Monday, July 25, 2011

Making a Avira Bootable from a USB stick.

I like to carry an Avira Rescue CD with me because it is one of the tools I use to clean up infected machines. I like it because:

1. It is based on Linux (most of the machines I clean are Windows so having Linux scan it makes it a good defense).

2. Scanning while not booted to the Operating System that is infected increases the chance of being able to get the virus.

3. It will updated itself if it can recognize the NIC. It works flawlessly on Intel cards - never had it work on an Wireless.

OK. If it updates itself that is cool, but since it can't always, I have download the ISO repeatedly to keep as current as I can a CD with me. This is really not hard, just sometimes inconvenient and I am burning through a lot of CDs.

So I decided to make a USB that boots AVIRA instead of a CD. I am sure that there are multiple ways out there to do this, well, maybe not - I do know of two:

1. I followed the directions found here: Dave's Computer Tips.

2. The other I sort of stitched together myself using a utility I download from the Ubuntu site. In their web site they show you how to create a Live USB version of Ubuntu. You can go there are read it, but the utility you want is at Universal USB Installer. The utility really is for creating a number of bootable USB Linux Distros.

Option 1 I tried and while the process was flawless, my USB drive did not boot. I created it while using Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. I did not think this would make a difference, but maybe it did or maybe it was my USB drive. It was a cheap 1 Gig model that I had laying around. From past experience some USB drives just don't work no matter what you do.

So after failing with option 1, I decided to try using the utility I had used before to create bootable Ubuntu USBs. If you run the utility you will notice that it has selections for a large number of different Linux Distributions, and this includes the "other". Which means you just have some version not listed.

So here are the steps:

1. Download Avira rescue CD.
2. Insert your USB drive (Remember the process is going to totally destroy any data on it).
3. Run the Universal USB Installer.
4. For the type of Linux, I chose "Try Unlisted Linux ISO (New SysLinux)
5. Choose the drive letter that belongs to your USB - do not check "show all drives"
6. Point to the downloaded AVIRA Rescue CD ISO.
7. Select Format drive.
8. Go for it.

See a screen shot of the selections mentioned above:

There you go.


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