Read multiple USB partitions in Windows

Forum: DSL-N
Topic: Read multiple USB partitions in Windows
started by: Juanito

Posted by Juanito on April 19 2007,07:00
Although strictly speaking this is a Windows topic, I thought it might be useful for DSL-N users who boot from a USB stick.

In my case, I have a 1GB USB stick which would not boot DSL-N when it was formatted in one single FAT16 or FAT32 partition. To get round this, I formatted it in two partitions - 256MB/768MB - and made the 1st partition bootable.

The problem with my approach was that DSL-N will not write to the 1st partition which it mounts as /cdrom and Windows will not read from anything but the 1st partition on removeable media (eg USB sticks). This meant that I could not easily share files on the USB stick between DSL-N and Windows.

One solution would be to make the 2nd partition bootable - backing up my files to do this would require sharing them with Windows (so I didn't get around to it yet), but I just discovered an alternative solution.

By following the explanation < here > I was able to fool Windows into thinking my USB stick was a USB hd and thus non-removeable media enabled for multiple partitions. Basically, the idea is to substitute the the name of a USB hd in its driver *.inf file with the name of the USB stick from the Windows registry and then "update" the USB stick driver to use the USB hd driver.

The explanation is written for XP but it works for me in w2k and I can now see both USB stick partitions in DSL-N and Windows.

Since there is now a freeware ext2 driver for XP/w2k < here >, it occurs to me that it might be possible to format a USB stick with one/two ext2 partitions and still share data between DSL-N and Windows...

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