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I've got one of the few USB Sticks with hardware read only switch (Trekstor). I'd like to use a bootable Linux with it, e.g. to fix problems with Windows PCs without danger of infecting or changing the stick's contents.

However, for installing updates or new software on it in a safe environment, it should be possible to write to the stick when the switch is on write enabled.

I'm not sure how switching form one mode to the other is internally done. Any experience with such a kind of drive and how to configure live-USB in this case?

If restart is required to change the writing mode, this would be ok.

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Live USBs are not intended for installing updates and new software. Their main purposes are hardware testing, software evaluation and the system installation. Some persistent storage is offered as an option for saving personal files and settings. You really don't need a USB stick with a hardware switch to run Ubuntu from. As for fixing Windows, I rather doubt Ubuntu is the best tool for the job.

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Tried my best, buddy. :) –  mikewhatever Aug 22 '11 at 23:09
    
sorry I came off a bit harsh there :P –  RolandiXor Aug 22 '11 at 23:38
    
Thanks. Any suggestions which Linux distribution would better suit this use case than Ubuntu? –  stracktracer Aug 23 '11 at 5:57
    
Depends on what you want to do. You can run malware scans from Ubuntu, or copy files from an unbootable system, but actually fixing Windows registry errors or programs' malfunctions is simply not what Ubuntu is designed for. Honestly, I don't know if any Linux distro is. –  mikewhatever Aug 23 '11 at 6:59
    
I thought a quite versatile approach, meaning what you describe (copy from and maybe write to NTFS, Malware scan) but also just access the Internet, partition hard drive, usage in internet cafes, etc. So a "normal" Ubuntu would be ok I think except that it must be bootable from USB and I'd like to write my own personal files on it, but I'd also like to be able to use it in read-only mode. –  stracktracer Aug 23 '11 at 7:25
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