In Windows, 'removable' drives cannot be partitioned, without the partitions not appearing and receiving drive letters, apart from the first partition. Partitioned flash drives work fine in Linux.

What I want to do is partition a 8GB flash drive into two, with the first partition containing various boot disc images, which can be selected to boot from, and have various portable apps, documentation, utilities, scripts, etc, on the other partition.

I currently do this using two separate flash drives, but I want to be able to use a single flash drive for everything, which I keep on my keyring. It is not possible to do this without having at least two partitions, as the ISO boot selector for the boot disc images will not work otherwise.

I know there is a method where you can flip a bit, using Lexar's USB Format Tool, which fools Windows into thinking that the partitions are on a fixed hard drive. However, this apparently makes it difficult to eject the flash drive.

Flash drives with U3 from SanDisk had two partitions, presenting itself to the host system as a USB hub with a CD drive and standard USB mass storage device attached. This is what I would like to emulate, if possible.


Will U3 Tool do what you want? http://u3-tool.sourceforge.net/ You can modify the CD part of a U3 stick to be larger and have different ISO images. Not sure how to set it up to boot from the stick though, according to the info here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U3_(software) it can be set up that way

  • I didn't think I was going to get anywhere with this, but U3 Tool has allowed me to do exactly what I wanted. – paradroid May 18 '11 at 12:33
  • I am not sure where on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U3 it states/eludes to the specific ability to boot from the stick? – user66001 Aug 12 '13 at 20:06

You can partition a USB Flash Drive by using Bootice.You can also access each of the partitions one by one. http://agnipulse.com/2011/11/partition-usb-flash-drive/

If you want all the partitions to appear in Windows, then you will have to use Filter Drivers. http://agnipulse.com/2012/03/filter-drivers-removable-media-fixed-disk-windows/

Using filter drivers your USB Flash Drive appears as a USB HDD. You can then partition it using Windows Disk Management.


I have used Bootice for years with great results. A good tutorial for Bootice or a list of other options is here. http://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/multipartufd

  • 2
    Can you elaborate important steps or quote them? Links are always at risk of link rot. – Baarn Oct 24 '13 at 17:33

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