How can I create a Multi-ISO Bootable Flash Drive to install Vista, 7, and 8?

#1
When I was going through the FAQ here I saw a section mentioning this, "you should refer to our guide on creating a multi-setup bootable USB or external drive with EasyBCD." But I can't find the guide there or here. If someone could point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it?

Thanks, DWreck.


---------- Post added at 02:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:22 AM ----------

Honestly I can't figure out how almost 900 people read this post and didn't say anything. I mean I understand this might be a hard question but I just can't figure out why.
 
Last edited:

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
There might be 100,000 registered users but a quick scan will show you that 99.995% of those only registered to get a free copy of EasyBCD or to ask for help and hardly ever contribute a single post in reply to any other thread.
In addition, countless millions of unregistered guests could have read your post but are unable to reply by the rules of the forum.
The five of us (if you did the maths) who try to help out are spread across 9-10 time zones, so getting a reply within your expectation of 8 hours is a matter of luck (or your location v our sleeping hours).
Try here
How to make a windows 7 or Windows Vista USB Recovery Stick (thumb drive)
 
Last edited:
#3
Thanks for the reply, but I want to install Windows, not use a recovery disk. I tried it anyway to see if it would work. But the process in the tutorial will not work though. It just leaves me with an error for DVD drivers. If I could just get the link I mentioned in my OP for the guide that I can't seem to find that would work.

Thanks, DWreck.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#4
You have to copy the contents of the Windows CD to the root of the drive and add a WinPE entry to install.wim
 
#5
You have to copy the contents of the Windows CD to the root of the drive and add a WinPE entry to install.wim
Okay, so I need to have the files as if I had already burned them to the ISO. Basically I need to extract the files from the ISO? Do you know how to add a Windows PE in the install.wim? I have a DaRT 7.0 PE that I could add.
 
Last edited:
#7
Thanks for that, I gave it a quick read. If you don't mind confirming my steps that's be great since I have to wait forver add these to the UDB.

If I read correctly, I want to have multiple installs, so I need to chose "WIM Image".
So I will have folders on the root of the flash drive labeled "Windows Vista", "Windows 7", and "Windows 8".
In each of those folders are the extracted files from they're ISO's.
To add an entry for each installer I select for the "install.wim" for the correct Windows, label it, and click add entry for each one.
After I boot from the USB it will ask me which I want to choose and when I begin to install one of them it won't give my the DVD drivers error.

Do I have everything correct?

Edit: I canceled it to test with just one first before I wait forever for nothing. So I just added Windows 7 64-Bit. After trying it with the steps above it gave a RAM error. So I chose "boot.wim" instead which worked until the part where I got the DVD drivers error again. What am I missing?
 
Last edited:
#8
Update 2: I got it to work with one Installation. But it can't be in USB 3.0 with this program, if you just drag and drop the contents of the ISO on to the flash drive it will actually work, even with USB 3.0. After I add more than one I get the DVD Drivers error again. I would definitely buy the program to get the extra features if I could just get this thing to work.

---------- Post added at 04:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:01 PM ----------

Update 3: I discovered that it isn't because I'm using more than OS. It's because I am not installing it directly to the root of the flash drive. I had to make folders to contain the files otherwise each OS will overwrite the files with the same filename. I don't know if that's just a bug or me?

Hopefully last update needed: Okay, so I've learned everything I need to know. What I need to do now is figure out a way for EasyBCD to allow booting from sub folders without getting the driver error. If that can be done then that's it. Still no word on that guide that was mentioned huh?
 
Last edited:

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#9
Create multiple partitions?
 
#10
I've attempted that before. The thing with most Flash Drives (Including mine) is they are classified as "Removable" Disks not "Local" or "Fixed" Disks. Because of this Windows will only detect and display the first Partition it finds. I and many others have tired "Tricking" or Flashing the Chipset on the Flash Drive to make Windows classify it as a "Fixed" Disk, when this is done then you can do it the way you mentioned. But Some people also including me can't "Trick" (32-Bit PC's only) Windows, or Flash (Specific Flash Drives only) the Chipset on their Flash Drive. So I can't use that technique. My main question has never been answered though. I'm still wondering where this "Guide" is? Do you guys not have one or something?
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#11
Which guide are you referring to? And I'm aware Windows will by default only mount the first partition (some viruses take advantage of that fact), but it's certainly possible to do what we're discussing.
 
#12
I'm referring to the quote in my OP. It states that there is a guide for a "multi-setup bootable USB". I'm open for possibilities, what are they?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#13
afaik the guide is the one I mentioned in my original reply.
The fact that it uses the recovery ISOs in the example is not relevant.
Any ISO will do.
 
#14
afaik the guide is the one I mentioned in my original reply.
The fact that it uses the recovery ISOs in the example is not relevant.
Any ISO will do.
Those guides will not work for multi-setups. You can't use ISO's to install Windows with EasyBCD. You need to extract the full contents of the ISO. Because of this once you extract another ISO take Windows 7 & Windows 8 for example, they have a lot of files with the same name, so the latest one will overwrite everything. There are 2 tutorials in the link you gave me. One is for using ISO's to boot recovery disks, Linux CD's, ect... The other is for installing Windows 7. The problem is that tutorial only explains how to install Windows 7 in itself, not multiple Windows installations. So I need a tutorial for "multi-setups" as mentioned.

I almost had it down myself. To prevent replacing files when I extracted the ISO's for Vista, 7, and 8, I just extracted them into folders on the root of the flash drive. The issue is, EasyBCD doesn't like that, it wants them installed to the root of the flash drive only, not folders, so that brought my back down to one install limitation again. If someone can tell me how to get EasyBCD to accept installing Windows from a folder instead of the root limitation then it would work. I think it just might be a bug or something. But I could be wrong.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#15
You have me confused. Your thread subject is how to create multi-ISO USB drives, which is what the link I gave you describes.
There's no guide I know of where multiple ISOs are extracted to the same space.
 
#16
Yes I did mean ISO until a few posts after I made this thread. I realized that EasyBCD can't install a Windows OS directly from an ISO. Some other programs can and at that time I didn't know that EasyBCD was any different. The FAQ states the following:

"If you're interested in creating a multi-setup USB drive that can be used to install one or more different Windows setups (for instance, Windows Vista and Windows 7; or Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit editions), then you should refer to our guide on creating a multi-setup bootable USB or external drive with EasyBCD".

Now I can't really understand why me, you, Computer Guru, and everyone else who seems to like reading this thread, a lot from the view count, can't seem find one guide to do this. And the only thing stopping me from doing this 10 days ago is because EasyBCD doesn't like folders... It tries to like them, but I guess it doesn't like them enough, so it just makes up complete crap about CD Drivers. But then you put one Windows Setup on it and all the sudden these "CD Drivers" are magically there again.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#17
You can take your attitude somewhere else. We've all been explaining the various options to you step-by-step. EasyBCD treats all ISO images set up the same way.. wait for it... the same way. EasyBCD doesn't complain about CD drivers, the ISO you're booting into does. EasyBCD has nothing to do with whether or not the ISO you're booting absolutely insists on finding a physical CD drive and throwing an error if/when it doesn't. You can take that up with Microsoft, it's a known issue with their setup materials.
 
#18
You can take your attitude somewhere else. We've all been explaining the various options to you step-by-step. EasyBCD treats all ISO images set up the same way.. wait for it... the same way. EasyBCD doesn't complain about CD drivers, the ISO you're booting into does. EasyBCD has nothing to do with whether or not the ISO you're booting absolutely insists on finding a physical CD drive and throwing an error if/when it doesn't. You can take that up with Microsoft, it's a known issue with their setup materials.
You're right, it is Microsofts fault. A lot of programs have that issue. Out of all of the programs I've tried, at least 15 now, only one can use ISO's to install Windows, Easy2Boot. I'd prefer EasyBCD though. Most programs like EasyBCD can install Windows by extracting the ISO. The CD Drivers problem is caused because it's not made to boot from an ISO, which is why Microsoft's own tool was created, it extracts the ISO. Easy2Boot emulates a DVD Drive so Windows doesn't know the difference as that's why its the only program that can do it from an ISO.

None of this is the problem. I'm simply trying to find the guide I keep mentioning? If I get that then I can just follow the steps and be happy. But like I said, no one can find it. I've been trying to figure it out on my own while I've been waiting. On top of that, I can't figure out why folders cause the CD Drivers error and no folders fix the error. As long as you specify a correct path then the install should be successful whether you have a folder or not.
 
#19
Okay, obviously this "multi-setup" guide doesn't exist. If it did someone would have linked it by now. I've messed with EasyBCD long enough, so I'm giving up. I will try Easy 2 Boot again, it always did work but its a bit more work then EasyBCD would require if it worked.

To any of the apparently huge number of people that read this thread:

EasyBCD could do this, I personally think that its a simple fix. The folders are the only thing stopping this. Maybe by the time you read this thread an update would have fixed this issue so don't give up just because I did. Though I would give up looking for a guide because I have looked for their "Official" one from the FAQ for about 2 weeks now and found nothing for this setup. So you're on your own unless someone else figures it out and makes a guide. Here is how I did it just encase the problem really is just a folder bug and go fixed:

Step 1: Format your flash drive, note there is a big difference between a Removable Disk and a Fixed Disk AKA Local Disk, FAT32 or NTFS will do. I recommend FAT32, unless and single file is above 4 GB.
Step 2: In the "BCD Deployment" tab and "Install BCD" to your flash drive. Select yes when prompted.
Step 3: In your flash drive, extract each Windows Install ISO to a folder in the root of your flash drive with any name you want.
Step 4: In EasyBCD goto "Add New Entry". Now select "WinPE", and select the path to your "Boot.wim", then click "Add Entry". Repeat this for all of your installs.
Step 5: Make sure everything is correct in the "View Settings" tab. Then reboot your PC and boot to the flash drive. Make sure your flash drive is in a USB 2.0 post and not 3.0 unless you have the drivers. If you get an error for "CD Drivers" or "DVD Drivers" then EasyBCD has not been fixed. The last thing you can try is to cancel the install and when it returns you to the welcome screen where you would start the install over again you move you flash drive to a new USB port and try again. For some people this has worked, but that's if it was meant to work in the first place, if EasyBCD has not been updated then that will not work.

Your last hope if EasyBCD doesn't work is to try Easy 2 Boot with the RMPrepUSB tool. You can visit there website and find over 100 helpful tutorials regarding this topic. Good luck everyone, it's hard work but it's well worth it.

Thanks for the help everyone else, DWreck.