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Most Efficient way to Remaster an ISO?

cuscotravelservices
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Most Efficient way to Remaster an ISO?

#1

Post by cuscotravelservices » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:17 pm

Hi Everyone,

Can an ISO be created/remastered from a non-frugal install of MX-14 to a Hard Drive?

Does an installation to a USB Flash Drive provide a more efficient environment than a Live USB environment?

My goal is to add Educational applications to the installation and have a USB version as a backup.

The target computer has a hard drive with some defective sectors but the owners don't want to spend money on a new hard drive when later they will be buying a Laptop.

Can an installation on a USB Flash Drive, or a Live USB, detect and use a SWAP partition on a Hard Drive?

Is there any special configuration required to enable this or is it automatically managed by Linux?

Thanks, Michael.

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uncle mark
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Re: Most Efficient way to Remaster an ISO?

#2

Post by uncle mark » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:34 pm

cuscotravelservices wrote:The target computer has a hard drive with some defective sectors but the owners don't want to spend money on a new hard drive when later they will be buying a Laptop.
Then don't waste your time.

Seriously, if they can't be put out to spend the $20 it would take to buy a used hard drive from eBay or Craig's List or the local Mom & Pop shop, then you'll be busting you azz to help them out with no investment of any sort on their part and your efforts will be dismissed and unappreciated.

Trust me on this. I learned it the hard way. If people don't have some skin in the game and you don't let them know your services have value, you'll end up being responsible for the machine and anything that has anything to do with it.
Desktop: Custom build Asus/AMD/nVidia -- MEPIS 11
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cuscotravelservices
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Re: Most Efficient way to Remaster an ISO?

#3

Post by cuscotravelservices » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:48 pm

uncle mark wrote:Seriously, if they can't be put out to spend the $20 it would take to buy a used hard drive from eBay or Craig's List or the local Mom & Pop shop, then you'll be busting you azz to help them out with no investment of any sort on their part and your efforts will be dismissed and unappreciated.

Trust me on this. I learned it the hard way. If people don't have some skin in the game and you don't let them know your services have value, you'll end up being responsible for the machine and anything that has anything to do with it.
Did you ever stop to consider that maybe they don't live in the so called "good ole usa"? :frown:

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uncle mark
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Re: Most Efficient way to Remaster an ISO?

#4

Post by uncle mark » Sat Sep 06, 2014 10:58 pm

cuscotravelservices wrote:Did you ever stop to consider that maybe they don't live in the so called "good ole usa"?
Not sure what that has to do with it.

Knock yourself out. I was just trying to pass along some hard won advise. My bedside manner might need some work, but my intentions were honorable.
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Re: Most Efficient way to Remaster an ISO?

#5

Post by m_pav » Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:25 am

Top of this page under MX Docs you'll find what you're looking for in the remaster section which can be done from a live-usb to add more apps etc into it, but the finished product will tell you in no uncertain terms the hard disk you selected for installation is faulting, ignore it at your peril.

Now for what you're actually trying to achieve, install Systemback, fire it up and make a live-image of the running system that can be made into a live-USB but under no circumstances should you ever use a failing hard disk to save the image to, use an external one. If the resultant image is under 4GB, you can convert it into an ISO and copy it to a flash drive using unetbootin.
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Re: Most Efficient way to Remaster an ISO?

#6

Post by dolphin_oracle » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:43 am

cuscotravelservices wrote:Hi Everyone,

Can an ISO be created/remastered from a non-frugal install of MX-14 to a Hard Drive?

Does an installation to a USB Flash Drive provide a more efficient environment than a Live USB environment?

My goal is to add Educational applications to the installation and have a USB version as a backup.

The target computer has a hard drive with some defective sectors but the owners don't want to spend money on a new hard drive when later they will be buying a Laptop.

Can an installation on a USB Flash Drive, or a Live USB, detect and use a SWAP partition on a Hard Drive?

Is there any special configuration required to enable this or is it automatically managed by Linux?

Thanks, Michael.
have you considered going the liveUSB with persistence route? Install all the apps you need into the liveUSB, and it will work on any machine that can boot the usb. Later if you want to install to hard drive, you can do that and the apps you installed in the liveUSB will go with it.

the liveUSB (and the liveCD for that matter) will use an existing swap partition on the hard drive if there is one.

besides the system that m_pav suggests, you could try the antix-snapshot utility that is included in the base MX install. It will generate an iso of an existing install as well.
http://www.youtube.com/runwiththedolphin
lenovo ThinkPad T530 - MX-18.3
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FYI: mx "test" repo is not the same thing as debian testing repo.

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Re: Most Efficient way to Remaster an ISO?

#7

Post by lucky9 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:14 pm

The target computer has a hard drive with some defective sectors but the owners don't want to spend money on a new hard drive when later they will be buying a Laptop.
Properly testing the HDD will allow those defective sectors to be marked as unusable and they will be set aside not to be used.
That is, if there is no other issue with the HDD.

(I've used a zero-write format to do this sort of thing. It will write a zero to every bit on a disk. The disk's electronics will do the marking as unusable. So if it's only bad sectors this will 'restore' a disk to usable condition. If it's the electronics then you have real problems and even SWAP may be more than you can get out of the disk.)

I usually boot the Universal Boot CD (UBCD) for this. You have several choices for a disk wipe program. I usually choose Active Kill Disk Free Edition. My UBCD is old so it has version 4.1. There are other choices, however all you need is a fast zero-write to find the bad sectors and get them marked. Most HDD manufacturers have a bootable image that will do the same thing and will be considerably smaller in size. Get the one for the HDD in question. (My old UBCD disk has 115MB of stuff on it. Many tools that I never have had to use.)
Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is.
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cuscotravelservices
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Re: Most Efficient way to Remaster an ISO?

#8

Post by cuscotravelservices » Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:45 pm

m_pav wrote:Now for what you're actually trying to achieve, install Systemback, fire it up and make a live-image of the running system that can be made into a live-USB but under no circumstances should you ever use a failing hard disk to save the image to, use an external one. If the resultant image is under 4GB, you can convert it into an ISO and copy it to a flash drive using unetbootin.
Thanks, I'll take a look at Systemback.

cuscotravelservices
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Re: Most Efficient way to Remaster an ISO?

#9

Post by cuscotravelservices » Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:50 pm

dolphin_oracle wrote:have you considered going the liveUSB with persistence route? Install all the apps you need into the liveUSB, and it will work on any machine that can boot the usb. Later if you want to install to hard drive, you can do that and the apps you installed in the liveUSB will go with it.

the liveUSB (and the liveCD for that matter) will use an existing swap partition on the hard drive if there is one.

besides the system that m_pav suggests, you could try the antix-snapshot utility that is included in the base MX install. It will generate an iso of an existing install as well.
Using Root Persistence is already one option under consideration but as most Flash Drives are much slower to write to than a Hard Disk, then, I was thinking it may be more efficient to install to HD first and create an ISO from that.

Thanks, Michael.

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Re: Most Efficient way to Remaster an ISO?

#10

Post by cuscotravelservices » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:38 pm

lucky9 wrote:Properly testing the HDD will allow those defective sectors to be marked as unusable and they will be set aside not to be used.
That is, if there is no other issue with the HDD.

(I've used a zero-write format to do this sort of thing. It will write a zero to every bit on a disk. The disk's electronics will do the marking as unusable. So if it's only bad sectors this will 'restore' a disk to usable condition. If it's the electronics then you have real problems and even SWAP may be more than you can get out of the disk.)

I usually boot the Universal Boot CD (UBCD) for this. You have several choices for a disk wipe program. I usually choose Active Kill Disk Free Edition. My UBCD is old so it has version 4.1. There are other choices, however all you need is a fast zero-write to find the bad sectors and get them marked. Most HDD manufacturers have a bootable image that will do the same thing and will be considerably smaller in size. Get the one for the HDD in question. (My old UBCD disk has 115MB of stuff on it. Many tools that I never have had to use.)
This is the course of action I will be pursuing before attempting an install.

The drive only has 4KB in defective sectors. Both MHDD and Victoria reported 1 UNC error. I've forgotten what UNC is an abbreviation for at the moment.

I have a Samsung Hard Drive Utility program that is compatible with the HD.

However, I have some questions that were never answered on a Topic on another forum when I was analysing and investigating all these details. This topic will give you the full background regarding the Hard Drive. I'll repeat (quote) some of them here so that they can be answered here in case you don't have an account at HardForum.
I was wondering if I could "partition around the problem" so that the defective part of the disk can't be used?
Originally Posted by omniscence
For a modern HDD something like low-level format does no longer exist or it is at least not something a user can do. Traditionally this rewrote the tracks on the disks, but today this is done once at the factory and trying to do this yourself would probably decalibrate the drive. What you can do is to completely overwrite the disk (some tools refer to this as low-level format, but it is not the same). This should clear the invalid data in all sectors (data not matching to its checksum) and reallocate all unwriteable sectors unless the drive has already exhausted its block reserve. A full (i.e. not quick) format with Windows should suffice. Under linux you could use 'dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=4M oflag=direct', replacing sda with the proper device.

I wonder about the SMART errors you see. This should not happen even with damaged sectors. It is entirely possible that smartctl has a problem with the controller and the drive is actually fine in that regard. I would suggest to try CrystalDiskInfo under Windows, as the Windows drivers for exotic controllers are sometimes better. If you cannot solve this I would just dispose of the drive and not entrust any even remotely important data to it again.
The PC was purchased in 2008. The Hard Drive (IDE) has a date of 2005.10 on its label.

The manual I have for Samsung's Hutil has 2002 as the Copyright year. It lists the ERASE HDD function as being able to perform "0-write or low level format". The options available for ERASE HDD are PROCESS, ERASE MBR, ERASE THE ENTIRE AREA and LOW LEVEL FORMAT. PROCESS has 2 TARGET options which are TARGET LBA and TARGET SIZE.

MHDD reported 1 LBA as having an error. Would the TARGET LBA option allow you to select just 1 LBA to write 0s to?

Would the ERASE THE ENTIRE AREA option perform a 0-write to the whole disk?

If so, I am thinking that the LOW LEVEL FORMAT could be the traditional low-level format that you have referred to?
Other than that, unless you, or others, have other advice to give, my plan will be to try the following.

Run chkdsk /f from Windows XP
Retest
Use Hutil to try to write 0s to the 1 bad LBA
Retest
Use Hutil to try to write 0s to the whole disk using the ERASE THE ENTIRE AREA option
Retest
Use Hutil to try to Format the disk using the LOW LEVEL FORMAT option
Retest

Thanks and hasta pronto, Michael.

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