HOWTO: Install ZeroShell on HDD

Forums Network Management ZeroShell HOWTO: Install ZeroShell on HDD

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    Can I use the Zeroshell web portal to delete all partitions?
    will that work?

    Can I then mount a USB drive to it, and do a DD command from the USB drive’s uncomressed flash image to that harddrive?

    Will that work? Or will I strugle to access the hard drive directly from the shell command prompt?


    i am going to do the install on a new machine with absolutely no OS. will make a small video and put it on youtube and send you the link.
    you can follow the instructions and see if that changes your situation and if not then i will send you a hdd with image burned on it. you just pay the shipping or if there is some way i can send the shipment as “collect on delivery”. dont worry about the cost of the hdd since i have so many of them.

    wait for me to send you a video link around this weekend.
    alternatively PM me your IM (YAHOO, MSN, AIM) and i can walk you through into the steps..
    will help anyway i can.



    You are the man, Saad!

    Let me know when you have done it.

    Maybe that way I can see what I am doing wrong.

    Also specify the specs of the pc that you are installing it to.

    You are doing a great work for the community.

    If I do end up with a Hard drive from you, I will make sure that I do the same for any New Zealander or Australian, and help them in the same way.

    1PM 11 July NZ Time (FYI)


    I DID IT!

    – I took a hard drive out of the zeroshell machine.
    – I plugged it into a external USB harddrive enclosure, and connected it to my familiar XP environment.
    – I deleted all the partitions on it
    – I then downloaded a utility called physdiskwrite.exe (Now available at
    – I then wrote a batch file called writenow.bat
    – I typed the folowing command:
    cd C:downloadszeroshell
    #physdiskwrite -u ZeroShell_1.0_beta5.img.gz
    physdiskwrite -u ZS.img
    – The one that is commented out, should decompress the image, but I already did it
    – It asks you which drive, and I chose “1”, as “0” was my main drive.
    – Be carfull not to format your local drives, as the data will be gone forever!
    – It asks me if I am sure, and I typed “y” and hit enter
    – Once completed, I installed the drive just like that back into the zeroshell machine and booted up.

    It worked!

    I will now clone the image to my other drives, for the internet kiosks.

    I am still not sure why the clone from your image did not work.

    It might have been that the drives that I used was just full of nonsense!

    It works now anyway.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    I will help others now with the same task.


    thats very kool and i am very happy to hear that.
    is it possible that we can put together a better howto on this topic with my and your experience with zeroshell.
    i am also reading a lot of stuff that would help in putting together a ISO that would help install it on the HDD from a cd.

    I would like to invite other people, who are interested in ZeroShell HDD install project, to contribute to it.

    ZeroShell is a awesome project and i am definitely a supporter and huge fan now.



    I think the ISO install from CD would be a brilliant idea.

    All that need to happen, is for the compressed / uncompressed image to be on the cd, and a feature like with PCLinix that will allow you to run a command to install to the hard drive.

    If we can get the commands together, then fulvio can add the command to the web interface.

    You can delete all the partitions from the web interface, and then run the simple DD command.

    How difficult can this be?


    I used this HD install tutorial, to create a HD install from scratch, if this helps anyone…


    My all time favourite on how to install Zeroshell on HDD is here:


    Or use Win32DiskImager, it’s a gui instead of physdiskwrite command line, though I think there is a physdiskwrite gui floating around somewhere.


    there are also dd tool for Windows and Flashnul tools you can use to write image to HDD or CF. Both are free.
    Flashnul could b used only with flash drives and also (and mainly) is a very good usb-flash specific test tool. The author’s page is in russian but to use it as dd you should type something like:

    flashnul H: -L zeroshell.img

    H: – corresponding usb flash drive (CF)
    -L means Load image to ^ (u could also Save image from usb with -S)
    zeroshell.img – decompressed image

    With that flashnul tool i got success with 1gb image. It made 3 partitions but i made a fatal error. Since first partition become 13 megs instead of initial capacity of my CF(4Gb) i was scared about loosing capacity of CF and deleted all the partitions using WinXP admin tools. After that i couldnt recreate CF partitions for a long time using this and other tools and methods…

    2 saadakhtar
    You dont have to download a 700megs linux live distro. It useless cause you could use the ZS which is much smaller and available right here right now :). Save img to usb-pen-flash-drive then burn ZS iso to CD. boot up ZS with usb-pen-flash-drive connected and choose S 2go2 the shell. Then you just need to mount usb-pen-flash-drive to access it’s folder with image and give shell command like

    gunzip ZS.gz>/dev/hdd

    and thats all you really need 2do.
    If a HDD has some partitions you can also manage it with ZS’s shell using fdisk or cfdisk (im not sure but i guess 1 reboot needed after fdisk/cfdisk managing).

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