Is it possible to create a functional USB drive with three different partitions:

  • Bootable Linux installer
  • Bootable Windows installer
  • Storage

If so, is it as simple as creating three partitions for example 8GB FAT32 for Linux installer, 8GB NTFS for Windows installer and the remaining capacity (FAT32/NTFS) for storage?

  • I know it is possible to have a Bootable Linux installer (or multiple ones) and storage and it SHOULD be possible to have a Bootable Windows installer - although I suspect you will need to tweek things so GRUB loads Windows – davidgo Jul 12 '17 at 22:30
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    Windows treats USB flash drives (if that's what you mean) as "superfloppies," on which only one partition is visible. Thus, the split you suggest won't be possible if the storage partition must be visible from Windows. I don't know offhand if this same restriction applies to USB hard disks (I suspect not). If you want to set up a USB hard disk this way, it may be possible, but I don't have a step-by-step procedure to do it. – Rod Smith Jul 13 '17 at 17:35
  • @RodSmith Thank you for the clarification. You can add your comment as an answer - I'll accept it. – Key-Six Jul 21 '17 at 0:52
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    @RodSmith just FTR (and the search engines): up on from 2017 Windows 10 is able to mount several (even several primary) partitions from one USB stick – Jaleks Feb 25 '18 at 9:21
  • If you don't want to partition it, you can instead use something like Ventoy. It's a life saver and super easy. Just pop on the ISO files. – asheroto Apr 22 at 7:52

You don't have to have multiple boot partitions to facilitate the desired functionality.

You can have a choice between multiple bootable images that are on the same USB drive partition.

I've been using WinSetupFromUSB to create a bootable USB drive with installation images of different windows and linux versions plus utilities like UBCD, various rescue disks and so on, quite handy really. Once it boots it gives you a menu to choose how to proceed.

And you can still use the additional space on the drive for additional storage, just make sure you don't mess with the pre-existing file structure. Put it in a uniquely named folder just to be on the safe side.

There are other utilities that can do the same, but I haven't tested them, as the first one I tried worked out for me.

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