How to Make an exFAT Bootable USB flash drive. First we will format the USB with multiple partitions. Install Grub2, and then boot. This method works for both Legacy BIOS and EFI booting. UEFI boot requires the creation of a Fat/Fat32 partition, which is covered in this segment.
How to mount, access and use an exFAT formatted USB drive from within Linux. Most newer Linux distributions already ship with exFAT FAT64 filesystem support via the FUSE library and related utilities. However, many older Ubuntu based distributions did not. The following solution covers the simple process of enabling exFAT detection from older Ubuntu based distributions.
exFAT (Extended Fat), a proprietary filesystem created by Microsoft, was introduced to remove the 4GB file size limitation. Making it a suitable replacement for the older Fat32 filesystem. Most modern USB flash drives arrive exFAT formatted from the factory. So it is nice to be able to use them out of the box across multiple operating systems without the need to reformat.
How to Convert a Virtual Machine VHD VDI into a Bootable USB. The following covers the process of turning VirtualBox “VHD” (Virtual Hard Disk) Images or “VDI” (Virtual Disk) Images into Bootable Physical Disks. Aka: “Copy VHD to Disk”. This is extremely useful for situations when you would like to clone your VirtualBox Machine onto a real device and run them as real systems.
Those once virtual machines containing full operating systems can then be booted and run natively from an external USB drive. Resulting in fully installed Linux or Windows systems booted from an external USB device, instead of VirtualBox.
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How to Convert Fat32 to NTFS without encountering data loss. It is possible to Convert from a Fat32 filesystem to NTFS without losing data or reformatting. Due to the 4GB file size limitation imposed upon Fat32 formatted partitions. It is very likely that you will find yourself in this situation at some point in time.
How to easily Write an IMG or ISO file to a USB flash drive. Win32 Disk Imager is a free disk imaging and cloning tool used to write raw disk images to a USB flash drive from Windows. As you might have guessed, this tool can also create a backup disk image of a USB flash drive. The backup image can then be used to clone a USB flash drive or restore the original drive. Also included is a built in hash checker which helps to ensure your files aren’t corrupted.
Much like Etcher, it also works to direct copy data from .IMG or .ISO files to a removable USB disk. Functioning just like a dd raw write command by overwriting the entire disk with raw data from the source file. As a result, any existing content on the drive is overwritten. Some consider this method destructive because the entire disk, including the boot record and partition table data, becomes overwritten. In some cases the device might even appear unwritable. However, this is almost always only temporary.
How to Install Grub2 on USB from Windows. The following covers the process of installing Grub2 on a USB Flash Drive from within Windows. We will be using the grub-install.exe that ships with the grub-for-windows zip file. Upon completion of these bootloader instructions, your USB flash drive should be Grub2 bootable from UEFI or BIOS on all computer systems.
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Etcher is essentially an ISO to USB Burner and USB Clone tool. Created by Balena, this open source direct image writing and disk cloning software can be used to write, etch or burn an image .img or .iso file onto a flash drive. In addition the utility functions as a USB disk cloning tool, and can be used to easily clone a USB flash drive to another of equal size or larger.
Ventoy is another neat Bootable USB Creation Tool that can be used to boot and run multiple ISO files from USB. Its functionality is simple. Just Format your thumb drive using the tool, then drag and drop your chosen ISO files onto your flash drive. The ISO files are directly copied over and added to the boot menu. This should result in a ready to boot USB device. Ventoy is an Open Source tool, so everyone is welcome to dig in to see how it works. It supports legacy BIOS and UEFI boot options, and also works with UEFI Secure Boot. It is important to note that your flash drive can still be used for regular storage as well.
Creating a USB Boot CD that can be used to boot your Ubuntu Live 11.10 USB Flash Drive from a PC or Mac with a BIOS that doesn’t natively support booting from a USB device (USB drivers are loaded from CD). I used a Macbook Pro to test this tutorial. This process is similar to our older USB Boot CD for Ubuntu tutorial, with new requirements added to make it work with 11.10. A boot menu option has been included for booting from a Macbook (forcing bypass of the Nouveau nVidia drivers, which do not play well with a Macbook.).
Creating a Bootable USB Flash drive to “Boot DOS from USB“, can be complicated. However, a tool called Rufus, created by Pete Batard, can make this task simple. Rufus can also be used to create a Bootable USB version of a given distro from an ISO or image File. Rufus was originally similar in appearance and operation to the HP USB Format tool “HPUSBFW.exe”, and shares many of the same features. However, Rufus is Open Source.
NOTE: This post was written in 2011. Rufus has since evolved into a tool that can be used to format, create master boot records, and install an ISO or Image based distributions to USB. Much like the Universal USB Installer (UUI).
LiveUSB Install is another nice third party Live Linux Bootable USB Creation tool created by Krasimir S. Stefanov. It can be used to quickly install a Live Linux distribution of your choice on a thumbdrive from ISO, CD/DVD, or torrent download. Other unique features include the ability to customize the syslinux.cfg file, use WinGrub, or write an IMG file to the flash drive.
XBOOT is yet another neat little Multiboot ISO USB Creator. It is a Windows based application that can be used to create a Live Multiboot Bootable USB or even a Multiboot ISO file that can then be burnt to a CD/DVD. XBOOT supports many Linux Distributions and Utilities, and allows you to use your choice of a Grub or Syslinux bootloader. Also included is a built in QEMU emulator. Enabling users to boot an ISO from within Windows.
YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer) is a tool intended to be used to create Bootable USB drives. Quickly create a Multiboot USB Flash Drive containing multiple Bootable ISO files. Use it to boot your favorite Live Linux Operating Systems, Linux and Windows Installers, antivirus utilities, disc cloning, backup, penetration testing, diagnostic tools, and much more. Making it easy for anyone to create their own All-In-One Multi use diagnostic USB PC Repair Toolkit.
SARDU is another nice Windows based Multiboot USB Creator that can also be used to create Multiboot CD/DVD’s. Created by Davide Costa, SARDU enables you to create a Multiboot UFD containing your basic essential Utilities, Antivirus, and Windows XP/7 Installers. On top of that, SARDU offers the built in ability to Defragment your USB Drive, and burn an ISO to CD/DVD.
Boot Multiple ISO Files directly from USB using GRUB2 from Linux. Here is one way to create a Multiboot USB Flash Drive (Multiboot ISOs) from a running Linux environment. Eventually, you will want to pick up a larger external storage device in order to include every bootable ISO entry. Here are some of the Fastest USB Flash Drives we have tried and personally use.
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How to Create a Kubuntu Live USB Flash Drive while running from the Live CD. In the following segment, I explain how to use Ubuntu’s Official Startup Disk Creator to put Kubuntu on a Flash Drive. I also used Ubuntu’s Casper Persistence feature, which enables me to save and then restore changes at each subsequent boot. Kubuntu, is a fork of Ubuntu that utilizes the KDE desktop environment instead of Gnome.
How to create a Xubuntu Live USB Bootable Flash Drive while running from the Live CD. The following segment explains how to put Xubuntu on a Flash Drive via Ubuntu’s Official Startup Disk Creator. Ubuntu’s Casper Persistence option is additionally being used here. Enabling you to save and then restore basic changes on subsequent boots. Xubuntu is an official fork of Ubuntu that utilizes an XFCE desktop instead of Gnome. It was also designed to use less system resources than Ubuntu or Kubuntu.
How to easily Create an Ubuntu Live Bootable USB with persistence from a running Live CD. In the following segment I show you how to use the Official Startup Disk Creator, created by the Ubuntu team to put Ubuntu on a USB Flash Drive. Ubuntu’s Casper Persistent feature can also be used for saving and restoring changes on subsequent boots. Ubuntu is a very popular Open Source Linux distribution created by Canonical Ltd. It is originally based upon and derived from Debian. As such, it continues to share many of the same upstream roots.
How to Install and Use UNetbootin from Linux: UNetbootin is a Live USB creation tool that can be used to create a Live Linux USB flash drive. One nice feature of UNetbootin is that the tool is offered for Windows and Linux. In the following, I will cover how to quickly get UNetbootin up and running within an Ubuntu Linux Operating Environment.
How to Create a MultiBoot USB Flash Drive from Linux: Multisystem is an awesome tool created by LiveUSB.info, that works similar to our Windows based MultiBootISOs USB creator, but was created for use within Linux. It also uses Grub2 instead of Grub Legacy, and can be run from within Ubuntu Linux to create a Custom Multiboot UFD containing your favorite Bootable Live Linux Distributions.
This simple tutorial explains how to put Mandriva on a USB Flash Drive from within a running Windows environment by using YUMI. Once the Mandriva ISO is installed, the resulting Bootable USB Flash Drive can be used to try out OpenMandriva Live on USB, and or to install OpenMandriva from the Flash Drive to your internal Hard Drive. Instead of using a traditional CD/DVD ROM.
How to easily put Bitdefender Rescue CD on a USB Flash Drive. Bitdefender Rescue CD is a free bootable anti virus scanner that is based on the Knoppix Linux Operating System. It can be used to independently scan your computer for viruses, and then remove those threats if necessary. In the following section, we show you one way to quickly put it on a USB Flash Drive from Windows.
Put Lucid Puppy on a USB Flash Drive in Windows. In the following section I will show you one way to put Lucid Puppy “Lupu” on a USB Flash Drive from within Windows by using YUMI. Lucid Puppy, coordinated by Barry Kauler is made from a combination of Woof and Canonical’s Ubuntu Lucid Lynx release. Although cram packed with popular features, this Linux distribution remains lightweight and small. Weighing in at only 128MB.
Run GParted from a USB Flash Drive using Windows to complete the task. GParted is a popular graphical partition editor headed by Curtis Gedak. This powerful tool that can be used to create, reorganize, and or delete disk partitions. Other Key features include the ability to create multiple partitions, enable or disable the boot flag, Resize a partition, format, and much more. GParted supports ext2/ext3/ext4, FAT16/FAT32, hfs/hfs+, linux-swap, NTFS, reiserfs/4, ufs, xfs file systems. And can also detect RAID devices.
Ubuntu Installer can not find my SATA drive: I recently experienced a problem installing Ubuntu on a particular computer. Ubuntu’s Ubiquity Installer could not detect my SATA drive, although sudo fdisk -l found the drive just fine, and the drive also appeared in gparted. As it turns out, the SATA drive had left over raid configuration information that was telling the installer to skip the drive (as if it was unsupported). In the following tutorial, I will show you what I did to get Ubuntu to detect the SATA drive, so that I could proceed and install Ubuntu.