Lately I’ve had good cause to use bootable thumbdrives. To the point where I am now finding use for having a single 16 GB thumbdrive which contains various different bootable utilities and installation discs.
Over at PenDriveLinux I was able to download a program called YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer) for creating multi-boot environments on a single partition (of a thumbdrive). It’s pretty basic to use but I wanted to take a moment to mention some quirks which might throw off a first-time user.
You can use it to create boot options for nearly anything you might imagine. I haven’t found anything as yet which would not work (though they may exist).
First of all, you might get an error at boot time that the files (within the ISO you are booting) must be contiguous. I ran into this problem when I built a Windows 8 preview on my thumbdrive. You can see my article here for how I defragmented the contents of the ISO.
Another oddity that might trip you is the file names of the ISO’s you download. YUMI has expectations about what those files will be named. You choose what you are going to attempt to install, then you seek the file, and you might find that YUMI ignores the file you think is the correct file.
Look near the bottom of YUMI where is listed “Step 3: “. You will see YUMI specifies a file name for which it is seeking (the file name may include a wildcard). You just want to rename your ISO so that it matches the name YUMI specifies in that step. (It will not display the name until you click the “Browse” button and then click the “Cancel” button to return to the main application window.)
That was about it. If I notice any other quirks I’ll post them here.
Have fun with that.