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Bootable USB (Local Imaging, DoD Wiping and More!)

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A bootable USB key can be very handy now-a-days. My favorite USB key consists of our Windows 7 image, network card drivers (to connect up to a Ghost server), the latest BIOS updates for all of our PCs and CopyWipe (to erase a retired PC)

Creating your Bootable Stick
To actually make your USB key, I like the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool - its very easy to use. You will also need the files from a Windows 98 boot disk (www.bootdisk.com)

Ed Note:
That site is convenient, but we must say that licensing agreements are in effect and you should only install software for which you have valid licenses.

Menu Structure
All of the menu items for your USB key are stored within the config.sys file. Here is a sample:
[menu]
SUBMENU=LOCAL, Local: Deploy an image from USB
SUBMENU=NETWORK, Network: Connect to a Ghost server and deploy an image
SUBMENU=WIPE, DoD wipe this PC
SUBMENU=BIOS, BIOS Upgrades

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[menu] My top level - name is "menu" (though it can be named whatever you want).

SUBMENU denotes that this selection will take you to the next menu - it uses the [variable], [description] flags.
MENUITEM is an actual selection (the end of a selection tree). MENUITEM=[variable], [description]. All of the variables need to be stored at the end of the config.sys file for use in the autoexec.bat file
MENUCOLOR is nice if you want to change the color of your menus [textcolor],[backgroundcolor] (http://www.easydos.com/menucolor.html)

So...let's see the whole picture of the menu structure.
[menu]
SUBMENU=LOCAL, Local: Deploy an image from USB
SUBMENU=NETWORK, Network: Connect to a Ghost server and deploy an image
SUBMENU=WIPE, DoD wipe this PC
SUBMENU=BIOS, BIOS Upgrades
MENUCOLOR=7,1

[NETWORK]
MENUITEM=B57, Broadcom NetExtreme - Precision T3500, T3400, 390, 380, 370
MENUITEM=B57a, Broadcom NetExtreme - Latitude D630, D620, D610, D600
MENUITEM=E100B, Intel 100B/S - Dimension 8300, 8250, 8200, 8100, 4550
MENUITEM=E1000, Intel 1000 - Optiplex 755, 960, 980 Latitude E4200, E6400
SUBMENU=menu, Return to the main menu
MENUCOLOR=7,1

[LOCAL]
MENUITEM=WIN7BASE, Windows 7 Base
MENUITEM=WIN7CAD, Windows 7 CAD
MENUITEM=XPBASE, Windows XP Base
MENUITEM=XPCAD, Windows XP CAD
SUBMENU=menu, Return to the main menu
MENUCOLOR=7,1

[BIOS]
SUBMENU=PRECISION, BIOS upgrades for the Dell Precision PCs
SUBMENU=OPTIPLEX, BIOS upgrades for the Dell Optiplex PCs
SUBMENU=MENU, Return to the main menu
MENUCOLOR=7,1

[PRECISION]
MENUITEM=370_BIOS, BIOS UPGRADE: 370
MENUITEM=380_BIOS, BIOS UPGRADE: 380
MENUITEM=390_BIOS, BIOS UPGRADE: 390
MENUITEM=T3400_BIOS, BIOS UPGRADE: T3400
MENUITEM=T3500_BIOS, BIOS UPGRADE: T3500
SUBMENU=BIOS, Pick a new machine type
SUBMENU=menu, Return to the main menu
MENUCOLOR=7,1

[OPTIPLEX]
MENUITEM=O755_BIOS, BIOS UPGRADE: O755
MENUITEM=O960_BIOS, BIOS UPGRADE: O960
MENUITEM=O980_BIOS, BIOS UPGRADE: O980
SUBMENU=BIOS, Pick a new machine type
SUBMENU=menu, Return to the main menu
MENUCOLOR=7,1

[WIPE]
MENUITEM=DODWIPE, Load CopyWipe to DoD wipe a hard drive
SUBMENU=menu, Return to the main menu
MENUCOLOR=0,4

[COMMON]
LASTDRIVE = Z

[B57]
DEVICE=\B57\protman.dos /I:\B57
DEVICE=\B57\dis_pkt.dos
DEVICE=\B57\B57.dos

[B57a]
DEVICE=\B57\protman.dos /I:\B57
DEVICE=\B57\dis_pkt.dos
DEVICE=\B57\B57.dos

[E100B]
DEVICE=\E100B\protman.dos /I:\E100B
DEVICE=\E100B\dis_pkt.dos
DEVICE=\E100B\E100B.dos

[E1000]
DEVICE=\E1000\protman.dos /I:\E1000
DEVICE=\E1000\dis_pkt.dos
DEVICE=\E1000\E1000.dos

[370_BIOS]

[380_BIOS]

[390_BIOS]

[T3400_BIOS]

[T3500_BIOS]

[O755_BIOS]

[O960_BIOS]

[O980_BIOS]

[WIN7BASE]

[WIN7CAD]

[XPBASE]

[XPCAD]

[DODWIPE]

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Putting Code Behind the Menu
Great! So now that we have a menu setup, we can go into the AutoExec.bat file and put some code into our USB key.

Looking at the code above, let's say you navigate through the entire menu structure and end up picking BIOS Upgrade: T3500. The first section of code in my AutoExec.bat file is to check which option you picked. Your selection is stored as %CONFIG%. When you picked BIOS Upgrade: T3500, you selected the variable T3500_BIOS because MENUITEM=T3500_BIOS, BIOS Upgrade: T3500 (variable, description).

The first section of the AutoExec.bat file looks like this:
IF %CONFIG% == 370_BIOS GOTO 370_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == 380_BIOS GOTO 380_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == 390_BIOS GOTO 390_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == T3400_BIOS GOTO T3400_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == T3500_BIOS GOTO T3500_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == O755_BIOS GOTO O755_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == O960_BIOS GOTO O960_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == O980_BIOS GOTO O980_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == DODWIPE GOTO DODWIPE

...

:T3400_BIOS
cd BIOS
T3400.exe
GOTO End

:T3500_BIOS
cd BIOS
T3500.exe
GOTO End

:O755_BIOS
cd BIOS
O755.exe
GOTO End

...

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This also assumes that you have a folder within your USB stick called BIOS and a file called T3500.exe.  After you select the T3500 BIOS upgrade, it will get to this section, hop down to the T3500_BIOS sub section and start executing code - first to navigate into the BIOS folder and second to execute the BIOS upgrade. Finally, once the BIOS upgrade is done, I tell it to go to the end - which exits the USB key.

So let's check out the entirety of the AutoExec.bat file:
IF %CONFIG% == 370_BIOS GOTO 370_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == 380_BIOS GOTO 380_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == 390_BIOS GOTO 390_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == T3400_BIOS GOTO T3400_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == T3500_BIOS GOTO T3500_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == O755_BIOS GOTO O755_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == O960_BIOS GOTO O960_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == O980_BIOS GOTO O980_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == D620_BIOS GOTO D620_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == D630_BIOS GOTO D630_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == E4200_BIOS GOTO E4200_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == E6400_BIOS GOTO E6400_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == E6410_BIOS GOTO E6410_BIOS
IF %CONFIG% == WIN7BASE GOTO WIN7BASE
IF %CONFIG% == DODWIPE GOTO DODWIPE

GOTO GHOST

:GHOST
SET TZ=GHO+06:00
prompt $p$g
\net\netbind.com
echo Loading Ghost...
C:
cd \ghost
GHOST.EXE -nousb
GOTO End

:WIN7BASE
@echo off
SET TZ=GHO+06:00
rem prompt $p$g
rem \net\netbind.com
echo Loading Ghost...
C:
MOUSE.COM
cd \ghost
GHOST.EXE -clone,mode=restore,src=C:\win7b.gho,dst=2 -sure -rb
GOTO End

:370_BIOS
cd BIOS
370.exe
GOTO End

:380_BIOS
cd BIOS
380.exe
GOTO End

:390_BIOS
cd BIOS
390.exe
GOTO End

:T3400_BIOS
cd BIOS
T3400.exe
GOTO End

:T3500_BIOS
cd BIOS
T3500.exe
GOTO End

:O755_BIOS
cd BIOS
O755.exe
GOTO End

:O960_BIOS
cd BIOS
O960.exe
GOTO End

:O980_BIOS
cd BIOS
O980.exe
GOTO End

:D620_BIOS
cd BIOS
D620.exe
GOTO End

:D630_BIOS
cd BIOS
D630.exe
GOTO End

:E4200_BIOS
cd BIOS
E4200.exe
GOTO End

:E6400_BIOS
cd BIOS
E6400.exe
GOTO End

:E6410_BIOS
cd BIOS
E6410.exe
GOTO End

:DODWIPE
echo                                  WARNING!!!
echo.                
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
pause
C:
cd \DoDWipe
CopyWipe.EXE
GOTO End

:End
Exit

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Using Ghost to Deploy an Image from your USB Key
You've probably noticed the Win7Base sections of code. This is setup to reference Ghost files to automatically load Ghost.exe and start imaging.

Ed Note:
Ghohst.Exe is a product of Symantec and is available here.
:WIN7BASE
@echo off
SET TZ=GHO+06:00
rem prompt $p$g
rem \net\netbind.com
echo Loading Ghost...
C:
MOUSE.COM
cd \ghost
GHOST.EXE -clone,mode=restore,src=C:\win7b.gho,dst=2 -sure -rb
GOTO End

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The Ghost executable should be located in USBKeyDriveID\Ghost. This also assumes that your filename is win7b.gho

Note:
I have found the the Ghost image filename NEEDS TO BE 5 characters long and the individual Ghost image spans should be no larger than 2GB (I have mine split to 1024MB). See your Ghost documentation for more information on creating an image.
Once this menu option is selected, Ghost is loaded, the image is selected and the imaging proceeds. Once the imaging is finished, the PC is rebooted and Windows 7 starts configuring. All of this is done automatically!

CopyWipe
I also like having CopyWipe on my USB stick in case I need to wipe a PC.   CopyWipe is a utility program available here:

    Free Drive Copy and Wiping Software -- CopyWipe™
    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/copywipe.php
:DODWIPE
echo                                  WARNING!!!
echo.                
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
echo        Final Warning...DO NOT wipe hard drive 0 - it is the USB stick!!
pause
C:
cd \DoDWipe
CopyWipe.EXE
GOTO End

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The final warnings are nice because the drives just show up as Hard Drive 0 and Hard Drive 1.  Since you are booting off of the USB key - it is Hard Drive 0. Dont wipe it!  :)

Closing Comments
Well, that's about everything that I have in my bootable USB key. I'm sure there are different ways to go about some of this, but this is just my example. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions! I will try to help you as best as I can!  

Enjoy!

-IT_Crowd

1
Comment
Author:IT_Crowd
1 Comment
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Sean Plemons Kelly, CISSP
IT_Crowd,

Well written! You may also consider adding in a minimum size for a drive in order to make this work properly.

Cheers!
Sean
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