Multiboot USB Drive: Deciding to Stick (sic) with YUMI

I had been using YUMI to create a USB jump (a/k/a thumb, flash, stick) drive capable of booting multiple operating systems and other tools.  Now, however, it appeared that this multibootable USB drive may have been the culprit behind Windows Boot Manager errors (status 0xc000000e) that I was getting on two different computers.

It was possible that those errors were coming from corruption of the drive, unrelated to YUMI itself.  On the other hand, this was an opportunity to look for an alternative to YUMI (formerly known as MultiBootISOs USB Creator).  One problem I had encountered with YUMI was that some bootable ISOs, loaded on that multiboot drive, had inexplicably failed to load.  I noticed that this happened with, for instance, bootable CD tools based on Windows XP, such as UBCD and BartPE.  Another thing I didn’t like about YUMI was that I could not easily edit its menus or contents — to remove traces of ISOs that I had installed but that were not working, or to arrange ISOs into groups.  I hoped that some alternative to YUMI would work better in these regards.

I found a webpage offering “12 Best Tools” for this purpose.  That page would have benefited from better English and more detailed reviews, but it did alert me to the prospect that there might now be several worthy alternatives.  (I found another, cleaner comparison later.)  Among other things, the 12 Best Tools page echoed my sense that RMPrepUSB (to cite one possibility that had come up recently) was too complicated for someone seeking a simple tool.  I liked YUMI’s approach of simply plugging ISOs into an existing multiboot structure; I had already worked up a collection of ISOs for this purpose; now I was just looking for a better way to use those ISOs.

A search led to a recommendation that I try XBOOT.  Another source suggested that SARDU and XBOOT both might be more robust than YUMI.

Were there other possibilities?  An AlternativeTo webpage listed Universal USB Installer (of which UNetbootin was apparently a clone) and WinToFlash as much more popular than SARDU, XBOOT, or YUMI, but these did not appear to be multiboot solutions.  That is, they would load only one program onto the USB drive.  At this point, Wikipedia’s list of tools to create live USB systems did not distinguish multiboot from single-boot tools — but it did make clear that there were many single- or multiboot tools out there.  One source offered a way to use UNetbootin to create a multiboot flash drive, but it, too, sounded complicated.  A search suggested that EasyBCD was another possibility, but it appeared that it was a boot manager that would let you decide whether to boot from, say, a hard drive partition containing Windows 7 rather than another partition containing Linux.

So I took it as a choice among YUMI, SARDU, or XBOOT.  A search led to a thread with several user reports that tended to favor YUMI.  As I had also found, one comment recommended formatting within YUMI rather than formatting the USB drive via Windows Explorer.  One blogpage, written in spring 2011, seemed to find little difference in capabilities, between SARDU and YUMI, except that SARDU had the advantage of allowing the user to burn a CD or DVD containing one (or possibly more) installer.  Two other webpages praised SARDU, but without offering specific comparisons against alternatives like YUMI.  The XBOOT webpage seemed to indicate, as others had done, that XBOOT was preprogrammed to accept far fewer programs and distributions than YUMI; the same had also seemed to be true of SARDU.

At this point, then, it seemed that YUMI might still be the best of the lot.  I decided to proceed with another YUMI setup, and just wait and see whether those Windows Boot Manager errors recurred.

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8 Responses to Multiboot USB Drive: Deciding to Stick (sic) with YUMI

  1. vijaysaraff says:

    Thanks for taking the exact steps I would’ve! I was in the process of looking at all the alternatives, when I found your site, and you saved me the trouble. YUMI it is.

  2. Shawor says:

    I went through the same procedure as you and arrived at the same conclusion. YUMI still seems to be the best tool for multibooting.

  3. +1
    I went through a similar process a couple of years ago. Found and used Sardu for a while. ran into a few problems wit hspecific ISOs and eventually moved to YUMI and have stayed with it as it does what I need without making me jump through hoops to get there.

    • okedoke says:

      Same the past few years, I’ve tried YUMI, SARDU, or XBOOT. SARDU and XBOOT was bugging and did not work sometimes..then tried YUMI and stick with it ever since..just burned Ubuntu 13.04 and Mint 15 to test drive 🙂

  4. Sounds like there is still a ways to go for multiboot setups then. Aren’t there a multitude of ways of booting ISOs? And are YUMI, SARDU, and XBOOT at all related to each other?

  5. John Smith says:

    Thank you for this information

  6. RChadwick says:

    Easy2Boot might be nice, but it’s Linux only. I find it odd to create a tool meant for booting various Windows ISO’s, yet code it to only run in Linux.No, I’m not going to “Forget Yumi”

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