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Partion USB Flash drive into both FAT32 and NTFS partitions

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c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I have a 128GB USB Flash drive that I use for both storage and as a drive image bootup tool.
The drive image bootup requires the partition to be FAT32.

But for reasons that are irrelevant, I would like to store files on NTFS.

When I use third party tools I am able to create two partitions, but I can only assign a drive letter to one partition on the USB flash drive (either FAT32 or NTFS, whichever I create first).


1. Is it possible to partition a 128GB USB Flash drive into two partitions, one FAT32 and the other NTFS, and for both partitions to have drive letters assigned to them, and if so using what?
2. Is there a minimum partition size, is it okay to have the FAT32 partition to be 100MB and the rest of it NTFS over 120GBs?
3. If yes, where would you put the small FAT32 boot partition, as first or as second partition?

Thank you.
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
I thought you can only have one active partition at a time?

That said Windows itself can assign a letter to the hidden system partition come to think of it. Hmmm... Why not trying to add drive letters under Windows 7's disk management. See if that works.
I can't recall, but I think I was able to assign drive letters to an old laptop drive using Acronis? It was part of the Hiren's DOS tools on Falcon Four's Boot CD.

I know that you can infact create a 100Mb FAT32 partition. I have done that on that same laptop HDD years ago. I would put the smaller partition first then have the rest for the larger partition. Just seems logical to do it that way to me.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I think you are talking about hard drives.
This is about USB Flash Drives.
I don't think it can be done, I think I tried this very long time ago, but did not make notes and now have to ask again.

P.S. There is no need for NTFS partition to be active, it is for storage only.
 
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Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
I think you are talking about hard drives.
This is about USB Flash Drives.
I don't think it can be done, I think I tried this very long time ago, but did not make notes and now have to ask again.

P.S. There is no need for NTFS partition to be active, it is for storage only.
Ah it just dawn on my about the active partitions; you only need one to be active for booting and such. I was thinking back to fdisk and that old laptop drive there. My bad. You are correct in saying you should only need the FAT32 to be active.

I think what you want can be doe easily on a Lexar USB Jumpdrive using this utility: http://www.tipsdotcom.com/lexar-bootit.html
I recall having a Jumpdrive many many years ago and it showed up as a hard disk in Windows XP.

You can try that software on your USB drives too see if it works.
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
I've done it with linux distros when booting and trying to create a persistent partition. Creating parts is easy if you use software like acronis or partition magic. I think I used acronis successfully. Linux is finicky with persistence and tbh, flash drives suck at replacing normal hd architecture r/w capabilities. With the advances with portable ssd's etc., partitioning flash drives is somewhat of a useless endeavor, but not imposssible. Just look at some linux distros that use persistence, or can, with usb flash drives.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I may try some of the things suggested but I don't think you guys know of anyone who has actually successfully accomplished this, USB Flash drives as I recall cannot be partitioned, using third party software or Windows. We think they should, but they can't.

I forgot what my conclusions were about this from years ago, but I just thought someone could set the record straight.
You certainly cannot do on USB Flash Drives what you can do on hard drives as far as partitioning is concerned.
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
I've tried this before myself but I had no such luck.
I had 2 partitions yes, but I had to unmount and assign a drive letter to the other partition to use it. I don't recall having both partitions active at once.

I can poke around here some more when I get some free time since I'm curious again if this can be done. :)
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
It can be done like I said, but it will only work in a 32bit environ which is about the last time I tried it too. Windows sees flash drives dependent on the storage driver 'usbstor.sys' (xp-7) querying device itself to determine whether it's removable or fixed. Removable, and windows sees only the first part. Only other option is to try it from a vm or linux 32bit environ. 64bit systems use driver signing and therefore the device's hardware signature cannot be bitflipped to fool the OS, unless the manufacturer provides a utility themselves.
http://www.prime-expert.com/article...rtitions-on-removable-usb-storage-devices.php

You will have to use something like hpformat to recover your drive when you are finished playing.
Here's a tut on creating a live usb flash with persistence in debian for the curious.
https://www.linux.com/blog/creating-debian-live-usb-flash-drive-persistence-non-techies

It would be cool if all flash drives could work this way but they would not last long me thinks.
 
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OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Well I'd like to use the 128Gb USB Flash Drive to double as drive image boot up, as well as storage.
But since the Drive Image bootup is Linux, it creates itself as FAT32.
I would like to use NTFS for storage.
Hence the problem.