Say Goodbye to Bootable DVD's with a Multi-boot USB!

Say Goodbye to Bootable DVD's with a Multi-boot USB!

When I started my apprenticeship as an IT Technician my boss came to me with a challenge. He said: “Here’s a fun challenge. As you’ve seen we have hundreds of CD’s and DVD’s around, however we only use a few of them frequently. I want to be able to have them all on one USB drive which I can plug in and have a boot menu appear. I want all my common ISO’s to appear on this list and be bootable”. He also gave me a list… A long list which contained all the ISO images he wanted on it.

So there I was, set this task on my first day. Obviously I had no clue where to begin so naturally I turned to my good friend, Google. After many of hours searching I came up with a solution which works rather well, in this post I shall be sharing with you what I did to get it to work.

Software

Now, software wise there isn’t a whole lot you’ll need, well there’s one very handy program which does everything.

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/yumi-multiboot-usb-creator/

Hardware

We’re making a multi-boot USB so you’ll need a USB drive. I’d recommend finding one that is a minimum of 50 MB larger than the total file size of the ISO files you have.

How to

Now that we have the software and the hardware we need to connect the USB drive to the computer and open up YUMI. Please not that upon launching it there may be a UAC (User Account Control) popup. Just click “Yes” if this is the case.

You should be able to see a drop down box at the top. Click on this and select the USB drive you just connected.

When you have selected the drive click the “Format X: Drive (Erase Content)?” (X being the drive letter)

WARNING Formatting the drive will delete everything that is on it

Next up is selecting the ISO file, click the drop down box which has the label “Select a Distribution to put on X:”. Now scroll all the way to the bottom where you should see an entry for “Try Unlisted ISO (GRUB)”. (Others may work I.E. the entry with the name of the ISO you want to put on but I have had issues with this before. However, I have found the “Try Unlisted ISO (GRUB)” option has worked perfectly every time).

Lastly you need to browse for the ISO file (You may need to check the “Show all ISOs?” box for them to appear), click the “Browse” button, find the ISO file and click “Open” – Now click “Create”

A screen will appear which will display what is going on and it should then set up your USB drive and copy the ISO onto it click “Next” and a popup will appear asking if you want to add more ISO’s to the USB, if you click yes follow this guide again but DON’T Format the drive.

What to watch out for

I have found that spaces in the file names of an ISO can cause them not to work on the boot menu. Fortunately, this is easy to fix, remove the ISO from the disk by using the “View or Remove Installed Distros?” check box. Finally, remove any spaces from the file name and add it again.

Owen Nelson

Owen Nelson

https://owennelson.co.uk

IT Systems Administrator from Northamptonshire, UK. Always on the lookout for ways to make things faster and more secure - and I enjoy getting through a fair bit of Tea along the way.

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