The decision

I’ve decided to re-write the entire toolkit yet again. This time, it will depend on Powershell. Very little in the way of external dependencies will be necessary.

In the meantime, development of the current version will cease after a final release is deployed to the site. This will essentially be v1 and the powershell version will be v2. All existing cmdlets will be recreated in powershell, and fine-tuned.

It’s 2016, and it’s time to get away from the old 1990’s way of scripting things. Command scripting only goes so far, and logging errors gets extremely confusing after a while… and problematic.

BootZilla will continue to evolve and take advantage of the newest technologies whenever possible.

Question(s)

Just as the new week begins, I started thinking about what types of tools BootZilla should offer in the long term. Should BootZilla offer tools to get rid of the “Get Windows Ten” feature? Should BootZilla offer tools to maintain a system, or should it be the one-time fix toolkit that techs pull out from their pockets and use to remove all the crap that ends up on random people’s machines?

Should BootZilla act as a multi-purpose tool set, instead of the current toolkit that it exists as? As it stands, BZ is just the toolkit that a tech pulls out from their pockets, as a solution to a problem that they’re having problems solving. I’m not sure whether or not BootZilla is ready for this migratory period either.

During development of the BZBuilder, I did add a bit of ‘add-ons’ functionality, which I intended to use as a means of introducing new functionality to the toolkit. At this point in time, I’m considering adding a pre-packaged toolkit add-on that would include the tools mentioned above. This way, the toolkit would feel complete, and would allow the end-user to customize it if they don’t want the added tools. The total added size to the toolkit should not exceed 100mb. The plan for addons was to not require more than 100mb/addon script.

One of the other benefits of adding Easy2Boot to the toolkit was to make it easy to add pre-packaged ISO files to the toolkit without adding a lot of bloat to the toolkit – being able to package a whole bunch of bootable tools to a single piece of boot media is a huge advancement, let alone being able to do it without much in the way of ‘special’ tools.

So here we are, the Winter of 2016, a solid year after the initial proof of concept for BootZilla v1. What comes next is the last bits and pieces of the entire toolkit, as intended from the very start.

The next release should include the aforementioned pre-packaged add-on tools, and should also include the (currently missing) configuration for syMenu.

I’m not setting a soft or hard date, as it will happen when it happens. Work comes first, after all, and I have quite a bit of it to get through before I have a chance at doing more work on BZ. At the earliest, I’d expect the next version to be available between March-May 2016. The final version may have to wait until Summer 2016.

The eventual v2 release will be postponed for at least 6-months to a year from the release of the final version of v1.

Goodbye Apache/PHP/MySQL – Hello Nginx, HHVM and MariaDB

I think all the connection issues have been solved as of ~3 minutes ago. I spent the past two hours getting rid of all traces of php5 on my server, to force HHVM in its place. After doing so, all the weird issues with php execution on the server seems to have settled down. I don’t know what the deal is with fastcgi execution of php on nginx, but it’s unstable and logging doesn’t help much.

BootZilla development is just as strong as ever. After using the current set of tools in the field, I’ve found that there feels like a lack of certain anti-malware tools. More testing of additional tools is needed before I go and add them to the toolkit. There’s a lot of useful tools on the net, but a lot are either lacking in documentation, or intended for analysis of malware, and not so much for removal of malware.

Keeping a watchful eye on these types of tools is a lot easier today than it was even 5 years ago. There’s a push now for keeping your personal information private – and people are always looking for ways to get themselves protected. The general public seem to be more aware of what companies are trying to do when it comes to advertisements. As of right now, BootZilla.org has no advertisements. I do not intend on adding any, either. It doesn’t make much in the way of money, and only helps malvertising, which is counter-intuitive to the project.

Getting this website back up and running took a lot of work. Now that it seems to be stable, real work can be continued on the toolkit.

 

site updates

Just some minor changes today – updated WordPress to the latest release, changed the default theme – this is just an interim theme for the time being.

2016 brings BootZilla into its 11th year of existence. 11 years of making a tech-friendly toolkit is a long time- patience is something that was learned over those 11 years. Through many development cycles and re-development projects, the toolkit has evolved as requirements changed. It began life as a simple burned CD with a couple tools on it.
Now, the toolkit is intended for a bootable USB drive, and with that, more functionality has actually been made easier to accomplish.

The next beta will include patching directly from the script, as well as a few little gems that needed to be added in before it’s considered RC/final quality.

Beta 4 posted!

I’ve released beta 4 of version 1.0. This is just a minor update to previously released versions of the current beta.

Updates include minor things like updating 7zip to the latest version, updating various apps to the latest url’s and versions, and minor tweaks to the build process. More work is needed to iron out a few ‘big’ bugs.

The site is still in a rapid flux of repairs and optimizations from the move over from shared hosting on an apache server to a VPS running on Nginx. As such, some parts of the site might not function properly until I nail down all these faults and issues.

Migration and life

Life has gotten in the way of my plans to migrate the site in a timely fashion. Luckily, I made time for it today and made some headway. The site is back up and running to a point. I need to restart the whole download repository idea from scratch, but that’s another day/week/month away from now.

I’ll be sending out password resets once the site is further along. For now, you may bask in the knowledge that:

  • 7-Zip finally has a new stable release! version 15.12 came out this past week.
  • BootZilla development is NOT dead, it’s just hiding on a couple flash drives and computers
  • Lots of updates to how the whole toolkit works and updates are in the works
  • Re-teaching myself how to maintain a linux server takes a lot of time
  • SSL isn’t enabled yet – this is the one thing I want to get done before re-enabling user signups and accounts.
  • ???
  • Profit!

Site migration in progress

BootZilla.org is currently being migrated to the new web host. It will take a couple days to get everything going. We’re moving away from an apache backend to a private server running nginx. As such, there’s a handful of wacky issues that need attention before migration will be completed.

As of writing, BootZilla updates should still work, regardless of the state of the site. The few dependencies that BootZilla does not ship with can be downloaded through the normal scripted means — there exists a hidden directory that contains mirrored files that are only accessible via direct linking/downloads – these are already migrated and intact. The rest of the downloads will follow.

Major Changes Ahead!

I’ve begun adding all the tool categories and files that BootZilla grabs to the main site. As time goes on, more and more tools will be grabbed and mirrored on BootZilla’s server, to help keep a local repository with proper documentation for each file. This in turn makes BootZilla not only a toolkit, but also a tools website. In turn, development continues on the toolkit and its various scripts. Several changes have been made in the direction this whole project is taking.

Initially, the idea for BootZilla was an easily update-able toolkit that would require the least amount of configuration from the end-user to operate. Earlier versions of the toolkit provided easy to understand documentation for each tool. That’s still the goal, and going forward with the new mirror direction is going to help a whole lot.

The descriptions for the files on this mirror will be scraped together and used in the final build of BootZilla’s documentation. One of the biggest flaws with the current version of BootZilla is the lack of this critical documentation. This new feature will correct this. Not only that, but it will protect against losing some tools that have gone missing from the internet. There’s a handful of these tools that either are no longer available, or completely removed from their respective author’s sites. If this project is to thrive, these types of problems need to be addressed.

One last bit that this will help with is continuity – some files will obviously be updated from the original author’s sites, but others, like Universal Virus Sniffer, which is currently made available through a self-hosted dyndns site will be mirrored to help the author out. I mention this tool in particular, as it’s the first tool to be made fully mirrored on BootZilla.org. The links will be added when the time is right.

As for the next ‘beta’ — It would make more sense to focus on a final release sooner rather than later. As such, the second version of the CMDLet design will have to wait. A lot of work still needs to be done in order for the toolkit to be considered release-quality. A bit of this work was done over the last weekend. ISO-creation will not be a feature this time around, as employing USB drives seems to be the standard means of using this type of toolkit.

BootZilla will include the awesome Easy2Boot toolkit, which supports booting directly from ISO’s, disk images, and various other neat formats. You can dump in practically ANY ISO, ANY disk image, and have it boot without much fuss. It’s what I personally use to boot Windows Installation media on PC’s – and it’s free, too. It’s written by the same people behind the RMPrepUSB format tool, which will be utilized to help create a bootable USB drive, if the user so wishes, with the contents of BootZilla onboard.

Minor beta update release

Very minor updates to the CMDLets that should resolve a bunch of problems in the last release.

The last release was -ahem- buggy. A handful of tools need to be re-sourced and re-implemented, but will likely have to wait until template2 is fully re-written.

Just a minor update for the interim. Consider this Beta 2.1.

July 7, 2015 –
Removed Old Timer’s Temp File Cleaner (need to find a mirror)
Removed Amphetamine (URL no longer resolves, tool no longer listed on foolishIT.com)
Updated Display Driver Uninstaller to latest release and fixed URL issue
Updated PeStudio to latest version
Fixed ADWCleaner cmdlet

June 2015 Beta released

I’ve released the latest beta, updated thru June 2015. Lots of small changes, and development changes in the pipeline. Some examples of these changes can be seen in the newer template2.cmd that’s included. More work needs to be done, but at least this has some updates that were needed.

The latest beta release with updated CMDLets. There’s a changelog now!

Includes current work on template2, as well as a few other bits and pieces.