19 December 2011

Creating a USB rescue disk

  1. First find an empty USB flash drive. I recommend at least 8GB, if you plan on saving changes to the drive. 2GB should work if you don't plan on installing updates.

  2. Partition the drive to have:

    1. one 750MB partition formatted as fat32

    2. one partition with the rest formatted as ext3 with the label casper-rw

  3. Use UNetbootin to install your favorite distribution's live disk (I use Xubuntu)

  4. Then reboot your computer and boot off the USB flash drive and install updates if desired!

You now have a working USB rescue disk!

Update 1/5/2014:
 I have found this to be slightly outdated. I now recommend using Linux Live USB Creator instead. As this software can even format the drive for you and install VirtualBox software to run inside windows.
  Here is where I downloaded the ISO from: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/releases/