Author Topic: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !  (Read 7501 times)

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Offline olddog

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USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« on: November 06, 2013, 01:08:16 AM »
1. Having clicked on "Create on USB", I was rewarded by the Avast dialogue panel turning completely white, and with the "windows not responding spinning cursor"
2. Task Manager also reported Avast as not responding, but clued by a very occasional flash of the drive light, I left it alone.
3. Nearly 10 minutes later, the dialogue returned, and said it was going to download the toolkit. That download took another 29 minutes (and I'm on high speed cable).
4. Finally it told me I had a rescue USB device.
5. Booted up, selected the rescue USB flash drive from the boot menu, and was rewarded with "Reboot & Select Proper Device, or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a Key", and no way could I get it to accept the rescue as valid boot media

I have repeated the above several times, and the results bad as they are, are consistent.

I can make a Paragon recovery USB flash drive in a fraction of the time it takes to make the Avast one, and it works. I can also make an entire partition image using Paragon in less time that it takes to do the above. The Paragon recovery flash drive (made on the same Flash drive that had been used for the Avast recovery, after reformatting) works from the same USB socket, selected from the same boot menu.

I am using the latest avast 2014.9.0.2007.  It was done as a clean installation after a complete uninstall of the previous version (2006), and clean up using both the Avast uninstall tool (Avastclear.exe) from safe mode, and RejZoR's Avast Cleanup Tool.

 

« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 01:10:32 AM by olddog »
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Offline Gandalf1369

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 01:35:19 AM »
Based on my own experience and that of numerous other posters here, I really believe that the creation of a Rescue USB is broken in avast!  On the other hand, making a bootable Rescue CD works with no problems for me. . . .
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Offline schmidthouse

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 02:08:27 AM »
Has anyone had success achieving a workable USB Rescue?
I can't recall reading any success stories relating to USB Flashdrive Rescue.
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Offline stevesi

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 09:47:21 PM »
Hi
I prepared a USB Rescue drive from a Win 7 64-bit system.
The USB volume size made by Avast was 113MB.
The \boot\bcd was set to boot from \sources\boot.wim

Entry #1
Name: Windows Setup
BCD ID: {default}
Device: [boot]\sources\boot.wim
Bootloader Path: \windows\system32\boot\winload.exe

Problem is there is no \sources folder on the USB drive and no boot.wim!!!!


So, of course, it does not boot. I am using todays free version.
HTH
Steve






Offline stevesi

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 11:18:19 PM »
I tried using the boot.wim from the rescue_disk.iso that I made. The USB drive then booted to PE but gave a missing dll error.
I then updated the three missing dll's and one 0 byte length dll with the dll's from the ISO.
Now the USB drive boots to the WinPE desktop but I get a

'aswShMin.exe - No Disk' dialogue box, saying  'There is no disk in the drive, please insert a disk into drive A:'.

This is now the same message that I get if I boot from the rescue_disk.iso file from a USB boot drive using grub4dos.

So no solution.. :-(

Offline RejZoR

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 11:26:00 PM »
I could NEVER get the USB Rescue Disc bootable either. Files get copied to USB, but i can't boot ANY system with it. And apparently i'm not the only one with such problem...
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Offline olddog

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 11:54:24 PM »
From mid 2012, manufacturers of USB flash drives like SanDisk buckled to pressure from Microsoft, and changed the structure of all of their USB flash drives so they are no longer seen by Windows as "Removable Media". This was in order to meet with Windows 8 certification. At the same time, they announced that they no longer supported being able to boot from these drives.

for more details see http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12830

This issue is not confined to Avast, it also affects other rescue or recovery software that is based on booting to a USB flash drive.

It is possible to make a workable Avast bootable rescue USB flash drive from the option provided in Avast 2014, but only on flash drives that are seen as "removable". 

Some software specifically looks for "removable media" and doesn't show the newer "non removable" flash drives as an available destination at the start of the process.

But even when a "non removable" USB flash drive can be selected as a destination, and the make rescue media process is completed, some PC's see the "non removable" flash drives as normal hard drives in the boot up selection screen, but cannot boot from them, and this applies even if you make a drive image from a "Removable" rescue drive that does work, and restore it to one of the "non removable" flash drives.

Edit: There is a difference in the controller chips in the "Non removable" flash drives.  There are reports of some success toggling the removable bit in the controller, but only on specific model drives. On other brands and models it has either not worked, or has resulted in the complete failure of the drive.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 12:02:28 AM by olddog »
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Offline SpeedyPC

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 05:58:26 AM »
I could NEVER get the USB Rescue Disc bootable either. Files get copied to USB, but i can't boot ANY system with it. And apparently i'm not the only one with such problem...

+1 Me too :'(
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Offline stevesi

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2013, 12:23:46 PM »
It is possible to make a workable Avast bootable rescue USB flash drive from the option provided in Avast 2014, but only on flash drives that are seen as "removable". 
So are you saying that you can make a working Avast rescue USB drive?
I used a removable drive to prepare one and it didn't work. Others here report the same thing.
If you have made it work please tell us how (what OS were you using, what version, etc.)?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 12:27:41 PM by stevesi »

Offline Lisandro

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2013, 01:45:11 PM »
I could NEVER get the USB Rescue Disc bootable either. Files get copied to USB, but i can't boot ANY system with it. And apparently i'm not the only one with such problem...
+1
Right now, I can't even create it...
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Offline Cluster-Lizard

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2013, 02:37:53 PM »
What happens if you use a boot manager (either installed or from disk) like PLOP to add a USB boot option to systems which don't otherwise support USB booting?

http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagers.html

Offline stevesi

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2013, 03:30:00 PM »
As I explained, the main Win PE boot file \sources\boot.wim is missing from the USB drive - it is never going to boot!

Offline RejZoR

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2013, 05:10:50 PM »
From mid 2012, manufacturers of USB flash drives like SanDisk buckled to pressure from Microsoft, and changed the structure of all of their USB flash drives so they are no longer seen by Windows as "Removable Media". This was in order to meet with Windows 8 certification. At the same time, they announced that they no longer supported being able to boot from these drives.

for more details see http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12830

This issue is not confined to Avast, it also affects other rescue or recovery software that is based on booting to a USB flash drive.

It is possible to make a workable Avast bootable rescue USB flash drive from the option provided in Avast 2014, but only on flash drives that are seen as "removable". 

Some software specifically looks for "removable media" and doesn't show the newer "non removable" flash drives as an available destination at the start of the process.

But even when a "non removable" USB flash drive can be selected as a destination, and the make rescue media process is completed, some PC's see the "non removable" flash drives as normal hard drives in the boot up selection screen, but cannot boot from them, and this applies even if you make a drive image from a "Removable" rescue drive that does work, and restore it to one of the "non removable" flash drives.

Edit: There is a difference in the controller chips in the "Non removable" flash drives.  There are reports of some success toggling the removable bit in the controller, but only on specific model drives. On other brands and models it has either not worked, or has resulted in the complete failure of the drive.

I don't think that's the case, i tried both, new Sandisk Extreme drive and older A-DATA USB drive (from around 2010 i think). Neither worked...
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Offline olddog

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2013, 11:11:15 PM »
I don't think that's the case, i tried both, new Sandisk Extreme drive and older A-DATA USB drive (from around 2010 i think). Neither worked...

RejZor,

If you are referring to the situation regarding the change where currently produced drives from a number of the main manufacturers are no longer seen as  "removable", then I can only say there is a plethera of supporting documentation available on line about that.

If you are saying that you don't think that is a factor in the making of an Avast rescue USB flash drive, then I can say I have successfully produced Avast rescue USB flash drives on 2 different Transcend 4GB units, 3 Dick Smith Electronics Cat XM1450 8GB units (these identify as USB DISK 2.0 PMAP), 1 Sandisk Cruzer Micro 8GB (very early model) and one 8 GB Sandisk Cruzer Switch (about two years old and seen as removable).  They have all booted without issue on this PC (Intel DQ67SW MB, Intel i7) using the F10 key to open the Boot menu, and selecting the removable USB flash drive from there.

Conversely, attempts to make Avast rescue USB drives on 4 Sandisk Cruzer Switch 8GB flash drives, all of which are the new "Windows 8"" type (and are not seen as removable) have failed. 2 of these drives seem to work well enough as general purpose USB flash drives, but also can't be made into bootable Paragon recovery drives. Despite being seen by Windows 7 64 bit as normal hard drives, Paragon's WinPE recovery builder doesn't see them as valid destination media because they appear as normal hard drives. The other two are totally unreliable and more often than not have to be reallocated a drive letter when ever they are inserted just to get windows to see them. 
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Offline stevesi

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Re: USB Rescue media - what a shocker !
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2013, 11:15:39 PM »
Under what OS were you running the Rescue disk creation utility?