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Make USB Flash Drive Bootable in Anything

USB flash drive, bootable, in anything

Doing some research for why some HP computers do not boot from a USB flash drive, I came across Ventoy.

Ventoy is a software tool to create a USB flash drive bootable in anything and supports the most common image files.

We tried Ventoy to make a USB flash drive bootable, and it works like a champ. In fact, the software is so easy to use, it is worth commenting about a previous post we did. A while back we talked about how to check if your USB flash drive is bootable, and to be honest, rather than putting in the time and work to read the article and do the steps, your time is better used flashing your drive with Ventoy. The result is a bootable USB flash drive for any device.

Ventoy is an open source tool for creating bootable flash drives when using image files like ISO, IMG, WIM, VHD and EFI files. The project team tested over 900 image files which tested successfully on over 90% of the distro packages.

What we like about this solution is no need to flash the drive with boot code using the source CD-ROM like so many tutorials out there (for Windows at least) because the Ventoy tool creates a second partition which all the boot code and the Ventoy utility flashes that partition with the boot code needed. You can see from the Disk Management screen shot below there are now two partitions on the tested flash drive.

usb flash drive, bootable, disk management, ventoy

You can tell there have been plenty of Ventoy updates and what is (also) very nice about their software tool is the display of Ventoy version on your device. Nice feature to cross reference if your device is current or needs an update. The update process is just as quick as the original creation of the bootable device.

usb bootable in anything, ventoy software screen

Considering the above, it goes without saying it is easier than ever to make a USB flash drive bootable in anything without having to re-do the work. This software eliminates the need to re-create a bootable image to USB and flash it over and over. Simply update the image file content, not the boot strap code.

The only thing even slightly annoying, which is easy enough to correct is the Volume name for the primary partition defaults to “Ventoy” Would be nice if an edit feature was in the software to customize this without the additional step of renaming the volume after-the-fact.

USB volume name, ventoy, for bootable flash drive

Here are a list of feature copied from the website. The project is open source and we suggest making a donation if you do in-fact use the code. It’s only fair, right!

  • 100% open source
  • Very simple to use
  • Fast (limited only by the speed of copying iso file)
  • Can be installed in USB/Local Disk/SSD/NVMe/SD Card
  • Directly boot from ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files, no extraction needed
  • Support to browse and boot ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files in local disk Notes
  • No need to be continuous in disk for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files
  • Both MBR and GPT partition style are supported
  • x86 Legacy BIOS, IA32 UEFI, x86_64 UEFI, ARM64 UEFI, MIPS64EL UEFI supported
  • IA32/x86_64 UEFI Secure Boot supported Notes
  • Persistence supported Notes
  • Windows auto installation supported Notes
  • RHEL7/8/CentOS7/8/SUSE/Ubuntu Server … auto installation supported Notes
  • FAT32/exFAT/NTFS/UDF/XFS/Ext2(3)(4) supported for main partition
  • ISO files larger than 4GB supported
  • Native boot menu style for Legacy & UEFI
  • Most type of OS supported, 900+ iso files tested
  • Linux vDisk(vhd/vdi/raw…) boot solution Notes
  • Not only boot but also complete installation process
  • Menu dynamically switchable between ListView and TreeView mode Notes
  • “Ventoy Compatible” concept
  • Plugin Framework and GUI plugin configurator
  • Injection files to runtime environment
  • Boot configuration file dynamically replacement
  • Highly customizable theme and menu style
  • USB drive write-protected support
  • USB normal use unaffected
  • Data nondestructive during version upgrade
  • No need to update Ventoy when a new distro is released

I think it is safe to say RUFUS is probably a thing of the past given this new tool. The Ventoy tool is great for making any USB flash drive bootable.

make USB bootable in anything, ventoy boot screen

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Matt LeBoff

Kicking around in technology since 2002. I like to write about technology products and ideas, but at the consumer level understanding. Some tech, but not too techie.

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