The MakeDisk utility offers the option to create the installation/boot media on a USB flash drive (UFD). This capability applies to the following products:
- BootIt BM
- Image for DOS
- Image for Linux
- Image for Windows (TBWinRE/PE)
MakeDisk is included with the current versions of BootIt BM, Image for DOS, Image for Linux, and Image for Windows. MakeDisk is not included with CopyWipe, but can be downloaded. By default, for data safety reasons, MakeDisk does not support UFD devices that are larger than 64 GB in size. For that reason, devices larger than 64 GB will not appear in MakeDisk. You can allow MakeDisk to support larger devices by specifying the /nousblimit parameter when it's run (e.g. makedisk /nousblimit).
Important: When you use MakeDisk to create or update the installation/boot media on a UFD device, all existing data on the device will be lost.
Creating the UFD Installation/Boot Disk: Run MakeDisk and follow the prompts in the normal manner. When you get to the point where you select the target, the UFD device will appear under the USB/SD category. It should be identified by the make/model of the device (e.g. Kingston Data Traveler 2.0).
- Highlight the target device in the list. Note: If your UFD is a U3 device, please read the special notes below.
- Select the desired USB Layout for the UFD (layouts available for selection will vary depending on the boot media being created). While some computers will successfully boot all modes, some may only boot several or one. In addition, your choice of which mode to use may be influenced by how you plan to use your UFD.
- Normal - Raw Boot Image - Creates a 1.44 MB floppy diskette image on the UFD. Any additional space on the UFD (beyond the floppy image size) is not available for use. Think of this option as if MakeDisk were formatting the UFD to be a 1.44 MB floppy. If you were to view the UFD in Windows, the drive would appear to be 1.44 MB, even though it might have originally been a 4 GB drive, and formatted as FAT. The UFD will no longer be visible as a BIOS hard drive in BootIt BM (if it had been previously).
- No Partition - FAT/FAT32 Volume - The entire UFD is configured as one big unpartitioned device. If you were to view a 4 GB UFD created using this option in Windows, you’d see free space beyond the amount used by MakeDisk up to the size of the drive. This free space is available to be used normally. If the UFD is 4GB or smaller, it's formatted as FAT. Otherwise, it's formatted as FAT32. The UFD will no longer be visible as a BIOS hard drive in BootIt BM (if it had been previously).
- Partition - MBR FAT/FAT32 Partition - The entire UFD is used as a single bootable partition. The computer's BIOS will usually detect this type of UFD as a hard drive. Any unused space on the UFD is available to be used normally. If the UFD is 4GB or smaller, it's formatted as FAT. Otherwise, it's formatted as FAT32.
- Partition - MBR FAT/FAT32 Partition (Int13h Extensions) - This is the same as the Partition mode except that the INT 13 Extension is used (this is required for some computers to boot a UFD).
- Partition - MBR UEFI System Partition - The UFD is configured as an MBR drive that contains an EFI System Partition. This type of drive may not boot on Legacy BIOS (non-UEFI) systems. Additionally, the partition may not be accessible normally via a drive letter.
- Partition - GPT UEFI System Partition - The UFD is configured as a GPT drive that contains an EFI System Partition. This type of drive will only boot on UEFI systems in UEFI mode. Additionally, the partition may not be accessible normally via a drive letter.
- Select the desired Geometry Calculation Method (Default - Use Device, LBA, Large, Normal, or Bit-Shift). These options control the method MakeDisk uses to calculate the geometry to use for the USB/SD device. Many BIOSes calculate geometry for USB devices using different methods and this information is not available from Windows USB support. These options allow you to specify an alternate method when the default doesn't work (e.g. black screen, boot failure, device not found, etc.). It's recommended to try the Default setting first and then try the others if it doesn't work. Be aware that the method that works correctly for one system may not on another. Make note of which method is required for future use.
- Click the Finish button to complete the operation. Note: Some systems may require the UFD to be disconnected and reconnected for Windows to properly recognize the changes.
Using the UFD: To use the UFD, your system BIOS must be capable of booting from USB drives and the BIOS must be set to boot from the UFD device. Many computers have a BIOS that has an option key available at boot time (such as F8, F10, or F11) that will bring up a menu of boot devices from which to choose. This eliminates the need to go into the BIOS setup to change the boot order. Once booted, the operation of the UFD installation/boot media will be the same as if using a diskette or CD/DVD. Note: When using one of the Partition layouts, the UFD may be considered a hard drive and show up in the list of drives. This can change the order of the drives from what you normally see (e.g. the UFD may be Hard Drive 0 instead of the normal booting drive).
Updating the UFD to New Product Versions: This can be accomplished by simply repeating the procedure above with the newer version of the product (the same as you would for a diskette or CD/DVD). Important: If you have copied any additional files to the UFD and don't want to lose them, make sure to copy them to another drive before using MakeDisk to update the UFD. The files can be copied back to the UFD after MakeDisk has finished.
Converting the UFD Back to a Normal Storage Device: To return the UFD to a normal storage device, it may need to be reformatted. The UFD can be reformatted using Explorer or Disk Management. In either case, carefully identify the UFD device, right-click on it, and then choose Format... from the pop-up menu. Depending on the size of the UFD, it may be formatted as FAT or FAT32 (you will most likely want to use FAT32). Note: If formatting is not available (e.g. the Partition - GPT UEFI System Partition layout was used), it may be easier to first rerun MakeDisk on the drive, selecting the Partition - FAT/FAT32 Partition layout, to return the drive to a state in which Windows will allow changes to the device. Important: If you have copied any additional files to the UFD and don't want to lose them, make sure to copy them to another drive before reformatting or running MakeDisk on the UFD. The files can be copied back to the UFD after it's formatted.
Special Notes for U3 Devices:
- Creating TeraByte Unlimited boot media on a U3 device with MakeDisk will (as you would expect) disable the U3 capability of the device and you will lose any U3 software currently installed on it. While most U3 device manufacturers provide a program to reinstall U3 capability to their devices, it is recommended that you verify this ahead of time if you may want to restore U3 capability at a later date.
- U3 devices are configured in firmware to appear as two devices in Windows: a read-only CD-ROM and a UFD. Those two devices will both appear in MakeDisk when selecting a target. Care must be taken to select the UFD device listed under USB and not the CD-ROM device.
- If your U3 device is larger than 64 GB, only the CD-ROM device will appear in MakeDisk. As mentioned above, by default, devices larger than 64 GB cannot be used to create installation/boot media with MakeDisk.
- If you have a U3 device plugged in while running MakeDisk, be aware that accidently selecting the device (including the CD-ROM device) as the target may disable the U3 capability of the device. For this reason, it is recommended that you remove the U3 device before running MakeDisk if you do not intend to use it to create Terabyte Unlimited boot media.
- Most manufacturers of U3 devices provide a program to remove the CD-ROM device so that the device will then appear as a normal UFD (with no CD-ROM device). Most also provide a program to reinstate the CD-ROM device in order to restore the U3 capability.