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Custom Bootable USB Drive


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I am interested in creating a bootable USB drive that does the following:

1) Mounts any local Windows Partitions

2) Replaces utilman.exe with a program from the USB drive.

Ideally (at least in my mind) it would detect the version of windows and display the appropriate boot logo, and then after finishing it's job it would fake a BSOD, and then boot into the real (now modified) OS.

I just don't know where to start. I want to do this myself, but I would greatly appreciate someone pointing me in the right direction to get me started.

I've tried doing google research, but so far I've come up empty. I'm going to continue my research, but at this point I'm running out of ideas on how to phrase it. Figured you guys might be able to help with that.

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combine tools. need to modify the OS, live discs can do this, but if you want access to the actual system as a normal user, konboot works as well if all you want to do is login to the system without a password. Loading windows directly from the system, grub boot loader can load the system from any live os, but if you want to mod it first, you need to live boot, mount, edit the system, and then chain load the OS afterwards. Konboot, patches I think the kernel functions in memory in a similar way and then boots the system for you, allowing you to bypass need for passwords at the login prompt.

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I would boot to a Win8.1 WinPE OS. You can make a USB drive that will boot from a 32-bit or 64-bit system in both MBR or UEFI-mode - see here.

Once booted to WinPE, you will have to detect what version of the offline OS is installed (there may be more than one version of Windows on different drives\partitions.

Copying files from the USB drive is then easy.

Then just reboot and remove the USB stick.

Using konboot or passpass can cause problems with the Windows OS (forgets passwords, etc.) so the end user will be able to tell because he is suddenly being asked for certification that he didn't need to enter before.

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P.S. You could just use dd to replace the contents of utilman.exe with the contents of a smaller exe file.

The system must be able to MBR-boot from a USB flash drive (i.e. not UEFI-only in BIOS and not secure boot enabled).


boot from USB to grub4dos (it can be made to not display any messages)

Display BSOD splash screen

Detect version of OS and what partitions they are on

use dd to overwrite utilman.exe with your exe (size of utilman.exe MUST not be smaller than your exe)

reboot to internal hdd

Edited by SteveSi
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