...-alpha/?p=38197

 

I can try making for you a couple images in order to try and troubleshoot the issue.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#49 popov

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 12:29 AM

I've formatted it to NTFS with HPUSBDisk, installed GRUB but it's undetectable in both modes. VM detects it in both modes and works fine...
 

Disk Signature bytes (1B8h-1BBh) = 28 3F 32 24

Partition 1 SIZE=3890.711MiB Type: 0C FAT32LBA (2047GB max) *ACTIVE*
START POS = CYL:0 HD:1 SEC:1 END POS = CYL:495 HD:254 SEC:63
START (LBA) = 63 (0000003F) SIZE (LBA) = 7,968,177 (007995B1)

Partition 2 SIZE=0.031MiB Type: 21 Hidden(rsvd)
START POS = CYL:496 HD:0 SEC:1 END POS = CYL:496 HD:0 SEC:63
START (LBA) = 7,968,240 (007995F0) SIZE (LBA) = 63 (0000003F)

Partition 3 SIZE=0MiB Type: 00
START POS = CYL:0 HD:0 SEC:0 END POS = CYL:0 HD:0 SEC:0
START (LBA) = 0 (00000000) SIZE (LBA) = 0 (00000000)

Partition 4 SIZE=0MiB Type: 00
START POS = CYL:0 HD:0 SEC:0 END POS = CYL:0 HD:0 SEC:0
START (LBA) = 0 (00000000) SIZE (LBA) = 0 (00000000)

P1 Start=63 (32,256 bytes) End=7,968,239 (4,079,738,368 bytes)
P2 Start=7,968,240 (4,079,738,880 bytes) End=7,968,302 (4,079,770,624 bytes)


Drive 1 Generic USB Flash Disk is 4,083,351,552 bytes long (3.803GiB)
F/W Rev.=1100 Serial No.= [ 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ]

One of my observations, that is related to RMPrepUSB dual partition thing, is a fact, that when I simply format drive with HPUSBDisk to FAT32 and load GRUB onto, computer threats it like there would be no stick inside and skips to HDD. When formatted with RMPrepUSB dual partition + GRUB, it does actually detect something, as it pops that "Missing MBR-helper" message. That's the only clue I got.

 

So by researching Missing MBR-helper, I found out that:

 

 

1. Missing MBR-helper.

The helper function in the sectors that immediately follow the MBR is
not present, or it has been erased by a virus or by Windows XP/Vista.

Run the bootlace.com utility to fix the problem.

 

 

Then I went to bootlace.com, but it has so many options, that there are even external websites to ease command line...

 

http://apps.farterso...dbootlacer/main


Edited by popov, 28 March 2013 - 01:15 AM.


#50 rrolsbe

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 03:23 PM

I have been booting Puppy Linux from a hardware write locked Kanguru USB sticks for years.  I also boot my ASUS Netbook using a write locked SDHC card; however, as discussed in this thread there is a possiblity that the write lock could be defeated.  I am currently using Puppy Precise version 5.4.3 which is based on Ubuntu 12.04.

Regards, Ron

 

Hey there,

 

is there any way of making USB stick bootable when it is write protected(by switch)? I have several sticks and tried several OS'es on them, but they all fail to boot when i write-protect my pendrive, while working perfectly fine when the drive is unlocked. It seems kinda awkward, when compared to bootable live CD's, which do not require to write anything.

 

The second thing I want to ask about - I am looking for a fast, small (max 2GB) bootable distro that will boot and work on as many computers as possible, ie. probably having lots of preinstalled drivers. It needs to automatically detect and config simple network, must have r/w access to NTFS drives, ability to detect printers, internet browser, office, and some basic tools. And it should be easy enough for pure-windows person to use it as OS/data backup.






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