Tag Archives: usb

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Not all USB type-C ports are equal: Nine versions of USB-C incoming

How to manually mount USB drives on Ubuntu

The first time I had this kind of problem was when I was trying to create a bootable USB drive and a pop-up windows appeared informing me that “you must first mount USB drive /dev/sdc1 to a mount-point. Most distributions will do this automatically after you remove and reinsert the USB drive”. I had never had this matter on Linux because, normally, all the USB drives are immediately recognized and mounted but there is always a first time….

After some googling I discovered that a specific program dconf-editor could help me to check the Linux settings and to consequentlyresolve the situation.

First of all you need to install dconf-editor on your Linux so you have to open a Terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

After the installation you launch dconf-editor (for MATE environment it’s into the System Tool menu) and navigate it to media-handling:

org –> gnome –> desktop –> media-handling

Now you have to be sure that commands automount and automount-open are both flagged.

If you discover that they are already flagged, its necessary to manually create a mount point using the Terminal.

Open a Terminal and type:

df -H

to see the mounted disks. If you are not able to find the USB drive that you want to mount then type:

sudo fdisk -l

and you’ll see all disks (mounted/unmounted).

Now you are able to know the right drive identity (e.g. sdb1, sdc1, sdd1) that your OS assigned to that specific drive. Memorize it and start to create the mount point:

sudo mkdir /media/newusb

where “newusb” is the mount point name you want to assign to your USB drive.

Then type:

sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /media/newusb

where “sdb1” is the drive identity we found before and “newusb” the mount-point name you choose.

That’s it, now your USB drive has a mounting point and you can use it (in my case I was able to create a bootable USB drive usiing Unetbootin)

You can find some extra useful tips about mounting USB drives at the Ubuntu community.  AddThis

How to permanently remove files in Ubuntu/linux and make them unrecoverable by NickMcDTV


How to shred (permanently delete) files from your Hard Disks on Ubuntu Linux

In our last post we examined the possibility to recover deleted data from USB keys and disks. Today we want to focus your attention on the proper way to destroy sensitive data from your disks.

On Ubuntu you have the possibility to move any file to the Trash but, as we demonstrate in our last post, anyone has the possibility to recover them using a simple, basic GUI, program called PhotoRec.

If you want to be reasonably sure that none will be able to recover a file you decided to permanently delete you have to use the Shred command. Shred is native in Ubuntu Kernel and literally delete your files overwriting them repeatedly with arbitrary data. After you delete a file with Shred you can be sufficiently sure that recovering procedures will not succeed.

As usual we must warn you that technology is rapidly evolving and what could be considered sure today, tomorrow will be out of date! So, if you think you need to preserve your privacy in the best way, don’t forget to change the hard disks regularly and mechanically destroy your old ones. Sincerely we hope our readers haven’t this kind of need.

To start using Shred on Ubuntu you have to open a Terminal and type:

sudo shred –help

In this way you will visualize the grammar and all the possible options offered by this program.

The correct grammar to use Shred is:


or, if you want to shred a entire partition:

shred [OPTIONS] /dev/[HDA9]

The possible options are:

  -f, –force    change permissions to allow writing if necessary
-n, –iterations=N  overwrite N times instead of the default (3)
–random-source=FILE  get random bytes from FILE
-s, –size=N   shred this many bytes (suffixes like K, M, G accepted)
-u, –remove   truncate and remove file after overwriting
-v, –verbose  show progress
-x, –exact    do not round file sizes up to the next full block;
this is the default for non-regular files
-z, –zero     add a final overwrite with zeros to hide shredding
–help     display this help and exit
–version  output version information and exit

In our experience, to operate in the fastest way, we decided to add Shred on the Nautilus Menu and have the command ready with a simple right click on the mouse.

For this reason you have to open a Terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install nautilus-actions

Then you launch the program following this path: System->Preference->Nautilus Actions Configuration.

Last, you have to configure Shred filling e.g. the following parameters:

Label: Shred
Tooltip: Shred utility to securely erase files
Icon: gtk-dialog-warning
Path: shred
Parameters: -f -u -v -z %M
Filenames: *
Mimetypes: */*
Appears if selection contains: Both
Be sure to check the box “Appears if selection has multiple files or folders“

To finish your configuration, do not forget to open again a Terminal and type:

nautilus -q



Recovering deleted files from USB disks on Ubuntu

Everyday we use USB keys to transfer data without transmitting them through the t. The USB keys and portable disks are small, light and their data capacity allow us to move in privacy huge files. This idyll sometimes is broken by a fatal mistake: we unintentionally delete an important file. Normally, if we are smart we recover the erased file in the Trash but in other situations when we realize the mistake we had made is too late.

In this circumstances is very import to stop to use our USB key or portable disk till we are able to use a good software for data recovering. On Ubuntu you have a wise number of dedicated software that can do this job for you, the most powerful run on Terminal as testdisk, foremost, and scalpel but you can also use a “minimal GUI” software as PhotoRec.

PhotoRec is very intuitive to use and it is able to recover many data formats from jpeg to db. After you install it using Synaptic Package Manager or the Software Center you can launch it in Terminal with:

sudo photorec

Immediately a GUI Terminal interface appears and you have just to follow the instruct  ions you visualize on your monitor.

Using the arrows and the Enter keys you have to:

1 – Choose the USB device from where you want to recover the data

2 – Select the partition table (usually Intel)

3 – Specify the partition table

4 – Select the right filesystem where the data were stored

5 – Decide if you want to try the data recovering from all the free space

6 – select the directory where you want to store the recovered data. IMPORTANT: do not store the recovered data on the same USB key you are scanning for recovering

7 – Wait till PhotoRec finishes the recover operations.

PhotoRec is fast and, during our tests, we were able to recover almost the 100% of data. Not bad!!! AddThis

Unetbootin: a revolutionary multiplatform (Linux and Windows) software to create bootable Linux USB OS (and not only…)

This week, in our Linux Page (in Spanish), we have described UNetbootin: a powerful software which allows you to install many different Linux OS (Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, CentOS, Debian, ArchLinux and many others) on a bootable USB key. The use of UNetbootin is really simple and after a couple of tests everyone is able to create his/her own portable OS on USB. Moreover can be used to easily install a new Linux OS directly on the local hard disk. In fact, this software properly manages Linux and Windows bootloader without causing side effects. I personally recommend UNetbootin to all the people who always desires testing the last OS versions and do not want to install them directly on their PC. Last but not least,  UNetbootin is available in the followiing languages: English, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese and Hungarian. Easy, useful tool! AddThis mp3 link