How to create a Multiboot USB stick from multiple systems?

how to create a multiboot usb key of several systems
how to create a multiboot usb key of several systems

Last updated: January 26, 2023

Do you often use live CDs to repair Windows, boot up a Linux system, or test the security of a network? The problem is that you have to burn new CDs with each update and transport all these CDs without knowing if they will really be useful.

In this article, I will show you a trick that will allow you to create a USB drive with multiple ISOs. It is very useful in the case of mini laptops without DVD reader / writer, but also for all people who prefer to get rid of CDs and DVDs.

For those who do not know an ISO file is an image of a disc (CD, DVD) in the form of a file, created with a burning software, having the extension .ISO.

To create a Multiboot USB key of several systems, you have to download the ISO files of the systems that we are going to put in the USB key, from a USB key of about 8 GB, and a small software called: XBoot.

In my case, I will put three ISO files that I use frequently on a USB drive, but be aware that it is possible to use others or use more!

The three ISOs that I will put on my USB key

  • Kali LinuxIt is a distribution grouping together all the tools necessary for the security tests of an information system. It's hackers' favorite linux distribution.
    Download kali Linux ISO file
  • AVG Rescue CD: If you are dealing with a PC so infected with malware that Windows refuses to launch, now is the time to deep clean with AVG Rescue CD. The latter will be launched before Windows giving you the free field to take care of your computer.
    Download ISO of AVG Rescue CD
  • Hiren's BootCD: It's hard to be more complete than this Live CD which includes more than 350 programs classified in different genres: antivirus, system file repair, partition management, system information, password change, encryption, etc.
    Download Hiren's BootCD

How to create a Multiboot USB stick with XBoot?

Let's start with download and launch XBoot. If an error message appears, it will be necessary to download and install the .NET Framework. If all goes well you should see the main interface.

XBoot main interface

Once all your ISOs have been selected, just plug in your blank USB drive and click "Create USB". Select your device in the menu and leave the bootloader by default. Then let the software do it.

Xboot will then ask you if you want to launch your creation virtually to see if everything is working fine.

Multiboot USB key creation

Once your key is ready, you just have to think about booting from USB to be able to use it on a computer. Done Del, F1, F2 or F12 (depending on your motherboard model) right after turning on the PC and entering BIOS (Setup). Find the option Boot sequence and change the order by putting the USB port first.

Boot menu
Boot menu

If all goes well, you should see the following menu.

Boot from Hard Disk allows you to revert to the system installed on the. The other lines correspond to the ISOs that you have integrated. Choose the ISO you want and hit enter.

Well done you have a multiboot USB stick with several systems and diagnostic / repair tools.

EL JAOUARI is an author and trainer. Passionate about IT security and new technologies. His tutorials have helped many people to better master today's computer tools.