Why carry around a dozen bootable USB drives when you could merge ’em all into one? On his episode we buld a USB Multipass complete with customized boot menu ready to launch any of favorite tools–including Backtrack, Ophcrack, Kon-boot, dban, freedos, and more. Plus Shannon reviews the Trinity Rescue Kit, the boot disc dubbed CPR for your computer.

Download HD Download MP4 Download XviD Download WMV

It has been the dream of many to combine the pen-testing, forensics and recovery power of our favorite USB bootable linux distros into one drive complete with customized boot menu. Finally Frank Castle shares this digital mojo with us. I bring you the USB Muiltipass.

While the video walks you through the step by step I’ll provide an overview with links here.

First you’ll need three programs, PeToUSB, grubinst and grub4dos.

Prepare the USB drive by formatting it with PeToUSB. With the drive plugged in run the PeToUSB executable, select the drive, check Enable Disk Format, Quick Format and Force Volume Dismount and click Start. If you are using a drive over 2 GB you will receive an error about dismounting — it’s no big deal — simply format the drive as Fat32 with the Windows Disk Manager.

Next run grubinst_gui. Select the disk option and pick your USB drive. Be sure to select the correct drive number. If you’re not sure which drive is your USB drive check with Windows Disk Manager. Once you are assured the correct drive is selected go ahead and click Install. No options need to be checked, the defaults are fine.

You will then need to copy the grldr file from the grub4dos package to the root of your USB drive. Finally finish off the install by creating a blank text file in the root of your USB drive called “menu.lst”.

You can now boot from this drive. Of course there aren’t any Linux distributions and utilities installed yet, so let’s move on to adding all the goodies.

When it comes to installing distros I’ll go ahead and quote Frank Castle as he puts it best.

For most of the distros I added, I started off with an iso version of it. I then extracted the isos either to my desktop or directly to the root of the thumb drive (or you could just copy the files from a burnt version of the distro, just as long as you get the files to the root of your thumb drive). Most Linux Distros come with 2 folders: a boot folder and another folder that actually holds the meat and potatoes of the distro. Since it would be impossile to have 6 or 7 different boot folders that don’t overlap on the same thumb drive (without multiple partitions…a route I tired to take for way too long) I simply renamed the boot folder to something like “bootbt3″ or “bootknop” depending on the distro, and just left the other folder as is. I then added the appropriate information by using the information by either:

1) Looking at the information provided in the syslinux or isolinux file in most linux distros

2) Looking at a (now taken down) webpage with tons of examples (appropriatly added to this tutorial under Examples.txt)

3) Trial and Error

Most distros fell under the first of these options: Backtrack 3, Backtrack 4, Knoppix, and Trinity Rescue Kit all worked fine under these conditions

Some distros fell under the examples webpage: these included Ubuntu LiveCD (a different example because there is no boot folder and way more than two folders, but it ended up working without changing any folder names) as well as some others

Few Distros fell into the third option, but the ones that did were a bitch and a half to get working. These included Kon-Boot and OPHcrack.

OPHcrack (the latest version – 2.3.0), a tool I have known, loved, and depended on (at least until I met Kon-boot…thank you) was a apparently different than any of the other distros because just copying the files from the iso… blah blah blah didn’t work. It turns out that you have to burn the Distro to a spare thumb drive using tazusb (Slitaz installer) from http://www.objectif-securite.ch/slitaz/tazusb.exe. You then copy these files to the root of your thumb drive and so on and so on. The second challenge was to get both versions of OPHcrack (XP and Vista) on the drive, since ALL of the files overlapped. It turns out that the only difference in the two verisons were the tables provided so I just copied the tables from one cd to the other and proceeded forward as usual.

Kon-Boot was yet another bitch of a thing to get running via USB. No matter what I did it would boot, load, and promptly go back to the Grub bootloader. After a few hours of trial and error, I discovered I had to tell GRUB to tell the BIOS that the hard drive was the first boot device, even though it was obviously the thumb drive, because Windows apparently won’t run at all if it isn’t the first boot device. This reqiured a few extra lines. Also, for some reason the .iso file wouldn’t work (I could never extract or even see the raw files of Kon-Boot), so i was forced to use the Floppy image (.img)

When it comes to customizing Grub its simply a matter of creating a 640×480 – 14 color splash screen image. This is easy to accomplish with the Gimp. Once you’ve created a 640×480 image you can crunch the colors be selecting Image, Mode, Indexed and entering 14 ad the maximum colors. Save this file as a XMP, then gzip it. Copy the gz to the root of your USB drive and prepend “splashimage /image.xpm.gz” to your menu.lst file.

Further information on customizing the grub menu.lst file for your specific distros can be found in the grub manual. As an example I’ll provide my config here:

splashimage /jozette.xpm.gz
color blue/black yellow/blue
timeout 120

title BackTrack 4 BETA
root (hd0,0)
kernel /bootbt4/vmlinuz vga=0x317 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw quiet

title Kon-Boot-test
map --mem /FD0-konboot-v1.1-2in1.img (fd0)
map --hook
chainloader (fd0)+1
map (hd1) (hd0)
map --hook
rootnoverify (fd0)

title Memtest86
kernel /memdisk
initrd /memtestp.img

title ntpasswd
kernel /ntpasswd/vmlinuz rw vga=1 initrd=/ntpasswd/initrd.cgz /ntpasswd/scsi.cgz
initrd /ntpasswd/initrd.cgz

title DBAN
kernel /memdisk
initrd /dban.img

title SystemRescueCD
kernel /rescuecd initrd=initram.igz video=ofonly vga=0 scandelay=5
initrd /initram.igz

title FreeDOS
root (hd0,2)
kernel /memdisk
initrd /freedos.img floppy

title Ophcrack
kernel /bootoph/bzImage rw root=/dev/null vga=normal lang=C kmap=us screen=1024x768x16 autologin
initrd /bootoph/rootfs.gz

I’m sure there will be many questions and further development of this project so as I’ll go ahead and point you the episode 524 release thread on the Hak5 forums. Share your thoughts!

Don’t forget about our first ever official Hak5 Meetup at Busch Gardens Williamsburg on August 15th. Find all the details at hak5meetup.squarespace.com or RSVP on Facebook.

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  • AltarCrystal 5 years ago

    Great info and show, guys. A bit ironic that this episode was released just weeks after I was doing something ALMOST like this at work, but there’s a couple tools in here that will make the job easier next time ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Hurtcake 5 years ago

    Great episode! I was doing this myself a couple of months ago, but had to give up. Now i can continue and do it proper. Thanks guys ๐Ÿ˜€
    How about making a “contest” for the best usb-multipass, and make it to a torrent for download. That would be awsome.

  • Great Show! This will make my life so much better then having to carry a case of dvds and cds around.


  • The_Ghost 5 years ago

    Now this is my kind of episode, i think iv got like 16 flash drives,
    got to love grub4dos though.

    A cool boot disk to add to your collection is Hiren’s BootCD
    >>> http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

    command is for the Hirens image is:

    title Start USB Hirens 9.9 BootCD
    find –set-root /HBCD/boot.gz
    map –mem /HBCD/boot.gz (fd0)
    map –hook
    chainloader (fd0)+1
    rootnoverify (fd0)
    map –floppies=1

    title Start USB Mini Windows Xp
    find –set-root /HBCD/XPLOADER.BIN
    chainloader /HBCD/XPLOADER.BIN

    title Start USB Memory Test
    find –set-root /HBCD/memtest.gz
    map –mem /HBCD/memtest.gz (fd0)
    map –hook
    chainloader (fd0)+1
    rootnoverify (fd0)
    map –floppies=1

  • The_Ghost 5 years ago

    Crap, got through half the episode and realized they already mentioned hirens,

    i should really watch the whole episode before making comments :(

  • Hurtcake 5 years ago

    Doesnt matter, they didnt mention the settings for hirens. So that helped me alot. Thanks =) Hope we can make a tread about the different distroes with their settings. So people easily can custom their own usb ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Yes, awesome idea. However in case of BT4 you’re about to deal with the squash-fs stuff to get the real files on your USB device. I pretty much guess you’ll end up with a non persistent USB setup by just copying the /casper to your USB.
    Did anybody jet manage to extract the BT4 stuff in order to gain a persistence? I regularly in a pentest end up ate up with suck because stuff reboots and I lose data.

  • The_Ghost 5 years ago

    Why not use the hak5 wallpaper as a splash menu :)

    currently I’m using the Punisher skull as a splash menu cause unlike Darren i don’t have a awesome bike

  • Mchipser 5 years ago

    I use something very similar.. However I also am able to install XP / Vista from my usb drive.. Also a bartPE environment or WinPE 2.0.. here is all the info you need..


  • wow
    great show! i was totally not expecting this route. i did the same thing with unetbootin last year and it sorta worked for most of them.
    i’m totally gonna do this today, and again when i get a new usb drive after i get paid.

  • The grub4dos installer v1.1 available here


    makes it harder to pick the wrong drive by adding the drive size next to its drive number

  • Kon_Aitor 5 years ago

    Thanks guys,

    I was looking into this stuff a bit ago, and it looked way tooo much.

    Would this work with like Windows Install disks. I have a ton of ISO’s and I would love to not have to carry around a stack of disks every time I need to setup a machine/server.

  • goarilla 5 years ago

    all do respect Ghost but Hirens bootCD is pretty illegal

  • The_Ghost 5 years ago

    goarilla, all do respect but if you dont wanna use it then dont use it. i was simply stating grub4dos/syslinux menu commands for hirens

  • Johnyb 5 years ago

    Anyone know how I can get PeToUSB to work on Vista? None of my USB sticks are recognised, and I only have a VMware of XP which is the same…

  • Psychosis 5 years ago

    Under Vista, right-click on the EXE and click “Run as Administrator”.

  • Hurtcake 5 years ago

    You have to run it with administrator privliges ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Yo! – loving the show guys, your the best thing i’ve seen on the web since since the good old days with the “thebroken”, keep up the good work

  • Nice, works perfectly ๐Ÿ˜€

  • The_Ghost: it doesen’t work for me, it says “Can’t find/locate boot.gz”.

    Do you have any solution?


  • allanl 5 years ago

    Is it possible to post a finished ISO with all of the tools? We can just burn it to a USB stick and be done in 5 minutes.

  • The_Ghost 5 years ago


    1, format the usb (fat32)
    2, install grub4dos or syslinux
    3, use the above command for the menu.lst
    4, download hirens 9.9 and use the keyboard patch for your regional settings eg US, UK then open the patched iso using something like winrar and copy the content to your usb.

    also check your bios setting and make sure the usb and floppy settings are correct.

    if that dosn’t work your stuffed :)

  • hey guys try UBCD 5 beta version, it comes with lots of tools
    download link:

    here is the code

    title Ultimate Boot CD 5 beta
    root (hd0,0)
    configfile /ubcd/menus/grub4dos/main.lst

  • Michael Klein 5 years ago

    How about adding Russell Butturini’s U3 Incident Response Tool to the mix? That would be AWESOME! Thanks!

  • deathishere 5 years ago

    can you do this in windows i use linux too but i dont have it installed yet cuss i had a big pc probilm im running vista black 32bit but i can run mint 6.0 im not sher if i can run mint 7.0 yet can i get help on all that if you would please and i love the show

  • deathishere 5 years ago

    im haveing a problim i think i gess it is cuss im running vista and for some reson i cant partion my main hard drive so i can run my linux mint so i can do this

  • Great show, yes, but first of all, allow me to introduce some critics.

    Well, I was rather disappointed, that the installation was again made under windows! Why not under linux? No, it MUST be done with windows! Why? Cannot understand it…

    O.k., you must not agree to my personal meanings…

    On the other hand the idea, to get those distributions on an usb-stick is a nice idea. But something people often forget: Not all computers are capable, to boot off an usb-stick. Many computers are only able to boot from cd/dvd, so it might be nice, to find a way, to let the usb-stick look like a cd/dvd.

    I know, this is only possible, if you change the BIOS, or cheat the BIOS. For the second one, I still found no way, yet.

    Besides my critics: Great show anyway! Love it!



  • I have a sandisk cruzer and was wondering, in order for the usb to be bootable do you have to remove the u3 partition from the drive. Or can you just leave the u3 partition alone and proceed with the process.



  • Hi there,

    I think there is a way to boot .iso files, but I can’t do it…
    Here a link

    If some one can manage this one I’ll be greatfull…

    (sorry my bad english…)

  • Cool episode. I think people should post up images of their multipass for people to check out.

  • Whats the link for grubinst_gui I can’t seem to find it.

  • never mind, found it.

  • rooni 5 years ago

    guys please help

    i have tried everything to get this to work but no luck all i get is a menu that gives me these for options….

    find/menu.lst, /boot/grub/menu.lst, /grub/menu.lst

    i followed all the instruction i can’t understand why its not working really hope you can help

  • T.T
    wow. great tutorial. Too bad it wasnt up a few months ago =x Haha spent weeks making a multi boot usb.

    Great show.

  • redxine 5 years ago

    I’ve been trying to get it working in Linux with little success. [see http://hak5.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=13882.

    Even when I try it with a Windows XP VM I get a “Remove disks or other media.” error when booting up. Any suggestions?

  • Good episode.
    There is no chance you can do a copy of your usbkey with all the tools and release as a torrent or something ? i want to try the trinity and ophcrack. but i don’t have any spare memory or cd+r right now

  • The_Ghost 5 years ago

    For some grldr wont always load and you may get grldr errors so you can use syslinux to boot grub4dos you can do this with the syslinux.cfg command “default /grub.exe” and that will boot the grub which will then in tern load the menu.lst.

    for me this works much better than grldr

  • The_Ghost 5 years ago

    the part where i said “you can use syslinux to boot grub4dos” what i meant was to boot the grub not grub4dos

  • Robert 5 years ago

    I have been looking around on other websites to see if I can get this working on a 16Gb SanDisk Cruser.The problem I am having is with PEtoUSB. It keps saying FormatEx Error[11]:An Error Occured Formating the Drive.

    The drive uses the U3 System… Might that be a problem?
    Before you ask…Yes, I have formatted the drive as FAT32.

    I am wondering if the size is to large?

  • grunthos 5 years ago

    I’ve been sorta-kinda building one of these things for a couple years now in an off-and-on sort of fashion. I wanted a crash kit to have with me ’cause I always end up fixing the computers my friends screw up. You know how that goes right? My favourite is Personal AntiVirus2009.

    Awesome show!

    Now please please please put in a word with Netflix to come up with a platform for Linux. Moonlight’s DRM does not look like it’s coming any time soon, and I’m tired of watching crap in VirtualBox. Anybody know why/how they ended up ditching Flash for Silverlight?


  • HermanFrodaud 5 years ago

    Nice!!!But editing the textfile for every iso image is a pain in the ass! Can pleaze someone write a proggy that does that automatically!
    The Proper startparas have to given at boot, if not recognized by filename or hash!


  • Matthers 5 years ago

    Great show, though the part of converting Trinity Rescue Kit from the boot usb to the multipass usb was never covered in the end. I have got a working bootable usb running trk 3.3 but can’t quite make it work on my multipass. Am using the following:

    title Trinity Rescue Kit
    kernel /trk/kernel.trk ramdisk_size=49152 root=/dev/ram0 vga=788 splash=verbose pci=conf1
    initrd /trk/initrd.trk

    and it boots, but says it cant find the CD. When I enter the device name it still can’t boot. Can anyone help?

  • Drumm 5 years ago

    USB wont boot :(
    Have tried on Several Recent Laptops/PCs
    No Error, just Skips Ahead. Im Using the New Version of PEtoUSB so That i can use my 8GB Flash Disk, Anybody Know if Works ?

  • Reliom 5 years ago

    For persistent changes on Backtack 4 Pre-final use

    title BackTrack 4 Pre-final
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /bootbt4/vmlinuz BOOT=casper boot=casper persistent vga=0x317 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw quiet

    and place a “casper.rw” file on the root of your usb stick you can get some large casper.rw files from here


    I set it up this way and did apt-get update, apt-get upgrade, fast-track update all etc etc and it has stuck smile.gif

    Note: I installed BT4Pre on another usb with unetbootin before copying the files over to the one I am using but I don’t think it uses anything from unetbootin as I removed all the unet files not sure if anything was modified but if it doesn’t work for you right away might as well try to unetbootin it first.

    How to get Trinity Rescue Kit up and running

    1. Copy the TRK ISO contents to the “Root” of your USB Stick
    2. Rename your USB stick to “TRK_3-3″ without quotes… if you do not do this it will give you the error that it cannot find the CD etc.
    3. Add this to your “menu.lst”

    title Trinity Rescue Kit
    configfile /submenu.lst

    4. Create another list file called “submenu.lst” and add this to it. Note: You don’t need them all just the ones you want to use or if you only want a couple you can just add them to your menu.lst instead.

    title Main-menu
    configfile /menu.lst

    title TRK 3.3
    kernel /kernel.trk ramdisk_size=49152 root=/dev/ram0 vga=788 splash=verbose pci=conf1
    initrd /initrd.trk

    title TRK 3.3 – as bootserver to boot other TRK clients
    kernel /kernel.trk ramdisk_size=49152 root=/dev/ram0 vga=788 splash=verbose pci=conf1 trkbootnet
    initrd /initrd.trk

    …. for the full submenu.lst check the forum thread its pretty long

  • Yeah some people are so inconsiderate of motorcyclists… ouch.

  • I want to put both ubuntu 9.04 and Backtrack 4 on my multi-pass.

    The problem is that both ubuntu and Backtrack 4 use a folder called casper from the root dir and use “boot=casper” in the menu.lst. Both the casper folders have different files in them. I can boot either OS with the correct casper folder in the root dir. I tried moving one of the casper folders to a different dir and re-writing the menu.lst to something like “boot=bt4/casper” with no luck.

    Does anyone have a suggestion?

  • Reliom 5 years ago


    You could probably just install the packages you use on Backtrack 4 in Ubuntu or if you want them all you should be able to add the repositories and update your Ubuntu install with Backtrack 4 packages.

  • Rickh925 5 years ago

    This is the “hard” way to make a multi-pass boot USB. I see that someone mentioned that you can just use the ISOs which is exactly what I have done on my USB. Here is my dir listing and the contents of menu.lst. I am using grub4dos. All of the referenced ISOs in my menu.lst boot just fine. I used this website to get my USB running.


    Volume in drive E is USBRESCUE
    Volume Serial Number is C013-DCB7

    Directory of E:\

    03/31/2009 10:20 PM 217,769 grldr
    06/15/2009 10:03 AM 744 menu.lst
    03/19/2008 04:50 PM 1,529,856 SpinRite.iso
    06/05/2009 03:37 PM 418,436 HowtoGrubUSB.pdf
    05/10/2007 11:46 PM 120,672,256 ubcd411.iso
    06/05/2009 03:41 PM 2,146,304 dban-1.0.7_i386.iso
    03/19/2008 03:49 PM 173,144 SpinRite.exe
    06/05/2009 02:58 PM 245,114,880 systemrescuecd-x86-1.2.0.iso
    05/20/2009 04:52 PM 895,787,008 bt4-beta.iso
    06/09/2009 11:04 PM 186,906,624 Hirens99.iso
    07/08/2009 11:07 AM 43,062 UserImages.bmp
    08/04/2009 07:41 PM 0 dir.txt
    12 File(s) 1,453,010,083 bytes
    0 Dir(s) 608,927,744 bytes free

    color white/black yellow/black

    title Hirens 9.9 ISO1
    map (hd0,0)/Hirens99.iso (hd32)
    map –hook
    root (hd32)
    chainloader ()

    title Backtrack 4 beta
    map (hd0,0)/bt4-beta.iso (hd32)
    map –hook
    root (hd32)
    chainloader ()

    title Spinrite ISO
    find –set-root /SpinRite.iso
    map /SpinRite.iso (hd32)
    map –hook
    root (hd32)
    chainloader (hd32)

    title System Rescue CD 1.2.0 x86
    map (hd0,0)/systemrescuecd-x86-1.2.0.iso (hd32)
    map –hook
    root (hd32)
    chainloader ()

    title Ultimate Boot CD 4.1.1
    map (hd0,0)/ubcd411.iso (hd32)
    map –hook
    root (hd32)
    chainloader ()

    title Dan’s Boot and Nuke 1.0.7
    find –set-root /dban-1.0.7_i386.iso
    map /dban-1.0.7_i386.iso (hd32)
    map –hook
    root (hd32)
    chainloader (hd32)



  • Matthers 5 years ago

    Wow does this really work Rick? Great neat way to do it. Nice one!

  • StarWolf 5 years ago

    I do this and get Error 11: Unrecognized device string, or you omitted the required DEVICE part which should lead the filename.

    Using Rick’s way! Any assitance!

  • MartynX 5 years ago

    Fantastic episode guys, are there any versions of the software for Linux? Also with this ‘little’ drive that I found you will never run out of room ๐Ÿ˜‰


  • ArcAiN6 5 years ago


    Make sure you are using double -‘s
    i had the same issue then realized that rick’s post shows single -‘s


    title Hirens 9.9 ISO1
    map (hd0,0)/Hirens99.iso (hd32)
    map --hook
    root (hd32)
    chainloader ()

  • haxwithaxe 5 years ago

    Just to let everyone who doesn’t go to the forum know: plain old grub doesn’t work for konboot or booting from iso’s so even if you only run linux use grub for dos ’cause it apparently does things plain old grub 1 doesn’t do.

  • Anthrounit 5 years ago

    I just want to know if you can do this to something like the switchblade and boot all the goodies and still retain the switchblades functions even stuff like the hacksaw. I dont see why it wouldn’t work but has anybody actually preformed that yet?

  • Daren said,
    Most distros fell under the first of these options: Backtrack 3, Backtrack 4, Knoppix, and Trinity Rescue Kit all worked fine under these conditions

    But I spent a full day trying to ket Trinity to work and nothing I did got it working. Has anyone goten Trinity added to this multiboot? And if so can you share your menu.lst file. Thanks a lot.

  • haxwithaxe 5 years ago

    @ rene see the forum topic for this episode

  • splashimage doesn’t work for me.

  • Hi,

    I would like to install a few utilities as well as a Linux operating system on my USB drive so that I can run it on boot.

    How can i partition my Cruzer 4GB so that I can also use it on Windows and boot it in dos.

    Many thanks

  • if you want a partition manager check out GParted and here’s the working menu.lst entry

    title GParted 0.4.5-2
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /live/vmlinuz1 boot=live username=casper noswap vga=788 ip=frommedia

  • Ya, i’m using the grub4dos method as well. More recent versions of grub4dos have the ability to boot off iso’s. Doesn’t seem to work with all iso’s, but majority i’ve tried work well.

    And being that’s it’s just grub, you can boot them using other methods if the iso doesn’t work. I have a mix of iso’s, floppy images, and kernel/initrd’s.

  • paradox 5 years ago

    so petousb is saying that all my usb’s a 4 gig geek squad one, a 2 gig sandisk cruzer don’t exist, both are u3. help?

  • Benownzu 5 years ago

    I want to make a USB key with Hirens ,UBCD and UBCD4windows

    I have got this to work with Hirens boot CD.

    But I have no idea how to get UBCD and UBCD4Windows to work, any ideas?

  • OliverK 5 years ago

    Please mention that you need to use a linux GIMP or this information to make a working splash screen. WIndows GIMP doesn’t format the XPM correctly.

  • parMan 5 years ago

    i have never done anything like this and im not 100% sure how this works im new to all of these programs also does anyone know where i can find a little bit more information? i got all the iso im just not sure if i have to extract them and rename all of the boot folders or what let me know thanks in advance.

  • MrCoo130 5 years ago

    When I run the PeToUSB, it says “No USB Disks Found!” even though I have the USB plugged in, yes, it is plugged in. The USB disk is already formatted fat32, according to Windows. Then when I tried to run the GrubGui Installer, it does not have the disk showing up at all…
    How come, when I try to do all the things on your show, none of them work for me?

  • LuiLui 5 years ago

    Wicked… it works..

    BT3 – USB edition

    love it! I’m happy :-)

    Thanks guys!

  • Bryan 5 years ago

    I don’t know if anyone is still looking at this, but I just found it a few days ago. I’m having a lot of trouble with this and can’t figure out what I’m not doing right. My usb is bootable, but will not show any of the live cds I’ve placed on it. The menu.lst is:

    title BackTrack 3
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /boot/boot.bt3/vmlinuz vga=0x317 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw quiet

    title Trinity Rescue Kit
    kernel /kernel.trk initrd=/initrd.trk ramdisk_size=49152 root=/dev/ram0 vga=788 splash=verbose
    initrd /initrd.trk

    title Kon-Boot
    map (hd0,0)/FD0-konboot-v1.1-2in1.img (fd0)
    map โ€“hook
    map (hd0) (hd1)
    map (hd1) (hd0)
    map โ€“hook
    chainloader (fd0)+1
    rootnoverify (fd0)

    title Hirens BootCD
    kernel /HBCD/memdisk
    initrd /HBCD/boot.gz

    Any suggestions would be great. Thanks.

    • John white 4 years ago

      Man i see the video many time but i still not got how to make the menu.lst i am not a programmer i dont know what is kernal or initrd what r these and where to use them how to use them if i pick a your above example of Trinity

      title Trinity Rescue Kit
      kernel /kernel.trk initrd=/initrd.trk ramdisk_size=49152 root=/dev/ram0 vga=788 splash=verbose
      initrd /initrd.trk

      So can u tell me what is this line represents kernel /kernel.trk initrd=/initrd.trk ramdisk_size=49152
      If i have to make a my program list so how can i make them plz help me out

  • Warezjoe 5 years ago

    First off, This was a great episode… and some really usful information. Darren you Rock!

    For those of you still having problems getting some of the different images working I stumbled across a tool that has worked 100% of the time for me when using ISO images. Freakish ones like BCD4WIN, Hires & Ultimate Recovery CD all worked.

    Download Winbuilder it’s free and works in exactly the same way as defined above. It uses Grub4Dos and requires the Menu.lst file as the selection. Where things differ is in how it’s built. Winbuilder is at http://web.telia.com/~u75404714/instruction.html

    There’s a script for converting the actual USB to bootable and puts the “whole ISO file” on the USB. You can then do all the config that is described above. You will not need to copy files to different directories just copy the whole ISO to a folder on the USB. As you add more images just create another folder put the ISO in it and update the menu.lst file. My assumption as to why this owrks with so many images is because it basically get’s the USB to just act like a bootloader and a CDrom drive.

    – WJ

  • I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  • This Confuses me so much :( i’m just trying to boot knoppix std and some other Os

  • killab 5 years ago

    I am getting this error when I run grub:

    (title of form):

    16 bit MS-DOS Subsystem

    The NTVDM CPU has encountered an illegal instruction
    CS:0e71 IP:47a6 OP:9d 61 07 If Choose ‘Close’to terminate the application.

    I have tryed pressing Ignore and this is what is displayed:

    NTVDM.EXE has encountered a problem and needs to close.

    And inside the actual GRUB cmd prompt this is displayed:

    Probing ROM INT vectors. If hang, unload a device driver or TSR and try again.
    00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09! 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E! 0F! (etc, etc)

  • harry 5 years ago

    My flashdrive is listed as disk 8 in Windows Computer Management and the Grub Installer only goes up to hd5. Any advice?

  • ph33rlus 5 years ago


    i had problems with grub not listing all the available drive numbers.

    select disk 5, and then re open the drop down box and it should list more once it refreshes.

    seems to be a limit on how many lines the drop box can display.

    hope it works for ya!

  • Tripp 5 years ago

    i had the same problem and found it easier to just use another computer.

  • Hi guys,

    I was making a multipass USB with all the items listed below, odd thing is I can get TRK 3.3 to boot, find itself (i dont need to tell it SDA1), but it does not show the TRK menu selection (the submenu.lst) with all the chosices for antivirus, etc, it just vboots to a # prompt. Does anyone know what might cause this or where i can look. I have googling for 4 or 5 days, found some cool stuff but nothing to make it work.

    So far i have Ubunut, Herins, spinrite 6, freedos, konboot, Backtrack 3, memtest, dban, ntpass, resuecd, gparted, cmdconsole

    planning on adding UBCD4win, Helix 10, ghost 10, BT4 pr and Winxp win7 installers.
    any thought welcome for getting trk working

    \boot\trinity <=has all the boot files for trk3
    \trk3 = 512mb, 256mb min)
    kernel /boot/trinity/kernel.trk
    append /boot/trinity/initrd=initrd.trk ramdisk_size=49152 root=/dev/ram0 vga=788 splash=verbose pci=conf1 trkinmem VolLabel=MULTIPASS

    label 3

  • Immorten 5 years ago

    I have the same problem as Mark. When I choose Trinity Rescue Kit from the grub-loader, it jumps straight into the default mode.. Anyone knows the solution to this problem? Would be much appreciated

  • Immorten 5 years ago

    Another thing aswell; I need to manually write the location of TRK during startup of TRK (which is on my Multipass). Is there a solution to this aswell?


  • Ran Fridman 5 years ago

    HI ,
    I Have 8 gig usb , and it give me error [7] failed to dismount Drive ??? ‘
    on petousb
    PLEASE Help ,
    First Time I see hak5,
    NICE 1 ,
    Good Day , & thanx

  • Srinath 5 years ago

    I am using transcend 8 GB pen drive. While formatting the usb through the PeToUSB_3.0.0.7 i am getting an error as “formatEx Error[11]”. I went to disk management and formatted the drive using FAT 32 but still the error exist while formatting

  • gavin 5 years ago

    was wondering if you could do this on a CD?

  • doh123 5 years ago

    Ok, you all know when they were talking about Trinity Rescue Kit… and they said make sure that you format the USB Key and not your Hard Drive and you just knew that someone was going to do it… Well, it was me. Now I have a bit of an issue. When making the TRK USB I put everything that was on the Key on the Hard Drive, including my resume and its only copy, when I thought I was formatting the Key it wiped it out. I slave the drive and it show the drive as 4 gig. Im pretty sure that everything that was on the drive, all 75 gig, is probably still there and I just cant see it and get to it. I need any help that anyone can give me, anything, to retrieve the info. I have come to accept that I am going to have to reinstall the OS, but I would really like to get my info off if at all possible. I would really appreciate anyone’s help, PLEASE!


  • capricorn 5 years ago

    Hi !

    I did these settings on my USB.

    color blue/black yellow/blue
    timeout 120

    title BackTrack 3
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /boot/vmlinuz vga=0x317 ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw quiet

    I have two folders one is boot folder and one is BT3 folder on the USB.
    I am getting error when i boot from USB

    find /menu.lst
    find /boot/grub.lst
    find /grub/menu.lst

    • R1PP3R 5 years ago

      I had this problem too..
      so got o the grub4dos folder
      and copy the menu file form there to your USB and just edit it
      this should fix the problem!(;

  • @Doh123

    If I am not too late and you still have the drive I have a suggestion for you.

    Remove the drive from that computer and take it to one that you can install R-Studio (http://www.r-studio.com/) on. At $80 it is a life saver. I have used this twice and it saved me both times.

    The first time I had a RAID 5 array of 8 SCSI disks and the controller card itself burned up. A data recovery company said it would cost $5000 to look at it and tell me if it was even possible to do anything and then it was $250 an hour after that and to expect it to take a full week. With R-Studio I was able to rebuild a virtual array of the individual disks and then recover all the data my self and it only took 2 days for the full recovery.

    In the other instance I was called by a client to do data recovery because another computer company decided her computer needed a reload of Windows. I was able to recover the Quickbooks company files for her 6 client companies that she was an accountant for even after the hard drive had been formatted and Windows reinstalled.

    In short, for the price it is worth owning this gem because at some point you will need it. I had two situations that I was sure were hopeless and it worked both times so give it a shot is all I can say.

  • capricorn 5 years ago

    Hi !

    can anyone help me. I have posted my problem earlier.


  • joe some 5 years ago

    ok in grub i cant find the disk i need my flash drive is set as (K) and is disk 5 in grub i only get up to hd4 so what iam i doing wrong what is a work around for this thanks

  • Banzy 5 years ago

    Hi Guys,

    all is working sweet……i’m booting all the tools i want with a modified linuxmultiboot. due to the iso limited?? i trying to add open xp home, pro, vista and windows 7. I can do all these from single pens and wondered if anyone has the code for the menu to adopt for these to install, i get so far and then they blue screen.


  • Louis 5 years ago

    I love this site ..Iv’e learned so much. I did get Hiren 10 to work
    But BT4 did not .
    Then a friend told me that i needed to change the menu.lst file.

    Use this if you can’t start BT4

    title BackTrack 4 (Hak5)
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /bootbt4/vmlinuz boot=casper persistent ramdisk_size=6666 root=/dev/ram0 rw quiet

    I took out the. ( vga=0x317 )
    and added. ( boot=casper )

    From the BT4 CD you are going to copy over the Boot Folder and Casper Folder.
    I’m not sure why the Casper Folder is not on the video..

    HHMMMM …..

    Oooh and one more thing if your multi pass dose not work.
    Before you give up try using a different PC.

    Some config in the BIOS. i don’t know.

    I do have a question .
    How can I make my multipass OS persistent?
    Like if I change my backgrounds in BT4 and add photo’s
    how can i make it save the settings.

  • Quint 5 years ago

    so, my usb is considered to be a hard disk drive. not a removable media. it will not show up in PeToUSB, is it possible to just proceed to the next step? it even shows up in bios as a disk (labeled usb)

  • Quint 5 years ago

    disregard my last comment i have come to the conclusion that i cannot do this with that disk.

  • kevin 4 years ago

    you should post a picture of your usb root that matches up with your show notes menu.lst code

  • daredavil87 4 years ago

    Hi everyone , i would like to know how can i add windows 2k , windows xp ,windows vista and windows 7 on dhe grub boot menu end make them bootable from the usb with the othe extras metionated above, Thanks in advance and the tutorial made by the Hak5 team was great and very helpful

  • texsmasher 4 years ago

    Hey that is all right

  • Hi
    i have seen all the video read all the transcription butt still nt got how to made my own menu.lst i am nt a programmer i dont know how to give path i have to made bootable usb of hiren,xp and rescue disk can anyone tell me what commands i have to put in menu.lst and is i have only to copy and past the img of these programs simple on the usb

  • I have known about dual booting for a while and always used this site


    they have a setup where you can use the iso’s straight up no extracting only for ie:gparted. there is a full menu list in their installer as well. To get it just extract the installer with 7-zip and go to MultiBootISOs-\$[53]\Slax612\$PLUGINSDIR

    and there is the full menu list

    hoped this helped

  • weaveR 4 years ago

    I know this video was made about 2 years ago and no ones posted here since October last year but I can’t work out how to get past a prompt called “initramfs” that pops up with Backtrack 4 R2 when I try and boot Backtrack from a flash drive via grub4dos.

    Can’t find anything useful on google about it either.

    • Anonymous 4 years ago

      Alright I was having trouble with Backtrack 4 r2 as well and I seem to have a solution so try it out yourself.

      Instead of extracting the bt4-r2.iso file simply copy the iso to your usb. In the menu.lst state this for the Backtrack 4 R2 menu entry:

      title BackTrack 4 R2
      map (hd0,0)/bt4r2.iso (hd32)
      map –hook
      chainloader (hd32)

      It worked for me and booting up rather easily. Try it out on your usb yourself though.

    • GuyWithTheAnswer 4 years ago

      Alright I was having trouble with Backtrack 4 r2 as well and I seem to have a solution so try it out yourself.

      Instead of extracting the bt4-r2.iso file simply copy the iso to your usb. In the menu.lst state this for the Backtrack 4 R2 menu entry:

      title BackTrack 4 R2
      map (hd0,0)/bt4r2.iso (hd32)
      map –hook
      chainloader (hd32)

      It worked for me and booting up rather easily. Try it out on your usb yourself though.

      Just a heads up, I am not an expert on BT4 R2 so you may want to consult someone who knows more about the subject than I do.

  • Barakuda318 3 years ago

    I am all for a Torrent download of this as I’ve watched this episode about 3 times now and I’m having loads of trouble with the menu.lst Yes I am a complete newbie at this usb boot thing lol but I’m trying lol I’ve already preped the usb stick and have even started my menu.lst I just don’t understand all the pointing to kernal stuff and all that…(also a complete newbie to terminal commands) anyway a torrent of a very good usb multipass would be greatly appreciated or even a good written tutorial you know, crayons and markers for us uneducated types..lol I absolutely love the idea and the show thanks.

  • thanks about that :d

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  • YUMI is a free portable ap which will allow for a multipass usb. It can also boot windows isos but it has some quirks to it just like hak5’s directions.
    Plus I have read that formatting to ntfs actually works better with a multi windows (xp, vista, 7) boot usb

  • Didn’t Kantana do something like this a while ago?

  • The Wizard 3 years ago

    Hello All

    is this thread still alive? I am having some issues with grub and booting large distros

    this is my ubunto boot from menu.lst

    title Ubuntu
    find –set-root /Ubuntu/ubuntu-11.10-desktop-i386.iso
    map //Ubuntu/ubuntu-11.10-desktop-i386.iso (hd32)
    map –hook
    root (hd32)
    chainloader (hd32)

    it boot then drops out to

    Initramfs unable to find any medium containing a live file system,

    this is my Backtrack boot from menu.lst

    title Backtrack 5.1 KDE x86
    root (hd0,0)
    kernel /BT5R1-KDE-32/casper/vmlinuz

    it again boots and drops to shell

    drm initialized radeon 2.9.0 200080528 for 0000:01:05.0 on minor 0

    alert does not exist dropping to shell

    any help would be much appreciated

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  • Everybody 2 years ago

    Why are You babbling so much?
    Get to the point, already!

  • Jason 3 months ago

    can’t you just add all the live cd’s iso files to the usb with xboot and include syslinux or grub4linux as a bootloader? a LOT simpler…