Is there a way to create bootable USB flash drive and use extra space Solved

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  1.    26 Apr 2018 #1

    Is there a way to create bootable USB flash drive and use extra space


    Hi! I have some 16GB flash drives that I would like to make bootable. From time-to-time, I will be updating the bootable apps. Since 16GB of space is far more than I need for these apps, and I hate to waste the extra space, is there a way to utilize that extra space without losing it every time I refresh the bootable portion? I ask this because, when making a bootable drive, I receive a warning that the entire drive will be reformatted. I could copy the non-bootable apps/files (all in their own folders, of course) to my hard drive, then copy them back - but I'm looking for an easier way to do this. Is partitioning the flash drive a way to do this? Some other way? Thank you.
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  2. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 531
    trying to install win10
       26 Apr 2018 #2

    You can partition it.

    However iirc some flash creating tools e.g. the windows one will just reformat the entire thing anyway.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 1,136
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       26 Apr 2018 #3

    Nisko,

    It all depends on what you are putting on it.

    I have a bootable ver 1709 installation USB.
    - It was originally Ver 1607
    - Before downloading a new version, I delete all the Windows installation files [I have my own files on it as well but I leave those as they are]
    - I download the ver 1709 ISO, mount it & drag all its contents onto the USB
    - Result - a ver 1709 installation USB
    - All this without having to reformat the USB and hence without disrupting my own files on it.

    Whether or not you can do the same thing depends on what it is, what it boots for.

    [some errors deleted] However, many applications that make bootable USBs [such as Macrium Reflect, Acronis TI, Paragon Backup, ...] will reformat the whole of the physical drive and destroy your partitioning so I do not see that as a long term solution.

    So, as I wrote above, it all depends what you are trying to put on the USB. There are some comments in Other files on an OS usb drive? as well.

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 27 Apr 2018 at 01:27.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    26 Apr 2018 #4

    As stated, If you partition your Flash Drive, Windows will only recognize the first partition as either bootable or in Windows. If you are on Linux or on a Mac, the other partition (s) will show.
    Also as stated, you can add files to a Bootable USB drive in separate folders from the boot file. if you don't have an option to browse files on the USB then they will only be viewable via Command Prompt, if you have that on your boot drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    26 Apr 2018 #5

    Nisko said: View Post
    Hi! I have some 16GB flash drives that I would like to make bootable. From time-to-time, I will be updating the bootable apps. Since 16GB of space is far more than I need for these apps, and I hate to waste the extra space, is there a way to utilize that extra space without losing it every time I refresh the bootable portion? I ask this because, when making a bootable drive, I receive a warning that the entire drive will be reformatted. I could copy the non-bootable apps/files (all in their own folders, of course) to my hard drive, then copy them back - but I'm looking for an easier way to do this. Is partitioning the flash drive a way to do this? Some other way? Thank you.
    You can create the boot UFD, resize it to create unallocated space, create another NTFS partition in this space, and put your files in it.

    To update the boot files, delete them, mount the new ISO image, copy the boot files, and paste them to the UFD boot partition.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 9,942
    10 Home x64 (1809) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       26 Apr 2018 #6

    Try3 said: View Post
    By the way, Windows can only see a single partition on a USB / SD card so if you try multiple partitions as a solution you will keep having to swap around which partition is seen by Windows....
    That all changed with the Creators Update, the first version of Windows that CAN create, see and use multiple partitions on a USB.

    A little advertised change is that Windows 10 will now access multiple partitions on a standard usb flash drive...
    CU supports multiple partitions on a standard USB Flash Drive
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    26 Apr 2018 #7

    Thank you all for the information. Now, I know what I should do!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 1,136
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       27 Apr 2018 #8

    Nisko - What is it that you are putting on this USB? Denis
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    27 Apr 2018 #9

    One thing would be something I keep updated: Windows 10 with all updates. Another thing is @Kyhi's repair tool ISO. A third thing is Macrium Reflect's Emergency Boot App. There might be one or more emergency apps when I'm through. I'm preparing a set of tools 1) In case I need them and can't boot into my PC and 2) to help anyone who asks for my help in repairing their PC.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 1,136
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       27 Apr 2018 #10

    Nisko,

    So you are looking at a multi-boot USB. @Bree's link will help you with the Windows & Macrium. I do not know whether or not the same approach would allow you to incorporate Kyhi's repair tools.

    Denis
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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