Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

September 29, 2020

Mounting a Network drive over ssh in Windows using WinFsp & SSHFS-Win

I have computers running both Windows & Linux and at times I need to share files between them and I have been looking for a convenient way to access the files from my Linux machine from my Windows machine without having to run SAMBA on the Linux. This is because historically SAMBA has been a security nightmare and I don’t want to run extra services on the computer if I can avoid it. Earlier this week I finally found a way to mount my Linux directories on Windows as a network mount over SSH using WinFsp & SSHFS-Win and I have been running it for a couple of days so far without any issues. (So far)

Follow these steps to enable SSHFS-Win on your windows machine:

Install WinFsp (Windows File System Proxy)

WinFsp is a set of software components for Windows computers that allows the creation of user mode file systems similar to FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) in the Unix/Linux world. You can download it from the project’s GIT repository. The Installation file is available by clicking on the download link under ‘Releases’ near the top right corner of the page. The latest version is WinFsp 2020.1 at the time of this writing.

You install the software by running the MSI file you downloaded and the default options worked for me without modification.

Install SSHFS For Windows

SSHFS-Win is a minimal port of SSHFS to Windows. It is available for download from the project’s Git repository. You can compile from source or download the installation file by clicking on the download link under ‘Releases’ near the top right corner of the page. The latest version is SSHFS-Win 2020 at the time of this writing.

Please note that you will need to have WinFsp installed already before you can install SSHFS-Win successfully.

Usage:

Once you have installed both the software you can start using them and map a network drive to a directory using Windows Explorer or the net use command. Instructions for use are as below (Taken from the project Documentation):

In Windows Explorer select This PC > Map Network Drive and enter the desired drive letter and SSHFS path using the following UNC syntax:

\\sshfs\REMUSER@HOST[\PATH]

The first time you map a particular SSHFS path you will be prompted for the SSH username and password which can be saved using the Windows Credential Manager so that you don’t get prompted for it again. In order to unmap the drive, right-click on the drive icon in Windows Explorer and select Disconnect.


Visual demo of how to Map a Network drive using SSHFS-Win

You can map a network drive from the command line as well using the net use command:

net use X: \\sshfs\suramya@StarKnight

You will then be prompted for the password and once you authenticate you can use the new drive as usual. You can unmap the drive as follows:

net use X: /delete

I find this quite useful and hope you do as well.

Thanks to MakerLab, Department of Computer Science, HKU for pointing me in the correct direction

– Suramya

September 27, 2020

Using ncdu to Check Disk Space Usage In Linux

One of the common tasks I face on my Linux system is to identify what files/directories are using the most space. The traditional way to find out is to go to the top level directory and run a ‘du -hs *’ (without the quotes) on the directory and then cd into each directory, rinse and repeat. The other option available is to right click on the folder in Dolphin or any other file manager and select Properties. With the same process as before when you go into each directory individually, right click and get the properties. This is very tedious and time consuming.

Instead you can use ncdu (NCurses Disk Usage) for looking at the storage space utilization on your computer as it has a lot of advantages. It is designed to find space hogs on a remote server where you don’t have an entire graphical setup available. It is fast, simple and very easy to use. I have been using it for a while now and absolutely love it.

To Install ncdu on a Debian system, you can issue the following command:

apt-get install ncdu

Once you have it installed, the usage it very simple. Simply open a command prompt and issue the following command:

ncdu

It will start in the current directory and index all the sub-directories under it. The initial scan can take a while depending on the size of the directories under the current directory. But its comparable to the time taken when running du -hs on the directory. Once the program completes its scan, you get a simple ncurses based interface that you can navigate using the keyboard.


ncdu display for my home directory

All directories & are listed with their sizes in human readable format sorted by size with the largest files & directories at the top (in the default view). You can go into a directory by selecting it and hitting enter. The sizes for the subdirectory are immediately shown without having to run additional commands. You can also delete directories & files from within ncdu by hitting the delete key which is a huge timesaver.

If you haven’t tried it out do check it out. You will love it.

– Suramya

August 18, 2020

Finally moved the Website & Blog to https

Filed under: Computer Tips,Techie Stuff,Website Updates — Suramya @ 12:02 PM

After spending way too much time avoiding the work due I finally configured both suramya.com & the Blog to be https by default. The setup was fairly simple, I added the certificate on the 1and1.com portal, then after a few mins I was able to access the site over https. In order to redirect http to https automatically I followed the following steps:

Auto Redirect to https in Apache

Configure .htaccess to force a redirect, you can also configure it in the Apache main configuration (under the virtualhosts directive) but since I don’t have root access and can’t modify it I updated the .htaccess config to do the same thing. Basically you need to add the following lines to .htaccess :

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.suramya.com/$1 [R,L]

Change www.suramya.com to your domain, else every visitor to your site will be sent to my site. Not that I will mind that, but you might. 🙂

Then I did the same thing for the blog with a small change, The .htaccess for the blog reads as the following:


RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.suramya.com/blog/$1 [R,L]

When updating the file, you need to ensure you put the changes outside the # BEGIN WordPress & # END WordPress as the content is dynamically generated and would be overwritten.

Updating all the urls in WordPress

After I made the changes above, I found that the site was being redirected to https but I was getting errors about mixed content on the page because all the URL’s/Images that I had uploaded to WP till now were saved as http and not https. So I had to change every URL in the blog from http to https and to be honest I wasn’t looking forward to doing this manually. I searched the web and found this site that had instructions on how to update the url’s using the WordPress commandline interface. From the blog directory you need to issue the following command:

wp search-replace http://www.suramya.com/blog/ https://www.suramya.com/blog/ --dry-run

This command does a dry run and tells you what all changes will be made and if everything looks ok, then you can run the above command again without the ‘dry-run’ call.

wp search-replace http://www.suramya.com/blog/ https://www.suramya.com/blog/

If all goes well you will get an output similar to the following:

(uiserver):~/public_html/suramya.com/blog$ wp search-replace http://www.suramya.com/blog/ https://www.suramya.com/blog/ 
+------------------+-----------------------+--------------+------+
| Table            | Column                | Replacements | Type |
+------------------+-----------------------+--------------+------+
| wp_commentmeta   | meta_key              | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_commentmeta   | meta_value            | 572          | PHP  |
| wp_comments      | comment_author        | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_comments      | comment_author_email  | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_comments      | comment_author_url    | 29           | SQL  |
| wp_comments      | comment_author_IP     | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_comments      | comment_content       | 2            | SQL  |
| wp_comments      | comment_approved      | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_comments      | comment_agent         | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_comments      | comment_type          | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_links         | link_url              | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_links         | link_name             | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_links         | link_image            | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_links         | link_target           | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_links         | link_description      | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_links         | link_visible          | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_links         | link_rel              | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_links         | link_notes            | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_links         | link_rss              | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_options       | option_name           | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_options       | option_value          | 3            | PHP  |
| wp_options       | autoload              | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_postmeta      | meta_key              | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_postmeta      | meta_value            | 0            | PHP  |
| wp_posts         | post_content          | 591          | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | post_title            | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | post_excerpt          | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | post_status           | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | comment_status        | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | ping_status           | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | post_password         | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | post_name             | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | to_ping               | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | pinged                | 20           | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | post_content_filtered | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | guid                  | 2775         | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | post_type             | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_posts         | post_mime_type        | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_term_taxonomy | taxonomy              | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_term_taxonomy | description           | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_termmeta      | meta_key              | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_termmeta      | meta_value            | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_terms         | name                  | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_terms         | slug                  | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_usermeta      | meta_key              | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_usermeta      | meta_value            | 0            | PHP  |
| wp_users         | user_login            | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_users         | user_nicename         | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_users         | user_email            | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_users         | user_url              | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_users         | user_activation_key   | 0            | SQL  |
| wp_users         | display_name          | 0            | SQL  |
+------------------+-----------------------+--------------+------+
Success: Made 3992 replacements.

That’s it. After running the command, the blog is completely on https and the security gods are happy :). Now I need to update all the URL’s on the main site to reference https instead of http and that is going to be painful. It will require a whole lot of script-fu to do it automatically as it will have to be a regex/awk or something similar. Maybe someone already did the work and posted the solution online. Alas that was not the case. I ended up manually updating the files since there were only about 20-25 of them. Opened all of them in the editor one-shot and then did a search & replace. Now both sites are coming up properly in https.

– Suramya

April 17, 2015

How to find information when Google can’t find it

Filed under: Computer Tips,Interesting Sites,Knowledgebase,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 10:36 PM

For most people if you can’t find something on Google then it’s not there on the internet. However that is not true and there are other ways to find the information you are looking for even if Google can’t find it. Now some of you might be wondering, how can something be online without Google knowing about it because don’t they index everything? Unfortunately, that is not true. According to studies there are a lot of sites out there that are not indexed by any search engine. This part of the internet is called the Deep Web. Deep web is not to be confused with Dark Net which contains sites that can’t be reached via the regular internet. Deep Web sites are accessible via the regular internet and it is a lot bigger than the visible internet. In-fact some estimates suggest that the deep web is 400 to 550 times larger than the surface web.

So how do you find something that is in the Deep web or just not indexed by Google? Well, you can always try one of the following options depending on what you are looking for.

Wolfram Alpha

For example, if you are making factual queries about data (e.g. facts, figures, etc) then you should take a look at Wolfram Alpha. Their Wikipedia page explains how the engine works:

Users submit queries and computation requests via a text field. Wolfram Alpha then computes answers and relevant visualizations from a knowledge base of curated, structured data that come from other sites. The curated data makes Alpha different from semantic search engines, which index a large number of answers and then try to match the question to one.

Using the Mathematica toolkit, Wolfram Alpha can respond to natural language questions and generate a human-readable answer.

Topsy

Topsy maintains a comprehensive index of tweets and since Twitter is the best place for real-time sharing of thoughts/news then it is a good place to search for current events/trending topics. I just tried it out and it looks to be pretty effective and efficient.

Image Search

If you are trying to identify an image, or find more information about a particular Image then you can always try Google image search. However if that doesn’t return any relevant results then you should try out specialized Image search engines like Tin Eye or yandex.ru. I use a Firefox Extension called Who Stole my Pictures that lets you search across multiple engines in one shot from your context menu. Side note: This also search on Bing but 99.99% of the time Bing doesn’t return any results no matter what you search for.

On the other hand if you are just searching for images you should try PicSearch.com which is a image search service allowing a user to search across over 3 billion pictures (as per the site).

WebForums and Discussion boards

Another great way to find answers is to search on enthusiast forums and discussion boards. These forums have a whole community of folks who are passionate about that particular topic and would love you to point you in the right direction or walk you through figuring out the solution. Just ensure that you are asking Questions The Smart Way.

BoardReader.com allows you to search across multiple discussion boards and forums available on the net. StackExchange.com has multiple sub sections on hundreds of topics, Reditt.com has subreddits that focus on thousands of topics and most of them have actual relevant information as not all of the site is dedicated to cat video’s.

IRC

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat and is designed to facilitate group communication in discussion forums, called channels hosted on IRC servers. There are channels dedicated to pretty much any topic you can think of on some IRC server somewhere and you can get answers to questions or help with a problem in real time.

The difficult part is finding the appropriate channel to ask your question.

I have used IRC Search in the past to find channels with a good success rate. Another option is ixirc.com/.

In addition to the options listed above, you should also check out the following resources for additional information and search options/methods that you can try out when searching for data:

That pretty much covers what I wanted to talk about in this post so this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

October 7, 2014

Find Recent Files in Windows with the Run Dialog

Filed under: Computer Tips,Knowledgebase — Suramya @ 5:40 AM

Tip for all you windows 8 users out there, If you want to see a history log of every file that you have touched on your computer, there is a easy built-in way of getting that information without installing any special software on Windows 8 by following these steps:

  • Open the run dialog box by pressing Win + R
  • Type in “recent” (without the quotes)
  • Click ‘OK’

This will display any file you’ve touched, as well as the last time it was modified all in one place. You can also access this data by browsing to the following location using ‘Windows Explorer’:

C:/users/username/recent

Source: lifehacker.com

– Suramya

April 20, 2014

Facebook Stat generation followup

Filed under: Computer Tips,Linux/Unix Related,My Thoughts,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 2:16 AM

In my previous post I had talked about some of the stats I pulled from Facebook about it’s usage by my friends. This was an ad-hoc number crunching done just because I was bored and got curious. After the post went live a friend of mine, Ankush asked for more details on how I generated the numbers so in this post I am going to go over my process and how I got the numbers I shared.

Before we start, keep in mind that this is all data that is publicly available on FB, or at least shared with me. If you don’t want others to generate data about your activity on FB, you should change your privacy settings on FB and restrict access. Please don’t try to use this information to try to get access to data you are not supposed to. You will get in trouble and I will not take responsibility for it. Now that all that is out of the way, lets get to the details of the process.

The first thing you need is to have the Facebook Command Line client installed. Instructions on how to install are here so I am not going to repost them here. Make sure you authenticate the install and follow the steps in ‘Obtain Additional Authorization’ section of the installation guide otherwise the rest of the guide won’t be of much use to you.

Once you have FBCMD installed and configured, you can start playing with the options. Check out fbcmd Commands for the list of available options. You can also run the script with –help for the same.

/usr/bin/php /var/www/fbcmd/lib/fbcmd/fbcmd.php --help

Since I was interested in the photos uploaded the first command I ran was:

/usr/bin/php /var/www/fbcmd/lib/fbcmd/fbcmd.php OPICS =all FB_Pics

This command gets all the photos uploaded by folks in my friend list and downloaded them to the FB_Pics folder. As I mentioned in the previous post, this downloaded over 58k photos to my system. So be careful when you run it. You can also restrict it to a particular user by passing their name as a parameter.

To get the wall post count’s of all my friends, I ran the following command:

/usr/bin/php /var/www/fbcmd/lib/fbcmd/fbcmd.php FINFO wall_count =all

This gave me a output similar to the following:


NAME WALL_COUNT
Suramya Tomar 247
ABC 1405

I took this output, put it in an Excel file and did some analysis on it to get the max post count, least post count, Total count and top 10 user post counts. I could have done this using shell commands as well, but since this was a one time task I didn’t see the point. Maybe in the future I could set up a job that would do this periodically and do trending on the data but lets see. I don’t see much use for this data except for the coolness factor and to satisfy my curiosity.

Getting the birthday count was as easy as running the following command:

/usr/bin/php /var/www/fbcmd/lib/fbcmd/fbcmd.php FINFO birthday_date =all |wc -l

This returned the number of folks who had shared their birthday’s on FB and then I got the current location count using the following command:

/usr/bin/php /var/www/fbcmd/lib/fbcmd/fbcmd.php FINFO current_location =all |wc -l

So there you have it. This is how I generated the numbers I had posted earlier. As you can see there is nothing too complicated about it, so if you want you can generate similar stats for your friends as well.

Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer.

Well this is all for now. I should go and get some sleep now.

– Suramya

August 4, 2012

Reinstalled system after accidental removal of KDE. Pleasantly surprised by ease of configuration

Filed under: Computer Tips,Knowledgebase,Linux/Unix Related,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 11:19 PM

Last night I was trying out stuff on my computer and decided to install virtual box on the system to allow me to install Windows in a virtual environment. I ran the command to install virtual box and then said ok without paying too much attention to what it was doing. As a punishment for that, the apt-get program proceeded to uninstall most of the KDE environment on the system leaving me with Gnome as my primary desktop (and there is no way I am using Gnome as my primary desktop). I could have fixed it by reinstalling KDE but since I had been thinking about removing the 32 bit Debian and installing the 64 bit version I decided to use this opportunity to do so and downloaded the 64 bit version from the Debian site, put it on a USB drive and proceeded with the install which took about an hour to complete.

After the install completed, I upgraded the system to the latest ‘Unstable’ build (Debian Unstable has the latest software packages so I prefer using it as opposed to Stable which is rock solid but has fairly dated software versions.) which took most of the night thanks to the no of packages to download and install. Once everything was upgraded I started customizing my setup and initially was dreading the amount of time it would take to get both my monitors working (based on previous experience) but surprisingly this time I didn’t have to do a lot to get both the monitor’s working.

If you remember, the last time I tried enabling the second monitor I hit a lot of hurdles mostly thanks to the mess I had made with my previous meddling and experimentation but this time it was fairly simple. I thought that I would follow the same steps I had the last time I installed the monitor so I started by installing the fglrx driver but the latest version of the driver no longer supports my chipset (ATI RS880 [Radeon HD 4250]) and the installer told me to install the free Radeon driver in the package xserver-xorg-video-radeon instead. So I did that after purging the fglrx driver (See here for instructions). I also had to install the Firmware for the Radeon card which I did by issuing the following command:

apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree

After the driver was installed I rebooted (to make sure all systems started up clean) and setup my dual monitors by following these steps:

  • Click on Start -> System Settings
  • Click on ‘Display and Monitor’ under Hardware.
  • Under ‘Size & Orientation’ change the ‘Position’ dropdown to ‘Left Of’ the first (If your second monitor is to the left of the first one)
  • Set the Primary output to the monitor where you want the Task bar etc to show up. If you don’t know which monitor is which, click on the identify Outputs button.
  • Once you are done, Click on ‘Apply’ and if all looks good you can set it as default by clicking on the ‘Save as Default button’.

If you are ok with the resolutions available to you in the dropdowns above then you are done and you can skip the steps below.

Unfortunately for me I wanted a resolution of 1440×900 as the default instead of 1600×900 which was too small & the fonts looked pretty bad at that resolution and the 1280×1024 which was the next available size looked worse because my of my monitor shape (16:9 resolution as opposed to 4:3). So I had to do a bit more work to fix the problem.

First I tried manually setting the mode to 1440×900 using xrandr but I got an error message that “xrandr ‘cannot find mode'”. So I did a little Google search and found a forum post where another person was having the same issue. That link told me how to add a custom mode to my system which I did using the following steps:

First we need to figure out if our configuration will support the mode we are trying to use and if so get the modeline we need for the new config, so we run this command:

cvt 1440 900

If the system can support the resolution specified (1440×900 in the above example) it will return a line that looks something like:

# 1440x900 59.89 Hz (CVT 1.30MA) hsync: 55.93 kHz; pclk: 106.50 MHz
Modeline "1440x900_60.00"  106.50  1440 1528 1672 1904  900 903 909 934 -hsync +vsync

Luckily for us my system can support the resolution so we then need to tell xrandr about the new mode using the following command:

xrandr --newmode "1440x900"  106.50  1440 1528 1672 1904  900 903 909 934 -hsync +vsync 

Where the first paramter (“1440×900” in this case) is an identifier and the rest is the information returned by cvt. (If successful the command will return no output.)

Then we need to tell the system that both the displays (called DVI-0 and VGA-0 on my system) should use the new mode which is accomplished using the following commands:

xrandr --addmode VGA-0  "1440x900"
xrandr --output VGA-0 --mode 1440x900
xrandr --addmode DVI-0  "1440x900"
xrandr --output DVI-0 --mode 1440x900

If the commands were successful then your screen should resize and start using the new resolution. Now that this is done we want this to happen everytime we log in without having to run the commands manually.

When you click on the ‘Save as Default’ button in the ‘Size & Orientation’ dialog box, KDE saves your settings in a file at the following location: ~/.kde/share/config/krandrrc that is executed everytime you log in to KDE. So to make the changes permanent we have to modify the file with the new settings.

The file contains the following lines right at the top:

[Display]
ApplyOnStartup=true
StartupCommands= 

We need to modify the StartupCommands= line to use our new settings. Basically it should contain all the commands we used above in a single line delimited by \n. On my system the file looks like the following after I updated it:

[Display]
ApplyOnStartup=true
StartupCommands=xrandr --newmode "1440x900"  106.50  1440 1528 1672 1904  900 903 909 934 -hsync +vsync\nxrandr --addmode DVI-0  "1440x900"\nxrandr --addmode VGA-0
  "1440x900"\nxrandr --output VGA-0 --pos 1450x0 --mode 1440x900 --refresh 59.9782\nxrandr --output DVI-0 --pos 0x0 --mode 1440x900 --refresh 59.9782\nxrandr 
--output DVI-0 --primary

Once you make the change, save the file and log out. After loging out I usually restart X to make sure everything came up cleanly and then if all went well then the changes should take effect after you log in.

Hope others find this useful when configuring their systems.

– Suramya

PS: The best part is that after re-formating and using the Opensource version of the display driver instead of the proprietary one, my average memory usage went down from about 3GB about 1GB with all the same programs running in the background. 🙂

January 3, 2012

Working without Free diskspace in Linux

Filed under: Computer Tips,Linux/Unix Related — Suramya @ 5:52 AM

On linux machines you can fill your root partition to 100% utilization and the system would still continue to function giving you a chance to free up space without downtime, but on Windows machines the same is not possible and if you have managed to fill your C:\ to 100% then the system will go down (Know this for sure for Windows versions up to Vista, not sure about Win7) hard. This is something that has puzzled me a lot over the years but didn’t know how it worked, but now I finally have an explanation:

When you format a partition in Linux , 5% of the total space gets reserved for privileged processes, by default. This is done so that system processes continue to function correctly ,if the filesystem gets full. This is useful for your ‘root’ partition.

The really interesting part is that you can configure this to reduce the percentage of the reserved space using the tune2fs command. e.g. if you wanted to reduce the reserved space for /dev/sda1 to 1% of the total space then issue the following command as root:

tune2fs -m 1  /dev/sda1

Source: Flossstuff’s Blog

Enjoy.

– Suramya

September 18, 2011

How to set different backgrounds for each desktop in KDE 4.6.5

Filed under: Computer Tips,Linux/Unix Related — Suramya @ 11:59 PM

I have talked about How to set different backgrounds for each desktop in KDE4 in a previous post. However in KDE 4.6.5 the previous steps no longer work, so posting the new steps to get different backgrounds in KDE:

  • Click on the ‘Start Menu’ (The K at the bottom Right of the screen)
  • Click on ‘System Settings’ under the Settings menu
  • Double Click on the ‘Workspace Behavior’ under the “Workspace Appearance and Behavior” section
  • Check the “Different widgets for each desktop”
  • Click Apply

That’s it. Now you can change the wallpaper by Right clicking on the desktop and selecting ‘Desktop Settings’. Its good to know that the KDE Developers paid attention to complaints that the users made about their software and addressed it.

– Suramya

May 18, 2010

Boot From a USB Drive even when your BIOS Won’t Let You

Filed under: Computer Software,Computer Tips — Suramya @ 11:37 PM

If you are like me then you have gotten into the habit of carrying a Live Linux CD with you at times, I keep mine in my Laptop bag so its there when I need it. However CD’s have a lot of inherent problems like, an inability to update the version without burning a new disk and a susceptibility to scratches.

Having a Bootable USB drive with the latest version of Linux solves all these problems. USB drives are quite cheap now and it makes sense to have one available loaded with the latest diagnostic tools. But till date I didn’t carry a bootable USB drive with me because a lot of the systems I encountered didn’t allow me to boot from USB which made the bootable drive pretty much useless. Now, there is a way to fix the problem. What you need is a Blank CD and the latest version of PLoP.

PLoP is a Bootmanager that allows you to create a boot CD that will enable the system to boot from a USB drive even when that option is not supported by the BIOS. You can download PLoP from here. Installing it is quite easy. You just need to extract the .ZIP file that you downloaded and burn the .iso image to a CD. There are two ISO images on the CD and you can use either one of them, however according to the readme file plpbtnoemul.iso should work “everywhere” so if you have some doubt use that image.

Once you burn the image to the CD, reboot the system and configure it to boot off the CD. When the system boots up you will get a boot menu that will allow you to choose USB as the device to boot from. Once you do that the system will boot off the USB drive as normal and you can proceed from there.

Hope you find this as helpful as I am going to.

– Suramya

Source: Boot From a USB Drive Even if your BIOS Won’t Let You – How-To Geek.

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