Guide for making Multiboot USB with instructions on booting multiple OS.

Do you want to run multiple operating systems from a single USB or flash memory? To boot into the system or reinstall the operating system, for example. If you do this directly you will have to break some commitments to Microsoft and the processing is also very slow.

It is possible to achieve this by using Live CDs of different operating systems. These are small operating systems that are specifically designed to perform maintenance tasks on a computer without booting into its main operating system. Live Linux CDs or live Windows discs are particularly helpful in instances where the computer’s own operating system has been damaged due to misuse, inadequate maintenance, or malware attacks.

There are several fascinating programs available to assist you in creating a bootable USB drive that can contain multiple operating systems. This article will introduce four such programs: WinSetupFromUSB, XBoot, MultiBootUSB, and YUMI. Before you begin utilizing these multiboot USB creation programs, it is recommended that you have a high-capacity flash drive, such as the Kingston DataTraveler 101 16GB USB 2.0, to ensure smooth functioning without any issues related to the flash drive itself.

1. WinSetupFromUSB

WinSetupFromUSB has received great acclaim from numerous users for its ability to install Windows from USB and create USB multiboot setups. However, it is important to note that WinSetupFromUSB is only compatible with Windows 2000/XP and later versions of Windows. Additionally, it is also compatible with Linux and BSD operating systems. Moreover, starting from version 1.1, it supports both UEFI and Legacy BIOS modes, making it compatible with various applications for Windows, DOS, and Linux, regardless of their versions.

To understand the process of creating a multiboot USB using WinSetupFromUSB, please consult the article titled “How to create a USB containing the Windows XP, 7, 8 and 10 installer.” It provides comprehensive instructions on this topic.

2. MultiBootUSB

MultiBootUSB is widely used for creating multiboot USB drives. It is also a portable application, allowing you to conveniently run it directly from a USB device without the need for installation on your computer.

MultiBootUSB interface

However, this software is limited to supporting the installation of Live distributions solely on Linux, which happens to be the foundation for most of the top Live CDs. For instance, we can easily install the ISO file of Kaspersky Rescue CD 10 onto a USB drive. The Kaspersky Rescue CD is lightweight, so it doesn’t occupy much storage space on the USB.

Download ISO

Additionally, you can include a second ISO, the Ultimate Boot CD, on the USB flash drive. Consequently, we now have two distinct operating systems available for booting.

Two operating systems on one USB

Now you can click on the QEMU tab and review the settings without the need to reboot the system. QEMU is a virtual machine emulator and virtualization software that allows an operating system to run within a Windows environment independently from Windows itself. It is even capable of running Raspbian on Windows.

  • How to check USB Boot has been created successfully or not?

Use QEMU to check USB boot

Finally, you can start up the computer by using Kaspersky and the Ultimate Boot CD on the USB drive.

3. XBoot

XBoot offers a more comprehensive user guide compared to MultiBootUSB. Although both software are user-friendly, you may require the documentation in case of any issues. The installation process for XBoot is quite simple. Simply double-click on the executable file, and it will open within a few seconds. From there, you can effortlessly add ISO files by dragging and dropping them into the main box.

Xboot interface

Next, click on the “Create USB” button. The program will prompt you to choose the USB drive where you want to install the ISO file and select the type of bootloader you prefer. If your USB drive is formatted as FAT32, XBoot will recommend using Syslinux. If it is formatted as NTFS, it is advisable to use Grub4DOS. Alternatively, you can choose “No bootloader installed”, but since you want the USB to be bootable, it is likely that you won’t select this option. Finally, press “OK”.

Select USB drive

Xboot also has support for the QEMU feature to boot the Live CD ISO or boot the USB you have just created.

Use QEMU to check the bootable USB

4. YUMI – Multiboot Multiboot Installer

YUMI is a widely-used software application as well. By simply adding the distributions to the USB, YUMI will automatically determine the necessary steps and loading locations for the distribution. This greatly saves time. There are numerous Linux operating systems and other Linux-based live CDs available for selection. You can find at least one of them that caters to your requirements.

Select software to add to USB

Firstly, you need to download the software you want to add to the USB drive, in this specific case the Kaspersky Live CD.

Download software to USB

Then, proceed to download the second software, such as Ultimate Boot CD, from that source.

Complete the installation

Moreover, YUMI does not offer QEMU tools such as MultiBootUSB or XBoot. Nonetheless, YUMI eliminates the necessity for these tools as it enables hassle-free booting of both images directly from the USB boot it creates.

Above, we have learned about several tools such as WinSetupFromUSB, Xboot, MultiBootUSB, and YUMI. These tools enable the creation of a USB drive capable of quickly booting multiple operating systems. They are compact and portable applications that are user-friendly.