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Mount A USB Drive In Ubuntu Server

Before we can mount a USB drive we need to gather some information about it. With the help of fdisk we can see that my 4GB USB drive was recognized as /deb/sdc1 and is formatted with FAT32.

sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sdc: 4049 MB, 4049600512 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 492 cylinders, total 7909376 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x04c91666

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1   *        2048     7909375     3953664    b  W95 FAT32

Now create a mount point where the USB drive will be mounted. Only one drive per mount point.

sudo mkdir /media/usb

There is a good change your USB drive will be formatted with FAT16/32 therefore using the parameter -t vfat will suffice, otherwise you can use -t ntfs or -t ext3 depending on the file system.

sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sdb1 /media/usb

Make sure drive was mounted with the help of df -h. The 4GB USB drive is mounted and accessible from the /media/usb mount point.

user@debian:~$ df -h
Filesystem                                              Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
rootfs                                                   49G   18G   29G  38% /
udev                                                     10M     0   10M   0% /dev
tmpfs                                                   100M  432K  100M   1% /run
/dev/disk/by-uuid/af874479-b4ee-4d83-a3da-d2fdb48511ea   49G   18G   29G  38% /
tmpfs                                                   5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
tmpfs                                                   404M     0  404M   0% /run/shm
/dev/sdb1                                               3.8G  6.6M  3.8G   1% /media/usb

To un-mount the drive you can simply use the umount command folowed the mount point.

sudo umount /media/usb

How To Create AVG Bootable USB Drive

AVG Rescue CD is great way of removing malware from a Windows PC for when the operating system is unresponsive. You can download the ISO for AVG Rescue CD from AVG at no cost.

Here’s what you will need prior to creating the bootable USB drive:

  1. Download the appropriate .ISO file from the AVG site
  2. Download UNetbootin, Windows application

Format The USB Drive

Make sure the USB drive formatted to the FAT file system. The Windows formatting application works just fine.

format usb

format usb

Creating The Bootable USB

Start UNetbootin by clicking on the executable.

Start executable

Click on Diskimage.

Boot USB AVG

And browse to the location where the AVG Rescue CD .ISO file was downloaded to.

Boot USB AVG

Make sure select the correct .ISO image.

Boot USB AVG

With the .ISO selected you can now select the USB drive where the ISO image will be stored, my USB drive was recognized as F:, and click on OK to start the process.

Boot USB AVG

Process will take a few minutes.

Boot USB AVG

Click on Exit the USB drive was successfully created.

Boot USB AVG

Make sure the BIOS is set to boot from Removable Devices also know as USB drives not doing so will result in not being able to boot from the USB drive.

Boot USB AVG

Disable VMware Workstation / Player from automatically connecting new usb devices

Meant for convenience, but annoying after a while, VMware enables by default the option to “Automatically connect new USB devices” on all virtual machines this means the VM will grab the USB device away from the Host OS and connect it to the running virtual machine. While convenient, just because a USB device is connected to the host OS that does not meant I want to use it on the VM.

Disabling this feature only takes a few minutes, and can be re-enabled at any time. The only downside is that it has to be done on each virtual machine individually, at least that I know of.

Steps

First of all Start Vmware Workstation and select the virtual machine you wish to make the change to.

On the virtual machine Click on Edit Virtual Machine Setting

Select USB Controller > and uncheck Automatically connect new USB devices and click on OK to save the changes.

I would recommend you perform this steps every time a new virtual machine is create it.

10 Portable Applications To Consider – Part 3

Flash drives can do more than just store files, they can also be used to run applications on any computer. Which is why I’ve decided to list 10 of my favorite portable applications.

The criteria used to select the applications is as follow:

  1. Free
  2. Requires no major modifications to run from Flash media
  3. Lightweight and small
  4. Useful and non-obstructive
  5. No major limitations

While not a complete list I’ve decided to list most of the applications in my Flash drive and give the list its own page www.linhost.info/usb-tools/. I will update the list as I find more useful software.


SNMPTrafficGrapher

This freeware utility allows monitoring of supporting SNMPv1 and SNMPv2c devices including Cisco, Livingstone, Riverstone etc.

Awesome portable tool for when need graphing on the move.

Download: SNMPTrafficGrapher


Netcat

Netcat is a computer networking service for reading from and writing network connections using TCP or UDP.

The venerable Netcat is available in Windows and best of all you can carry it with you, no installation necessary.

Download: Netcat for Windows


Disk Usage

Du (disk usage) reports the disk space usage for the directory you specify. By default it recurses directories to show the total size of a directory and its subdirectories.

This should be part of any installation.

Download: Disk Usage


YAPS

Fast TCP/IP port scanner.

* Supports simultaneous connecting to many targets
* Supports command line and GUI mode
* Customisable timeout
* Can scan range of addresses, or single address
* Can resolve addresses
* Includes names for well known ports

I like the simplicity of YAPS for scanning hosts on the go.

Download: YAPS


Eraser Portable

Eraser is a secure data removal tool for Windows. It completely removes sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns.

Download: Eraser 5.8.8 Portable.zip


USB Image Tool

USB Image Tool can create images of USB flash drives and MP3 players, that are mounted as USB drives. It allows you switch between images with different music styles on your MP3 Player or to make an exact backup image of your USB Stick.

The best USB imaging tool so far, it supports compression.

Download: USB Image Tool


Process Explorer

Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.

Download: Process Explorer


Iperf.exe

Iperf is a commonly used network testing tool that can create TCP and UDP data streams and measure the throughput of a network that is carrying them.

Industry standard for measuring network performance.

Download: iperf.exe


RealTemp

Real Temp is a temperature monitoring program designed for all Intel single Core, Dual Core, Quad Core and Core i7 processors.

Download: Real Temp


ConnectionMonitor

Pings hosts at regular intervals, to determing if your connection is working, and generate a log of the results.

They say the host is fine, you say otherwise. With ConnectionManager you can prove your point and the one who loses has to spend the weekend with the Chairmen of the Board(if you know what I mean!).

Download: ConnectionMonitor

Don't Trow Away That 16MB SD Card

Use it to run Monowall an embedded firewall that is available in a 8.53 MB(.img) image. Specifically, I opted to download the generic-pc-1.33.img image which can be used on CF/HD/USB drives and works on my VIA C3 firewall.

And if you are wondering how in this day and age any one could get hold of a 16MB SD card, well let me you that it came with my Canon digital camera. BTW, I am working on a post titled: How To Install Monowall From A USB Drive.

USB Flash Drive Imaging Tools

If you are like me, then you are probably constantly making changes your USB Flash Drives. This is fine if all you do is work with small capacity drives, but in the case of large capacity ones it becomes a pains. Which is why I decided to write about two simple yet useful tools that can help you create an exact copy of a USB drive, the image can be restored at a later time.

Imaging will create a one time copy, which can be used to restore at a later time.

USB Image Tool

USB Image Tool

Official description:

USB Image Tool can create images of USB flash drives and MP3 players, that are mounted as USB drives. It allows you switch between images with different music styles on your MP3 Player or to make an exact backup image of your USB Stick.

USB Image Tool is rather full featured for what it does, asides from creating exact copies of any storage device that makes use of the USB Mass Storage Protocol it can also compress the resulting image if you like. Also useful is the ability to list several image as your favorites, useful if you tend to frequently restore the same image repeatedly. USB Image Tool uses the .IMG file extension.

Features: Creates exact copies and restores copies. Image compression. Portable requires no installation. Free.
Download: USB Image Tool

Win32Disk Imager

Win32Disk Imager

Although, the name seems to imply that its only capable of wring images, Win32Disk Imager is equally capable of creating an image from any storage device that makes use of the USB Mass Storage Protocol. Out of the two Win32Disk Imager has the simplest interface of the two and it also lacks some of the features found on USB Image Tool. Win32Disk Imager uses the .IMG file extension.

Features: Creates exact copies and restores copies. Really simple interface. Portable requires no installation. Free.
Download: Win32Disk Imager

Both options are great, I guess it all comes down to the interface and which one makes more sense to you. If you have any questions leave a comment below.

10 Portable Applications To Consider – Part 2

Flash drives can do more than just store files, they can also be used to run applications on any computer. Which is why I’ve decided to list 10 of my favorite portable applications.

The criteria used to select the applications is as follow:

  1. Free
  2. Requires no major modifications to run from Flash media
  3. Lightweight and small
  4. Useful and non-obstructive
  5. No major limitations

While not a complete list I’ve decided to list most of the applications in my Flash drive and give the list its own page http://linhost.info/usb-tools/. I will update the list as I find more useful software.


Teracopy Portable

Free utility designed to copy/move files faster and more secure. Can resume broken file transfers.

If you move data between two different location then this application is a must.

Download: Teracopy Portable

Photorec

PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media’s file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.

Capable of recovering most formatted data, I have personally use this application multiple times with great success.

Download: Photorec

Notepad++ Portable Edition

Notepad++ Portable Edition is the Notepad++ source code editor and notepad replacement packaged with an OTBSoft Launcher as a portable app, so you can take it with you on a USB drive, iPod, etc and use it on any computer.

The included Windows editor Notepad will not cut it in some situation which is why you should carry this great alternative text editor.

Download: Notepad++ Portable Edition

HeidiSQL

HeidiSQL is a lightweight, Windows based interface for MySQL databases. It enables you to browse and edit data, create and edit tables, views, procedures, triggers and scheduled events.

Download: HeidiSQL

Wget For Windows

GNU Wget is a free network utility to retrieve files from the World Wide Web using HTTP and FTP.

Mainly use it on third party computers to avoid having to use the web browser when all I have to download is just one file.

Download: Wget For Windows

USB Image Tool

USB Image Tool can create images of USB flash drives and MP3 players, that are mounted as USB drives. It allows you switch between images with different music styles on your MP3 Player or to make an exact backup image of your USB Stick.

For those of use who are constantly making changes to our portable drives, with this application now you can create an exact copy of a flash drive and restore it at a later time.

Download: USB Image Tool

Atto Disk Bench

Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes.

Will come in handy at some point.

Download: Atto Disk Bench

YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator

It can be used to create a Multiboot USB Flash Drive containing multiple operating systems, antivirus utilities, disc cloning, diagnostic tools, and more.

I tend to carry multiple flash drives with me, so it makes sense to have the tool that allows me install and boot from most operating system from a flash drive.

Download: YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator

Roadkil’s Unstoppable Copier

Recovers files from disks with physical damage. Allows you to copy files from disks with problems such as bad sectors, scratches or that just give errors when reading data. The program will attempt to recover every readable piece of a file and put the pieces together. Using this method most types of files can be made useable even if some parts of the file were not recoverable in the end.

Download: Roadkil’s Unstoppable Copier

Defraggler

Use Defraggler to defrag your entire hard drive, or individual files – unique in the industry. This compact and portable Windows application supports NTFS and FAT32 file systems.

Download: Defraggler

10 Portable Applications To Consider – Part 1

Flash drives can do more than just store files, they can also be used to run applications on any computer. Which is why I’ve decided to list 10 of my favorite portable applications.

The criteria used to select the applications is as follow:

  1. Free
  2. Requires no major modifications to run from Flash media
  3. Lightweight and small
  4. Useful and non-obstructive
  5. No major limitations

While not a complete list I’ve decided to list most of the applications in my Flash drive and give the list its own page http://linhost.info/usb-tools/. I will update the list as I find more useful software.


PeaZip

PeaZip is a free archiver, available as portable and installable software for Windows and Linux.
Create 7Z, ARC, BZ2, GZ, *PAQ, PEA, QUAD/BALZ, TAR, UPX, ZIP
Extract ACE, ARJ, CAB, DMG, ISO, LHA, RAR, UDF and many more file formats
PeaZip allows to create, convert and extract multiple archives at once, create self-extracting archives, bookmark archives and folders, apply powerful search filters, scan and open files with custom applications, apply strong encryption, split/join files, secure data deletion, calculate checksum and hash…

The perfect portable file archiver for when you need to open more that just ZIP. Useful because often I find myself in need to extract 7z archives and ISOs on other peoples computers.

Download: PeaZip

HouseCall

HouseCall is a free virus scanner offered by Trend Micro, which checks whether a computer has been infected by viruses, spyware, or other malware.

Easy to understand and simple to operate the perfect portable malware scanner, all it needs is an Internet connection to download the latest definitions and you are good to go.

Download: HouseCall

Foxit PDF Reader

Foxit PDF Reader is a small, fast, and feature rich PDF viewer for Microsoft Windows, which allows you to open, view, and print any PDF file.

Not all computers have Adobe PDF Reader installed by default and if you are like me then you probably have a million PDF docs.

Download: Foxit PDF Reader

LCISOCreator

LC ISO Creator creates ISO files from CD/DVD-ROM.

Good for making a quick backup of optical media, trust it will come in handy at some point.

Download: LCISOCreator

NTFSWalker

NTFSWalker is a simple, straightforward, and most importantly free utility for analyzing and “walking through” NTFS partitions on any media readable by your computer, including hard disks, memory cards, USB flash drives, and floppy disks. NTFSWalker takes you through the low-level structure of the file system, and lets you view deleted files, regular files, as well as detailed attributes for each file.

It will happen, you will find your self trying to recover a deleted file. Which is why you need NTFSWalker, a portable file recovery tool.

Download: NTFSWalker

WinSCP

WinSCP is an open source free SFTP client and FTP client for Windows. Legacy SCP protocol is also supported. Its main function is safe copying of files between a local and a remote computer.

Simple and portable makes for a winning combinition.

Download: WinSCP

Putty

An open source telnet and SSH Client for the Windows and Unix platforms.

Good for more than just remote administration, it can also be used to tunnel all of your traffic over OpenSSH aka “The Poor Man’s VPN”.

Download: Putty

SpaceSniffer

SpaceSniffer is a freeWare (donations are welcome) and portable tool application that lets you understand how folders and files are structured on your disks. By using a Treemap visualization layout, you have immediate perception of where big folders and files are placed on your devices.

The best visualization tool out there. It’s made even better by the fact that requires no installation.

Download: SpaceSniffer

Hash

Hash is a small GUI tool designed to perform MD5, SHA1and CRC32 hashing functions on a number of files. The file size and modified date is also optionally shown. Results displayed in the window can easily be copied to the Windows clipboard or saved to a text file. The program allows direct browsing of multiple files and files can also be dragged and dropped onto the window.

Simple application designed to compute MD5, SHA1 and CRC32 hashes.

Download: Hash.exe

CCleaner

CCleaner is our system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. Additionally it contains a fully featured registry cleaner.

You’ve probably heard of CCleaner before, but did you know that a portable version is also available.

Download: CCleaner

Review: BYTECC BT-DB925 – USB To Serial

After all this years Serial ports are still widely needed and not just by legacy devices but also by newer appliances. The problem is that computers no longer include serial ports since the USB standard has been so successful at replacing it, lucky us the USB standard can also provide a solution to the lack of Serial port on recent computers.

However, from talking to different people it seems that Serial solutions based on the USB standard have a not so favorable reputation. The problem seems to be with the required drivers and if we know one thing about drivers is that they don’t always work. A non working driver means the USB-to-Serial cable is useless.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE BYTECC BT-DB925

For the reasons mentioned above I decided to write my very own short review on the BYTECC BT-DB925 a DB9 and DB25 solution, my experience working with USB-to-Serial adapters has been nothing but perfect. The BYTECC BT-DB925 is based on the PL 2303 USB to Serial Bridge Controller by Prolific and can be obtained for under $12.00 USD online.

usb to db9

You can buy the BYTECC BT-DB925 from the following only vendors:

WHAT ABOUT THE CABLE

The construction quality is better than expected, it would be safe to assume this product will last for a good number of years. And the 6 feet of cable should be enough to work from a comfortable distance.

CONNECTORS

db9 to db25

Not only do you get a USB to DB9 cable, the BT-DB925 also includes a DB-25 adapter used to connect directly to the DB-9 connector.

OPERATING SYSTEM SUPPORT

Most of the problems with the BT-DB925 seem to be in the Windows platform, the drivers that come with the included CD seem to be the incorrect ones for some reason. The solution is to instead download the following driver Download PL2303 driver (locally hosted). Although the driver name suggest otherwise this is the working driver.

I’ve personally tested the BT-DB925 under Windows XP 32-bit, Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit, and last but not least with Ubuntu 9.04 32-bit and 10.04 32-bit. Ubuntu/Linux users have no need for drivers, in all cases the cable was functional from the start. Sadly, I do not have a Mac, cable could not be tested.

CONCLUSION

You should not limit your self to a single brand, as long as the USB-to-Serial cable is built using the PL 2303 USB to Serial Bridge Controller by Prolific the driver I used should work as well. Well, if you are looking for a quality, affordable, and functional USB-to-Serial DB-9/DB-25 cable then I recommend picking up the BYTECC BT-DB925. If you have any questions feel free to comment.


Product: BYTECC BT-DB925

Updated: 12/1/2010 – Fixed some errors