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OSForensics UFD free space

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  • OSForensics UFD free space

    I notice that the space taken up by the image is less than 2GB and the UFD is ~8GB. Is it OK to use the free space? It would be nice to be able to load other programmes by expanding the WinPE volume and it would be nice to be able to load something like GRML on another partition and be able to multiboot.

  • #2
    The layout of the drive is a bit complex & not all the drives we ship were 8GB. The older ones were 4GB and 2GB.

    But yes on most of the drives there is some free un-partitioned space. Windows doesn't let you partition a USB drive however from the normal disk management window. So you need to resort to the command line or 3rd party tools to partition the space then format it.

    Besides the un-partitioned space, there is also space in the existing FAT32 partition that holds OSF. So there is potential to make new folders and use some of this space as well. This partition is visible when you plug the drive into a Windows machine. Although it exists also in a WinPE boot, it is very hard to use because WinPE is missing all the basic tools, like Windows Explorer.

    In addition to the above there is also the WinPE boot itself. Which is kind of like a Virtual machine inside of the FAT32 partition. To get files into this you really need to rebuild the WinPE build entirely.

    To add to the complexity we had a license with Microsoft to distribute WinPE. The license conditions were pretty strict. So we were not contractually allowed to load it up with a bunch of arbitrary tools. I think they wanted to stop people using in place of a full Windows license.

    This distribution license was cancelled by Microsoft recently however. (Cancelled for everyone, not just us). So we are working on an automated alternative solution to allow self booting now. It should be available in a week or so.

    Finally there is also this document that describes the manual UFD build process,
    You could customise this process to do whatever you wanted. But it isn't as trivial as just copying a few files to a USB drive.


    • #3
      Does that mean that it shall not be Windows-based in future, a custom hack on some bits of Windows, or what?


      • #4
        Since the post above the following has happened.

        The resulting package on your USB drive is near identical to the flash drive we were selling. The difference is that you need to A) Download WinPE yourself, B) Write the content of the drive yourself with the tools provided and C) It is cheaper solution as you get a self booting option with the purchase of the normal OSF license.

        Details are in the tutorial linked to above.