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I have a 16GB USB Flash Drive that is partitioned into two different sizes. The first partition contains a bootable version of Ubuntu, the second partition is for general saving of files.

Windows will only recognise the first partition. I have tried using Bootice but this breaks the bootable partition. Disk Management recognises the second partition but does not allow me to do anything with it.

Is there a way to make both partitions accessible by Windows and keep the USB disk bootable?

marked as duplicate by Pimp Juice IT, fixer1234, G-Man, user477799, DavidPostill Apr 28 '17 at 20:46

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  • Same issue here. Disk Management shows the partition as unmounted without a drive letter assigned. Actioning "Change Drive Letter and Path" issues this error. No amount of refreshing changes anything. – invert Jul 17 '12 at 9:03
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    For completeness, can you post the output of df -Th /dev/sdaX (where X is your usb disk) to show the partition layout and file system types. thanks :-) – invert Jul 17 '12 at 9:06

Windows does not allow you to see anything but the first partition on USB flash drives. This is a well known issue and Microsoft doesn't seem to be considering it a major issue. There is a firmware hack for some brands that will tell Windows the drive is not flash media, however doing this may cause performance/reliability problems.

It's a bummer.

  • He could use gparted or similar to move the partitions around so that the first partition is no longer ubuntu but the is instead what is currently the second partition. – Matt H Sep 26 '12 at 22:49
  • Wouldn't this mess up the Ubuntu? – Lokesh Jun 3 '17 at 8:36

I have had good success in accessing USB Partitions in Windows using latest version of Bootice

The important think you need to keep in mind is that, you set the first partition as accessible before booting it again. For example - If you had set the second partition as accessible, then before removing the USB Drive, you need to set the first partition as accessible.

If you dont want to use Bootice, then you can use a Filter Driver such as Diskmod to make your USB Flash Drive appear as USB HDD so that Windows displays all the partitions.

More details here http://agnipulse.com/2012/03/filter-drivers-removable-media-fixed-disk-windows/

Is there a way to partition USB flash drives, so that both/all partitions appear in Windows?


Windows might not be automatically assigning a drive letter to the second partition.

If the option is not greyed out, in Disk management,

  • Right click the partition, and click "Change Drive Letter and Paths"
  • Add a drive letter.

If this works, you should see the disk in My Computer

  • it only change the access of the visible partition. – user2284570 Apr 27 '17 at 13:13

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