Make a Multiboot Flash Drive for Windows and Linux

How to Make a Multiboot Flash Drive for Windows and Linux

There are now several excellent multiboot USB tools you can use to turn your humble USB into a pocket-sized operating system repository. The only thing that’ll hold you back is the size of the stick. And here are some ways to make a Multiboot Flash drive for Window and Linux.

1. YUMI

Supports: Linux (Pre-loaded), Windows (Add manually).

YUMI is an extremely well known multiboot USB tool. You can use YUMI to install a wide-range of Linux, antivirus software, system tools, boot CDs, and Windows installation packages to a single USB. Once you load YUMI, the tool will ask you to Select a distribution to put onto [your drive letter]. Scroll through the drop down menu until you find the distribution you’re looking for.

YUMI

YUMI has integrated download functions for a number of Linux distros. When you select a distro with this function, a download box will appear alongside the distribution selection drop-down menu. Downloads for Linux distros and rescue kits (such as Trinity Rescue Kit) can automatically launch. However, Windows ISOs must be manually downloaded and selected.

YUMI

2. SARDU

Supports: Linux (Free), Windows (Pro only).

SARDU is another well known, well used multiboot USB tool. It comes with a flashier interface, but also applies restrictions to exactly what you can add to your USB. This is due to SARDU offering a free version for personal use, and a Pro version. The Pro version grants you access to Windows installers, while everything Linux is available in the free version.

SARDU

The SARDU interface is more accessible than YUMI’s single drop-down menu. You’ll find individual tabs for anti-virus, utility, Linux, and Windows, as well as a Pro-only “Extra” tab. Selecting your operating systems is extremely easy. When you check a box, the option to download appears.

Note that SARDU will also write to a CD, unlike its direct competitors.

3. XBOOT

Supports: Linux, various recovery and antivirus tools, QEMU.

XBOOT is a slightly older multiboot tool. As such, it doesn’t come with the range of identified ISOs found in YUMI or SARDU. However, it does feature QEMU, an open source operating system emulator. You can use QEMU to emulate an operating system on your USB. When you create your USB, XBOOT will offer to test the finished result using QEMU. For this reason, XBOOT is still a handy tool.

 XBOOT

XBOOT has a handy feature in the Edit Multiboot USB tab. This tab allows you to edit the menu list of a grub4dos or Syslinux configuration file, meaning you can arrange the menu to your liking. You can also reinstall bootloaders if you are having trouble with your multiboot USB.

4. WinSetupFromUSB

Supports: Windows, Linux, Antivirus, recovery disks.

WinSetupFromUSB is a multiboot USB tool that focuses on Windows installers. You can add multiple sets of Windows installation files including XP, 2000, 2003, Server 2008, and Server 2012. As well as Windows installers, you can add Linux distros, antivirus packages, and recovery disks. So long as the ISO image is grub4dos compatible, you should be able to add it to your multiboot USB.

WinSetupFromUSB

Unfortunately, WinSetupFromUSB doesn’t feature a download tool. However, it really isn’t difficult to locate ISOs online. Conversely, WinSetupFromUSB features some advanced tools that other tools simply don’t have. For instance, FBinst Tool will reformat your USB to work with any BIOS by creating a special disk layout. This is particularly useful for old, out-of-date systems.

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