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How do I create a bootable USB Flash PcRepair Kit?

I wanted to create rescue/recovery/reanimator USB multi-bootable flash drive a year ago. I want to create the ultimate USB flash drive that would have the most if not all important stuff very self respected computer technician needs when restoring computer either from viruses, to previous point or previous working image completely however the most important is just to fix computer to restore it to previous optimal working condition without resolving to long processes of restoration.

I have heard of something as "multi-boot USB flash drive" which allows to choose what to boot without restarting computer or changing from one flash drive to another to load different utilities. The problem is that it requires customized boot-menu coded (Linux?) which goes something like /dva/hdd0 ... well you get the point.

Question is, how much time it would take average computer geek to do this and will 8 GB flash drive be enough? (which I doubt and think 16 GB should be good). I want to have antivirus with self-update in MSDOS capability, Windows operating system and all the other important stuff with utilities on flash drive. And I assume I will need low class flash drive to prioritize on small files since transfer rate does not play important role here, but access and write times and longevity of flash drive.

Also, how much would it cost to have image made with all the stuff I mentioned here?

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marked as duplicate by KronoS, Ivo Flipse Jun 26 '12 at 20:04

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I have done this... its not that easy.. talking about the ULTIMATE BOOT USB.. The problem is with daisy chain loading images- and booting to usb is emulated in different ways on each bios.. pain in the neck.. took me 3 weeks to get something decent..but i did not documented it.. doh –  ppumkin Jan 4 '12 at 8:55

2 Answers 2

You might want to start by reading my post on the Super User Blog about this:

Making the Ultimate All-in-one Installation Flash Drive

The post explains all about how to make a multiboot Windows installer, then add pretty much any flavor of linux. The Pendrive Linux tool mentioned in the post makes it very easy to integrate things like UBCD, BartPE, Clonezilla, antivirus boot disks, etc.

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8GB might sound huge, but you need at least that for a bootable USB Win7 installation...

This link has information regarding a 'Wintoflash' tool

You talk about 'customised boot menu coded (Linux)' - the boot 'menu' (properly called a 'Boot Loader') is actually pre-OS. You could use the 'Linux' boot-loader (called Grub) to select bootable partitions (the same way you can use Window BOOTMGR), but i'm usure how this would work loading different bootable 'images' from the flash drive depending on what was selected. (ie images for AV, Recovery, Windows Repair/Install, testing (Hiren), Burn-in/Benchmarking)

Truth be told i've been meaning to do this for several months (cheap 16GB pendrives ftw!) but i've not had the time... (Work & MCSE timesinks/commitments come first!)

nhinkle covers ALL OF THIS AND MORE in his blog - which i'll certainly be using when i get around to creating my own... Kudo's nhinkle for a great blog post! :)

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Cheap flash drive? Hmmm i've bought Patriot xPorter XT Rage 16GB which has fast transfer rates, but don't know about access and write times. I have SanDisk Cruze Micro 8GB and Super Talent Express DUO 8GB which has fast transfer rates per se. I don't know which one to use for multimedia, sensitive files and which one to make ultimate flash drive. –  Boris_yo Jan 4 '12 at 11:53
    
Depends if you want to include a Windows 7 installation as part of it; if you do then the only choice is to use the 16GB as you won't have space for anything else on the 8GB... Obviously USB speed is going to have a bigger impact (USB1-2-3) than different drives... Also i've heard that USB3 can't be made bootable, or can't be read by some BIOS'?!?! :( –  HaydnWVN Jan 4 '12 at 13:44
    
Maybe then i should put Windows on separate 8GB flash drive and have another 8GB flash drive for utilities/reanimator/antivirus/antimalware/basic tools? –  Boris_yo Jan 5 '12 at 21:19
    
Totally upto you - it would probably make things easier with any software/utility/AV updates or changes to keep the two seperate. Personally i'm probably only going to have bootable windows installations (XP+7 Home+Professional 32+64 bit - as i hear they can be merged together into one 8gig installation) alongside an image of Hirens Boot CD :) –  HaydnWVN Jan 6 '12 at 10:16
    
Why would you need so many Windows'es? I am not talking about 32 and 64 bits but about editions. XP should be enough so why need Windows 7? You will lose additional space which you could use for other utilities. –  Boris_yo Jan 6 '12 at 19:08

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