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Is there a way to burn several ISOs to a USB external drive and be able to plug it in and boot to one of them?

Would creating several partitions and burning to each one work or something like that.

marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Tog, Kevin Panko, random Feb 26 '14 at 4:57

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You can try unetbootin (http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net) or yumi(http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator). I've used both with good success for what you're trying to do.

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While what you want to do is doable, not all images will boot properly from an ISO.

But all is not lost. There are hardware based devices which do this. Notably, the Zalman VE-x00 family, as well as the isostick.

The Zalman has gotten some bad reviews on some sites due to the poorly made micro-USB connector on it, so caveat emptor. I have no personal experience with either of the devices, and although the isostick is more expensive, I've considered acquiring the latter in the near future.

Hope this helps somewhat.

  • Grub2 supports more images than memdisk. In fact, it's worked with all the Linux distros I've tried (CentOS, varius *buntu) and FreeDOS as well - I haven't run across anything that doesn't work yet. – user55325 Feb 25 '14 at 1:15
  • Does it work with Windows installation ISOs? Those are the problematic ones, it seems like. But if you have a link to a how-to or tutorial, I would like to take a look, as I have an interest in this type of solution as well. – JSanchez Feb 25 '14 at 1:19
  • I have not tried it and I'm led to believe that it's not possible without modifying the ISO with something like this. You could copy the contents of the ISO to an empty partition and chainload to it with GRUB2, though. – user55325 Feb 25 '14 at 1:31
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Yes, this is possible, and you don't (necessarily) need to create mulitple partitions. You will need to install GRUB 2 to your USB drive, though (and your computer/BIOS needs to support booting from USB).

Examples for some Linux systems.

You can't do this directly with Windows ISOs, but if you create a second partition and copy the files from the ISO, you can use GRUB 2 to chainload NTLDR.

You can also use MEMDISK, especially if you want to boot older OSes or floppy images. It supports some modern OSes as well (although not Ubuntu or Windows without modification).

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