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How do I add PortableApps to Hiren's Boot CD?

seding1983 - January 6, 2013 - 6:31pm

If anyone is familiar with the popular Hiren's Boot CD you'll note that he already includes several programs in the .iso that are launched with a command-script shortcut. Among these are 7-zip, CCleaner, Defraggler, etc.

What I want to know is how to add PortableApps in their "native" format to a custom Hiren's Boot image. In the extracted archive is a folder "Programs" which contains the command scripts and a subfolder "Files" which contains the actual programs they launch.

The HBCD Customizer program says I should add files to the folder C:\MyBootCD\CD. What I'm wondering is if I add a PortableApps folder directly under the folder "CD" or if this is just a baseline of where to start and I should add them as a sub-sub-subfolder HBCD\Programs\PortableApps.

The nest goes like this after extracting the .iso with Hiren's Boot Customizer. Screenshots are below (with annotations) for clarification.

HBCD Customizer executable:
http://imageshack.us/a/img62/8770/hbcd01.png

HBCD Customizer main window:
http://imageshack.us/a/img706/958/hbcd02.png

.iso extraction process:
http://imageshack.us/a/img194/1338/hbcd03.png

Completion dialogue and directory suggestion:
http://imageshack.us/a/img202/2604/hbcd04.png

Contents of C:\MyBootCD\CD (shows "HBCD" folder):
http://imageshack.us/a/img442/5299/hbcd05.png

Contents of C:\MyBootCD\HBCD (shows "Programs" folder):
http://imageshack.us/a/img16/1547/hbcd06.png

Contents of C:\MyBootCD\HBCD\Programs (shows "Files" folder):
http://imageshack.us/a/img62/2733/hbcd07.png

Contents of C:\MyBootCD\HBCD\Programs\Files (.7z executables):
http://imageshack.us/a/img715/8065/hbcd08.png

Contents of C:\MyBootCD itself (shows aforementioned folder "CD"):
http://imageshack.us/a/img18/9617/hbcd09.png

Apologies in advance for the loaded post my first time around. I just want to make sure I'm doing this right and figured I'd ask here.


( categories: )

Technical Limitations

Nearly all portable apps require a writable directory somewhere to store temporary files and be able to write out settings. If I recall correctly, these start CDs don't provide any sort of writeable directories for settings, etc. As such, most portable apps won't work. If they do have something writable, then they should work and you can place them anywhere you like that is writeable while Windows is running.

Some of our apps have a live mode allowing them to run from CD, but the apps themselves often require a writeable Data and/or App directory. We copy the bits that need writing to the local TEMP directory while the app is running. So, they won't work from a read-only boot CD. Additionally, we are likely deprecating live mode as optical drive usage is quickly shrinking.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Is that the same situation with USB?

It's also possible to run Hiren's Boot from USB too:

http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd-on-usb-disk

What I was thinking of doing is having a Windows-compatible version of TAILS with the Tor Browser Bundle, a version of Firefox Portable that's customized specifically for use with Tor.

If I could have the Tor Browser on a Live CD of Windows (like Hiren's Boot) it would be even more secure because it wouldn't involve writing to the hard drive (some "privacy-conscious" folks actually recommend you remove the hard drive and use a dedicated machine just for secure browsing). I ask because HBCD is already configured as a BartPE-style live system and it already has programs installed. Tor, however, isn't one of them as HBCD is supposed to be more of a "rescue" system than a Live System proper.

But I wonder if what you described above is the same situation if running from USB?

Warez

Because of its inclusion of proprietary apps without permission Hiren's Boot CD is considered to be warez on many sites.

That being said Live CD systems that require writable functions usually do so via a RAM disk, like IMDisk, that gets started when booting.

Ed