Multiple windows images on a single bootable drive (GPT and MBR)

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by geo2160, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. geo2160

    geo2160 MDL Novice

    Sep 20, 2013
    #1 geo2160, Mar 5, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
    My part time job is fixing people's computers. Most of them require OS reinstalls and I can't always use my standard Win 8.1 usb drive on all of them. Some of them have windows 7, some of them have win 8, 32-bit, 64-bit, home edition, pro edition, GPT, MBR, UEFI, name it, I've had to deal with it. Since I only have just two USB drives, I always have to reformat one of them with the required ISO, often multiple times, because the partition record on the USB drive breaks when I do that. It's driving me crazy sometimes. I've thought of some solutions to this problem, however I can't really decide what to do. I would appreciate your opinions on this:

    1) Get multiple USB sticks and label them. However I feel like I would lose them pretty quickly and I would need like 10 of them.
    2) Buy an external rack with a virtual disk drive option, like the Zalman VE-200 / VE-300. These are pretty hard to come by, are pretty expensive and I don't know wheter they support GPT.
    3) PXE booting through a tftpd server. I've barely managed to get this working, some computers don't support it and I don't know whether it supports GPT. I also don't know if I can rely on it when I'm on other people's networks.
    4) Getting a single, fast, USB drive (or external SSD) and make it boot multiple ISO's. I know this can be done, but I have no idea how. Google searching wasn't very useful. There are a ton of options, I don't even know where to start. And again, I have no idea how this will behave with UEFI and GPT.

    If you have any other ideas, I'm all ears. Thanks!
  2. Tito

    Tito Super Mod / Adviser
    Staff Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. cocachris89

    cocachris89 MDL Senior Member

    Mar 1, 2013
    I do options 1, 2 and 4. I tend to use my Zalman drive a lot for booting recently. All my USBs are on a keychain and its pretty bulky with 7 USBs on it; so kinda hard to lose. As they say, the right tool for the right job.
  4. Ja9

    Ja9 MDL Novice

    Sep 20, 2013
    I know this is an old post.. but you shuld check out Easy2Boot (easy2boot . com).
    I use this with Windows 7, 8.1, 10, Ultimatebootcd, Hirens boot dvd, and a couple of other tools.. Have everything on a Kingston 64GB USB3 flash drive :)
    I have made partition images.. So I boot to a menu, then I can select the image I want.
    Then reboot to the image (to get UEFI running, or just use Clover, it's some kind of UEFI boot thing), and install as usual.
    One problem is that you need to boot it in Bios/CSM mode to reset the drive.. Qemu works to.. but it's slow.
  5. geo2160

    geo2160 MDL Novice

    Sep 20, 2013
    @Ja9: That's the same piece of software that Tito recommended a couple of posts above. Thanks anyway. I've tried it and it works pretty well. I should get a faster USB drive for it though.