Take the 2-minute tour ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.. It's 100% free, no registration required.

split from here

I have a 16gb flash drive, which I want a live ISO to boot from (via unetbootin or something similar). It'll be some 32bit distro that I can plug-in and boot on whatever computer I need to. Since it will be a live ISO, I'll need somewhere to save data. I want the USB drive to have about 1gb for the distro, and the other 15gb for data storage.

I made two FAT partitions, the first called 'bootable' and the second 'storage'. The storage works fine in Linux, but Windows only sees the bootable partition. The storage isn't accessible.

How can I make the data accessible on Windows, and still have a bootable distribution? If the answer is how to partition it, please include the order and type of each partition. Do I need swap space for this, or is this handled differently?

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

I would do it like this (assuming that sdb is your stick):

Delete any previous partition table:

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=512 count=1

Create the new ones:

# fdisk /dev/sdb
> n
> p
> 1
(+1GB)
> a
> 1
(toggles boot flag)
> t
> c
(filesystem type)
> n
> p
> 2
(defaults)
> t
(specify 2nd partition)
> c
(filesystem type)
> p
(prints current configuration)
> w
(write the new table and quit)

Create the filesystems:

# mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1
# mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb2
share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, I'll try this out when I get home. How does this differ from what I have now, though? Will it change how Windows mounts the partitions? –  FakeRainBrigand Jan 30 '12 at 12:55
    
I tried it, and it partitions everything. I did have to change the order though. It appears Windows only sees the first partition on the disk. When I try to boot from the second I get to the UNetbootin screen, but I can't get past. The only option is Default. Pressing ENTER or waiting the 10 seconds both restart the counter almost immediately. Is it having trouble reading something? Is the problem that the second partition is bootable? What's going wrong, and how do I fix it? –  FakeRainBrigand Jan 30 '12 at 22:37
1  
@maxschlepzig: no, from the little I found out, Windows has braindead limitations regarding the fact USB removable disks are seen as something different from a regular disk. I even found out a post somewhere suggesting hacking the device driver identification so that windows detects the USB device as a proper disk and recognizes all partitions. But that does not suit the OP, as it would request admin access to the computers. –  njsg Feb 3 '12 at 21:28
1  
let's just agree to say windows has limitations. –  Aki Feb 3 '12 at 21:32
1  
@userunknown, it is needed to delete any previous partition table, MBR etc. Thus you get a clean start before doing any partition and/or boot device experiments. Alternatively you would have to delete/modify existing partitions from inside your partition tool (e.g. fdisk). There is a slight chance that an existing partition table could influence the partition tool in its behaviour (think switch on compatibility mode or something like that). –  maxschlepzig Feb 6 '12 at 19:13
show 7 more comments

A similar question has been answered at SuperUser.

I also suggest you to check this page for more information about USB booting and partitions.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Using a graphical partition editor (Like Disk Utility on a Mac or GParted) simply make two FAT32 partitions and use the first one as your Windows-readable partition (as Windows only reads the first partition on a disk) and then use the second partition as your bootable startup disk (as the BIOS recognizes both partitions and knows which to boot from).

Then, when you insert the disk into a Mac or Linux PC you'll still see two partitions, but the one you need is always available within Windows.

share|improve this answer
    
After all my Googling and looking at the different StackExchange sites, this was the most help post. I simply have a MS DOS free space partition as the first partition and a bootable partition on the second partition. Thank you. –  Jared Burrows Feb 10 at 20:41
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.