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I wanted several operating systems on a USB stick and after many hours messing with syslinux, memdisk, grub4dos, xosl, freedos, avlgomgr, acronis os selector, ranish partition manager. I have succumbed. I first started out wanting to boot an iso off USB and ran into trouble loading large img with memdisk which I found out is due to a bug in msdos so I used freedos but things didn’t work out as planned and it’s a similar woe story’s with the rest. Acronis os selector lets you boot multiple os from one partition from different folders but don’t work great when it comes to dos.
I have 5 partitions on my USB stick and using the boot loader BootIt NG http://www.bootitng.com/bootitng.html This is a 30 day trial. There’s a iso boot image inside the zip you need to burn to cd.
Now I wasn’t happy just putting one os on my USB stick. I wanted linux and diagnostic tools etc.
I now have what I think is the easiest helpful solution below.
Ok XP can only see one partition on a removable USB but if change the USB driver to a fixed disk driver then XP will see it as a hard drive then we can have lay down multiple partitions as we like. Now open regedit and goto HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Enum\USBSTOR
and double click on USBSTORE and you see a subkey below it, select the first subkey below USBSTORE and right click and select Copy Key Name
Here is mine, yours maybe different.
Now we need only need this part:
Copy and paste it temporarily into notepad.
You will now need this driver. http://www.xpefiles....wtopic.php?t=92
Unpack it to a folder on your desktop. Inside the folder is the file cfadisk.inf. You need to open this file and scroll down to you see the line %Microdrive_devdesc% = cfadisk_install, specific data
Now you need to replace all lines %Microdrive_devdesc% = cfadisk_install, specific data with
the line you copied from your registry like so.
%Microdrive_devdesc% = cfadisk_install,USBSTOR\Disk&Ven_Generic&Prod_USB_Flash_Disk&Rev_0.00
There could be more lines so replace all and save the file.
Goto Device Manager and click on disk drives. You see your USB listed, dbl click on it and goto the driver tab and click update driver and install from a specific location and choose the driver to install and click on Have Disk and browse to the cfadisk.inf file your modified driver on your desktop and force that to replace your existing driver. It might ask you to reboot. You should now have your USB showing as Local Disk
We want your first partition dos bootable so run HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool. I’m using version 2.1.8. Select your drive letter of your USB device and select "Create a DOS startup disk" and browse to your 98 boot disk folder. Click Start. Your USB will be formatted and 3 files will be copied from your dos startup files. You need to manually copy the rest of the 98 boot files to your USB drive.
You can now resize the drive (mines 512MB) and create multiple partitions. All partition software now sees it as a fixed disk. I used acronis disk director and resized the partition keeping the first dos bootable partition intact and made another 4 fat partitions so I had 5 in total.
Make sure your format all partitions as Primary not Logical.
I now make all the os for each drive on my USB, so for example I copy all linux files to the root of I: and then syslinux I:
G: Dos bootable drive
I: Dsl Linux
K: Partition Tools
So this way makes it easy to load multiple iso using ramdisk also.
Insert your BootIt NG cd you made earlier and your USB stick and reboot and change your bios to boot from cd and disable all hard drives from your bios so they not detected, that way you wont delete any hard drive data and you know your using the USB only. You can now install BootIt onto your USB stick. This is a simple install. It install on the first partition. It will detect all partitions. You can now add the partitions easily. Your USB shows up as HD0 and the separate partitions as MBR 1, 2 ,3 ,4 5 etc and boot from each one from the menu.
BootIt is not free. I am using this till i can workout a freeware solution.
EDIT: Here comes the better freeware solutions.
I going to explain simple easy way that works, on how to create a bartpe and dos dual-boot on an USB stick install each on separate partitions including a menu to select either. I will use 2 partitions for now.
Download spfdisk it’s a good boot loader which has many features and is free.
http://spfdisk.sourc...et/Spf2K3rE.exe We will be using this. Unpack it. You need 1 file only from it, spfdisk.exe.
Plan how much space to split up for dos and bartpe. Delete all your USB stick so it’s unallocated space and then create 2 partitions of fat to the size you need and format. Make the first partition dos.
Acquire or make a dos bootable cd or floppy and put spfdisk.exe on it. Make sure you match the dos version of your boot disk to same version of dos system files you be using on your usb.
Copy dos,ghost whatever files to your dos partititon and copy your bartpe files to the bartpe partititon.
Check you have the 2 files mkbt.exe & pe2usb.bin in your pebuilder folder. Download Pe2usb if not.
Open up a cmd box in your pebuilder dir and run the command:
“mkbt.exe -x pe2usb.bin N:” N being the letter of your bartpe partition.
Reboot and keep your USB stick in and boot off the dos cd or floppy.
Type the command sys drive: drive being the letter of your dos partititon.
Run spfdisk.exe in dos Create the menu to boot both partitions in spfdisk. Save the changes.
Reboot, take out your cd and boot up off the USB and its working.
Alternative method using WinGrub for multiboot usb
Download Wingrub http://sourceforge.n...group_id=104188
Have the partitions formatted to fat.
Install WinGrub. Insert your USB stick
Note: Your usb stick partitions will be hd0,0 and hd0,1 when you boot on startup but will be different under windows, not showing as the first drive.
First time you rub Wingrub you see a box pop up called base setup. Click the drive letter of your USB stick and click Ok. Make sure its your USB stick you click and not your hard drive. In Wingrub right click in the menu table and click edit and paste the menu data below over the existing data in the edit box and click ok. now save it as a new name ending in .lst - If you need that menu again load it back in. You need to make a folder on your usb called boot and inside that another folder called grub and then copy your menu.lst to that folder.
title Dos Utils
Now in tools menu click Install Grub. You going to install grub to the MBR. Now click the partition letter of your first partition of your USB stick then click install. 2 files have copied to your partition and your mbr is now patched with grub. How easy is that, no use of a disk editor needed. The original mbr is saved in the file MBR.ORG on your usb. You can now reboot test your usb stick and use the grub menu.
This post has been edited by Markymoo: 19 November 2007 - 05:38 AM