Multiple partitions on a USB key drive

I’m creating multiple partitions on a USB Key (or Flash or Thumb) Drive. Data is shared between partitions and I’ll be able to boot any partition from the drive.

The drive in question is a SanDisk Cruzer Micro Skin 8GB. SanDisk don’t have a utility for flipping the removable bit on the drive and without that XP will not allow the drive to be partitioned. After much reading (the following threads were extremely useful: 911cd.net, msfn.org) and experimenting I’ve finally managed using the Hitachi Microdrive Filter (xpfildrvr1224_320) and adding the correct registry entry to the cfadisk.inf (USBSTOR\Disk&Ven_SanDisk&Prod_Cruzer&Rev_7.01). I then updated the driver (Device Manager > Disk Drives > “USB Drive” > Update Driver) and was able to use Disk Management to create four FAT32 primary partitions.

I used UNetbootin, the Universal Netboot Installer, to install Puppy Linux, UBCD, and Xubuntu. The Portable Apps are described in another blog post. I need to get WinGrub working and then I’ll update this post.

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One comment

  1. Did you ever get this thumb drive to boot from the different partitions? I followed all the steps and can create multiple partitions on my drive. I used UNetbootin as well but the thumb drive will not start, even with one formatted partition.

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