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Windows 7: installing a boot loader on a thumb drive

09 Oct 2009   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
installing a boot loader on a thumb drive

I know this does not necessarily pertain to Windows installation, but I did not know where else to place this thread. I know it is possible to burn isos to a thumb drive, but is there a way to put a boot loader on a thumb drive so I can have many images on separate partitions? For example, I want to partition my 32GB thumb drive into 700MB partitions, so that I can have Clonezilla live on one, GParted on another, and maybe the Windows 7 repair disk on another. Is this possible?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Oct 2009   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thanks. I have a few questions, though. What is the first step in making the drive bootable? I mean, just sticking some files on it won't let it boot, right?

My second question is after I am in Linux, what exactly do I put on the partitions? The GParted iso? Do I have to extract it, or is the iso good enough?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Oct 2009   #4

XP, Seven, 2008R2

that's right, just sticking some files won't let it boot. You have to actually write a boot sector. because a boot sector is not a file, it is just bits and bytes on some sector of the device.

you can't just stick an iso on it. You will first need to extract the files out of the iso
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2009   #5
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

One thing that needs to be corrected here is in regards to GParted. That's not an OS but one of the Linux drive partitioning tools. QParted is another one whlie GParted or the Gnome Partition Editor can be used on and for MS partitions as well as for VFat.

For installing a Linux distro on a flash drive you can easily take most live for cd types with the option to install and simply run the distro there. For making the drive bootable you won't have the option for too many partitions to run several images but rather need a program like VirtualClone Drive where you can pick and choose the image to mount on a virtual optical drive.

With the tool mentioned on the other thread linked that is named in the guide pointed to there for creation of a usb key where the program used to write the iso image to a flash drive takes up the entire drive by default. An existing partition will tend to be reformatted by the program itself when going to write the image to a Fat32 volume. USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create

On the other hand one way to see various distros run from a flash drive is to see each one installed on a virtual hard drive instead by first burning the iso to a blank cd and then creating each new virtual HD following the installation of the SUN Portable Virtual Box on the flash drive itself. Portable VirtualBox
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 installing a boot loader on a thumb drive

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