Making a Multi-Boot Drive

What is a Pendrive? Definitions, Uses, recover deleted files, useful tips

Introduction to Multi-Boot Drives

A multi-boot drive is a device containing multiple image files [mostly ISOs] which could be used for installing a new OS such as distro of Linux [Ubuntu/Debian/Arch], recovering/restoring corrupted data from the existing OS or for carrying out hardware checkups. This can be done through multiple software available online for instance MultiBootUSB and YUMI(Your Universal Multiboot Loader), but the most easy & intuitive to use a software called Ventoy which’s not only open-source but also highly customizable just like our services at Cyber Efficient.


What’s Ventoy?

Ventoy is an Open-Source Software which helps in making making multi-boot USBs with all types of files ranging from ISOs to EFIs files, it helps you create bootable drives with multiple images [700+ tested images] without formatting the disk. It makes creating boot drives as easy as copying & pasting image files. You can add as many files you want the only limit being the storage space on your drive. There are many advantages to using this, the main one being it being open-source which makes it completely safe to use, a few others are, they’re easy to use and can be installed on Local Disk/SSD/SD Card.


 

Installation Process

As mentioned earlier this process is easy and user-friendly. Once done it can be a really useful tool for any person. This section’s divided into three parts depending on the system you’re using; it officially supports all known OSs, before we begin make sure your drive has enough space accommodate the image files and make sure the backup the contents of your drive. Let’s begin creating this awesome tool…🛠

Windows

  • Install the software from the original website, the download page’s divided into three main categories [Linux/ISO/Windows] download ventoy-1.0.46-windows-zip extension. Make sure the download the right file.

  • Extract the contents of the zip file, and execute the file named ‘Ventoy2Disk’. It might give you a dialog box from Windows Smart Screen, whenever you’re in doubt of a sketchy file, website or a link use VirusTotal [more about it in the end], it should give you a dialog box like so…


  • Insert your drive, make sure to turn on secure boot in Option drop down menu and click on the install. Let the software do the rest for you and when it’s done, you’ll get a prompt like stating it has successfully downloaded Ventoy on the device. It will show the version of Ventoy on the device which should be the same as the one on the left and if you’ve to update the version of Ventoy simply click update.


 

  • When it’s done you should also notice two partitions on the drive, the smaller one contains the files pertaining booting and the bigger chunk is meant for storing all the image files.

 

  • Now it’s just the matter of copying and pasting image files into the drive, and it will appear on the boot screen. 

 

Linux

  • Install Ventoy from the website either by clicking the link or running this command on the terminal: wget https://github.com/ventoy/Ventoy/releases/download/v1.0.46/ventoy-1.0.46-linux.tar.gz [make sure the version number is correct] and make sure to download the right file.

 

  • Extract the contents of file using tar -xf ventoy-1.0.46 [make sure the version number is correct], and change the directory to ventoy-1.0.46 using cd ventoy-1.0.46

  • Run the command sudo bash VentoyWeb.sh, running this command will host a server locally on port 24680. The link would look like so: http://127.0.0.1:24680.

 

  •  Insert your drive and make sure check the “Secure Boot” option under the “Option” drop down menu, it should look something like this.

 

  •  After it has successfully installed Ventoy on your disk, it will prompt you with this message.


Important Note: This method is applicable for any version of Linux; it even works on VMs. The only thing it doesn’t work on is WSL Linux for Windows since it doesn’t detect any external drives that you connect to it therefore making it impossible to burn Ventoy on it.

 

ISO­

  • ­­­Download the ISO file from the GitHub page, the best you can use this method is by installing it on a Virtual Machine [VirtualBox/VMware]

  • Boot into the image file using your image file, there’s no specific hardware requirements since it’s a terminal based tool, but the suggested minimum requirements would be 512MB of RAM and 0.5 vCPU.

  • When you boot into make sure to select the first option and insert the drive you want to burn and make sure to connect it with your virtual machine.

  • On booting into the image, you’ll be greeted with a with a terminal interface, select the drive you want to burn the image. After that you’ll be greeted with three other options, select the first one after that you’ll be asked for confirmation and then let the software will do the rest.

 

Custom Themes

If you’d like to use a custom theme for your bootloader, head over to the website and select you desired theme, make sure it’s a GRUB loader themes. If you’re using a Windows machine use WinZip/7Zip for extracting files from the tar.gz file and for this article we’ll be using the BigSur Theme.

Ventoy Versions

  •  On the top right corner click the download button, it will give you a drop menu with multiple options click the one with the word ventoy in it, but for the ones who don’t have that option we’ve included the guide at the end of this section

  •  After you’re downloaded it, extract the files using your desired software mentioned above [tar.gz files] and copy the folder labeled Ventoy into the larger partition of your drive containing the image files.
 

Non-Ventoy Version

  •  Download your desired theme from the website and extract it using either of the tools mentioned above. And after the file has been extracted, copy the folder containing the main files.

  •  Create a folder named ventoy and within that folder create another folder named themes and copy the above mentioned folder into this one.

  • Make a file called ventoy.json in the main directory and enter the following code into it, just remember to replace the bold words with the name of your theme’s folder.

{

        "theme": {

            "file": "ventoy/themes/argon-grub-theme-2.6.3/theme.txt"

        }

}

And you’re done adding a non-ventoy custom theme to your boot drive.

 

Recommended ISOs

  •  Hiren OS: It’s a Windows PE [Pre-Experimental] based OS. [Download Here]
  •   MemTest86: Linux based OS for checking to test your computer RAM for faults [Download Here]
  • Ubuntu: User-Friendly Linux distro meant for beginners which can be used live or to install it on your computer [Download Here]

 

VirusTotal

VirusTotal is an online platform for scanning your files and links for malicious code. It works by scanning the file or link using multiple reputed anti-virus engines. Go check out their website to experience it for yourselves. [Not Sponsored!]

 

Hope you liked this article, stay tuned for more to come.