boot - unetbootin (syslinux?) -- adding memtest86 to my bootable USB drive

  • Steven Lu

    The only way I have been able to reliably load a windows install disc onto USB is using Unetbootin and a FAT32 formatted drive. I do this because it is significantly faster to install windows this way than using an optical drive, and I also do not have optical drives connected to most of my computers. I have tried YUMI, but the loading of the Win7 installer iso fails while it's loading up.

    Now unetbootin doesn't allow me to choose to append more images, but I'd like to have memtest86 on the same drive as my win7 USB. All the other testing tools I can run from within windows, except for memtest.

    So I've got syslinux.cfg opened up and it looks like this:

    default menu.c32
    prompt 0
    menu title UNetbootin
    timeout 100
    label unetbootindefault
    menu label Default
    kernel /ubnkern
    append initrd=/ubninit 

    I tried to add 4 lines at the bottom.

    label memtest
    menu label Launch Memtest86+
    kernel memdisk
    append initrd=/memtestp.img

    I grabbed an image from this post: image and I put it into the root dir along with syslinux.cfg. Renamed it to memtestp.img.

    It still boots up the windows installer when I try to boot from it.

    Could somebody help explain what the lines in the config file do, and which wrong assumptions I have taken? Does unetbootin use some type of GRUB-like bootloader that is capable of letting me choose what image to boot?

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    Related Question

    How can I keep multiple live/bootable ISO images on a single USB drive?
  • Keck

    I am looking to create a USB flash drive that I can put multiple live CD ISO images on and select which boots from startup. The ideal candidate supports Linux and Windows-based ISO images, and is relatively simple. It also must have some reasonable process for adding and removing an ISO image from the drive/list.

    Things that I'm not looking for in this specific question:

    • UBCD4Win or other swiss-army knife live CDs. The point is to boot any one of multiple CDs, not to boot a (certainly useful) utility CD.
    • Installing a single live CD to a USB drive. I'd like to have multiple ISO images, selectable at startup.

    I don't have a specific purpose in mind, possibilties include a single drive with a Knoppix variant, Ubuntu desktop, UBCD4Win for DOS, the Offline NT Password Cracker, etc.

    Flexible and easy to use are the name of the game!

  • Related Answers
  • Brandon Skari

    This is an interesting question. I can see it being very useful to have a single USB "master" LiveCD, instead of having so many different DVDs and pen-drives scattered around.

    There seem to be a number of different approaches to this, all of them doable:

  • Peter Mortensen

    YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator (Windows) also allows you to do it. Once set up, all you have to do is put the ISO image file on the drive.

  • Sahabia

    A hard disk drive enclosure made by Zalman was made for exactly this purpose. It is named ZM VE200 (USB 2.0), ZM VE300 or ZM VE400 (USB 3.0). I use it on a daily basis to test laptop computers I repair. I've never been disappointed by it, but only by some old BIOS that prevent the laptop to boot from external devices and USB port that do not supply enough juice.

    With an HDD formatted with NTFS or FAT inside and with a directory named "_iso" where you write ISO files, you are then able to boot from this external hard disk as if it was an external CDROM. It simulates an external optical disk drive with the right ISO in it .. fortunately you do not have to burn.

    The product page best explains its purposes:

    My experience with this is quite good. I used to burn a lot of CDROM before buying this useful gadget. Now, I just collect ISO files in the right folder, all on the same device:

    The only thing to check is the power consumption of the hard disk drive you put in it. But that's a common thing to look at when you deal with external hard drives.