Apart from my job as a teacher, I have repaired computers and offered computer lab maintenance to a number of schools for over a decade now. When windows XP and Windows 7 were still popular, I would load my bag with many CDs and DVDs, each for a different purpose. I would have a Windows XP CD, a Windows 7 DVD, a driver DVD and another with a collection of software.
In instances where the DVDs failed to work due to faulty optical drives, I had to carry an external DVD drive. These too would fail at that time when you needed them most. This kept me thinking why we didn’t have the option of booting from flash disks. Luckily, times have changed and you can now move with only 1 flash disk and do all the maintenance needed in a 100 user computer lab.
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Tools like Rufus and WinSetUp from USB have come in handy and you can now pack all your operating systems and software on just one flash disk and still do the job.
In this article, I will show you how to pack three operating systems on a flash disk which will enable you to choose an operating system to install when you need to re-install any.
What you need
- A 16 GB flash disk
- Disk images of three operating systems [Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10]
- Win setup to USB
Plug your 16 GB flash disk into any USB port of your computer.
Start WinSetUpFromUSB. (Your flash disk is automatically detected.)
Choose Auto Format it with FBinst and Fat32 as your option.
Select the second option for Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10 and browse to select the image. Start with Windows 7. You will get a warning that the file is too large for Fat32, the image will be split, simply click ok.
Go to Advanced settings, this brings another window.
On the new window on the left, select Custom menu names for Vista/7/8/Server and click GO.
A warning that all data will be erased is displayed. Click yes to continue.
Click yes even on the next warming.
Enter a custom name in the 2 windows that are displayed next and click OK. A custom name helps you easily identify your selection during booting.
After a few minutes, you then get a message JOB DONE. This means you have successfully put the Windows 7 installation files on your flash disk. Your next job is to add the Windows 8 and Windows 10 installation files.
Please note: Initially, you chose to format the flash disk. In the next steps, you are not supposed to format it.
Go back to the main WinSetUp menu and this time, browse for a Windows 8 ISO file. Click to make a custom menu and click Go again.
Again, choose an appropriate name for the menu.
When the job is done, click OK.
Go back to the image selection menu and this time choose a Windows 10 ISO. Go through the steps again, choose a custom menu name and click OK when done.
You now have a bootable flash disk with 3 options to choose from i.e. WIndos 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10.
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