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Easy2Boot flash drive no longer recognized

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#1 zeets

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 06:47 PM

I spent a fair bit of time setting up an Easy2Boot 64gb flash drive and it worked great for a while. But now, when I insert the flash drive into a Windows 7 system, I am prompted to format the drive in order to use it. When the flash drive is inserted into a Ubuntu system, it does not automatically mount (as it used to).

 

Is there any way to recover this E2B setup? Or should I start over? Any ideas on what might have caused this, so that I can avoid this issue in the future?



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 06:55 PM

Check the MBR, it is possible that it has been corrupted/overwritten and that the actual "main volume" is OK, but it is as well possible that the issue is the volume itself or even (not common but possible) a failure of the actual stick.

 

You can use testdisk or dmde to have a quick look at the device contents.

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#3 zeets

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 01:22 AM



Check the MBR, it is possible that it has been corrupted/overwritten and that the actual "main volume" is OK, but it is as well possible that the issue is the volume itself or even (not common but possible) a failure of the actual stick.

 

You can use testdisk or dmde to have a quick look at the device contents.

 

:duff:

Wonko

 

Thanks. Per your suggestion, I used testdisk and was able to copy all the files on the flash drive, so in the worst case, recreating the E2B flash drive won't be terribly time consuming.

 

I was able to repair the MBR with testdisk, and now I can see the contents of the flash drive, but it still won't boot.

 

I went into the 'Advanced' menu, and can see that the backup boot sector is bad.

Screenshot%202016-12-01%2020.11.27.png

 

I tried copying the boot sector over the backup boot sector, but that didn't work:

Screenshot%202016-12-01%2020.15.45.png

Screenshot%202016-12-01%2020.15.49.png

 

Any suggestions on salvaging this build? Or would it be quicker to format and use E2B to create a new build and copy all the ISO's and settings files I have now backed up?



#4 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 09:45 AM

The kind of "repair" Testdisk can do on a MBR is limited, it will only "fix" the contents of the partition table (and it has anyway to be seen specifically if the small partition that RMPRPUSB/Easy2boot usually makes with ID 0x21 has been fixed and/or is actually needed in your case).
If there was - for *whatever* reason - a corruption of the Code of the MBR (which BTW in the case of grub4dos extrends for several sectors after the MBR) Testdisk won't be able to do anything about it.
It is strange that "synchronizing" the NTFS bootsectors results in a "cannot access" kind of error, I mean it could be the symptom of a more serious problem.
If you have saved your payloads and whatever customizations you had before, yes, I would rather re-run E2B and "start from new".
Once you have it working, it is a good idea for USB sticks (even if yours is a tad bit on the "large" size) to make a dd-like or "forensic sound" image of the whole device, this way you have a "way back" in case something "goes astray", you can usually comprss it in a .7z or .zip and won't take that much of space on a backup device.

:duff:
Wonko

#5 loveyoumario

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 10:31 AM

Does it make sense to use UPDATE_E2B.cmd? I had a time when a E2B drive can be R/W with Windows Explorer but cannot boot to the grub menu. I guessed it's MBR or something connected to the boot had corrupted, and then run the UPDATE_E2B.cmd (the same version with the current E2B) and then there was no problem.



#6 steve6375

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 10:55 AM

UPDATE_E2B_DRIVE only copies files.

 

If the same problem happens again, use RMPrepUSB - Drive Info to look at sectors 0, 1, 30 and 60.

Look for a valid MBR. RMPrepUSB will list it nicely for you

If you find one that looks correct, copy it to LBA 0, LBA 1 (original backup) and LBA 30 and LBA 60.

Then use RMPrepUSB - Install grub4dos and Y=MBR - repeat and use N=PBR.

If you still have no filesystem, use RMPrepUSB - DriveInfo - P1 to look at the PBR - see if it contains valid info.

If it does not then you may be able to repair it using TestDisk.



#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 11:34 AM

Does it make sense to use UPDATE_E2B.cmd? I had a time when a E2B drive can be R/W with Windows Explorer but cannot boot to the grub menu. I guessed it's MBR or something connected to the boot had corrupted, and then run the UPDATE_E2B.cmd (the same version with the current E2B) and then there was no problem.

In this case it doesn' t make (much) sense (to me at least) as we don't know the extents (and cause) of the corruption, the access error from Testdisk to the backup bootsector may be the sign of something wrong with the actual device.

I mean, if all the payloads and customization are already safely recovered, it takes really no time to zero out a few sectors, re-install Easy2boot from scratch and copy back the payloads and customization.

Of course it is possible that the UPDATE_E2B.cmd would work, but what if it *seemingly* works but doesn't fix the underlying issue (whatever it is)?

 

:duff:

Wonko



#8 steve6375

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 12:52 PM

The PBR Boot backup sector may be 'bad' because the first copy will have grub4dos boot code but the backup will have the original bootmgr boot code. 



#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 01:39 PM

The PBR Boot backup sector may be 'bad' because the first copy will have grub4dos boot code but the backup will have the original bootmgr boot code. 

Yep :), but the last issue OP reported was that testdisk could not WRITE on the sector (this has nothing to do with what is in the sector), testdisk detects that the main and backup PBR are different (and it has actually to be seen if it checks only the data or also the code) then offers the user to either overwrite the backup with the "main" or overwrite the "main" with the backup, but once the user has said Yes, the error is - for *whatever* reasons - an access error.

 

:duff:

Wonko







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