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Thread: How to run BT3 Final within Windows, without rebooting

  1. #1
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    Default How to run BT3 Final within Windows, without rebooting, with persistent changes

    As previously promised on another thread, here is the tutorial on how to get BT3 (Final or Beta) to work under Windows without rebooting, with persistent changes on the same FAT32 (or NTFS) "folder" using your HD or USB key.

    1. Go to this site and follow ALL the instructions exactly as mentioned there. This will get you used to running Pen Drive Linux (PDL)
    on your machine while on Windows. After you are familiar with this and got everything working (including Persistent changes),
    then and only then proceed to Step #2.
    http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2007/09...pendrivelinux/

    EDIT: IMPORTANT:

    -->
    Once you boot into PDL with its GNOME, fire up a terminal (it should be under Accessories; root password is pendrivelinux), and type the following:

    # cd /
    # mkdir changes
    # poweroff

    Note: Don't save many changes, just test if the persistent changes work by changing the background for example, rebooting, and checking if its the same. Also make sure the changes directory you just created under / survived the reboot.
    <--

    2. Create a folder and name it BT3_within_windows. Place the following inside it from the previous PDL installation:

    - The qemu folder and all its contents
    - The LaunchPDL file
    - the casper-rw.img file

    and this from the BT3 image you downloaded:

    - bt3-final.iso file (or bt3final_usb.iso if you want). Keep ONLY one .iso image at a time in the BT3_within_windows folder.


    3. Rename the LaunchPDL file to LaunchBT3Final (or whatever you want)


    4. Open LaunchBT3Final with notepad and make sure that the last line is as follow:
    .\qemu\qemu -L .\qemu -kernel-kqemu -std-vga -localtime -soundhw all -m 512 -cdrom *.iso -hda casper-rw.img -boot d


    5. Now you can place the BT3_within_windows folder on your current hard drive or on a USB key. For USB keys, you can actually put the BT3_within_windows folder anywhere, that is, you don't have to put it under the root partition of the USB key.


    6. Double click on the LaunchBT3Final file. If running on another system, install qemu as it will ask you to do. If you don't have admin privileges, its OK, just hit cancel and proceed. It will still run, but slower.


    7. If everything is OK, you should see a window popped out with the BT3 Final menu!!


    8. Select the line "BT3 Graphics mode with Persistent Changes" and hit the Tab key. Make the following changes to the line:

    - changes=/dev/hda1 (yes, its hda1 and NOT sda1, because, as far as BT3 is concerned, the "Drive", which in reality is the BT3 folder, is the first drive on this "virtual computer", therefore we will go with /dev/hda1.

    - and for autoexec=xconf;kdm --> change that to: autoexec=kdm


    9. Thats it! hit Enter and you be good to go. It should boot right into BT3 Final. On my computer, its very very fast, and persistent changes DO work.


    10. THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL, but recommended OK, now we need to make some changes permanent to the iso image to avoid doing step 8 everytime we want to boot BT3 using this method.

    These instructions were done using MagicISO in Windows:

    a. Double click on the bt3final_usb.iso image, which would open MagicISO and you will find the boot and bt3 folders in the right panel.

    b. Open the boot folder, then the isolinux folder. You should see 3 files there. Right click on isolinux.cfg and Extract it to your desktop.

    c. Now, still under Magic ISO, right click on the same file (isolinux.cfg) and delete it.

    d. On your desktop, open isolinux.cfg with Notepad or Wordpad. Look for the LABEL pchanges section and make the sure the last line of that section is exactly as follow:

    APPEND vga=0x317 initrd=/boot/initrd.gz ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw changes=/dev/hda1 autoexec=kdm


    Note: You can also cut and paste this section in place of the first section there, so that you can have it as the first line when you boot it from your HD or USB key:

    PROMPT 0
    TIMEOUT 40
    DEFAULT /boot/vesamenu.c32

    LABEL pchanges
    MENU LABEL BT3 Graphics mode with Persistent Changes
    KERNEL /boot/vmlinuz
    APPEND vga=0x317 initrd=/boot/initrd.gz ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw changes=/dev/hda1 autoexec=kdm

    ... other sections ...


    Note: you can also take out any section you dont want in order to make the boot menu simpler or with fewer entries..

    Note: as long as we are using this method, its always going to be /dev/hda1.

    Ok, now save the file and exit it.


    e. Next, drag back the isolinux.cfg file to where it was in MagicISO. Then Select File and Save. Your iso image is now saved with the new changes.


    f. Now simply move the new iso file to the BT3_within_windows folder and make sure that its the only iso there. After launching LaunchBT3Final, You should see your changes reflected on the BT3 boot menu.


    Thats it! Feel free to ask any questions.

    Enjoy!!

    At this point, I do not believe you could mount any other HDs of your system using this method. Unless someone can prove otherwise.

    Also, make sure you have enough RAM available.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Looks like a nicely written tutorial and interesting approach. However, I would be interesting in what the benefits there are with running BT3 in manner compared to simply using Vmplayer under windows?

    Seeing as you can download a ready VMware image of BT3 it sure is an easier installation procedure than this and I would also assume that VMplayer/VMware workstation is better optimized and have broader configuration possibilities than using this setup.

    Please do not take this as criticism against your tutorial, I am simply interested in knowing if I am overlooking some possible benefit with this approach.
    -Monkeys are like nature's humans.

  3. #3
    Just burned his ISO
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    Default vmware better

    I have tried Qemu , its slower as its processor emulation. vmware-server 1.05 (latest version) is almost transparent in performance and it become opensource for a year already..

  4. #4
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    Default VMware vs Qemu

    While they both achieve you the same goal, these two methods are kinda different. I am not an VMware expert, so anyone can correct me on the below facts:

    1. The Qemu method is totally portable. Just throw your BT3_within_windows folder on a USB key and you are good to go and run it on ANY machine, without required installation, and WITHOUT having admin privileges at all.

    --> For VMplayer, you would have to install it on each and every machine you want to use. And I dont think it will finish installing if you don't have admin privileges. Not to mention installation time required.


    2. Space usage, especially for USB flash drives. Qemu, including the persistent changes loopfile, requires only about 55 MB. Add the iso image, which is about 600 to 783 MB, and your whole backtrack portable solution with Qemu will cost you about 650 to 835 MB. Not bad at all.

    --> VMplayer + space = not friendly. My VMplayer installation in Windows took 213 MB. Then you have the backtrack Vmware image, which after extracting, will run you for about 3.37 GB. So far, thats about 3.6 GB. We are not done.. Add the installer for VMplayer (170 MB), which you will have to put on the USB key in order to install it on other Host machines, and we are talking about 3.77 GB. . Thats kind of a lot.

    3. Time required to boot is not that much of a significant difference. On my computer, It took about 1:30 minutes for VMware to completely boot Backtrack3, and it took Qemu, with the bt3final_usb version (which takes longer to boot than the bt3final version), exactly 2:50 minutes. Ok, 1 minute 20 seconds difference... not a big deal! And we are not counting installation time for VMplayer, which takes over 10 minutes and requires a reboot.

    Personally, I still prefer Qemu over VMware, but you could use either or both

  5. #5
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    Default

    1. The Qemu method is totally portable. Just throw your BT3_within_windows folder on a USB key and you are good to go and run it on ANY machine, without required installation, and WITHOUT having admin privileges at all.

    --> For VMplayer, you would have to install it on each and every machine you want to use. And I dont think it will finish installing if you don't have admin privileges. Not to mention installation time required.
    I have to agree, if this is indeed the case it can be considered a big benefit as VMware Player requires a bunch of DLLs to run and therefore needs to be installed on each computer.
    2. Space usage, especially for USB flash drives. Qemu, including the persistent changes loopfile, requires only about 55 MB. Add the iso image, which is about 600 to 783 MB, and your whole backtrack portable solution with Qemu will cost you about 650 to 835 MB. Not bad at all.

    --> VMplayer + space = not friendly. My VMplayer installation in Windows took 213 MB. Then you have the backtrack Vmware image, which after extracting, will run you for about 3.37 GB. So far, thats about 3.6 GB. We are not done.. Add the installer for VMplayer (170 MB), which you will have to put on the USB key in order to install it on other Host machines, and we are talking about 3.77 GB. . Thats kind of a lot.
    Well this is not entirely true, as you can use the original BT3 iso file instead of the VMware file to run BT3 in a virtual environment. In this manner you can manually determine the maximum size to be used for saved changes etc.

    So it seems that the biggest benefit with using Qemu is the portability and with VMware the speed and configurability.
    -Monkeys are like nature's humans.

  6. #6

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    So you finally got to post it!

    Very nice tutorial man!

  7. #7
    Just burned his ISO
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    just a thing, you need to make a directory called changes on /dev/hda1 for do this I think, if you just set the boot entry to changes=/dev/hda1 it will hangs during the booting and say something about a fail with aufs

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeRGiNaToR View Post
    just a thing, you need to make a directory called changes on /dev/hda1 for do this I think, if you just set the boot entry to changes=/dev/hda1 it will hangs during the booting and say something about a fail with aufs
    Actually, you do not need to create any folders

    What happens is that when you actually go through Step #1 (the tut from pendrivelinux), PDL automatically activates and do the necessary stuff for you on the casper-rw.img file. So from that point on, when you boot BT3, it uses casper-rw.img without problems. But if you just download the files and copy them, you will get that aufs error you had... Let me know if it works for you.

  9. #9
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    Sounds interesting, but does it allow FULL functionality of wireless cards such as injection using this method ?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by balding_parrot View Post
    Sounds interesting, but does it allow FULL functionality of wireless cards such as injection using this method ?
    Good point.. honestly, I have not tested that yet, but I will try it in the next couple of days. If someone did, please let us know.

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