Windows 10: CU supports multiple partitions on a standard USB Flash Drive

  1.    15 Apr 2017 #1

    CU supports multiple partitions on a standard USB Flash Drive


    A little advertised change is that Windows 10 will now access multiple partitions on a standard usb flash drive. Previously you had to have a special flash drive with the hard disk bit set.

    I am currently using wintousb 3.5 to create a bootable UEFI windows usb drive which was not possible before as you need two partitions - a fat32 efi and the main NTFS OS partition. You could only do it as legacy bios before on a standard flash drive.

    This is a massive change!

    Annoyingly disk management has not caught up and only allows you to create one partition but minitool partition wizard free allows you to do it (ignore warning message).

    You can now easily have a number of installation setups on one flash drive instead of needing isos etc.
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  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,548
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       15 Apr 2017 #2

    cereberus said: View Post
    A little advertised change is that Windows 10 will now access multiple partitions on a standard usb flash drive. Previously you had to have a special flash drive with the hard disk bit set.
    ...
    This is a massive change...
    Thanks for spotting that. Yes, it's a big change but like much else that's changed it's not up-front and obvious.

    Annoyingly disk management has not caught up and only allows you to create one partition but minitool partition wizard free allows you to do it
    It's more that Disk Management won't let you create a MBR on a USB flash drive. A flash drive doesn't need one, but it's required if you want more than one partition.

    If you don't want/have 3rd-party tools, DISKPART can (and always could) make multiple partitions on a USB.
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  3.    15 Apr 2017 #3

    Bree said: View Post
    Thanks for spotting that. Yes, it's a big change but like much else that's changed it's not up-front and obvious.

    It's more that Disk Management won't let you create a MBR on a USB flash drive. A flash drive doesn't need one, but it's required if you want more than one partition.
    If you don't want/have 3rd-party tools, DISKPART can (and always could) make multiple partitions on a USB.
    Yeah - I found diskpart could do it. However 1607 could not read the second one (see link) but 1703 can.

    Create multiple partitions on ANY USB Flash Drive | Mikes Tech Blog
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  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 8,548
    10 Home x64 (1803) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       15 Apr 2017 #4

    cereberus said: View Post
    Yeah - I found diskpart could do it. However 1607 could not read the second one...
    Yes, I know. I've tried it in the past too. Once DISPART has written a MBR to the USB flash drive, Disk Management has all it's options available. You can delete/create/format partitions as you wish.
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  5. tracit99's Avatar
    Posts : 560
    Windows 10 Pro 17134.285
       15 Apr 2017 #5

    I would like to have an UEFI bootable USB with Macrium Reflect PE and Windows 15063. Is that possible now? If so how would one go about making such an USB and how would one choose between Macrium and Windows when booting? I have a Macrium PE ISO and a Windows 15063 ISO.
    Last edited by tracit99; 15 Apr 2017 at 08:54.
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  6.    16 Apr 2017 #6

    tracit99 said: View Post
    I would like to have an UEFI bootable USB with Macrium Reflect PE and Windows 15063. Is that possible now? If so how would one go about making such an USB and how would one choose between Macrium and Windows when booting? I have a Macrium PE ISO and a Windows 15063 ISO.
    This is how I would do it.

    1) Install wintousb version 3.5

    2) Run wintousb and select Windows 10563 iso and choose home or pro etc as appropriate

    3) Select usb drive - recommend 32GB or larger.

    4) Select GPT for EUFI

    5) Select VHD (I just default size) and click next

    6) After a while eg up to 30 minutes, Windows 15063 will be installed.

    You can now do one of two things - easy option 8 or harder option 9

    7) Ensure bios is now set to boot from USB drive first

    8) Easy option - run Windows, install Macrium Reflect Free, run it an create boot entry. Problem with this option is it does use a lot of space as it downloads 0.5-1GB adk files.

    Note: first time you run Windows it goes through all the oobe phase.

    Skip to Step 10 (you can do 9 as well if you like)

    9) (Slightly) Harder option

    a) Run windows and shrink C drive by 300 MB

    Note: first time you run Windows it goes through all the oobe phase.

    b) create partition and format it in unallocated space from disk management (NTFS is ok), and give it a suitable drive letter and remember it.

    c) Mount Macrium PE iso as a drive in windows

    d) copy all the files from iso to new partition

    e) now the clever bit - create a file Macrium.CMD using notepad and paste all the following below between dotted lines. This is a slightly modified version of the awesome batch file of @Khyi from his Winpse thread. 100% credit to him for this.

    Note: a couple of lines below are shown wrapped on two lines - you may need to edit file to ensure everthing is on one line

    f) Right click on Macrium.CMD and run as administrator

    g) Enter drive letter of new partition from above

    10) Reboot PC and you should now have option to run Windows or Macrium Reflect whether you chose Option 8 or 9.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    @echo off

    title Macrium UEFI BOOT MENU OPTION v17.01.24

    rem ================================ YY.MM.DD

    color 17

    :start

    cls

    echo.

    echo =========================================================================

    echo. YOU HAVE CHOOSEN TO ADD A WINPESE BOOTABLE PARTITION TO YOUR HOST

    echo ========================================================================

    echo.

    set /p drvlttr= ^> ENTER THE DRIVE LETTER ASSIGNED TO THE WINPESE PARTITION:

    if [%drvlttr%]==[] echo.&echo Invalid User Input&echo.&echo The Partition Drive Letter Can Not Be Blank&echo.&pause&goto :start

    if not exist %drvlttr%:\sources\boot.wim echo.&echo Invalid User Input&echo.&echo The %drvlttr%:\sources\boot.wim Was Not Found&echo.&pause&goto :start

    cls

    echo.

    echo Configuring UEFI Boot Option for WinPESE Recovery Tools

    echo --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    for /f "tokens=2 delims={}" %%g in ('bcdedit.exe /create /d "Macrium V7" /Device') do (set deviceid={%%g})

    echo --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    echo DEVICE ID = %deviceid%

    echo --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    bcdedit /set %deviceid% ramdisksdidevice partition=%drvlttr%:

    bcdedit /set %deviceid% ramdisksdipath \boot\boot.sdi

    for /f "tokens=2 delims={}" %%g in ('bcdedit.exe /create /d "Macrium V7" /application osloader') do (set guid={%%g})

    echo --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    echo GUID = %guid%

    echo --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    bcdedit /set %guid% device ramdisk=[%drvlttr%:]\sources\boot.wim,%deviceid%

    bcdedit /set %guid% osdevice ramdisk=[%drvlttr%:]\sources\boot.wim,%deviceid%

    bcdedit /set %guid% systemroot \windows

    bcdedit /set %guid% path \Windows\system32\boot\winload.efi

    bcdedit /set %guid% winpe yes

    bcdedit /set %guid% detecthal yes

    bcdedit /displayorder %guid% /addlast

    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu False

    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} timeout 10

    echo.

    echo DONE... Reboot your PC

    timeout /t 5 >nul

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by cereberus; 16 Apr 2017 at 04:22.
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  7. tracit99's Avatar
    Posts : 560
    Windows 10 Pro 17134.285
       16 Apr 2017 #7

    @cereberus @Khyi

    Wow. Thanks for the detailed tut. I will give it try when I pickup a 32GB 3.0 USB drive.
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  8.    17 Apr 2017 #8

    tracit99 said: View Post
    @cereberus @Khyi
    Wow. Thanks for the detailed tut. I will give it try when I pickup a 32GB 3.0 USB drive.
    FYI - I tried this today and it worked fine using step 9 (slightly harder MR install).

    Actually, I created the usb stick slightly differently by mistake

    When I was at screen (Step 5) which showed three selections "legacy", "vhd" or "vhdx", I selected legacy by mistake, but to my surprise it worked perfectly - here legacy translates to files being directly written to system partition rather than to a vhd. It does not specifically mean a legacy mbr bios install.

    So in step 5, you can select legacy if you like.
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