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I have tried with mixed success to make a "super" USB with Windows 7, 8.1, Kon-Boot and Ubuntu 14.04.2. I'm using YUMI for this. The problem appears when I try to have both Windows 7 and 8.1 on the USB. Somehow Windows 7 overwrites Windows 8.1 and leaves me with 2 Windows 7 installs from the YUMI multiboot menu (named windows 7 and 8 as before, but both start up Windows 7). I haven't been able to pinpoint the problem, but I am guessing that some files are overwritten because the have the same name, or something like that.

Would it be a solution to make 2 partions on the USB, 1 partion with Windows 7, and one where I put Windows 8.1, Kon-Boot and Ubuntu? Or is it just not possible to have a bootable Windows 7 and 8.1 on the same physical USB?

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I am having the same problem as you. I agree that files (setup.exe for example) are being overwritten which is causing the problem. I have tried to extract Windows 8 files from the ISO to a folder in the root of the USB drive called "WIN8" and manually create a boot entry that boots WIN8/bootmgr but when I boot it up it still defaults to Windows 7 install. I think it is looking for setup.exe and other files at the root of the USB and there seems to be no way to change that.

Your solution of making a separate partition seem to be the best workaround for the issue. The problem is that removable media (like a USB memory stick) cannot have more than 1 partition because Windows recognizes these devices as removable media and (for some reason) will only read the first partition. However, if you use a portable USB HDD (like a WD My Passport) you can initialize it with an MBR partition table (don't use the GUID partition Table) and add up to 4 primary partitions (or 3 primary partitions and a bunch of logical partitions). Only primary partitions can be bootable.

You can use YUMI to add system tools, Linux distros, etc and Windows 7 on the first primary partition and copy the contents of your Win8 DVD/ISO to the second partition.

Now manually add this entry to multiboot\menu\menu.lst on the partition where you installed your Linux distros and Windows 7 with YUMI.

title Install Windows 8

root (hd0,2)

chainloader /bootmgr

And then Windows 8 installer should boot from the second partition.

I would love to see a solution where it can be done on a large flash drive instead of a portable hdd if only for the convenience since portable/external hard drives are not really pocket size (well.. not like a flash drive).

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  • While your post seems to have a lot of useful information, it is buried under the bit that says. "me too!" You could reword this into a more useful answer. (Your answer should be useful to more than just you and the OP (asker).) What if someone else has this issue?
    – jpaugh
    May 13, 2015 at 3:57

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