Tails Boot stuck on USB Drive
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Author Topic: Tails Boot stuck on USB Drive  (Read 502 times)

Offline gregorylock

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Tails Boot stuck on USB Drive
« on: July 25, 2020, 05:56:58 PM »
Sometimes I like to run Tails live off of a USB drive.  The problem I keep running into, is I can't fully erase the USB drive.  I found a DD command that helps with this.  But the command I found doesn't do it correctly.  So I got to do some extra stuff afterwards.  I'm stuck in this situation again!  But don't remember the command.  I'm writing this because whenever I do google searches, I can't seem to find anything that gives me a nice straight instructions on how to erase a USB drive after tails has been on it.  Don't get me wrong!  Linux Mint will let me do a quick format of the drive with the USB Stick Formatter.  However If I wanted to securely wipe, (a full format,) the drive with gnome disks it will get an error message.  If you guys got a command that you use to get rid of tails, please post it below so that I can add to my linux notes.

Offline gregorylock

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Re: Tails Boot stuck on USB Drive
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 06:22:59 PM »
I want to show you guys what I found so far.
https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/544914/how-to-reset-a-flash-drive-murdered-by-dd

https://superuser.com/questions/653884/how-do-i-reset-a-bootable-drive-so-that-it-no-longer-is-bootable/653899

I did a few trial and error things with the first link.  I think after gnome disks finishes the full format it's going to be ok.  But I don't like how complicated this is.  There should be an easy way to do a wipe off the tails boot record, and then re partition the drive, and then format.

Tails does not have a forum, other wise I would sign up and ask them directly.

Offline CwF

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Re: Tails Boot stuck on USB Drive
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2020, 07:09:26 PM »
Take a look at badblocks
 
Code: [Select]
man badblocks

Offline gregorylock

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Re: Tails Boot stuck on USB Drive
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2020, 12:05:44 PM »
Take a look at badblocks
 
Code: [Select]
man badblocks
I've ran into the trouble with tails on more then just one drive.  They are all pretty new and not heavily used.  I don't think there is anything wrong with the blocks.  I think it's apart of Tails security.

Offline CwF

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Re: Tails Boot stuck on USB Drive
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2020, 01:02:25 PM »
I don't think there is anything wrong with the blocks.  I think it's apart of Tails security.

You misunderstand. You are not looking for bad blocks! You use the utility because it can wipe anything. You do a full data destructive test on the device, then start over.

Offline gregorylock

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Re: Tails Boot stuck on USB Drive
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2020, 03:32:15 PM »
You misunderstand. You are not looking for bad blocks! You use the utility because it can wipe anything. You do a full data destructive test on the device, then start over.

I just read the entire badblocks man page.  That's not really what it's for.

I'm going to take a guess.
unmount the drive and then.

sudo badblock -w /dev/sdc1

Offline CwF

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Re: Tails Boot stuck on USB Drive
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2020, 05:44:03 PM »
Think outside the box a bit! Tools are for anything they work for! USB drives are not intended to be reformatted willy nilly or be the booted OS either!
It is my understanding that usb drives can have executable code outside the user space - essentially in firmware space.
Anyway, the ability to zero, or pattern, a disk is a talent of many utilities. Badblocks is commonly used to securely wipe disc. Others foolishly insist on a  'secure-widget-wipe' utility... Use what you already have! Learn what you already have...

Offline gregorylock

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Re: Tails Boot stuck on USB Drive
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2020, 06:04:11 PM »
Think outside the box a bit! Tools are for anything they work for! USB drives are not intended to be reformatted willy nilly or be the booted OS either!
It is my understanding that usb drives can have executable code outside the user space - essentially in firmware space.
Anyway, the ability to zero, or pattern, a disk is a talent of many utilities. Badblocks is commonly used to securely wipe disc. Others foolishly insist on a  'secure-widget-wipe' utility... Use what you already have! Learn what you already have...

I wish I knew what tails does to the drive.  It isn't like you can't erase the drive and use it again.  It seems that most people don't even realize there is still something on the drive.  I didn't discover it until one day I was doing something and then I decided to 0 the drive with gnome disks.  Then gnome disks gave me an error.  I thought it was strange that I could do a quick format, but not a full format.  Another strange thing was, the drive automatically changed it's name back to tails.   I'm not sure if I understand the tails website, but when I tried to look up how to erase a tails usb drive, they suggested gnome disks.  I thought to myself.  Hmmm, maybe if I make a tails dvd and plug in the tails usb, I'll be able to use gnome disks from there.  I was surprised that even the newest version of tails dvd couldn't do it to it's self.  lol