If you are looking for a ready-made solution for a multi-boot USB drive. please go to the Easy2Boot website.
You can combine many of the tutorials on this website to make your own USB drive which can do many more things besides just store and transport your files. The basic principles of many of these tutorials are quite simple and consist of four primary steps:
1. Partition and format a USB drive using RMPrepUSB
2. Install the grub4dos boot manager using the Install grub4dos button on RMPrepUSB
3. Add your files. These could be ISO files, disk image files, OS files or even files which are prepared as empty ext2 filesystem volumes
4. Finally, edit your menu.lst file (press F4) to make a user menu so the user can select which OS or program to boot to.
5. (optional) Test that your drive boots using the QEMU button.
For examples of menus and more details, visit the grub4dos tutorial. Also see the sidebar for many more tutorials or watch some YouTube tutorials and don't forget ... have fun!
RMPrepUSB is a Windows utility that allows you to quickly format your USB drives (or non-USB drives) and install different Operating System bootloaders onto it for XP, Vista/Win7/Win8, MSDOS, FreeDOS, Syslinux or grub4dos at the click of a button. This allows you to 'roll your own' bootable USB drives. RMPrepUSB has hotkeys that speed up this process (press F1 to see these). Most of the Tutorials on this site use the grub4dos bootloader. The grub4dos bootloader enables you to create a user menu which can contain a variety of entries. For instance, if you follow some of the tutorials on this site you can create a single USB drive that will boot on most systems and allow you to: install XP onto a system, install Vista onto a system, install Windows 7 onto a system, install Server 2008 onto a system, repair an OS, boot to MD-DOS, boot to FreeDOS, flash a new BIOS, run a memory test, run a hard disk scan test, boot to a number of different linux operating systems, wipe a hard disk, reset or recover Windows user passwords, clone a hard drive, boot to Windows without needing to know the user's password, crack Windows XP and some Vista/Win7 user passwords, boot to BackTrack to check WiFI security, run Windows 7 or Windows 8 directly from the USB drive, run the Hiren's Boot CD from a USB drive, recover files/pictures from a corrupt Flash memory card and much more!
Download tab at the top of this page and click on the Download underlined link that you want - I would recommend the full multilingual installer link. A ZIP file will download to your computer which contains a single .exe file. Unzip the ZIP file and then double-click on the exe file. Then follow the prompts to install RMPrepUSB to your Windows PC. You can untick the Desktop shortcut and Start Menu options if you wish - click on the image below to see a step by step example:
If you wish to uninstall RMPrepUSB, then use the Start Menu uninstall entry - click on the image below for an example:
The uninstall process deletes RMPrepUSB registry entries
and will prompt you before it deletes your QEMU virtual disk image (if present).
The portable version can be found by clicking on the Download tab at the top of the site page.
Once formatted, the USB drive should boot as drive C: (you can test this by pressing F11 in RMPrepUSB to emulate booting).
This will make a copy of your USB contents to an image file. The image file is not compressed. If you wish, you can use 7Zip or WinZip to compress the file for storage and delete the original image file, however you will need to unzip the file before RMPrepUSB can use it.
You can then use the image file you have just made to restore the original contents of the USB drive at any time in the future or even to copy the contents of the USB drive to another USB drive (of the same size or larger). Just use the File->USB button. If you have a number of USB drives and you want to apply the same image to all of them, prepare and take an image using the smallest USB drive first and then copy that image onto the other 3 drives. Note: Even if the USB drives are all the same size and same make and model and appear identical, they may actually vary in size slightly! So use the RMPrepUSB Drive Info button to determine the capacity in bytes of each drive (e.g. 17,179,869,184 bytes for one USB pen and maybe 17,179,868,122 for an identical make and model!)
H2TESTW. However, H2TESTW is quite slow and does not test every byte unless you format the USB drive first so that it is empty. It is much quicker and easier to use RMPrepUSB's - Quick Size Test.
Just click this button and RMPrepUSB will quickly erase and test your USB flash drive. The screenshots below show what happened when I tested a cheap 16GB USB flash drive bought from China on eBay. The RMPrepUSb size test took just 50 seconds, H2TESTW took over 3 hours to test the drive and returned similar results!
As you can see, it really has less than 2GB of memory even though it appears in Windows to be a 16GB drive. For more information on how to test these devices see here.