Can I add folders to a bootable USB drive Solved

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  1.    05 Apr 2018 #1

    Can I add folders to a bootable USB drive

    I have a 64GB USB thumb drive that I want to make bootable. Since I'll have a lot of space left over, can I add folders with non-bootable portable software inside each folder? My reasoning is: When I use the drive to boot from, it will not recognize the folders I've added. Thank you............
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  2.    05 Apr 2018 #2

    I have done it and never had a problem with my bootable flash drive.
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  3. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 2,234
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
       05 Apr 2018 #3

    Of course you can.

    But chances are you are going to format that drive sooner or later, especially if you use it for W10.

    I have a W7 USB stick installer, with a bunch of software on it.

    What do you mean "when you boot from the stick it does not recognize the folders" ?

    It`s not suppose to until Windows has been installed.

    Plug the usb stick into any PC with an operating system on it, can you open and use/install the programs in those folders ?
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  4.    05 Apr 2018 #4

    Hi there.

    Honestly, you can do it, however there is a slight chance that it can mess with the recognition of the folders.
    I would highly recommend against it and have a USB for each bootable and then just a USB that you store your data on.

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  5. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,689
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       05 Apr 2018 #5

    Agreed, it shouldn't be a problem. Just don't change the format of the bootable USB drive or it may not work. The MCT/Media Creation Tool will reformat the USB drive as FAT32 during the process in creating it so be sure to save any data you need, that exists nowhere else. I use a 16GB drive, use the choice of Both to get 32-bit and 64-bit and add the succeeding updates as they come out, both 32-bit and 64-bit. I don't get the smaller Delta version of the updates as they assume the computer is fully up-to-date.
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  6. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,664
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809 Build 17763.134 (Branch: RS5 Release Preview)
       06 Apr 2018 #6

    I have a 128GB thumbdrive which I made to a bootable Windows Setup Media. The rest of the drive I have filled with various files and portable apps and drivers for various hardware, I might need. No issues so far.

    If your Bootable media can't find your thumbdrive and your folders, then it means only that you are missing a driver. Try booting from an USB2.0 port. USB3.0 drivers will most likely not be available until you manually add them to your bootable drive, thus making it impossible to read anything from the stick during setup sessions.
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  7.    06 Apr 2018 #7

    Take a look at our very own Kyhi's Rescue Disk right here at TenForums.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	kyhi-programs.png 
Views:	62 
Size:	276.6 KB 
ID:	183696
    This is built around the WinPE environment which is more or less the same runtime as in the Windows Recovery (WinRE) environment. He's not only done quite a lot of this: he's also figured out how to make those programs usable within that environment so that it can assist with recovery and repair activities while booted into the rescue disk. Great stuff!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails kyhi-desktop.png  
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  8.    06 Apr 2018 #8

    Now, I have more questions. Please stay tuned........
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  9.    06 Apr 2018 #9

    Biggest issue is that a bootable flash drive needs to be fat32 formatted, so if any individual files are over 4GB in size, they cannot be written to the drive.
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  10. slicendice's Avatar
    Posts : 3,664
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1809 Build 17763.134 (Branch: RS5 Release Preview)
       06 Apr 2018 #10

    cereberus said: View Post
    Biggest issue is that a bootable flash drive needs to be fat32 formatted, so if any individual files are over 4GB in size, they cannot be written to the drive.
    This isn't entirely true. You can use NTFS in MBR mode (which needs a bit of boot sector editing magic and other partition configuration magic) but in UEFI the boot partition need to be FAT32, but rest can be NTFS. All this could however be old information for Windows 10 and I haven't tested this in a while.

    During a time in the past where I did heavy Linux and Windows filesystem and recovery tool experimentation I saw a good guide on how to do all this. But now I can't find it... need to look a bit more.

    Maybe I have to experiment on this topic and write a tutorial. There is a lot one can do with any media when you have the right tools. Most tools are however missing from Windows and one needs to go to a Linux bash to get things done properly. At least it used to be this way. Of course if one is an Assembly GURU and remember from memory how bootsector instructions should look in hexadecimal, all this could be done in a HEX editor and DD:ed onto the thumb drive. ;-)
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