• RMPrepUSB User Guide & FAQs

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RMPrepUSB User Guide
Guide for v2.1.714

If you are looking for a ready-made solution for a multi-boot USB drive. please go to the Easy2Boot website.

FAQ's here

Click here to watch the 'How to use RMPrepUSB' YouTube videos.


RMPrepUSB is a Windows utility that can be used to format any USB storage device, e.g. USB Flash drive (UFD) or USB hard disk, as a bootable device (but cannot be used on USB Floppy drives to format floppy disks). It can be used to partition, format, write a Master Boot Record, partition table and/or Volume Boot Record (sometimes called a Partition Boot Record) and operating system boot code to a USB storage device (e.g. USB flash memory drive or USB hard disk). It can also be used to work on non-USB drives.

If you installed RMPrepUSB using the Installer, you can easily uninstall it using the ‘uninstall RMPrepUSB’ entry in the Start Menu. However, you do not need to install RMPrepUSB (it is portable and will even run under BartPE or WinPE v1/v2/v3), just ensure that all the files are copied to a folder on your hard drive or storage drive.

Note: if running Win PE you may need to copy the MSVBSM60.DLL from the WINPE_EXTRA folder to the same folder that RMPrepUSB.exe is in. Also, if you are running under Win PE v1/BartPE you may need to copy showdrive.exe file from the WINPE_EXTRA folder (do not copy this file if running Windows XP+ though as it can cause problems!) - showdrive auto-mounts a new drive after it has been formatted if the OS itself does not.

To start - select the Language that you want to use in the top-right hand box. RMPrepUSB will list all *.INI files found in the .\LANG folder. Note that the translated files may be slightly out of date, but if you select English you will always get the latest version of help text. If you are running Windows XP, you may need to install Asian language support (see FAQ Q32)

Please read the all the FAQs at the end of this document!


RMPrepUSB and RMPartUSB are free (Freeware) for private use only; however they are not Open Source programs. For commercial use and licensing please contact [email protected]. Distribution, sale, or use in a commercial solution is forbidden without permission from RM Education plc (see FAQs below for more information).

The RMPrepUSB download includes some executables which are not the intellectual property of the author or RM Education. The licensing terms and conditions of these programs are:

Grubinst.exe, grldr and touchdrv.exe – Author: bean123 homepage GPL (see GPL.txt)

Mkefs.exe – Author: MattWu [email protected] homepage GPL (see GPL.txt)

Syslinux.exe – Author: H. Peter Anvin see homepage

QEMU - QEMU was written by Fabrice Bellard and is free software.

HashMyfiles.exe - by NirSoft (licence files included with download)

WinContig.exe. - with kind permission from Marco D. Free for personal and commercial use.

Start_VM.exe - with kind permission from David B. Free with published sources on reboot.pro

Various parts are released under different GNU General Public License version 2-compatible licenses.

These include the GNU Lesser General Public License (GNU LGPL) or permissive licenses such as the BSD license

RMPrepUSB is intended for use on USB Flash memory drive, USB hard disk drives or other USB storage devices such as card readers.

Press F1 for help and shortcut functions.

RMPrepUSB can:

· Partition, format and make bootable a USB drive (follow the steps numbered 1-6 in blue text)

· Clean (erase/wipe) a USB drive (best to unplug and re-plug afterwards)

· Backup a USB drive (or parts of a USB drive) to an image file

· Restore an image file (or part of an image file) to a USB drive

· Install the grub4dos or syslinux bootloader onto a USB drive

· Test a USB drive (useful for testing fake USB flash memory drives)

· Test raw read/write speed of a USB drive

· Eject a USB drive (for safe removal)

· Display the partition structure of a USB drive (or image file)

· Be used after PEBuilder to install your XP PE files to a bootable USB drive.

· Work on hard disk drives as well as USB drives (by using the ALLDRIVES command line parameter)

· Create an ext2/3/4 read/write filesystem (as a mountable file – e.g. casper-rw)

· Emulate booting from the selected USB drive (QEMU = F11) v2.1.707 and later versions have full write access!

· Calculate MD5/CRC32/SHA1 checksum of a file (ALT+F2)

· Overwrite Master Boot Record with default (Win7/Vista) MBR

· Run Disk Doctor utility for disk testing/editing

· Install the WEE bootloader to Track 0 (overwrites MBR)

· Run DiskDoctor (a raw disk editing/testing/data search utility)

· Make all files on a drive contiguous using WinContig

Install grub2 to MBR+following sectors

Note: Red or blue coloured buttons will write to your USB drive in some way. Except for the Test Speed button, all red/blue buttons will erase, alter or overwrite your USB drive contents. If you have any important files on the USB drive, copy them to a safe place first!

Important: always run these utilities with Administrator privileges or USB drives may not be accessible and you may get a write error reported!

When you click on one of the Prepare Drive, Quick Size Test, Test Speed, Clean, Image Tool or Info buttons, RMPrepUSB will call the Windows command line utility RMPartUSB - the exact command line will be shown to the user beforehand. If you prefer, you can use RMPartUSB in your scripts or batch files rather than use RMPrepUSB. Type ‘RMPartUSB’ in a Windows command shell to see full instructions on how to use the utility or read the rmpartusb.txt readme file.

Fig. 1 Note: The button ‘6 Prepare Drive’ uses the settings numbered 1-5.
The two imaging operation buttons (FiletoUSB and USBtoFile) are totally independent of any other settings within RMPrepUSB
(i.e. the NTLDR, FAT32 and all other options have no effect when imaging – a binary image is simply copied to or read from the UFD
and is similar to the dd.exe utility, no additional ‘tweaking’ is done by RMPrepUSB or RMPartUSB and no extra files are copied afterwards).
The ‘Install grub4dos’ function installs grub4dos to any USB drive and does not call RMPartUSB.
Also note that during operation, both the commands that will be executed and the status are shown at the bottom of the form.

Fig. 2 RMPrepUSB Help form (press F1 or Help button)
Note the extra functions available using the Function keys!

Click to see RMPrepUSB videos on YouTube

Six steps (1-6) to make your USB drive bootable

1. Select the USB drive in the listbox if more than one is present and either leave the ‘1 Partition Size’ as MAX or change it (e.g. type 512 for a partition size of 512MiB).

2. Change the