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Windows LiveCD/LiveUSB


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Ever wanted a livecd or liveusb version of Windows to carry around with you? Sure, there's USB versions of Windows floating around the torrent sites but their legality is questionable and who knows what kind of crap people have infected them with. Now you can make your own, and I did just that over the last few days...

Using WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit) you can build your own USB or CD based version of Vista using Windows Preinstallation Environment 2.1. What this means is that you'll have a very basic copy of Vista (did I mention it's free and legal?) on which to build your own live "distro" of Windows.

I'll admit there are caveats, it won't run every app that ever ran on Windows (for example anything that requires .net Frameworks) but it will run a ton of apps, including many portable apps (mIRC, VLC, Firefox, etc - the basics) and it doesn't come with Explorer so you'll have to find your own desktop environment (I chose bbLean). Drivers can be injected but it seems a bit of a pain to get everything working though thankfully I've not had a problem with networking.

To download the WAIK direct from Microsoft, check out http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;DisplayLang=en and while I'd love to give a how-to I'm not going to be able to explain this particularly well. I might make an attempt in the near future, but in the meantime, here's a few starting points:





To give an example, here's a couple of screenshots of my effort so far:



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ParanoiaStick :)

Yeah, I had Putty on the original version for SSH tunneling, and I can write protect the SD card it's on... I was gonna try BitLocker but I'm not sure if I can do that with WinPE... Plenty of opportunities for paranoia-soothing tweaks though, I'm sure stuff like TrueCrypt would work too.

Would work well for a hostile networking environment I think, it has minimal services and apps running, the device it boots from can be write protected, the OS runs from a RAM disk which means everything's gone after a reboot, SSH means a nice tunnel out to a known safe machine, disk encryption would be nice so if you lost the stick/card then your files would be safe or second best, file encryption for the stuff you'd rather not be found.

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@Moonlit: I installed an operating system on my sd card, but my laptop didn't boot from it (I assume the card isn't powered on bios/post). But it runs on my thumbdrive nevertheless.

For disk encryption I recommend dm-crypt/luks (linux) or truecrypt (windows).

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  • 2 weeks later...

ill have to try this. if nothing else just as a way to recover or a way to run my stuff on a closed off box.

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I have been a big fan of the Windows ultimate boot disk project. Currently you have both the live windows os and knoppix on a DVD or put it on a USB. I am pretty sure you could get any live distro to work if you didn't want knoppix. It seems to have been built off of BartsPE. Do really remember has been a couple months since I made mine.



you need to supply your own windows source and key so you can be legit if you want.

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Just in case someone doesn't want to read the whole thing here's a summary.

Moonlit: Look Vista on a USB stick here's where to get more information on how to do it.

Other Random People: Cool!

Metatron: That's lame, my way's better!

SomeoneE1se: Yeah? What's you're way?

Metatron: Fuck you, figure it out yourself!

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