Backtrack 4 – USB/Persistent Changes/Nessus


This how-to will be updated with specifics for Backtrack 5. As it sits, it does not work with Backtrack 5. If you have a 16GB stick, please try this one.


UPDATE 12/16/2010: Updated to use R2 and removed references to R1, the pre-release version and final versions of Backtrack. Updated for Nessus version 4.4.

UPDATE 8/09/2010: With the release of Backtrack 4 R1, it appears that our FAT partition needs to be little bigger.  A commenter mentioned that 2500MB works. I will be confirming and updating the how-to later this week.

UPDATE 12/30/2009: I created a new how-to for installing Backtrack 4 to a USB drive. This one uses "full" disk encryption. You can find it here. Once done, you can skip down to the Install Nessus section and then skip the Truecrypt section and most of the  Tweaks section. I will be updating this how-to with the new information soon.

UPDATE 12/27/2009: We used to be able to get away with a 4 GB thumb drive. The amount of updates has reached a level where using a 4 GB drive does not leave us with much free space after updating. I have updated the minimum size requirement to 8GB for the target drive.

Welcome to the new and improved Backtrack 4 How-to. This version supports Nessus 4.2 which no longer uses a separate client. The client is web-based now. If you were in the middle  of the using the version with Nessus 4.02, you can reach it here.

If you prefer an off-line version of this how-to, you can grab a PDF version here. (Note: PDF is out of date.)

This how-to will show you a method for building a USB thumb drive with the following features:

  • Persistent Changes - Files saved and changes made will be kept across reboots.
  • Nessus and NessusClient installed - Everybody needs Nessus 🙂
  • Encryption configured (Note: This is not whole drive encryption)

We will also tweak a few things and make some interesting changes.

Table of contents:

Tools and Supplies
Partition the USB thumbdrive
Make a bootable Backtrack 4 USB thumbdrive
Persistent Changes
Install Nessus
Configure Encryption
Tweak a few things

Tools and Supplies

  1. A USB thumbdrive - minimum capacity 8GB
  2. A Backtrack 3 CDROM, Backtrack 4 DVD or an additional USB thumbdrive  (minimum 2GB) - Used to partition the thumbdrive.
  3. Optional: UNetbootin - A tool to transfer an iso image to a USB drive.

Let's get started!

But first, remember that if you have a 16GB USB thumb drive, I suggest using the "Full" encryption how-to, then come back and install Nessus.

Let's grab a copy of the Backtrack 4 R2 ISO.

BackTrack 4 R2 Release ISO

Last Update: 22.11.2010
Name:: bt4-r2.iso Size: 2000 MB
MD5: 9a94caa0e980a7331e9abc1d4c42c9a9

Now that we have the goods in hand, we can get to cooking. This tutorial is based on booting Backtrack 4 first. This means that you need some form of bootable Backtrack 4 media. This can be a virtual machine, DVD, or USB drive. Use your favorite method of creating a DVD or USB drive or you can use UNetBootin to create the thumb drive.  Below is a screenshot of using UnetBootin to install Backtrack 4 on a USB drive.

It is as simple as selecting the image we want to write to the USB drive, the drive to write it to, and then clicking the 'OK' button. Warning: Make sure you pick the correct destination drive. You don't want to shoot yourself in the foot. 🙂

Partition the USB thumbdrive

The first step is to boot up Backtrack 4.  With the release of Backtrack 4 Final, a 4 GB drive is required (8 GB recommended) if we are going to enable persistence.  For Backtrack 3 and Backtrack 4 Beta, we could get away with a 2GB drive.  We will also need to figure out which drive is our target drive. The following command will show the drives available and you can determine from that which is the new USB drive:

dmesg | egrep hd.\|sd.

We need to partition and format the drive as follows:

  1. The first partition needs to be a primary partition of at least 2.5 GB and set to type vfat. Also remember to make this partition active when you are creating it. Otherwise you might have some boot problems.
  2. The second Partition can be the rest of the thumb drive.

Below are the steps to take to get the drive partitioned and formatted. These steps are taken from this video on Offensive Security website. A '# blah blah' indicates a comment and is not part of the command and user typed commands are bolded. One note, we will need to delete any existing partitions on the drive.

fdisk /dev/sdb # use the appropriate drive letter for your system

# delete existing partitions. There may be more than one.

Command (m for help): d
Partition number (1-4): 1

# create the first partition

Command (m for help): n
Command action
e   extended
p   primary partition (1-4)
Partition number (1-4): 1
First cylinder (1-522, default 1): <enter>
Using default value 1
Last cylinder, +cylinders or +size{K,M,G} (1-522, default 522): +2500M

#create the second partition

Command (m for help): n
Command action
e   extended
p   primary partition (1-4)
Partition number (1-4): 2
First cylinder (193-522, default 193): <enter>
Using default value 193
Last cylinder, +cylinders or +size{K,M,G} (193-522, default 522): <enter>
Using default value 522

# Setting the partition type for the first partition to vfat/fat32

Command (m for help): t
Partition number (1-4): 1
Hex code (type L to list codes): b
Changed system type of partition 1 to b (W95 FAT32)

# Setting the partition type for the second partition to Linux

Command (m for help): t
Partition number (1-4): 2
Hex code (type L to list codes): 83

# Setting the first partition active

Command (m for help): a
Partition number (1-4): 1

Command (m for help): w

# now it is time to format the partitions

mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1
mkfs.ext3 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdb2

Two things to notice above in the format commands; 1) we are using ext3 instead of ext2 and 2) you must include the -L casper-rw portion of the command. Being able to use ext3 is great because of journaling. The -L casper-rw option helps us get around the problem we had where we had to enter the partition name in order to get persistence working. As you will see, that is no longer necessary. WooHoo!

So go ahead and partition and format the drive according the layout above.

Make it a bootable Backtrack 4 USB thumb drive

In the previous version of this how-to, we used UNetBootin to copy the ISO to the thumb drive and make it bootable. That required us to boot back to windows and then back again to Backtrack. We are changing to doing everything from Backtrack now. These steps are also taken from the Offensive Security video mentioned above.

The steps are basically:

  1. Mount the first partition.
  2. Copy the Backtrack files to it.
  3. Install grub.

Following are the commands to execute. Again, '#' denote comments and user typed commands are in bolded.

# mount the first partition, sda1 in my case.

mkdir /mnt/sdb1
mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/sdb1

# copy the files, you will need to find where the ISO is mounted on your system.

cd /mnt/sdb1
rsync -r /media/cdrom0/* .

# install grub

grub-install --no-floppy --root-directory=/mnt/sdb1 /dev/sdb

That's it. We now have a bootable Backtrack 4 USB thumb drive. Now on to setting up persistent changes.

Persistent Changes

This is done much differently and more easily than it was in Backtrack 4 Beta or Backtrack 3. First of all, for basic persistence, we don't have to do anything at all. There is already a menu option that takes care of it for us. Unfortunately, it is only for console mode so we need to make a couple changes.

We want to do the following things:

  1. Change the default boot selection to persistent.
  2. Set the resolution for our gui.

To do so, do the following. Again, '#' ...comment....user typed...blah blah.

cd /mnt/sdb1/boot/grub

vi menu.lst

# change the default line below to 'default 4' and append 'vga=0x317' (that's a zero) to the kernel line to set the resolution to 1024x768

# By default, boot the first entry.
default 4
title                Start Persistent Live CD
kernel           /boot/vmlinuz BOOT=casper boot=casper persistent rw quiet vga=0x317
initrd            /boot/initrd.gz


Here is my entire menu.lst file for reference.

# By default, boot the first entry.
default 4

# Boot automatically after 30 secs.
timeout 30


title                Start BackTrack FrameBuffer (1024x768)
kernel                /boot/vmlinuz BOOT=casper boot=casper nopersistent rw quiet vga=0x317
initrd                /boot/initrd.gz

title                Start BackTrack FrameBuffer (800x600)
kernel                /boot/vmlinuz BOOT=casper boot=casper nopersistent rw quiet vga=0x314
initrd                /boot/initrd800.gz

title                Start BackTrack Forensics (no swap)
kernel                /boot/vmlinuz BOOT=casper boot=casper nopersistent rw vga=0x317
initrd                /boot/initrdfr.gz

title                Start BackTrack in Safe Graphical Mode
kernel                /boot/vmlinuz BOOT=casper boot=casper xforcevesa rw quiet
initrd                /boot/initrd.gz

title                Start Persistent Live CD
kernel                /boot/vmlinuz BOOT=casper boot=casper persistent rw quiet vga=0x317

initrd                /boot/initrd.gz

title                Start BackTrack in Text Mode
kernel                /boot/vmlinuz BOOT=casper boot=casper nopersistent textonly rw quiet
initrd                /boot/initrd.gz

title                Start BackTrack Graphical Mode from RAM
kernel                /boot/vmlinuz BOOT=casper boot=casper toram nopersistent rw quiet
initrd                /boot/initrd.gz

title                Memory Test
kernel                /boot/memtest86+.bin

title                Boot the First Hard Disk
root                (hd0)
chainloader +1

Reboot and either select "Start Persistent Live CD" or just wait since we set it to auto-boot to persistent mode. To test it, create a file and reboot again. If your file is still there, everything is golden.

Install Nessus

Now that our changes are saved from boot to boot, we can install things and they won't disappear on us 🙂

Download the Ubuntu Nessus package from Any of the 32-bit versions for Ubuntu will work. I used the 10.10 version. We used to have to install a separate client package, but no longer. The client is now web-based and included in the Nessus package.

Again, with Backtrack 4 things are little easier. To install the Nessus server, simply execute the following command to install the package.

dpkg --install Nessus-4.4.0-ubuntu1010_i386.deb

Finally, it's time to configure Nessus. Another step that is no longer necessary is the creation of certificates for authentication, so all we really need to do is add our user.

# add user


Login :Me
Authentication (pass/cert) : [pass]<enter>
Login password :
Login password (again) :
Do you want this user to be a Nessus 'admin' user ? (can upload plugins, etc...) (y/n) [n]:y
User rules
nessusd has a rules system which allows you to restrict the hosts
that Me has the right to test. For instance, you may want
him to be able to scan his own host only.

Please see the nessus-adduser manual for the rules syntax

Enter the rules for this user, and enter a BLANK LINE once you are done :
(the user can have an empty rules set)

Login             : Me
Password         : ***********
This user will have 'admin' privileges within the Nessus server
Rules             :
Is that ok ? (y/n) [y]y
User added

We want to disable Nessus starting at boot. We are going to do some things a little later than require that Nessus not be running at boot.

/usr/sbin/update-rc.d -f nessusd remove

This command does not remove the Nessus start scripts. It only removes the links that cause Nessus to start at boot time.

The next thing we need to do is register our installation so we can get the plugin feed. You need to go here and request a key. That is a link to the free feed for home use. Use appropriately.

Once you have your key. Execute the following to update your plugins. Please note that there are two dashes before register in the nessus-fetch line below. They can display as one sometimes.

/opt/nessus/bin/nessus-fetch --register [your feed code here]

When that is done, and it is going to take a few minutes, you are ready to start the server and client. Be aware that with version 4.x, while the command to start returns quickly, the actual starting of the service may take a minute or two. In many cases, I have had to reboot after the initial install before Nessus started working. You can use 'netstat -napt' to check that the server is listening on port 8834. Yup, this is different too. We used to look for port 1241.

/etc/init.d/nessusd start

Woohoo, time to find those vulnerabilities.

Configure Encryption

If you used the "Full" disk encryption how-to to build your bootable USB thumb drive, you are done. None of the rest of this how-to is needed, including the tweaks below.

Before we configure encryption, we need to go ahead and update the system. We used to be able to wait to do this, but the amount of packages is now enough that we run out of space if we wait until after creating the Truecrypt volume.

First execute the following:

apt-get update

This is update the software repository information. Next, execute the this command:

apt-get upgrade

The system will determine if there is anything that needs to be updated and then prompt you to continue. Individual packages can be updated by including the package name after upgrade.

Finally, execute the following to clean up the downloaded packages and make room for the Truecrypt volume.

apt-get clean

Now to configure encryption. Since we are using this tool to poke at peoples networks and systems, with permission of course, it is very important that the information we find be protected. To do this, we are going to setup an encrypted volume that will eventually become our home directory.

This can be done with the gui or via command line. We will be using the gui because we need to be able to format the volume with ext3 and, as yet, I have not been able to figure out how to do that via the command line on linux. Click on the images to see a larger version.

Truecrypt Configuration (Time 0_00_12;24)

Truecrypt Configuration (Time 0_00_16;18)

Truecrypt Configuration (Time 0_00_28;12)

Truecrypt Configuration (Time 0_00_28;12)

Truecrypt Configuration (Time 0_00_29;00)


Truecrypt Configuration (Time 0_00_41;18)

Truecrypt Configuration (Time 0_00_44;24)


Truecrypt Configuration (Time 0_00_50;18)

You will get a message that the volume was successful created. Click on the 'OK' button, then exit the Truecrypt gui, both the 'Create Volume' windows and the main windows. We want to be back at the command prompt at this point.

If you want to test the your filesystem, execute the following, note the -k '' is two single quotes, not a double quote:

truecrypt -t -k '' --protect-hidden=no /my_secret_stuff /media/truecrypt1
cd /media/truecrypt1
df .

This will show that the volume is mounted and the amount of disk space you have left. Our next step is to have this volume mounted when we log in. We do this by editing the root user's .profile file. Add the truecrypt command above to root's .profile so it looks like this:

# ~/.profile: executed by Bourne-compatible login shells.
if [ "$BASH" ]; then
  if [ -f ~/.bashrc ]; then
    . ~/.bashrc

truecrypt -t -k '' --protect-hidden=no /my_secret_stuff /media/truecrypt1

mesg n

The next time you reboot you will be asked for the password for the volume and it will be mounted for you.

Now it is time to tweak a few tings

Tweak a few things

The first thing we are going to do is go ahead and configure networking to start at boot time. It's convenient and easy to disable if we need to. All we have to do is execute the following command.

/usr/sbin/update-rc.d networking defaults

This next bit is interesting and I was surprised it worked. We are going to reset the root user's home directory during the login process to the mounted truecrypt volume. This will ensure that anything written to the home directory will be encrypted.  The following commands will set this up for us:

cd /media/truecrypt1

rsync -r --links /root/ .

# add the bold lines below

vi /root/.profile

# ~/.profile: executed by Bourne-compatible login shells.
if [ "$BASH" ]; then
  if [ -f ~/.bashrc ]; then
    . ~/.bashrc

truecrypt -t -k '' --protect-hidden=no /my_secret_stuff /media/truecrypt1

export HOME=/media/truecrypt1
export HISTFILE=/media/truecrypt1/.bash_history


mesg n


The next time you reboot, when you are finally in the system, your home directory will be /media/truecrypt1.

There is one last thing we want to do. We want to change nessus to log to the encrypted volume. This is very easy. The file that controls this is /opt/nessus/etc/nessus/nessusd.conf. We need to create a place for the log files to go. So execute the following

cd /media/truecrypt1

mkdir -p nessus/logs

Once you have done that, edit the /opt/nessus/etc/nessus/nessusd.conf file and change this:

# Log file :
logfile = /opt/nessus/var/nessus/logs/nessusd.messages

# Shall we log every details of the attack ? (disk intensive)
log_whole_attack = no

# Dump file for debugging output
dumpfile = /opt/nessus/var/nessus/logs/nessusd.dump

to this:

# Log file :
logfile = /media/truecrypt1/nessus/logs/nessusd.messages

# Shall we log every details of the attack ? (disk intensive)
log_whole_attack = no

# Dump file for debugging output
dumpfile = /media/truecrypt1/nessus/logs/nessusd.dump

That's it. You are all done now. Go forth and have fun. 🙂

Please let me know of any corrections or changes that should be made. You can leave a comment or send me a note at kriggins [at]


Creative Commons License
Backtrack 4 – USB/Persistent Changes/Nessus by Kevin Riggins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

{ 251 comments… read them below or add one }

AndrewBoldman June 4, 2009 at 6:55 am

Hi, good post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting.


Kelly Brown June 12, 2009 at 10:58 am

The article is usefull for me. I’ll be coming back to your blog.


Blade July 12, 2009 at 1:35 am

I have found myself using this guide as a tutorial reference. Very good. I did find some variation to your suggested config though with my version of the 4 pre-final/UNetbootin drive.

I had to edit the boot/grub/menu.lst and change “default 0” to “default 5” or the number of the live persistent cd then append “vga=0×317″. I found this easy enough to edit in wordpad and notepad.

I also had no “menu label Start Persistent Live CD” in the file syslinux.cfg. I just change the boot option from “nopersistant” to “persistent”. Thanks again great


Justin July 13, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Is vfat required? could I use fat32?


kriggins July 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm


FAT32 should work also. If you are formatting the drive using Linux, vfat is the choice you will have.



Bob July 14, 2009 at 7:00 pm

I think your tutorial is great but the final part about editing syslinux.cfg is not very clear. i mean, it’s kind of confusing the way you wrote it down. Please make it simpler to read.

Keep it up dude


nate July 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm

This is a great guide but i cant get persistent changes to work. I am trying blades solution currently but frankly i have had no luck could you help me out with a little more detail


Job July 18, 2009 at 5:55 am

I myself seems to have the same problem as Nate.
With Unebootin (windows) I installed BT 4 PF on a SD-card.
Maked the changes as supposed within this tut. But won’t persistent.
Also maked the changes as Blade suggested, changed the menu.lst. No influence on persistentcy.
If I open the file menu.lst outside bt4, all changes are there. But when I open (nano) the same file within BT 4, it is still unchanged (default 0 instead of 5).

BT3 run perfectly from a SD-card. No problems.

DOes anybody has a solution for this problem.

By the way, I using a EEEPc so the suggested vga will not be 0x317 but 0x314. But that may no have any influence on the persistence of saving changes and files within BT4 between rebooting.

Many thanks in advance.


fmm July 19, 2009 at 12:12 am

I did not follow this guide but one similar. I was trying to get splash working again. I have noticed I have a /media/cdrom0 on an eeepc without a cdrom. Job, if you go to /media/cdrom0/boot/grub/menu.lst you will see the files that you changed. I believe default 4 is what you may want to use.


Job July 19, 2009 at 3:46 am

Thx FMM for reply. Do you have BT 4 PF on a SD-card with changes persistent?
Or do you have it on a pendrive? My goal is to install it on a SD-card persistent, working on my EEePC.



Brian July 31, 2009 at 11:20 am

Can you just explain why we make 2 partitions?


kriggins July 31, 2009 at 11:56 am

Hi Brian,

I had a similar question via email a while ago.

It is possible to make it one partition and enable persistence, but you have to make significant changes to how the system boots and how the casper boot scripts work. And there are other issues particular to Backtrack 4.

As far as I can tell, the actual casper persistence process requires an ext2 or ext3 filesystem type so you have to mess with setting up a loop mounted filesystem since the boot partition has to be vfat. I am not positive on the requirement for ext2 or ext3, but most of the stuff I could find leads me to believe this.

Finally, the Backtrack 4 boot process mounts the partition that it boots from read-only making it impossible to write any data to it. That is part of the boot process that you have to mess with. It is actually easier to use two partitions than trying to make one work



Roy July 31, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Thank you very much for this tutorial! I am certain it will be VERY useful!

I think that I agree with Bob, up there. The instruction as to what term to place where in the syslinux.cfg is extraordinarily confusing. Would you be able to provide an example syslinux.cfg so that we can easily see where to place each addition?

Thank you again!


fredbrown August 2, 2009 at 8:22 am

Followed these directions.
When I tried to boot the system, I received an I/O error message for fd0.
Could not boot into the system because of this problem
I don’t have a floppy drive. How can I disable this?


cbernal August 3, 2009 at 6:52 pm

Hi Kevin,

This is a great post. However I have a doubt regarding the vfat partition. When I start the Partition manager from the Backtrack it doesn’t lists the vfat partition, it lists fat16, fat32 and other known partitions but not vfat.
I’m a Linux newbie and maybe these needs to be through the terminal, can you please let me know how to do so?

Thank you!


kriggins August 3, 2009 at 7:56 pm


I plan to get a copy of my syslinux.cfg file into the how-to soon.


I have had this happen before and if I wait long enough, the system will boot. I do not yet know how to get rid of it.


I apologize for any confusion. You want to use FAT32 or type ‘b’ for the second partition.



cbernal August 3, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Hi again Kevin,

I was able to do everything on the guide, backtrack 4 runs smoothly on my 8.0Gb USB Data traveler Kingston USB 2.0. In fact I’m posting these lines through the current installation.

I created the sdb1 as Fat32 (using the vfat format through the terminal) but I can’t install the nessus software on the sdb2 partition. I followed all the instructions, I have 1.5 from the vfat partition and the rest is a ext3 partition. When I try to browse it, or save files on it, I got an error msg that says: “The enclosing drive for the volume is locked”. I tried to mount it but I still get the same error.

In fact I tried to make an smaller partition an leave rest unpartitioned or with a different file structure like NTFS or FAT with no luck.

Your input is highly appreciated.


kriggins August 4, 2009 at 5:12 am


There is no need to install anything directly onto the second partition. When running in persistent mode, the saving of information to the second partition is transparent. Just follow the instructions above and you should end up with a working system.



Slax4ever August 4, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Great tutorial!

@ fredbrown

You might want to try this:

step 1: Goto BIOS
step 2: Disable legacy floppy
step 3: Save & exit

Now you should be able to boot without the “I/O error dev fd0…”


Javi August 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm

“Next add “Default ”, where is the text after the ‘label’ statement for the menu item in the syslinux.cfg file right after the timeout line near the top of the file. In my case this is ubnentry5, but it could be different in your case.”

I am totally losed here. Here is my currently config file

“default vesamenu.c32
prompt 0
menu title UNetbootin
timeout 100

label unetbootindefault
menu label Default
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit BOOT=casper boot=casper nopersistent rw quiet vga=0x317

label ubnentry0
menu label Start BackTrack FrameBuffer (1024×768)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz
append initrd=/boot/initrd.gz BOOT=casper boot=casper nopersistent rw quiet vga=0x317

label ubnentry1
menu label Start BackTrack FrameBuffer (800×600)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz
append initrd=/boot/initrd800.gz BOOT=casper boot=casper nopersistent rw quiet vga=0x314

label ubnentry2
menu label Start BackTrack Forensics (no swap)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz
append initrd=/boot/initrdfr.gz BOOT=casper boot=casper nopersistent rw vga=0x317

label ubnentry3
menu label Start BackTrack in Safe Graphical Mode
kernel /boot/vmlinuz
append initrd=/boot/initrd.gz BOOT=casper boot=casper xforcevesa rw quiet

label ubnentry4
menu label Start Persistent Live CD
kernel /boot/vmlinuz vga=0×317
append initrd=/boot/initrd.gz BOOT=casper boot=casper persistent rw quiet

label ubnentry5
menu label Start BackTrack in Text Mode
kernel /boot/vmlinuz
append initrd=/boot/initrd.gz BOOT=casper boot=casper nopersistent textonly rw quiet

label ubnentry6
menu label Start BackTrack Graphical Mode from RAM
kernel /boot/vmlinuz
append initrd=/boot/initrd.gz BOOT=casper boot=casper toram nopersistent rw quiet

label ubnentry7
menu label Memory Test
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit

label ubnentry8
menu label Boot the First Hard Disk
kernel /ubnkern
append initrd=/ubninit”

I added the 0x317 but I do not know how to add step 3. I am completely losed. Any help with this please?


gidiara August 10, 2009 at 2:09 am

I have win+ubuntu on my harddisc & if I booting from Backtrack 4 – USB/Persistent Changes, this kill my GRUB everytime. Be carefool!!!


kriggins August 10, 2009 at 8:20 pm


That is very interesting. I have not experienced that problem. Please let me know if you figure out what is going on and how to fix it.



Ted October 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I had the same issue, It was do to grub version differences in ubuntu and Backtrack.
You had to start by installing BT then ubuntu or Windows.

Just my 2 cents


cbernal August 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Hi Kevin, I just wanted to say Thank you. This was REALLY helpful.

Keep it up.


kriggins August 10, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Thank you very much. I’m glad you found it of use 🙂



Pellaeon August 11, 2009 at 1:48 am

Great tutorial, kriggins!
However, same as Javi, I don’t understand step 3.
Could you post your working syslinux.cfg here?

Thank you.


kriggins August 11, 2009 at 5:23 am

For those who are interested, I have included what my syslinux.cfg file looks like.



Pellaeon August 11, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Thanks, Kevin.


NjB August 12, 2009 at 6:24 am

Hello Kevin,

Thank you for the Tuto.
Everything is OK for me.
I got a bootable BT4 PF USB with persistant changes.
My only problem now is that I can’t reach the internet,
but this is a BT4 config issue, I’m sure.



kriggins August 12, 2009 at 5:48 pm


I’m going to ask the obvious question first. Did you execute ‘/etc/init.d/networking start’? This will be required each time you boot the thumb drive unless you excecute ‘update-rc.d networking defaults’



radesix August 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I followed these instructions but am having some problems. I am a Linux noob. But when I try to boot from the USB I get the BackTrack image but then only the following prompt:

BusyBox v1.10.2 (yada, yada)

Any ideas?


radesix August 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Okay so I tried a different approach using only Ubuntu and the videos from the Wiki page. Before I was using Windows and Unetbootin. Now I have a bootable USB but it doesn’t seem to be persistent.


kriggins August 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm


One thing that some have run into is not using ‘-L casper-rw’ flag when they format the second partition. This must be done to enable persistence.

If you want to send me the contents of you /boot/grub/menu.lst file and the details of how you have partitioned your thumb drive, I would be happy to take a look. You can send them to kriggins _at_ infosecramblings _dot_ com or post it here.



luzem August 20, 2009 at 11:32 am

Translated a small part to spanish .
Thanks for your good job


kriggins August 20, 2009 at 7:00 pm


Thank you and I think it is very cool that you translated part of the how-to in to Spanish. I will let you know that the how-to will be getting a major rewrite this weekend. I will let you know when it is done so you can see if you want to change anything.



fnord0 August 23, 2009 at 6:11 pm

damn fine tutorial, I gave the nessus part a shot, and all worked according to plan! I like the encryption part, and will be doing that later…. thankx so much for the post!



kriggins August 23, 2009 at 8:08 pm





Anand August 25, 2009 at 8:37 am

Thanks for great tutorial. I have a simple solution for newbies like me out there.I did a total different approach similar way like we do HDD Install. I tried this on my Kingston 8GB Pendrive.All you need is a LIVE CD/USB and another 8GB Pendrive/SDCard.Source From Youtube Video:
Just edited some steps to fit installation on a 8GB Pendrive
1. Create a 4GB Pendrive with BT 4 Prefinal using Unetbootin. (can use LiveCD too)
2. Restarted my laptop and selected to Boot from LiveCD.
3. Once your are logged in with Username: root and Password: toor . Open up a console/teriminal. Now connect your 8gb USB/SDCard(I havent tried this on SDCard, but im sure its similar process like USB).
4. Type as follows
Root$> ubiquity
5. Next a Window pop’s up saying about Language Error, Click “Continue Anyway”
6. Select your TimeZone and Click Next
7. Select your Keyboard Layout and click Next
8. Follow wizard till you come to a point “Partition Editor”
7. Once your in Partition Editor,You can see your 8GB Pendrive detected. Select the option which says “Guided Partition- Use whole Disk of 8GB” and click “Next” .
8. Enter User credentials.Remember Username and Password you entering in this screen and Click Next
9.You can See Ready to Install screen now. Click “Advanced” button. By default you can see “hd0” selected. Its the place where you want to install Grub. Suppose you dont want to mess up with your Windows Partition on Your HDD.Select your 8gb Pendrive,as “sdc” or “sdb” you have to select as per your drives in your computer.and click INSTALL.
10.Please be patient at this step as it takes a while in copying and installing system. It ask’s you to reboot.Just Hit Enter and Take of your 4GB LiveCd/Pendrive. Let the system Restart . Now Hit Esc or F12 key to select BootOrder and select “boot from USB Drive”.(It may varies if your are PC having different BIOS. Just Change boot order in your BIOS to let your PC boot from USB Drive).
11.Now you can see Ubuntu 8.10 Menu ,select it and Hit Enter.
12.Now you will be shown with Console .Enter Username & Password which you entered in Step 6.
13. Now type “passwd” without quotes @ prompt and hit enter . It askes you to enter old password.Enter your Password which you entered in STEP 6. Now Re-enter New Password of your choice. This password is for ROOT.
14.Next you need to fix Boot Splash screen.For this at the Prompt enter as “fix-splash” (enter without quotes)
Root:> fix-splash
You will be asked to overwrite,enter “Y” (without quotes) and Hit Enter.
15. Once the process is completed. Hit Reboot.
16. Select to Boot from USB Drive.
🙂 thats it simple ! Once you follow this you can install BT 4 persistent Changes on your Pendrive just as you install in your HDD.
Hope it helps someone.This process worked for me.Im sorry if its not working for you.
Thanks & Regards


kriggins August 25, 2009 at 11:30 am


Thanks for

I was aware of this method for installing the OS and plan on putting it in the how-to once I have figured out a couple changes I would like to have in place once it is installed. However, but there are a few caveats to be aware of:
1. You must create a user and, by default, cannot log in as root. Some of the tools must be run as root and it is a bit easier to not have to su or sudo. I know, you should never run as root 🙂
2. You have to have an 8 GB or larger drive.
3. If you hork everything up at some point, you have to do a complete reinstall. With the method described in the how-to, you can backup any important data, boot to non-persistent mode and you are back in business.

Just some thought to keep in mind.




Sado August 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm

At the end of partitioning the drive should it not be w rather than p?
Nice site though thanks for all the effort.


Sado August 26, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Sorry i mean “w rather than q” not p. w – as in write changes and exit – q seems to create a loop where i drink more beer and partition the usb stick repeatedly. I’m learning a lot about why GUI is good though ;o)


kriggins August 26, 2009 at 8:07 pm


Doh! It’s fixed now. Thanks for the heads-up.



Paul Asadoorian August 29, 2009 at 8:25 am

So, I’m confused, how is this method different/better than:

1) Booting BT4
2) Inserting USB thumb drive
3) Double Clicking the “” on the desktop
4) Following the wizard and installing it on your USB device





kriggins August 29, 2009 at 8:55 am


Not better, but it is different. One thing is that if all you have is a 4GB drive, the method won’t work. The drive isn’t big enough.

Another factor, granted minor, is mentioned a couple comments above. When you use the method you remove the ability to login as root. Not a big deal and it can be overcome, but it is there. I do plan to update the how-to and include the method for those with larger drives, but want to hammer out the steps to enable root login before I do. The nature of the tools used during pen testin, as I know you are aware, often require root privileges.

Before anybody flips out, this is probably the only environment where I would recommend logging in as root 🙂

Last note, if you do manage to hork up your install, with this method, you can at least get back in business by booting to the non-persistent mode.



octavius September 10, 2009 at 6:57 am

Excellent guide & thanks for your QA testing during the development of the install process!
I have everything working as you described. However, after installing the truecrypt volume, I am getting the following error upon reboot: “EXT3-fs: Unrecognized mount option ‘uid=0’ or missing value”. Any guidance here is appreciated. The truecrypt volume does mount OK despite this message.

Again, thanks for your help with this.



kriggins September 11, 2009 at 5:58 am


I have seen that error also. I haven’t looked into what is causing it and it does not appear to create any issues. I have just been ignoring it 🙂



Paul Asadoorian September 11, 2009 at 7:59 am


I believe you can login as root using “sudo -s”, which gives you a root prompt.

Also, I agree, for drives 8GB < the manual method is best.



kriggins September 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm


Yup, sudo works great. After your last note I spent some time figuring out how to enable root login after doing the method. It was quite difficult to get working. Okay, not really.

All you have to do is give the root user a password, ‘sudo passwd root’ does the job. I will be adding the method with screen shots to the how-to this weekend and updating the pdf also.



b4sher September 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm


Thanks for the thorough how-to. In regards to partitioning and encryption, is it possible to encrypt your changes partition (sdb2) and have it mounted/unencrypted so where it is writable at startup? I have been probing into this for a while, and have yet to find the place to specify where my changes partition/folder is located. As far as methodology, I have encrypted my changes partition and want it to be mounted to a folder at /changes. I have a startup script that was added to my /etc/init.d/ directory with the update-rc.d command ran as well. The only thing I am concerned with is during boot, it will not find the changes directory. Do you know of a way to manually point to it? Or is there an easier way to encrypt your changes partition (since all of the changes you will make are stored there) without making a container? Thanks again.


octavius September 26, 2009 at 9:13 am


When I boot up BT4, I’m now getting the following error after entering in the Truecrypt password:
‘Error: volume slot unavailable or not found’
Please advise.



kriggins September 26, 2009 at 12:15 pm


There is really only one way to approach doing what you want to do that I know of. First you have to have at least an 8 GB drive. Then you have to install BT4 on that drive as if it was a hard drive. Then you would have to encrypt the whole drive.

With the changes method, the label of the partition determines where the changes are written and that partition needs to be writable at boot time. I’m sure someone could figure out how to do this, but I don’t know how.


Does the mount point you are trying to mount the truecrypt volume on exist? Can you mount it manually to a different mount point after booting? I think that is what this error is referring to. I can’t find the mount point. I don’t know this for certain though.



Ronan October 1, 2009 at 10:52 am

ok guys 🙁
I have installed it on the USB … loads sda1 … dosen’t load sda2 so it gives me the initramfs thing … and yes i have used the -L casper-rw thing …

as am having 8GB kingiston … the didn’t work as it gave me an error about swap file , that it can’t create it , and other thing , it couldn’t create the ext3 if it created the swap .

am committing suicide soon unless something works with me :'(


Ken October 2, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Hi, I have backtrack 3 installed on a USB flash drive with persistent change, how do I upgrade from backtrack 3 to backtrack 4 ? any information on this would be great thanks.


kriggins October 3, 2009 at 4:21 am


To the best of my knowledge, there is no upgrade path. You have to start over.



kriggins October 3, 2009 at 4:24 am


I have heard of some people having issues with larger thumb drives. If you have another, you might give it a try. Other than that, I don’t have any suggestions. Please let us know if you figure out what the issue is.



Richard October 20, 2009 at 12:55 am

Firstly, thanks for the awesome guide… I’m a n00b and found this very useful!

For other n00bs, though, you might want to consider not doing a complete apt-get upgrade if you’re using a 4GB USB drive as it will only leave around 350MB free when using a 2.5GB casper-rw volume. And that’s without setting up a truecrypt volume… If you do set up the truecrypt volume first it will crash out during the upgrade with no disk space.

What I can’t understand is why a simple package upgrade hogs around 1.5GB of disk space… Maybe I’m doing something wrong?


Nick October 26, 2009 at 12:12 pm

thank u so much for your help. i needed to find a page that would give me this info.
everything i could ever need to know is here! so thnx 😀


Arun Gupta October 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Why go through the trouble of installing nessus? Why not use Nmap which is included with BT4?


Charles October 27, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Hi Kevin,

I’m curious about having the professional feed on the USB drive. Is it possible to use it on such devices? When you activate the software from the host you are using works just great, but once you run backtrack using a diferent computer equipment, it tells you “this scanner seems to be using the plugin feed from another host”. Any ideas on how to avoid this error?



kriggins October 27, 2009 at 7:24 pm


Nmap and Nessus perform two different functions. While nmap does have some scripting and vulnerability scanning capabilities, it is not nearly as mature in this respect as Nessus.


That is very interesting. Let me do some checking and see if I can find an answer for you. It must do some sort of system fingerprinting. It may be a factor of un-registering and re-registering each time. Granted, a pain, but should work. I’ll let you know what I find.



Charles October 27, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Thanks Kevin, I will be looking forward on your research. It would be excellent if you can get it working.


Charles November 2, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Hi again Kevin,

Did you figured out anything about the issue that I’m bringing?




kriggins November 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Unfortunately, the only resolution I can find is to un-register and re-register. If I come across something else, I’ll let you know.



Doum November 5, 2009 at 7:39 am

Thanks man, great tutorial!


Lichking775 November 5, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Hello Your tut is amazing…. just one cmd never seems to work for me…. right after i create the Truecrypt volume and use your cmd to test it out…. truecrypt -t -k ” -protect-hidden=no /my_secret_stuff /media/truecrypt1 (with my volume name in it of course…) it asks me for the password then says
error: no such file or directory:

I have tried flipping this command around alot but have had no luck at all….
I noticed that the cmds for editing the root profile including this one… so i figured if this doesn’t work i’ll screw up my boot …. plz help me out 😀
Also when i do the cmd with the volume already mounted in the gui it says volume is already mounted…


kriggins November 5, 2009 at 5:53 pm


You’re welcome and thank you for the feedback.


Thanks. Make sure you are using two single quotes for the -k option instead of a double quote and two dashes for the –protect-hidden option.



Lichking775 November 7, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Ok I think I got it Though I’m not sure I flipped the cmd around a little and got a large list of cmds for truecrypt is this correct? I figured this was saying that my syntax was incorrect and I typed it incorrectly


Lichking775 November 7, 2009 at 5:49 pm

PS are there spaces between –Protect-hidden=no and /Volume_name and /media/truecrypt1?
when I put it in with out spaces i get The large list… sorrry for the add-on


kriggins November 7, 2009 at 7:02 pm


It should look like the line below. No upper case for Protect-hidden and there should be spaces between truecrypt volume and the mount point.

truecrypt -t -k ” –protect-hidden=no /my_secret_stuff /media/truecrypt1



Lichking775 November 8, 2009 at 12:48 am

ok thanks it works now… 😀
aresum tut…


Psilo November 8, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Ty for this very helpfull tutorial.

I just encountered one minor problem. After login, and entering truecrypt pass, i get the error: “EXT3-fs: Unrecognized mount option “uid=0″ or missing value”. Then i get promp, launch X, and everything seems to work.

Is this error related to truecrypt?



kriggins November 8, 2009 at 9:34 pm


Thank you. I should update the tutorial to indicate that the error message you are getting is common. I haven’t tracked down exactly what is causing it, but it does not appear to be something that causes any issues. I just ignore it. 🙂



Clepto November 26, 2009 at 11:20 am

Hey Kevin,

Once I alter the Home directory I get the root directory on my desktop, is this the desired outcome? Or am I missing something? and if this is the desired outcome is there a way to change the desktop to the /home/root/desktop?



kriggins November 28, 2009 at 8:05 am


Yes, you should end up with a copy of the root environment and root’s desktop when done with the tutorial. The whole point is to get root’s home directory on the encrypted drive so everything written is protected. If you don’t want to do that, just don’t do the home directory switch part of the tutorial. You can just mount the encrypted directory and move/save sensitive information to it.



arron December 8, 2009 at 8:24 am

thanks but when I register the nessus,
# /opt/nessus/bin/nessus-fetch –register 6792-073A-8984-1924-C6CA
Your activation code has been registered properly – thank you.
Now fetching the newest plugin set from…
Could not verify the signature of all-2.0.tar.gz

plz help!!!


kriggins December 10, 2009 at 7:29 pm


I apologize in the delay in getting back to you. I have not run into this problem before, but a search of the forums at showed that it can happen sometimes. Try re-downloading the plug-ins.



Ginaxor December 12, 2009 at 11:31 am

No luck with the Unetbootin windows tool. It copies the files, i run the specified *.bat, but nothing at boot.
On the other hand, I followed the linux tutorial on this page, and it worked fine.
I use a 16 GB pendrive, 11 GB for the first fat32 partition (so it is big enough, that it not olny includes the backtrack boot stuff, but I can use it in windows as a pendrive, to store additional data on that partition) – and a 5GB partition for ext3.
Everything is just fine. Grate tutorial. Thank you.


Dexxra December 21, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Hey, thanks for the awesome guide! I did run into a few issues though, but nothing major that could not be fixed.

Alright, for starters, I really wanted to install some new Nvidia drivers. After installing them, they worked great…until I changed my home directory and rebooted. The xorg.conf kept resetting for some reason and I still have not figured out why. However I did figure out a simple solution.

1. Uninstall and reinstall the Nvidia drivers.
2. Issue the following command: cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf > /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak
3. Add the following line to /root/.profile: cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak > /etc/X11/xorg.conf
4. Voila, you should not have any issues anymore with rebooting and losing the xorg.conf settings anymore.

I’m still not sure why the xorg.conf was getting reset after changing my home directory though. If anyone knows of a better fix, let me know.

Also, I was having some issues with the TrueCrypt volumes mounting on start-up if the USB stick crashed and/or did an unissued hard reboot/shutdown. I found that unmounting /media/truecrypt1 would actually allow me to remount my TrueCrypt volume whereas before it would issue an error and refuse to mount it (Something along the lines of “volume already in use”). I added the following line above the statement that mounts the TrueCrypt volume in /root/.profile :
umount /media/truecrypt1

I have not had any issues since after fixing these few issues. Hopefully this helps some others out that might be experiencing the same problems. There are probably more elegant ways to fix these problems, but these were easy and work for what I am doing currently.

Thanks again for the great guide, Kriggins!


Clinton December 30, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I don’t think I saw any mention of Fast-track but if anyone did skip this. If you look at the menu under Backtrack-Penetration-Fast Track there are multiple ways to run it. Its a snazzy updater for lots of goodies from metasploit to the new core kismet. Most of you may have used it already but for people just playing with BT for the first time, it can be handy.


Nikofigo January 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

You dont mention, how to start kde on boot though (better use the alternative of kdm, no need to use the daemon)

In the case we use wicd for wifi, wlan0 doesnt start on boot by default.


hitman January 12, 2010 at 9:15 am

In response to this issue that Arron posted above about the Nessus error during updating the plugins, I have had this problem, it is caused when the Nessus server is not running. Once I start the server everything updates with out any problem. Manually start the Nessus server then run the update. Hope this helps you out.

btw great tutorial
December 8, 2009 at 8:24 am

thanks but when I register the nessus,
# /opt/nessus/bin/nessus-fetch –register 6792-073A-8984-1924-C6CA
Your activation code has been registered properly – thank you.
Now fetching the newest plugin set from…
Could not verify the signature of all-2.0.tar.gz

plz help!!!


Francesco January 12, 2010 at 2:53 pm

great, great, great info; thanks.
(the more carefully you read, the more you are able to apply…)


Q January 13, 2010 at 11:44 am

Thanks for this guide. Is the persistence only for console mode? I would like to customize the desktop and the taskbar, too.



kriggins January 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm


Thank you for the kind words.


Persistence applies to the entire system so customizations to your desktop and anything else are retained across boots.



Heisenheim January 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Very good tutorial, thank you very much Kevin 🙂


kriggins January 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm


Thanks. Glad you liked it.



Pogo January 17, 2010 at 8:00 am

I’ve recently installed BT4 and followed your steps for installing Nessus and starting the network at boot-time. However, after I rebooted, the screen froze at the network interfaces initialization and now i’m locked out of it. I’m a complete newbie to linux and my question is this: which file should i edit (from another OS) so i can disable networking at startup? Or, is there a workaround for it?
Thank you very much!


Pogo January 17, 2010 at 8:28 am

I was mistaken.. after looking at etc/init.d/networking , i saw there’s a 120 (sec?) timeout on it and rebooted.. in the end, it did work, but it hangs for a long time before skipping over. So now I’m back on BT4 and would like to disable the network starting at boot-time. Could you help me with that by any chance?


kriggins January 17, 2010 at 9:35 am


Executing the following will stop networking from auto-starting at boot:

/usr/sbin/update-rc.d -f networking remove



Pogo January 17, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Thank you very much for the fast answer ! And I apologize for the silly newbie question but… hopefully I’ll learn with time. Anyway, great guide, I’ll use it too when I get my hands on a 8GB stick drive.. Keep up the great work!


Eli January 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Hi, I install the BackTrack 4 on my Disk on Key but I can’t see my hard disk from BackTrack .

*Sorry about the language i’m living in Israel.


tg January 19, 2010 at 10:40 am

Hi, your tutorial is great everything seems to work correctly…
However, I found one strange thing…I have edited network configuration file (/etc/network/interfaces) but after reboot all the changes were lost and original configuration was restored.
I have tried to edit/create some files outside the /etc directory and it works correctly (persistency)
Any ideas?
Thanks in advance


kriggins January 20, 2010 at 9:43 am


You will have to manually mount your systems hard drive. Backtrack doesn’t automatically mount the drives.


That seems a little bizarre. Not sure why that would be the case. I don’t think the DHCP client overwrites that file, but that might be where you start looking.



exe.tux January 20, 2010 at 9:58 am

Guys, can i ask some help ^)

Have installed BT4 on 8 GB usb flash, but cant save any changes on it.


# By default, boot the first entry.
default 4
title Start Persistent Live CD
kernel /boot/vmlinuz BOOT=casper boot=casper persistent rw quiet vga=0x317
initrd /boot/initrd.gz

any solutions? how i can save changes on flash? Persisent usb…

Sorry for my english=)


tg January 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Hi Kevin, regarding the issue with saving changes in /etc directory…
DHCP is defintely not the case, cause it’s not loading automatically after boot.
I have created new file in /etc called “my_file” containing some string. (e.g. “test”)
This file was stored correctly and after reboot there was string “test” in it. However, changes made to /etc/network/interfaces and also to /etc/hosts were not saved.
Strange, isn’t it?
May I ask for your opinion?


bulletproof January 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Very nice Kevin
Thx for tutorial.

Several problems i encountered;

after truecrypt setup and “rsync -r –links /root/ .” i could’t login, it always gives me error in “could not read network connection list……pls check that the “dcopserver” program is running.”, i used “rsync -a /root/ .” because you are on ext3 🙂 and everything works like a charm;)

P.S. if u get this error, to be able to boot use first “su” command then “startx”;

one more thing if u are annoyed by message “Please remove the disc and close the tray (if any) then press ENTER: ” go to /etc/rc0.d/S89casper and edit it (it should automaticaly do the same in /etc/rc6.d/S89casper; verify it just in case):
# eject -p -m /cdrom >/dev/null 2>&1

# [ “$prompt” ] || return 0

# stty sane /dev/console
# if [ -x /sbin/usplash_write ]; then
# /sbin/usplash_write “TIMEOUT 86400”
# /sbin/usplash_write “TEXT-URGENT Please remove the disc, close the tray (if any)”
# /sbin/usplash_write “TEXT-URGENT and press ENTER to continue”
# fi

#read x < /dev/console



dsljanus January 29, 2010 at 4:34 am

I’m n00b so please be kind 😉
mkfs.vfat[…] returns message that says it’s amounted volume (for sdb1).
mkfs.ext3[…] returns message that says there is no such partition (for sdb2).


kriggins January 29, 2010 at 7:12 am


When you boot the system make sure it is booting the persistent option, even if the default is set. Sometimes number can be off. Also, make sure that when you formatted the persistent partition, you included the -L casper-rw part of the command. This labels the partition as the changes partition.


Thanks for the troubleshooting tips and the tip about unmounting the the drives.


I would reboot with both USB devices in the machine. It should not auto-mount the target devices. Another option is to execute the ‘mount’ command all by itself. This will tell you what is mounted and where. Find the lines for /dev/sdb1 and /dev/sdb2 and note the directory where they are mounted. Then execute ‘umount


kriggins January 29, 2010 at 7:15 am


Oops, I misread your comment. I thought it you said both were mounted. It looks like you may be trying to install to the wrong drive. Double check which drives are which in your system.


Grant January 30, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Hi Kevin,
Excellent Tutorial. I got everything to work, and now i have a running persistant & encrypted usb drive, however whenever i start KDE (startx) it doesn’t show the original Backtrack 4 desktop environment. The K-Menu doesn’t have the quicklinks to the testing categories and utilities. I was wondering if you knew of a way to restore the desktop and k-menu to it’s original state.



kriggins January 31, 2010 at 9:09 am


This is usually an indication that the rsync of root’s home directory to the encrypted volume didn’t go as planned.

I will offer that we have a new way to encrypt the whole drive that is much better as long as you have at least an 8GB drive. You can find it here:

After that, you can install Nessus just like above and you don’t have to do all the tweaks.



dsljanus January 31, 2010 at 9:12 am

Thanks a lot! I finally found the way around this.
Now I have problem with the rsync to transfer the iso image to the USB…
The output says that there is no “/media/cdrom0”, although there is. After all I’m running a live CD version.


alhoasny February 4, 2010 at 3:40 am

First,thanks for the tutorial!

To tell you the truth,why would I go through all that trouble typing commands when he can just run the ?No offense,but i made a persistent usb without typing any command!

Here are the steps (credits to #mfBaranian# ):

1. Take an empty pen drive (this tutorial requires an 8 GB min. USB drive, for smaller look under the alternative methods)
2. Get bt4-pre-final.iso
3. Burn it with nero or whatever (use low writing speed)
4. Boot the live CD, startx and run – you may get the “Language failed with exit code 10” – don’t worry just continue
5. Follow the instructions and when you get to the partitioner use ‘Guided – use entire disk’ and select sdb (you should have inserted your USB after the live CD booted – please do check the partitioner for your USB – it might be marked sdc, sdd …) thnx Snakerdlk
6. Finish the rest of the steps and at step 7 choose advanced and select /dev/sdb1 for the boot loader
7. It will then perform all the necessary steps to create the USB. (Be patient – it will take some time to copy all the files from a CD to a USB)

I just added the above informations just for guys like me,who doesn’t feel like typing too many commands.

Finally,thanks to the author of this tutorial.



kriggins February 4, 2010 at 10:28 am


Thanks for the feedback. As mentioned at the very top of the how-to, check out the latest how-to for encrypting the usb key:

Backtrack 4 – Bootable USB Thumb Drive with “Full” Disk Encryption

Still a bit of typing, but at least your data is protected. I also created a video of the install:

Backtrack 4 Video – USB With “Full” Disk Encryption



Franco February 8, 2010 at 5:39 am

pls help me!
don’t work persistent mode and menu.lst it’s exactly the same of your!
Thanks you


kriggins February 8, 2010 at 8:54 pm


Did you check the syslinux.cfg file in the root directory of the first partition? That’s the file you need to edit if you used UnetBootin to build the drive.

The other common problem is to forget or miss-type the -L casper-rw portion of the mkfs.ext3 command.



kriggins February 8, 2010 at 8:56 pm


Did you get things working? Sometimes the drives get mounted in cdrom02, cdrom03 or just cdrom. Check those out and modify the command accordingly.



Franco February 9, 2010 at 3:37 am

Ummmm… I think you have right! I didn’t change syslinux.cfg because I didn’t find it into boot dir! I read:
1. mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/sdb2
2. cd /mnt/sdb2
3. mkdir changes
and this is ok!
but …
1. cd /boot/syslinux
2. chmod +Xx lilo
3. chmod +Xx syslinux
In sdb1 I have boot dir, casper dir and some file; syslinux.cfg is here!
I haven’t “lilo” file!
I’m trying … OK! It work! wow!!!
10000 Thanks!

ps: i used UnetBootin


kmitnick February 9, 2010 at 4:03 pm

thank you for this tutorial, but when I reached
->grub-install –no-floppy –root-directory=/mnt/sda1 /dev/sda
I got :-
The file /mnt/sdb1/boot/grub/stage1 not read correctly
so any help?


kmitnick February 9, 2010 at 4:07 pm

alhoasny I’ve tried the but I got an error than can’t format ext3 filesystem or sth like this so what’s wrong?


icurnet February 11, 2010 at 9:29 am

One correction for the grub step:

you listed:
grub-install –no-floppy –root-directory=/mnt/sda1 /dev/sda

correct syntax:
grub-install –-no-floppy –-root-directory=/mnt/sda1 /dev/sda



kriggins February 11, 2010 at 5:13 pm


You are absolutely right, the correct syntax is as you state. The problem was not a typo though. I installed a new theme and it re-enabled the wptexturzie function with tries to make things pretty. I have disabled that function again.

Thanks for the heads up.



kriggins February 11, 2010 at 5:15 pm


As I indicate in the comment above a theme change messed things up the command needs two dashes before no-floppy and no-directory. Sorry about my delay in responding.



Sean February 13, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I feel like a huge idiot since I just deleted my windows partition. Is there anyway I can save some files.


kriggins February 14, 2010 at 8:41 am


I am very sorry to hear this happened. There are data recovery tools that can sometimes recover partitions. Below are some links to information that might be helpful. I have not used any of these tools.

The last link above has some tools that are free.

I hope you can get back your data.



Sean February 14, 2010 at 11:14 am

Using partition recovery it is showing a logical c drive but when I boot into it windows boot manager I get \boot\bcd 0xc0000001 an error occured while attempting to read the boot configuration data.


Sean February 14, 2010 at 11:31 am

I used and my computer is running just like normal with all files.


kriggins February 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm


Great. Glad you were able to recover.



jman February 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Does this allow you to install to a flash drive and then plug it into any pc and run BackTrack. I tried something like this and I could only use it on the one PC I installed it to and it installed Grub on me. I would like to make this a bootable cd almost with the ability to create user names and install to any cd and all. Is this what this does? Thanks


kriggins February 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm


At the very top of the how-to is a pointer to the new persistence method I wrote up. Use that and you should have what you want.



jman February 16, 2010 at 9:00 am

So just follow your whole guide along with the persistence method and I should be able to use the USB drive on any pc and save things to it? Thanks for taking the time to respond.



kriggins February 16, 2010 at 9:11 am


Yup. You don’t have to worry about all the Truecrypt stuff and moving the home directory, etc. Just do the new persistence method and install Nessus.

It uses the volume id instead of device name so should be more portable.

Don’t know if you saw it or not, but there is also a video of the full disk encryption method on the site.



Danny February 19, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Just some minor feedback…

When partitioning the USB drive, you’re using /dev/sdb, but then later in the tutorial you switch to /dev/sda. It seems like a good idea to stick with the same device through the full article. I’ll grant that the reader should pay attention, but consistency is good. 🙂

The other thing is the use of ext3. Journaling is great on regular hard drives – but on flash media, the journal just creates a bunch of extra writes that aren’t needed, wearing the media out way faster than it should. Yeah, flash drives are cheap – but just using ext2 would be much better for longevity purposes.


tntfnc February 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

/mnt/sdb1 mount point
sdb1 pendrive’s partition name
there isn’t grub.conf file in the path /mnt/sdb1/boot/grub
this is the output
[root@francesco sdb1]# grub-install –no-floppy –root-directory=/mnt/sdb1 /dev/sdb
Probing devices to guess BIOS drives. This may take a long time.
ln: creating symbolic link `/mnt/sdb1/boot/grub/grub.conf’: Operation not permitted
Installation finished. No error reported.
This is the contents of the device map /mnt/sdb1/boot/grub/
Check if this is correct or not. If any of the lines is incorrect,
fix it and re-run the script `grub-install’.

(hd0) /dev/sda
(hd1) /dev/sdb
what i have to do?


kelvin February 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm

i dont understand the partition-part 😛 can anyone help me ?


kriggins February 22, 2010 at 6:24 am


Thanks for the feedback.

The sdb/sda business is fixed now. Now that you mention it, using ext2 might even be faster.



kriggins February 22, 2010 at 6:27 am


It almost seems like the copy didn’t work correctly. Try the rsync command again and then manually confirm that the /boot/grub directory exists before running grub-install.


Partitioning is where to cut up the physical disk into logical devices. I would offer that you may want to get some help from someone with experience since it is possible to make your primary system unbootable if you make a mistake when partitioning.



samurai February 27, 2010 at 11:26 pm

After following the above and installing Backtrack 4 from a USB unetbootin Bactrack 4 mounted ISO, when I load the new Backtrack 4 from the new USB without Unetbootin, the loading of the OS is very very slow and doesnt get anywhere. Any suggestions?


kriggins February 28, 2010 at 3:03 pm


Sounds like something didn’t go right during the install. I’d try again and see what happens.



samurai February 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm

ok, I try again and let you know. weird


Stevie March 1, 2010 at 5:29 am


Excellent tute; I did have some minor issues with it, most of which you have promptly corrected – many thanks!

Just to draw your attention to the encryption section; you have two identical screenshots at the beginning of your process, missing out what might be a key step for beginners (which type of TrueCrypt container to create). I deduced the correct answer from the context, so I guess others must be doing that too.

Have to say that theme issue also got me; I’m unsure whether there’s meant to be a space between the “/root/” and the “.” in the rsync command used to populate the newly-created home directory for root.

Imagine my dismay when I logged out and in to find a new profile wizard waiting for me!
Luckily, running rsync again from the new home drive, this time with syntax “rsync -r /root/ .” seemed to sort it.

Goes to show, no matter how clear your guide, some of us will still screw it up!

Kudos again, for yet again you are the authority on installing and configuring this distro! 🙂




hari om March 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm

rsync -r /media/cdrom0/* .

command always gives an error that the drive not found , can somebody give me some sollution


kriggins March 9, 2010 at 8:13 am


Check /media/cdrom /media/cdrom1, etc. Sometimes the drives get mounted in weird places.



Chris March 9, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I seem to be overlooking something here. After partitioning the USB I attempted to do the formatting step:

mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1
mkfs.ext3 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdb2

but when I ran it I got:
root@bt:/# mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1
mkfs.vfat 2.11 (12 Mar 2005)
mkfs.vfat: /dev/sdb1 contains a mounted file system.
root@bt:/# mkfs.ext3 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdb2
mke2fs 1.41.3 (12-Oct-2008)
Could not stat /dev/sdb2 --- No such file or directory

The device apparently does not exist; did you specify it correctly?

So I fired up fdisk again and printed the current partition table:
Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sdb: 8065 MB, 8065646080 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 980 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdb1 * 1 192 1542208+ b W95 FAT32
/dev/sdb2 193 980 6329610 83 Linux

so it seems the partitioning worked but is unrecognized?

root@bt:/# ls /dev | grep sd..

Im a bit confused. Do I need to unmount sdb1 before formatting (this doesnt seem right to me)? and why isnt sdb2 showing up?

for completeness:

root@bt:/# dmesg | grep -E sdb
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] 15753215 512-byte hardware sectors: (8.06 GB/7.51 GiB)
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Mode Sense: 45 00 00 08
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
sdb: sdb1
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk

any advice is much appreciated.


kriggins March 9, 2010 at 10:16 pm


I have had this happen to me before. Usually it means the partition table needs to be reread. The easiest way to do this is to reboot into Backtrack and then just pick up after the partitioning step.



Guilherme March 10, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Thank you for your tutorial!

I still haven’t managed to make the install persistent.
Everytime I boot I get the following error message: “EXT3-fs: sda(X): couldn’t mount because of unsupported optional features (240)” .

Since I’m dual booting Ubuntu + Windows 7 I tried moving the boot files in the USB to /boot/BT4/… but still haven’t had any success.

Could you please help me with this issue?

Thank you


Shane March 14, 2010 at 6:20 am

Hey there,

So I been busy installing backtrack to usb, wanting to run persistence mode however having a few issues. Nothing stays saved, thought It might have been a syntax error so retried the steps. But nothing.

I’m kinda pulling my hair out trying to figure this out. Is there anything else I have to do other than the steps above?


Juggl3r March 14, 2010 at 9:01 am

I made all steps from this tutorial, and all worked fine.
But today I wanted to start BT4 from USB stick and when I should enter the pw for truecrypt folder, there came this error:
“Error: Volume slot unavailable”
What does this mean? How can I get around that and can use my secret folder again as home folder (and use my old desktop settings and so on….)?


shane March 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm

It may have helped if I mounted the second partition as well. Not sure if that was the problem but its sorted now 🙂


sum1sumware March 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Everything worked fine untill i got to installing grub, I got this message.

The file /mnt/sda1/boot/grub/stage1 not read correctly.

And I did use 2 dashes, any ideas



saurabh March 24, 2010 at 3:48 pm

When I tried to boot from the live cd of back-track.4 I couldn’t able to run back-track-4 in graphical mode..what is the reason..


kopcicle March 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Well I “think” I followed this to the letter . I did try the live cd and it works as expected . but the usb stick just drops me to sh:grub> and while searching through the various (hd0,1) et all I find nothing like the kernel that was loaded to the usb drive .

usb is /dev/sde

kop@kop-desktop:/media/E91E-659E$ ls
boot boot.catalog casper md5sum.txt
kop@kop-desktop:/media$ cd casper-rw/
kop@kop-desktop:/media/casper-rw$ ls

The world won’t end if I can’t figure this out but it would be nice .



kopcicle March 27, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Just an update . Nevermind 😀
If I had done grub-install from the live ISO instead of my workstation things would have gone a lot smoother .

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity , this includes your own .

and kmitnick , if it really is you , it really is me

Thanks for the write up Kevin I intend to put it to good use as a teaching aid . First off for myself and then for the all to easily subverted masses that deserve an eve break .


B April 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I can not get persistent to load, 1024 frame buffer mode works fine.

When it goes to load persistent I get:
“Buffer I/O error, dev fd0, sector 0”

I did some research and it means its looking for a floppy drive. I don’t understand why this is happening and why the 1024 mode will load fine. menu.lst doesn’t hint at anything different between the two that would cause the issue.

Any help for the linux challenged?



B April 1, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I checked my BIOS and found that a legacy floppy was enabled even though I don’t have a floppy. Floppy disabled and problem solved. Sorry to clutter the comments but maybe it will help someone else.


Hacks April 3, 2010 at 9:49 am

Is there any image file available for installing linux-backtrack as a virtual os in linux ubuntu.


rosswindows April 5, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I haven’t read through all the comments so I don’t know if this has been answered yet but here goes…

For anyone stuck on this command;
rsync -r /media/cdrom0/*.

There is a SPACE between the * and the .

rsync -r /media/cdrom0/* .


FlatL1ne April 25, 2010 at 5:18 am

It work on my Data Traveler c10.


Tommy May 8, 2010 at 12:24 am

appreciated the tutorial… worked great no problems at all… really well explained…kudos man 😀


tommy May 8, 2010 at 1:18 am

Umm it did go well up to “apt-get upgrade” part :S…after that i got a message : “dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run ‘dpkg –configure -a’ to correct the problem.”

can someone help me please as to how i can fix it. If not can someone tell me how I can reset the whole “apt-get upgrade” process and start it over please?


tommy May 11, 2010 at 4:45 am

Nvm it worked finally. Thanks again Kriggins 😀


kriggins May 11, 2010 at 6:53 am


Glad you got it working and I apologize for not getting back to you. I suspected it was a glitch with the update source, but did get that mentioned to you. My apologies.



Gareth May 14, 2010 at 8:23 am

Thanks for the guide, it was well-written

Something that I didn’t quite gather throughout it is what is used on the ext3 partition? I cannot find anything that refers to files being moved on to there, but it appears that I’ve used a 500MB without realising it.

I initially thought this was where my Truecrypt partition would be automaticly designated but it appeared to try and denote itself on my home directory (which is, unfortunatly, close to running out of space)



Gareth May 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I’ve managed to work things out – fairly new to this side of unix

Once everything is set up and configured, would it not be possible to remove some of the larger parts on the fat32 partitions to allow you to extend the ext3 partition, and as a result, have more space? It appears that I’m having more problems with available inodes rather than actual physical space. (I am, due to no larger drives, using a 4GB drive unfortunatly so would like to use this to its maximum.)


tommy May 15, 2010 at 11:21 am

It’s ok. I’m just glad you had answered. Great job man :D:D


p0p0 May 15, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Just thought I’d add something.

I used VMware to do this instead of all the painful booting/rebooting with a DVD.

Just use the BT4 Final VMware Image on their site and boot from that. Connect the USB stick and you can do everything up to actually booting from the USB stick.

At that point, use:

Download that and use the first .iso in the “install” folder. Mount it in VMware, make sure your USB stick is connected and boot from CD. Select “usb” from the menu and it should boot BackTrack from the USB stick.

Awesome guide, love the bit about using the Truecrypt volume as the users home.


sl33p May 17, 2010 at 8:20 am

Hi Juggl3r! I got the same error message after re-booting the persistent volume:

“Error: Volume slot unavailable”

Did you find a solution?
Anyone who could help, that’s the case:

We’ve followed the tutorial and we’re using BT4 from USB stick and this message shouts after typing the password for truecrypt folder!

How can we get around that so to use the encrypted folder again as home folder?

Thanks in advance…


Gareth May 18, 2010 at 2:15 am

I’ve loaded BackTrack up on an old iPod of mine so got around the need for a large flash drive, but upon loading it up, I’m also having the same problem as sl33p and Juggl3r.


G May 28, 2010 at 11:49 pm


I tried using my EXT Usb HDD drive. Formatted one of its two partitions in FAT32 and used unetbootin to extract/make bootable as in the tutorial.
I reboot but I get the disk not found error.

Any hints pls?



kriggins May 31, 2010 at 6:35 am


I haven’t ever gotten that error and can’t find any real answers to how to fix it. Sorry.


Do you mean you can’t boot from the external drive or the system can’t find it?



Nik June 2, 2010 at 4:06 pm

@sl33p, I hit this problem after an unclean shutdown. The only fix I found was to change the mount point to something new, e.g. /mnt/ciphertext/


Chris June 2, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Following your instructions, while the system is persistent the /etc/network/interfaces file is being overwritten with whatever file is the default when I restart the system. The wpa_supplicant config file and other changes are all present as I saved them. However the changes I saved to the /etc/network/interfaces file are gone.


ElMarko June 7, 2010 at 2:34 am

Thanks for this, it worked perfectly on my EEE 701, using an SD card instead of a USB stick.

Re the EXT3-fs Unrecognised mount option error, a quick google search reveals that the ext3 file system doesn’t recognise uid parameters apparently. I think you can solve the error by changing what parameters you have in the config file. However I’m not good with fstab stuff so I don’t know exactly what to specify. I think you can use auto and the like. Maybe someone with a bit more knowledge can tell you. But yeah, mount will just ignore it so it’s safe to use with the error.


Francisco June 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Kevin, thank you. Great document and straight to the point. Works flawlessly.


kriggins June 13, 2010 at 1:15 pm


Thanks! I’m glad it worked well.



Robert Pendell June 10, 2010 at 11:31 pm

I followed your instructions and they worked correctly. I did forget to replace the UUID on the script for your other guide though but once I realized the mistake that was taken care of.

Now then I have a few questions for you.

1. I noticed that a few updates are held back. I checked with a dist-upgrade and it shows some packages being removed/added in order to upgrade the others. Will that be safe?

2. I set the networking to defaults but is there anyway to get it to timeout faster? It added a sizable delay since I may not be connected at that time anyways.

3. Is it safe to remove the files from /root now that there is a copy in the truecrypt volume? Obviously .profile needs to stay put so it can be migrated over though.

@ElMarko: Regarding the invalid mount option. My research indicated that it is expected and completely ignorable as long as the volume is working otherwise.


kriggins June 13, 2010 at 1:15 pm


1. I have not experienced any problems due to upgrading packages. The repository is managed by the Backtrack folk so you should get good results.
2. I do not know how to shorten the delay in the networking script. My suggestion would be to just start networking manually.
3. You can remove the files in root. I do.



DJ June 18, 2010 at 10:45 pm

So I used this after encrypting my whole drive with AES two-fish from the other instructions. It was all working fine until I found that I am now running out of space. I do not have a problem with the drive I am using, it is a SanDisk 16GB. The problem is after using truecrypt, the main drive I use (installing programs) it seems it about full, because this guide suggested only a 1GB drive. I am now in a difficult position. I really do not want to do this whole thing over again. I would like to somehow transfer my “truecrypt1” media things to the normal root, and set root back to normal. Then I would like to make a new truecrypt drive up to my drives full potential (~15GB). Any ideas on how I can do this? I’m in a very tricky situation. I do not know why backtrack would have a problem “updating” with a truecrypt volume over 1GB. Can somebody help me out?


Kong June 19, 2010 at 8:39 am

Just download bt4-final.iso and use UNetbootin install to USB stick???


mt June 20, 2010 at 7:38 am

i executed all steps, i used unetbootin to make “insert” the image on the usb, but it doesnt boot up when restart 😐


Carlos July 16, 2010 at 11:55 am

Hi again Sr.

I know this might be a silly question for you, but, how do I enable the Wirless network card? I installed a portable version of Ubuntu and it automatically detected my wireless but with Backtrack it won’t…I can see the network interface by making an IF config but my wireless indicator is off.


Farzin August 1, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Hi,thx for the useful tutorial

i followed your instructions and everything was working correctly,after about third time of booting up i got “authentication failure” error message.
any idea how to fix this?

Thanks Again.


Tens August 3, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Hey, when I boot it takes a long time fot the network interface to load…how do I remove that?


bob August 4, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Followed it, all works just fine, plus you get to learn some hard linux coding while at it!

Dunno if you’ve noticed this, but if you take the ‘e’ out of your webaddress, you get

hehe….makes my day…thanks agian!

ps- posting this from my backtrack boot, so all steps do work


Nielskun August 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Hi, does anybody have tried this tut with BT 4 R1 ?


kriggins August 5, 2010 at 8:56 pm


I will be confirming that the tutorial works on R1 this weekend.



NielsKun August 6, 2010 at 8:35 am

Thankx for the reply, I hope to test it myself this evening or tomorrow. We’ll keep in touch.


NielsKun August 7, 2010 at 10:08 am

I tried the tut with Backtrack 4 R1, and the only adjustment necessary is the size of the FAT volume. 1500 MB is not enough. I tried 2500 MB, and it works.

Regards, Niels


kriggins August 7, 2010 at 10:24 am

Great. Thanks for letting me know!
What size flash drive did you use? Looks like that pretty much rules out using a 4 GB drive if you want to have an encrypted chunk.



NieKun August 7, 2010 at 10:27 am

I used a 8GB USB stick. And: I used the Nessus .deb file for Ubuntu 10.04:
Ubuntu 9.10/ Ubuntu 10.04 (32 bits)

No problem with this Nessus package noticed yet.

Regards Niels


kriggins August 9, 2010 at 9:04 pm


Thanks again for the info and I have updated the how-to with the partition information you mentioned.



Neme August 11, 2010 at 5:57 am

As wierd as it was, after installing grub, in directory /mnt/sdb1/boot/grub was no menu.lst file. What went wrong?


massive September 14, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I have exactly the same problem? Did you find any solution?


DuckButter August 12, 2010 at 10:11 pm


Just did it using R1 on a 32GB USB. It is slow as hell…. works perfectly other than being so slow!


Joachim Kessel August 13, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Hi guys,

for everyone where persistent doesn’t work:

Check, if you can mount the second partition, e.g.:

mkdir /mnt/sdb2
mount /dev/sdb2 /mnt/sdb2

This gave me an error:
EXT4-fs (sdb2): VFS: Can’t find ext filesystem

Obviously i’ve formatted the drive as “mkfs.ext4”, not “mkfs.ext3”, please re-check this!

After re-formatting the drive as ext3 and rebooting it works just fine.




Stephen August 20, 2010 at 3:41 am

Having a problem with my installation.

I’ve followed the guide to the T.
But when it get to

cd /mnt/sdb1
rsync -r /media/cdrom0/* .

It doesn’t copy anything information from the cdrom. All it does do is sit there with a white rectangle box. If someone could tell me what I’m doing wrong I would really appreciate it.


Stephen August 20, 2010 at 3:55 am

Forgot to say that I’m using Backtrack 4 R1 on a live CD (DvD) and I’m installing on a 8GB flash drive.


Carl August 22, 2010 at 10:16 am

The PDF still shows a 1500M partition.


kriggins August 24, 2010 at 9:06 pm


Thanks. The PDF is definitely out of date.



lehtoc August 23, 2010 at 10:25 am


This is an outstanding tutorial, one that I have used for a while now, as it seems to provide the best way to get BT working on usb. I have even used it to teach others how to do it properly, so many thanks!

I have a one question which I haven’t been able to find a decent solution to thus far. After completing a successful usb build, how can I duplicate it to multiple usb drives? Some of the folks that I am teaching a class for want to have BT on usb, but I don’t think they are quite up to being able to complete this tutorial successfully on their own. I was hoping to find a way to do a bit-by-bit copy to another usb drive from a completed master usb copy. Any suggestions?




kriggins August 24, 2010 at 9:06 pm


I haven’t really come up with a way to accomplish what you want to do. I’d be very interested if you found one 🙂



Ted September 10, 2010 at 8:28 am

I am having some problems with the grub install.

After running the command it gives me a “your embedding area is unusually small” error. with some searching it seems that there has to be some null space before the first partition. Has anyone else encountered this?


Supernoob September 14, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Thank you for the tutorial.

Why is there a need for a long tutorial for this matter?

I mean for me it looks natural that a linux works persistant…

why do i have to follow this complicated tutorial? Sorry, i don’t get it.


kriggins September 14, 2010 at 4:50 pm


One of my goals for this tutorial was the ability to have an encrypted partition volume. I have changed from basic persistence with a TrueCrypt volume to a different method that uses LUKS encryption.

The default boot parameters for Backtrack do not have persistence enabled so there is that too.

If you have no need for encryption, then yes, you don’t need this or any other tutorial on this site.



viewer September 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm

I have BT4, but my laptop cant ran startx, I should be type “fixvesa” then I can ran startx. now, I make USB persistent, how can I have this automatically, thanks

*sorry 4 my bad english XD!


Madz September 26, 2010 at 4:47 pm


I’d like to ask for your help in a few questions/issues..

1st – I have a USB persistent stick and 2 laptops, one (ultra-portable) with a lame SiS672 graphics card, and the other with a NVIDIA G 103M.. I’ve installed successfully all the drivers in my SiS, but has a consequence i can’t boot my stick in my NVIDIA laptop (i can’t even get a command line)..
My question is, can i create a dual-persistent boot in my stick, or in alternative, create a USB persistent in a ext. NTFS 1.5TB HDD? and obviously.. how?

2nd – In my SiS laptop i use 2 RTL8187, one internal, one USB ext., but i can’t get one to work in monitor mode and the 2nd(internal) to work in normal mode to access internet, and test keys.. this is due to have to “rmmod r8187” and “modprobe rtl8187” in order to get wifi to access internet, but by doing this, it affects both wifi cards. Is there a way to accomplish my goal? Also, if possible, is it possible to create a boot script to get this done automated on boot?

3rd and final (for now..hehe) – In both PC’s i get a unhealthy odd “screen flash” when i “startx”, which i believe to be due to resolution change without turn off/on screen on resolution change.. Can this be fixed?

Help deeply appreciated..

Thanx in advance, Cheers!


PatrickDickey October 3, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I’m attempting this from inside of Ubuntu 10.04 instead of booting into Backtrack 4.0 first. My first attempt was with the +2500M in fdisk, and using UNetbootin to create the actual USB stick with BackTrack 4 R1 on it. When I attempted the apt-get update and apt-get upgrade, I ran out of disk space before they were able to complete. So, I started over, and increased my partition to +3000M (3.2GB according to Disk Utility). Hopefully this fixes the issue.

In the event that this doesn’t fix it, what other steps can I try? I don’t have a 4GB USB Drive that I can make a BT4-final stick out of (the one I do have is my data drive, and I’m not too eager to mess with that unless I have to). This is why I’m doing the majority of the steps through Ubuntu 10.04.

Thanks, and have a great day:)


PatrickDickey October 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm

So far the resizing worked. I was able to successfully upgrade using “apt-get update” and “apt-get upgrade”. However 7 packages were held back (hydra libc6 libc6-dev libc6-i686 locales medusa wireshark) and I had to use “apt-get dist-upgrade” to get them. They took up another 120MB on top of the 30MB from the original upgrade. So, I would venture that if you’re going to get “everything” the minimum size for your partition is +3000M. I haven’t ran truecrypt yet, so that may be too small also.

Everything worked as far as installing by using +3000M. It left me with 2GB free on an 8GB drive. Also, in the /opt/nessus/etc/nessus/nessusd.conf file, there is a log for the server www_server.log Do we want to change that to our /media/truecrypt1/nessus/logs/ directory, or does it have to remain at it’s default? (I changed it, so we’ll see if it crashes everything).

Have a great day:)


jinba October 5, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Does this work for USB Portable HDDs?


Ray November 3, 2010 at 5:24 am

You have a typo at the section

The comment
# mount the first partition, sda1 in my case.

Should be sdb1, since you use /dev/sdb throughout the HOWTO 🙂


Sree November 9, 2010 at 2:18 am

Good tutorial.

Wanted to share the fact that I tried this on a Transcend V-35 8 GB stick and it did not boot. This is probably due to the CDFS partition with the SecureDrive.exe. Tried it with a basic Kingston drive without any fancy security features and was able to make it work.


DAXA November 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm

hi, im having a problem constantly with trying to achieve persistence with an 8gig verbatim pen-stick and was wondering if you could help as this tut was what i have been following.

i have a proble, when it comes to partitioning the penstick through a fully working BT4 final usb. everytime i go to write the tables to the new 8gig stick, i constantly keep getting an error relating to not being able to complete the task, but then states that it will be done after a reboot (while also stating something about DOS FS or something and to relate to the man pages) and THEN! states its syncing the new tables. after a reboot unfortunately when i get back to the liveCD version and mount/plug in the 8gig it still only comes up as one drive.

iv been using paragon partitioning manager as well as it can create linux partitions (this was for a work around) but still no luck. i seem to keep getting stuck at the one bit of creating the partitions so tht i can actually copy over everything and carry on with the tut.

one last thing that was annoying and might be helpful is that “linuxLive USB creator was supposed to support being able to install BT4 to usb with persistance and all obviously through a simple to use programme. it booted once, created a file,powered off, reboot exactly the same, bamn! wouldnt even let me get to the “boot from usb” part of my bios and wouldnt do anything unless i unplugged the 8gig stick.

can anyone lend a hand?


DAXA November 9, 2010 at 4:46 pm

sorry if the grammar is bad etc, i should really use that built in spell checker!.


RED November 16, 2010 at 9:36 am

Has anyone had any problems with networking. After installing to USB, i boot up, open terminal and start process #wicd. Open the wicd gui and try to connect to my network but the message box says its trying to randomly connect to the other APs. When it does try my Ap it fails. Very strange. Boot up Live and everything works great. Any Ideas? Would appreciate it. Thanks


gorara November 16, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Perhaps your wireless card is in monitor mode. Check to see what mode it is in with iwconfig. Set it to managed using iwconfig wlan0 mode managed (replace wlan0 with your wireless interface). Also check wicd’s preferences to see what wireless interface it is using and make sure it’s the one you want.


Aguy November 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I wanted to create a backtrack boot on my large external hd.
Is it possible?
How should I partition it?


NieKun November 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Hi, in the today Backtrack 4 R2 is released. Nessus 4.4 also is new. I soon will try this tutorial with R2 and with Nessus 4.4

grz. NieKun


sLiPpErY November 24, 2010 at 3:59 pm

There is no 8.10 version of Nessus… is R2 still 8.10?

What version should I download?


mike hunt December 16, 2010 at 12:05 pm

www dot nessus dot org/download/nessus_download dot php

replace the dot with period.

you will find the 4.2.2 for ubuntu 8.10 🙂


Matt November 25, 2010 at 12:24 am

Any reason why it’s so slow on 16GB USB stick with persistant.


sLiPpErY November 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm


I have mine on a 16gig class 6 SD card and it’s fast… class 4 is slow, so i’d suggest getting atleast class 6 to class 10 for speed. 🙂
Also make sure you do EXT2 not EXT3, that helps with speed as well, mine is very very fast!


Matt November 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Nice to know man. I actually just fixed my girlfriend’s laptop. So Im taking mine back, and going to install Backtrack with full encryption straight on HDD, NO WINDOWS. I already have Windows 7 on my PC so, yea!


mike hunt December 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Can you please provide the information on how to format the drive as EXT2???



Kareem December 1, 2010 at 7:53 am

why BT4 r2 has a blank root password and not toor as before, and why what ever i do after installing to USB with persistent i cannot change the password.
every time it accepts to change and one rebooted it’s gone.
i tried passwd, gui user manager, even manually with the hash in the shaddow file!!


NieKun December 3, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Hi, I just followed this tutorial for Backtrack 4 R2 and Nessus 4.4. I used the Nessus 4.4 for Ubuntu 10.10 packages. Everythink works as expected. I did not test the encryption part.

grtz, NieKun


M December 8, 2010 at 1:36 am

awesome tutorial man, i followed this but only after nessus installation, everything works fine

good job man, thx a lot
grtz, M


mike hunt December 16, 2010 at 11:36 am

I am using a 64gb flash drive for this tutorial. I have altered the the instructions a little bit. I have created a 16gb vfat partition because i plan on adding other live cd’s and updating the grub menu.lst. later.

I did not have an issue with the install, everything worked just fine. when i boot my flash drive using backtack as persistent,i have an issue. Everything runs extremely slow. but, when i use it as a live cd, it runs just fine. ????

Before i installed backtrack persistent with full disk encryption and it ran just fine.

If anyone knows what the issue is, i would greatly appreciate the response! 🙂


mike hunt December 16, 2010 at 11:54 am

Some information i forgot to add about flash drive:
Lexar 64GB USB Flash drive:
minimum read rate: 9.5MB/s
maximum read rate: 12.0MB/s
average read rate: 11.4MB/s

minimum write rate: 668.2KB/s
maximum write rate: 8.0MB/s
average write rate: 1.2MB/s
average access time: 7.8ms

Also, in one of the comments i read to use EXT2 instead of EXT3 because it is faster?

I guess i will try it again using ext2 and let explain my findings 🙂


kriggins December 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm


A new version of the how-to will be published this evening or this weekend which details how to do this. It depends on how much I can get done tonight.

However, it should be very simple. All you should have to do is install as ext3 and then change the mount command in /etc/fstab after the first time you boot to the newly install system to ext2. That’s it. I have not verified this through testing yet. That’s on the agenda for tonight.

I will post another comment at least once I have done that. If you should happen to try it and have success before I comment, please let me know either here or via



kriggins December 16, 2010 at 10:00 pm


I just finished the update to the how-to with ext2. I also tested it and it works.



mike hunt December 17, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Great I will give it a try tonight! I appreciate the response and the time that you taken out of your day to try this 🙂 Greatly appreciated!


Eric Pretorious December 31, 2010 at 3:14 am

Hey, Kevin:

Thanks for taking the time to share this nugget of information with all of us. I’ve read the tutorial several times and have one nagging question that I’m just not able to answer, though: If the filesystem on the partition /dev/sdb2 is designated as the persistent filesystems (i.e., `mkfs.ext3 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdb2`) but the partition /dev/sdb1 contains the operating system’s files (i.e., /dev/sdb1 is the root partition) how are the operating system updates (i.e., `sudo apt-get update` & `sudo apt-get upgrade`) and the addition of nessus (i.e., `dpkg –install Nessus-4.4.0-ubuntu1010_i386.deb`) retained across reboots?

Thanks, again!
Eric Pretorious
Truckee, CA


DAVE January 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm


First of all, thank you for the great tutorial. I am a novice in the world of Linux but thanks to you I was able to easily build my backtrack with persistence thumb drive. My thumb drive works perfectly but it’s version BT4 Final and I would like to upgrade to BT4 R2. Reading this forum I see that the new version requires a larger fat partition (~2500MB).

Is there any way to increase the fat partition size on my existing build without having to wipe my thumb drive and start from scratch? I apologize in advance if this is a very basic Linux question.

Thank you for all your efforts,


krak January 21, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Thanks for this (and all the others too !) awesome tutorial. It really helped me.

Now I’m wondering why I can’t boot from my Macbook Pro. I can boot from almost any machine (Windows), but not my Macbook Pro. You have an idea why ?



Nosuke January 22, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Great guide, I have follow this and install this successfully.

Here are some bugs that others and me have encountered and left unanswered, but I have manage to solve in my trouble shooting process. Sharing it in case anyone encounter it.

Situation 1: radesix August 13, 2009 at 12:09 pm
I followed these instructions but am having some problems. I am a Linux noob. But when I try to boot from the USB I get the BackTrack image but then only the following prompt:

BusyBox v1.10.2 (yada, yada)

This happens when the initr.d in the USB didnt extract during booting up for some unknown reason, try booting by USB on other comps. If problem still persist, format the USB and create the partition again.

Situation 2: hari om March 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm
rsync -r /media/cdrom0/* .

command always gives an error that the drive not found , can somebody give me some sollution. (Or it doesn’t copy etc etc)

A more simpler solution to this, remove the USB from the BT4 machine and go to a windows/ubuntu machine download unetbootin and use it to load the ISO into the first partition. Then plug it back to linux/BT4 command and run the grub install command

grub-install –no-floppy –root-directory=/mnt/sdb1 /dev/sdb
(unetbootin doesnt seems to work in BT4)

Situation 3: Juggl3r March 14, 2010 at 9:01 am
I made all steps from this tutorial, and all worked fine.
But today I wanted to start BT4 from USB stick and when I should enter the pw for truecrypt folder, there came this error:
“Error: Volume slot unavailable”
What does this mean? How can I get around that and can use my secret folder again as home folder (and use my old desktop settings and so on….)?

Check your /etc/mtab ; remove those line that have mounting information on truecrypt and restart it. You should be able to access it again (it is okay even if you delete everything in mtab and save, the system can still boot up)

Situation 4:Grant January 30, 2010 at 10:03 pm
Hi Kevin,
Excellent Tutorial. I got everything to work, and now i have a running persistant & encrypted usb drive, however whenever i start KDE (startx) it doesn’t show the original Backtrack 4 desktop environment. The K-Menu doesn’t have the quicklinks to the testing categories and utilities. I was wondering if you knew of a way to restore the desktop and k-menu to it’s original state.


If you are in the screen, start > run command > Konsole.

Revert those changes you have made in


now follow until you reach this steps
rsync -r –links /root/ .

You are suppose to type in
rsync -r –links /root/ .
rsync -r –links /root/.

it wont show the original Backtrack 4 desktop environment if you miss out the minor space in the script.


Nosuke January 22, 2011 at 11:49 pm

This happens when the initr.d in the USB didnt extract during booting up for some unknown reason, try booting by USB on other comps. If problem still persist, format the USB and create the partition again. Run unetbootin again and copy the ISO in.


Kenneth January 23, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Hello, i am running into a problem everytime i get up to the part of formatting the partitions. it says:
WARNING: Re-reading the partition table failed with error 22: Invalid argument.
The kernel still uses the old table.
The new table will be used at the next reboot.
Syncing disks.
can anyone help me on what to do for this?


Wookiee January 23, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Just one and a half things thing I would add to the tute. (I searched for it but did not notice any one else mention it.)

This only applies to the partial encryption not full encryption.

when everything is finally done, boot up and “rm -f /root/.bash_history” no use encrypting your new one if you leave your old one with (possibly) your encryption key typed in the plain-text history of the old one that will never ‘404’ as it never gets used after the modification. (I am embarrassed to say my encryption password was in there a few times while trying to get it all set up and working.)

This half a thing applies to nessus.

And the half a thing, remember to make your own users in nessus with nice strong passwords (don’t follow the tutorial to a T and make the user “Me”) anyone nmaping you on port 8834 that knows about this tute has the possibility then to log into your running nessus server and scan someone else from it, getting you the blame. But I assume this would be obvious.


heru January 31, 2011 at 1:10 am

I have nasalah on linux backtrack 4 r2 installation on USB, which I think the problem is not to install the kernel image and also in view there is not backtrack kayak start windows or ubuntu.
think – think this is from my ass?
please you know …..


Wookiee January 31, 2011 at 5:49 am

I think, if I understand you correctly that this is a grub issue. Try re/installing it and if it does not work check the contents of the menu.lst, mount your usb and it will be in the /(mount-path)/boot/grub directory. The entries should be there, if not you can add them manually (pain in the butt IMHO) then make sure the computer is booting off the usb.


felix001 February 18, 2011 at 5:14 am

It appears that this tutorial installs just grub, is there an easy way of upgrading the grub to grub2 ?


huntingknowledge February 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Even i got the same problem while i was using fdisk.

Instead to resolve the error 22 issue.
Open the gparted gui , select the partition sdc1(usb) and slice it
manually +2500M – w95 format and rest of the unallocated to ext3
apply the changes ..voilaa done

Now you find your USB into two slices

Half the way this is the only solution you could find.

Later use mkfs.ext3 -b 4096 -L casper-rw /dev/sdc2
for persistent sake

and rest of the process of mounting and rsyncing is the same

Hope this resolves your issue 🙂


br0die March 22, 2011 at 8:56 am

I have followed your directions to a T but when i boot into my USB stick it loads a grub command prompt instead of the menu.lst

I have seen some directions to install grub from that prompt but I am afraid of screwing with the rest of my setup (a dual boot with ubuntu and windows) on my hard drive.

What should I do?


Style March 22, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I didn’t understand how to install grub :9. Trying to boot from sd card.


Muz March 25, 2011 at 11:32 am

When registering my Nessus key – I keep getting the following error:

Error – could not validate this preference file
Unknown error while communicating with the remote server


Muz March 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Ahh ok fixed it – just ran the –challenge command, went to the website, did the stuff – got a new rc file – d/l copied it into the directory it says – and then ran the –check command – ALL GOOD 🙂

Started the service – and it’s now grabbing plugins 🙂


Rixon March 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Hello pipz. I submitted a comment last 2 days ago, but it seems that it didn’t appear here. Anyway just wanted to ask some questions. I have a Backtrack 4 in my USB thumb drive and yeah i can use it on my computer(laptop) but why can’t i use it to other computer?Do they need to install some software in order for their computer to read? Hope you can answer my questions.

Thanx – Rixon


Andrew April 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm


I formatted the USB stick to FAT32, and then used unetbootin to load the BT4-R2.iso file onto it. When creating the bootable USB stick using unetbootin, there is an option to select “Space used to preserve files across reboots (ubuntu only)” and you can select a MB size. I then noticed there was a “casper” folder and a “casper-rw” file the same size as what I’d specified.

Persistent backtrack seems to work fine. So looking at this, is there any reason we need to go through the partitioning, and copying BT files and setting the second partition to casper? It seems like this does it all in one go. Or does doing it this way allow us to use the ext3 file system as i’m not sure what file system unetbootin uses for this.

I’m using v549 of unetbootin



Landon Mayo May 3, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Very good job sir.


Rob May 7, 2011 at 10:34 am

Found this guide to be spot on for me. I had thought just simply using unetbootin on a single partitioned USB drive would be fine, but that never booted.

Following the above but still used unetbootin to “print the iso” onto the usb drive, works very nicely. Many thanks


Bobby May 12, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Hello everybody.
Does this Tutorial for persistence also work for Backtrack 5?
I suggest it will, but is there anyone who tried it?


kriggins May 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Regarding Backtrack 5. I will be creating new how-tos, which are actually updates to this and my other how-to, this weekend. I will keep them separate just so those who still wish to use Backtrack 4 have this resources still available.



Bobby May 13, 2011 at 12:59 am

Ok, i’ll keep my peristent Backtrack 4 R2 Stick for now and update it when your Tutorial is online.

Thank you Kevin. 😉



michael May 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm

tried to install bt5 according to this (=the one in the bt wiki).
everything seems to work quite fine, but when it comes to installing grub i run into some probs…

any quick suggestions or should we be patient 🙂


michael May 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm

another bt5 solution is to use the installer provided on the desktop 🙂
boot from bt5 dvd
insert usb stick prior to starting x (otherwise you would probably have to unmount it)
then startx
start the installer on the desktop
click, click, click to your liking.
when it comes to disk/partition selection, just select manual or advanced and choose your usb (be carefull not to wipe your hdd)

installing takes a while but be patient.

reboot, eject cd, boot from usb.
worked for me 🙂

btw: great guide you got here 🙂


aalex May 16, 2011 at 7:47 am

Hi guys,

While my BT4 encrypted usb stick works perfectly, i deleted and then emptied the trash for 3 crucial files i had on the desktop, thinking that i had them saved on another drive.

Is it possible to somehow recover them? Can anyone suggest something that might work to help me recover them?

Thanks very much



chris May 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I have used this how-to in order to have a BT4+persistent+nessus but without truecrypt : it was perfect
Now, I have tried to reuse this USB key for BT5 by just changing BT4 files with the new BT5 ones and reformatting the “casper-rw” partition in order to avoid “side effects” : of course, as added in the beginning of this topic, my attempt was not a success.
The problem seems to be quite “simple” : the boot breaks during initrd scripts by giving an error on an attempt to mount the first partition on my USB and claiming “already mounted or device busy”.
This was the start of my investigation in order to find out a way to get things working.
I am not sure I have found the “root cause” but I have a solution which works on my case and I wish to share it with the community.
In fact, the system mount /dev/sdb as /cdrom instead of /dev/sdb1 which is the real vfat partition, then the system refuses to mount sdb1 ,sdb2, sdb3 since the whole drive is busy.
The error seems to be inside the function subdevices() in initrd:/scripts/casper-helpers where the code is supposed to check drive partitions but starts with the whole disk device (for my USB key, the function tries ‘/dev/sdb /dev/sdb/sdb1 /dev/sdb/sdb2 …”) unfortunately, the analysis done in this function found that /dev/sdb IS the correct partition instead of /dev/sdb1 !!.
What did I try ? I patched this faulty script as :

subdevices() {
for dev in “${sysblock}” “${sysblock}”/*; do
if [ -e “${dev}/dev” ]; then
r=”${r} ${dev}”
echo ${r}


subdevices() {
for dev in “${sysblock}”/*; do
if [ -e “${dev}/dev” ]; then
r=”${r} ${dev}”
if [ -z “$r” ]; then
if [ -e “${sysblock}/dev” ]; then
echo ${r}

Of course then, I played with CPIO to create a new inird (don’t forget the bloody –format=”newc” !!) and modified my boot menu to use my patched version BUT IT WORKS LIKE A CHARM FOR ME : I NOW HAVE THE PERSISTENT USB !!!

If this could help developers trying to find out a way to get things working for this superb security distro and to write a new version for this really clear how-to ….



astroboy August 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm

hey guys it seems that the link for BackTrack4 R2 is down permanently .It gives nothing found……….Any ideas from where can i download not using torrents?


Andrea August 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm

“As it sits, it does not work with Backtrack 5. If you have a 16GB stick, please try this one”
AND IT’S true , but why ?
I do not understand what changes in a 16-gigabyte memory stick
thanks for your time


frankmir November 10, 2011 at 8:56 pm

i have a question…about back-track5r1…..
back-track5r1 can’t fond “persistent” or “nopersistent” in syslinux.cfg….
so ,it can’t keep the changes….


Jorge Olenewa October 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Any updates on installing BT5 r3 persistent to USB? I use this in education only and being limited to a 32-bit dual-core laptop with USB 2, the full encryption version is too heavy and slow. I do have a dual ported USB 2 flash drive, which reads 35 MB/s and writes up to 15 MB/s, but it is still too slowwith encryption.

The laptop has a 250 GB SSD, but I have limited space left and do not want to install VMWare workstation to run BT5, or dual boot, if at all possible. It would be nice to be able to setup BT5 on the USB without encryption.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



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