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Image USB bin file compression.

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  • Image USB bin file compression.

    Hi.

    I have used Image USB to take a copy of bootable USB thumb-drives (I've created) to make clones. The drives I use are 4 Gigs and contain less than 1 Gig of data (Soon I'll be using 8 Gig drives since they are about the same price now (in bulk purchase)). The .bin files Image USB creates are about the same size as the thumb-drives so uncompressed they take up lot of space on my hard drive.
    Is there a way (or will there be in the future) for Image USB to compress the .bin files so they take less drive on my hard drive?
    I do use 7Zip at the moment to compress the files but Image USB cannot open zip-files so I need to decompress them before writing and I would like to be able to do it on the fly.

    I use Windows 7 32.

    Another question. Is there a plan to give Image USB the capability to fully utilize larger thumb-drives when writing images to them? I know if that is done it will not be an accurate image but as a noob I cannot see the difficulties in extending the partition to the full drive and then just leave the extra space empty. I cannot see the difficulties either in shrinking the image to fit smaller thumbdrives if large portion of them are empty.

  • #2
    We have not looked into or have any immediate plans to implement file compression in imageUSB. It might be something we consider in the future if there are enough request for this feature. Currently, the .bin image created with imageUSB is a pretty much a straight 'dd' image of the disk with a 512 byte header tacked on in the beginning. We chose this format to allow it to be compatible with various mount tools available, including our own, OSFMount.

    Due to the forensic nature of image duplication by ImageUSB, we warn that the user should use a similar size drive as the original. It will not extend the partition to fill the rest of the drive.

    However, imageUSB should allow you to write a larger image to a smaller drive. It will warn you that the data may be corrupted as the end of the image may not be written onto the drive. As it does an exact bit-level copies of USB Flash Drive when creating the image, there is a better chance of not losing data if the original USB disk is less fragmented and did not have any contents on the end of the drive.

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    • #3
      Writing 16gb bootable to 8gb UFD

      Originally posted by Richard (PassMark) View Post
      We have not looked into or have any immediate plans to implement file compression in imageUSB. It might be something we consider in the future if there are enough request for this feature. Currently, the .bin image created with imageUSB is a pretty much a straight 'dd' image of the disk with a 512 byte header tacked on in the beginning. We chose this format to allow it to be compatible with various mount tools available, including our own, OSFMount.

      Due to the forensic nature of image duplication by ImageUSB, we warn that the user should use a similar size drive as the original. It will not extend the partition to fill the rest of the drive.

      However, imageUSB should allow you to write a larger image to a smaller drive. It will warn you that the data may be corrupted as the end of the image may not be written onto the drive. As it does an exact bit-level copies of USB Flash Drive when creating the image, there is a better chance of not losing data if the original USB disk is less fragmented and did not have any contents on the end of the drive.
      Hello Richard,

      You are right, imageUSB is allowing to write on larger image to smaller ufd. In my case, I am trying writing 16gb windows bootable (bin image from imageUSB) to 8gb ufd. It started writing but failed at last stating xyz sector not found. I do not thing bin image is that fragmented beyond 8gb. imageUSB is just trying accessing sector number and locating on target irrespective of fragmentation and I guess this must be fixed to improve efficiency of this decent tool. I wrote an image to 16gb long back now (now I to correct it) to some smaller ufd (4, 8 gb etc.). Is there way to compress .bin image to fit into smaller ufd. I do not think so imageUSB can do this with current capabilities because it straight forward look for sector numbers.

      Your inputs and help will be highly appreciated. Thanks!

      Regards, Tilak

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      • #4
        Do you have the exact message reported by program? You can also run imageUSB in debug mode (see help file) that may output more information.

        There has been no change in how imageUSB works since the last post. The software will allow you to write a larger image to the USB, but it does a straight sequential byte to byte copy, so any data in the image file larger than the target drive will not be written to. We have no current plans to make imageUSB shrink an image to fit on a smaller drive, that is beyond the scope of what the tool is intended for.

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        • #5
          Hi, I just had a similar problem. I went to load a "32GB" USB image to a "16GB" drive.
          The 32GB drive says according to windows that 15.2GB is free of 30.2GB. So I am hopeful that it might just squeeze all the real data onto a "16GB" drive.

          I get the following error messages:
          17:16:14 - Failed (Drive I:\) with error 27: The drive cannot find the sector requested.

          17:16:15 - Failed (Drive I:\) with error 27: The drive cannot find the sector requested.

          17:16:16 - Error: Failed to write to UFD at offset 15837691904 (0xb0000000). Aborting.

          When I try to access the drive it says that it needs to be formatted. So I can't see anything that has been written to it.

          Even if the all the real data can't fit on the 16GB drive from the replies above I expected to be able to read what was written. Can you please help?
          Thanks

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          • #6
            jjs, I think you are completely misunderstanding the way drive imaging works.

            You can't 'squeeze' a 32GB drive image onto a 16GB drive. Only half the image will fit. Which leaves you with a corrupted file system. This will happen regardless of the state of the source drive. Even if the source drive was empty, it still won't work as the image contains BOTH the free space and the in-use space.

            If you want to copy just the part of the drive that is in use, then just do a normal file copy.

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