YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator

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.

YUMI is currently the recommended successor to our Universal USB Installer and MultiBootISO tools. That of which were amongst the first tools ever made for the purpose of creating a USB bootable flash drive. Files are generally stored within the Multiboot folder, making for a nicely organized Portable Multiboot USB Drive that can still be used for other storage purposes.

Though YUMI was originally intended to be used to store and run various "LIVE Linux" Operating Systems and tools from USB, using it to install Linux from USB to a Hard Drive should work with most distributions. If you find a distribution where the installer does not work, please let me know.

YUMI Multiboot Bootable USB Flash Drive Creation

This tool works much like Universal USB Installer, except it can be used to run more than one distribution from your Thumb Drive. Distributions can also be uninstalled using the same tool!

A YUMI exFAT variant is still in the works. In the interim, Legacy or UEFI variants are recommended. Here are the key differences:

  • Legacy supports either NTFS or Fat32 format. BIOS boot only.
  • UEFI supports Fat32 only. UEFI and BIOS booting (Distro dependent).

YUMI Legacy (BIOS only)

Legacy Setup Screen

YUMI Legacy Multiboot USB Creator

Legacy Multiboot USB Boot Menu

YUMI Legacy Multiboot Boot Menu

YUMI Legacy Download and Changelog:

April 19, 2021 YUMI-2.0.8.6.exe: Updated to support LinuxCNC. Fixed Super Grub2 Disk entry.

YUMI SHA-256: 0E08742E3E28FCA7A352762AA0D86740D8BA3B7C49864CBCB6A71F3693E8F710

YUMI Fat32 (UEFI+BIOS)

The YUMI UEFI variant utilizes GRUB2 for both UEFI and BIOS booting. Note that this UEFI version is not compatible with legacy variants. Supported distributions are limited, and your USB drive must be Fat32 formatted to support booting in UEFI mode. It utilizes the fat32format utility to format drives larger than 32GB as Fat32.

YUMI UEFI

NOTE: Backup your content from all partitions on your select USB disk before formatting, as the entire drive will be wiped clean!

If it is enabled, you will also need to disable secure boot from your computers BIOS/UEFI system firmware menu, before booting.

YUMI UEFI/BIOS fat32 Download and Changelog:

April 21, 2021 YUMI-UEFI-0.0.3.7.exe: Fixed Windows 10 Installer to work with newer Windows 10 ISOs with an Install.wim larger than 4GB. Added support for LinuxCNC.

Diskpart is used to wipe the select drive clean and then create a single partition. Fat32format is used to format the large partition as fat32. Make sure to backup your data from all partitions on the device before using the "Wipe and fat32 format" option.

YUMI UEFI SHA-256: CCA141AED55D13B960F59AE96F1376B36D24931D1C125FC246142F5CEACADA5C

Running YUMI from LINUX: WINE is NOT currently working. 

NOTE: For legacy YUMI, your USB drive must be Fat32/NTFS formatted, otherwise Syslinux will fail and as a result, your drive will NOT Boot. NTFS may not work with every distribution but is required for storing files over 4GB. YUMI UEFI currently must use Fat32 format.

YUMI Legacy or UEFI can be used to format your select USB drive, but be aware that all partitions on the select disk will also be deleted. Ensure that you have made a backup of any information you want to keep before using YUMI on any drive.

Basic Essentials to create a MultiSystem Bootable USB Drive

IMPORTANT: YUMI will only display USB drives detected by Windows as removable media. Here's a list of recommended Fast SSD Flash Drives.

  • Fat32 or *NTFS Formatted 2GB+ USB Flash Drive
  • Computer that can boot from a USB device
  • A Windows 8/10 environment
  • YUMI
  • ISO Files

Please inform me of unlisted "FREE" Live Linux distributions or version revisions, and I will attempt to update YUMI to support them, as I find time. Additionally, Bootable Software developers who wish to have their "PAID" software added, can send me a copy to try.

YUMI UEFI Changelog

04/21/21 Version 0.0.3.7: Fixed Windows 10 Installer to work with newer Windows 10 ISOs with an Install.wim larger than 4GB. Also added support for LinuxCNC.

04/16/21 Version 0.0.3.6: Fixed broken System Rescue option. Set to show USB removable media only. Devices listed as local (fixed) disks are no longer displayed.

03/19/21 Version 0.0.3.5: Updated to support memtest 86+ 5.3.1. Removed some distros that are no longer in development. Fix broken links.

01/19/21 Version 0.0.3.4: Added Try Unlisted ISO option. Switched to use diskpart to wipe and create a single partition, then use fat32 format.

01/11/21 Version 0.0.3.3: Updated to use Grub2 MBR instead of chain loading from Syslinux. Added additional drive checkpoints.

Legacy YUMI Changelog

04/19/21 Version 2.0.8.6: Updated to support Linux CNC. Also corrected Super Grub2 Disk entry.

04/16/21 Version 2.0.8.5: Set to show USB removable media only. Devices listed as local (fixed) disks are no longer displayed.

03/19/21 Version 2.0.8.4: Remove some distros that are no longer in development. Also fixed several broken links.

01/11/21 Version 2.0.8.3: Moved persistent file creation back to local drive when using NTFS format (You'll need to make sure you have enough empty space to store the persistent file locally while it is being created). Also created additional checkpoints for drive selection.

How to Create a MultiBoot USB Flash Drive (Windows)

  1. Run* YUMI following the onscreen instructions.
  2. Then, Run the tool again to Add More ISOs/Distributions to your Drive.
  3. Restart your PC. But be sure to set it to boot from the USB device.
  4. Select a distribution to launch. Then, boot and enjoy!

That's really all there is to it. If all went well, then you should be booting your favorite distributions from your custom Multi-Boot USB device!


Creating a MultiBoot USB Flash Drive (Linux)

The following instructions were performed from an Ubuntu host environment.

NOTE: The following method is broken, and will be updated at a later point.

I. Format your USB Flash Drive to use a Single Partition:

  1. Open a terminal and type sudo su
  2. Type fdisk -l (and note which device is your USB Drive)
  3. Type fdisk /dev/sdx (replacing x with your actual usb device)
  4. Type d (to delete the existing partition)
  5. Type n (to create a new partition)
  6. Type p (for primary partition)
  7. Type 1 (to create the first partition)
  8. Press Enter (to use the first cylinder)
  9. Press Enter again (to use the default value as the last cylinder)
  10. Type a (for active)
  11. Type 1 (to mark the first partition active "bootable")
  12. Type t (for partition type)
  13. Type c (to use fat32 partition)
  14. Type w (to write the changes and close fdisk)

II. Create a Fat32 Filesystem on the USB Flash Drive:

  1. Type umount /dev/sdx1 (to unmount the mounted partition)
  2. Type mkfs.vfat -F 32 -n MULTIBOOT /dev/sdx1 (to format the partition as fat32)
  3. Remove and reinsert your USB flash drive, or remount it

III. Install WINE:

    1. To install WINE from within an Ubuntu operating environment, first open a terminal and type sudo apt install wine, then press enter. Once WINE is installed, launch YUMI as you normally would by simply clicking the YUMI-2.0.8.6.exe

How YUMI Works

YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer) enables each user to create their own custom Multiboot UFD containing only the distributions they want, in the order by which they are installed. A new distribution can be added to the UFD each time the tool is run.

If you run YUMI from the same location you store ISO files, then they should be auto detected (*See Known Issues Below), eliminating the need to browse for each ISO.

Other Notes: If MultibootISOs was previously used, you must reformat the drive, and start over. YUMI uses Syslinux directly, and chainloads to grub only if necessary, so it is not compatible with the older Multiboot ISO tool. Although I do plan to add back most of the capabilities of MultibootISOs as time permits.

YUMI can Create a Bootable UFD of the following distros/tools

Note: The Distro List varies between YUMI EUFI and Legacy.

— Debian Live 32/64 Bit —

  • Debian Live

— Fedora 32/64 Bit —

  • Fedora

— Linux Mint 32/64 Bit —

  • Linux Mint

— OpenSUSE 32/64 Bit —

  • OpenSUSE 32bit
  • * OpenSUSE 64bit

— Puppy Linux 32/64 Bit —

  • DPup Exprimo
  • Fatdog64
  • Lucid Puppy Linux
  • Precise Puppy Linux
  • Racy Puppy Linux
  • Slacko Puppy
  • Wary Puppy Linux

— Ubuntu 32/64 Bit —

  • Ubuntu
  • * Ubuntu Gnome
  • ** Ubuntu Server Installer
  • *** Ubuntu Secure Remix
  • **** Ubuntu Studio
  • Edubuntu
  • Kubuntu
  • Lubuntu
  • Xubuntu
  • Backbox

— Other Distros Alphabetical —

  • Android-x86
  • Antergos
  • AntiX
  • Archlinux
  • Bodhi
  • Bunsenlabs/Crunchbang
  • CAELinux (Computer Aided Engineering)
  • CentOS Live
  • ChaletOS
  • Damn Small Linux (DSL)
  • Fuduntu
  • gpxe (Net Bootable Distros)
  • KNOPPIX
  • KXStudio
  • Mandriva
  • Netrunner
  • OSGeo Live
  • PCLinuxOS
  • Peppermint
  • Peach OSI Linux
  • Pear Linux
  • Pinguy OS
  • Porteus
  • PureOS
  • SalineOS
  • Scientific Linux CERN
  • Semplice Linux
  • SLAX (Tiny Slackware Based Distro)
  • Slitaz (Another Tiny Distro)
  • Sparky Linux
  • SolydX
  • Sugar on a Stick
  • System Rescue CD
  • Tails (Anonymous Browsing)
  • Liberte (Anonymous Browsing)
  • Terralinux
  • TinyCore (A Tiny Linux Distribution)
  • Ultimate Edition 3
  • XBMCbuntu
  • Zorin OS Core

———— NetBook Distributions ————

  • EasyPeasy (NetBook Distro)
  • Jolicloud (NetBook Distro)
  • Ubuntu Netbook Remix
  • xPUD (Netbook Distro)

————— Antivirus Tools —————

  • Acronis Antimalware CD
  • AOSS (Malware Scanner) system\stage1
  • AVG Rescue CD (Antivirus Scanner)
  • AVIRA AntiVir Rescue CD (Virus Scanner) ; does install to root of drive
  • Bitdefender Rescue Disk (Antivirus Scanner)
  • Comodo Rescue Disk (Antivirus Scanner)
  • Dr.Web Live CD ; does install to root
  • F-Secure Rescue CD
  • GDATA Rescue CD
  • Kaspersky Rescue Disk (Antivirus Scanner)
  • Panda SafeCD
  • Windows Defender Offline

—————– System Tools —————-

  • Acronis True Image
  • BackBox (Penetration Testing)
  • BackTrack5 (Penetration Testing)
  • Boot Repair Disk
  • Clonezilla (Backup + Clone Tool)
  • DBAN (Hard Drive Nuker)
  • Deft (Forensics)
  • DRBL (Diskless Remote Boot in Linux)
  • EASEUS Disk Copy (Disk Cloning Tool)
  • FreeDOS (Balder img)
  • GParted (Partition Tools)
  • GRML (system rescue)
  • HDT (Hardware Detection Tool)
  • Kali (Penetration Testing)
  • Memtest86+ (Memory Testing Tool)
  • Matriux (Penetration Testing)
  • Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
  • Ophcrack (Password Finder)
  • Parted Magic (Partition Tools)
  • PING (Partimg Is Not Ghost)
  • Partition Wizard (Partition Tools)
  • Rescatux
  • Redo Backup And Recovery (Recovery Tools)
  • Rip Linux (Recovery Distro)
  • Trinity Rescue Kit ; does install to root of drive
  • Ultimate Boot CD (Diagnostics Tools)
  • Web Converger (Web Kiosk)
  • WifiSlax
  • —————– Other OS/Tools —————-
  • Linux Live Tools for OCZ
  • Linux CNC
  • Hiren's Boot CD ; does install to root of drive
  • Falcon 4 Boot CD ; does install to root of drive
  • Hiren's Boot PE
  • Sergei strelec WinPE
  • Other WinPE
  • Kon-Boot Floppy Image
  • Windows XP/8/10 Installer
  • ~~ Windows To Go

—————– Bootable ISOs —————-

  • Try an Unlisted ISO (SYSLINUX)
  • * Try an Unlisted ISO (GRUB)
  • ** Try an Unlisted ISO (GRUB Run from RAM)

YUMI Troubleshooting, Known Issues, Bugs

The Persistence feature is currently broken with Newer Debian based distributions due to changes upstream. Debian now requires the persistent block file and label to be named persistence instead of live-rw, and it must hold a persistence.conf file containing / Union.

With the Legacy variant, if you encounter a message stating

An error (1) occurred while executing syslinux. Your USB drive won't be bootable.

An error (1) occurred executing syslinux
Make sure your USB drive is formatted using a Fat32 or NTFS partition with an MBR (Master Boot Record). An exFAT formatted Partition will not work. GPT (GUID Partition Table) Fat32 or NTFS Partitions are also not currently supported.

If you encounter a message stating

Insane primary (MBR) partition. Can’t find myself on the drive I booted from

First, replace your chain.c32 file located at multiboot/chain.c32 with (you'll need to unzip the file) -> This zipped chain c32 File

If replacing the chain.c32 file does not fix the problem, your USB drive may be improperly formatted, contains more than one partition or MBR, or your BIOS is not properly detecting the USB drive as USB-HDD, and/or its firmware needs to be updated. You can try these methods to Format and Restore your USB Drive

Windows to Go/Installers – Options Explained

YUMI Legacy Variant:
The Windows to Go option creates a VHD file that is 20GB in size. As such, it requires the drive to be formatted NTFS. Fat32 cannot support a file more than 4GB in size. Many flash drives you might find at local department stores won't be fast enough. You'll need a Very Fast Flash Drive. When Windows boots from the USB for the first time, it'll go through the setup process and then reboot. You'll need to boot using your Windows to Go menu option a second time to finalize the setup process and finally boot into your full Portable Windows.

The Single Windows Installer/PE options are most likely to work for both stock and modified ISO files. When using it, you are limited to storing one Windows Installer per USB drive (I.E. one Win XP and one Win Vista 7 or 10). The Multiple Windows Installer/PE options allow for storing more than one stock Windows Installer per drive. Generally, only unmodified Windows ISO files will work with this option.

-wimboot option stores the extracted Multi Windows Installers in their own directory. -bootmgr option moves the bootmgr and bcd files to root of drive. (note: -bootmgr option does require a Windows Vista or later host to run bcdedit).

Traditional YUMI is not natively UEFI capable. However, it is possible to boot and run your Windows Installers from UEFI. To switch between added Windows versions, navigate to the multiboot/win-directory (replacing win-directory with the Windows version you want to boot) on your USB. Once there, move the bootmgr, bootmgr.efi, and entire boot folder to the root of your USB drive. Then reboot, booting your computer from the UEFI compatible USB. If all went well, it should boot straight into your chosen Windows Installer.

Try an Unlisted ISO – Options Explained

Legacy Variant:

  1. Try Unlisted ISO (Grub Partition 4) – This boot option will attempt to boot the ISO file using Grub. It adds a 4th partition table to the USB device and uses this as a placeholder for the ISO. This method should successfully boot most Linux based distributions.
  2. Try Unlisted ISO (Grub) – Same as boot option 1, but attempts to boot the ISO without using a 4th partition as a placeholder for the ISO.
  3. Try Unlisted ISO (Grub From RAM) – Same as boot option 2, but attempts to store the ISO in system memory and boot it from there. Useful for cases where the ISO is small, and you'd like to boot the OS and then move the USB to different machines and subsequently boot the OS from them as well.
  4. Try Unlisted ISO (via Syslinux) – The original default YUMI supported boot option. Syslinux works to boot many distributions, but not all.

UEFI Variant:

  1. Try Unlisted ISO – This boot option will attempt to boot the ISO file using Grub Partnew. It works by creating a 4th partition table on the USB device (a 4th partition must not already exist) to use as a placeholder for the ISO. Then, either the configuration file or Linux and Initrd files are located and Boot is attempted.

Multiboot folder and volume name.

YUMI attempts to store most added distributions within the multiboot folder. This is also the root directory set for syslinux. In some cases, YUMI also expects the Volume Label of your USB drive to be MULTIBOOT in order for OpenSUSE, CentOS and several other distributions to boot. YUMI will attempt to automatically create this Volume Label, however it can sometimes fail. So please ensure that the Volume Label of your USB remains MULTIBOOT if you expect your distributions to boot.

When booting linux distributions from some laptops such as the Lenovo Yoga with a touchscreen, the acpi=off boot parameter might be necessary in order to successfully boot.

My PC wont Boot from my Flash Drive, but BIOS supports USB boot!

Some Flash Drives ship formatted (without a partition), as a result, YUMI requires the drive to contain a partition with a MBR (Master Boot Record). To ensure compatibility, you can use YUMI to format your device as NTFS or Fat32.

How to force a rebuild of the Syslinux MBR:

This is useful if your YUMI prepared USB drive is somehow no longer bootable.

Legacy only:
From the multiboot folder on your flash drive, delete the hidden file ldlinux.sys and then rename the libcom32.c32 file to _libcom32.c32. Then use YUMI to install any menu item. YUMI will notice that the file is missing and will attempt to reinstall syslinux and repair the master boot record. Once finished, rename _libcom32.c32 back to libcom32.c32.

Other Known Issues:

TAILS – If your USB is detected as a "fixed" hard drive and not a "removable" disk, (a few Sandisk drives have the removable bit flipped this way), you'll have to remove occurrences of the boot parameter "live-media=removable" from the Live64.cfg file found at "\multiboot\tails-amd64-3.3\EFI\BOOT\" or consequently TAILS will fail to find the live filesystem.

The files for Flacon 4, Hiren's Boot CD, Trinity Rescue Kit, Backtrack, Avira Antivir, and Dr.Web Live are all stored outside of the multiboot folder. Most other distribution files remain contained within the multiboot folder. I am open to a simple working solution!

YUMI supports Windows XP Install from USB via ISO. In order for the Windows XP installation to succeed, you must perform the following steps;
1.) To begin an install, select (Stage 1)
2.) Upon first reboot, you must select (Stage 2)
3.) Finally, after (Stage 2) is complete – upon the second reboot, select (Stage 3) to boot the drive where you installed Windows XP. If this option fails, simply remove the USB and reboot!

* YUMI does support NTFS, however not all distributions will boot from an NTFS formatted device. NTFS is required for Windows to Go and distributions containing files over 4GB.

Troubleshooting Boot Errors:

While trying to run an ISO from USB, If you get a Boot error saying:

Error 60: File for drive emulation must be in one contiguous disk area

This generally happens on the persistence file, when using YUMI Legacy with NTFS format. You may have to do this after adding an Ubuntu based distro with persistence on an NTFS drive. Fat32 won't encounter this issue.

You'll need to defragment your ISO using one of the following tools to defragment the ISO or persistence file:

Defraggler <— recommended (free version works fine).

contig – Command line tool used to defragment ISO files.

wincontig – GUI tool used to defragment ISO files.

Additional Notes:

When using Legacy YUMI, any non-booting or broken menu entries for ISO files added via the "Try an Unlisted ISO (GRUB)" options, can be fixed by editing each corresponding entry in \multiboot\menu\menu.lst

If you don't have a floppy drive and get fd0 errors while booting, simply add floppy.allowed_drive_mask=0 to the append line for the troubled entry. Although the best fix is to simply disable floppy in BIOS.

Persistently Saving Changes: YUMI currently enables the casper-rw persistence feature for some (but not all) Ubuntu based distributions. Yes, you can also have multiple persistent distributions, as each distro utilizes its own casper-rw file. * Persistence will NOT work on NTFS formatted USB drives. Additionally, some distributions will not even boot via NTFS!

Ophcrack Tables. In order to load Ophcrack tables, the tables folder needs to exist at the root directory of the USB device; (example F:\tables\vista_free). You can Get Ophcrack Tables from the Official Ophcrack site. Once downloaded, simply unzip them to the root of your USB. Because you're using this method, you can have your Windows XP and Vista/7/10 tables all working together on the same device.

YUMI on Linux: You can run YUMI on a Linux Host via WINE. Current versions of YUMI no longer properly run from WINE. <– To Do – Fix

YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator published under Bootable USB Creator Software 

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