YUMI (Your USB Multiboot Installer) is a popular bootable USB boot maker software. The purpose of this tool is to help anyone quickly create a multibooting flash drive consisting of several different ISO files. Easily boot all of your favorite ISO and IMG files from a single USB flash drive. Run any number of Linux live operating systems, PC diagnostic tools, free antivirus utilities, Windows PE and Windows setup installers, and more all from the same bootable USB disk!
How YUMI works
This bootable USB maker can be used to store multiple bootable ISO or Image files on one USB flash drive or (UFD). Then, during computer startup (assuming you have set your computer to boot from the flash drive), you can navigate from an organized folder structure and choose which one to boot from. Bootable distributions and tools can also be uninstalled or removed with the frontend of this tool.
A bootable USB drive is a portable storage device (typically a USB flash drive) that has been configured to boot from a computer. It might contain system utilities used for diagnostic troubleshooting, malware and antivirus scanning, OS startup repair, etc. Or Operating Systems such as Linux or Windows that can be run entirely from the removable device or used as an installer.
Here are some common uses for USB bootable drives:
- USB Operating System Installation: Bootable USB drives are often used to install or reinstall operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux, or other specialized operating systems. Users can portably boot from a USB drive just as they would a Live CD or DVD, but without using a CD/DVD media. Then one can follow the same usual installation prompts to set up and install an operating system on their computer’s internal drive.
- System Recovery and Repair: USB boot from system recovery tools or system diagnostic utilities. Quickly troubleshoot and repair issues with a computer’s operating system or hardware components while running outside of the native operating environment.
- Data Recovery from USB: Can include bootable data recovery software used to recover files from a computer that won’t boot normally due to system failures or malware infections.
- Live USB Operating Systems: Certain Linux distributions offer “LiveUSB” versions that can boot from a USB drive. This allows you to run an operating system directly from a USB drive without installing it onto a computer’s hard disk. A Live Linux USB can be useful for testing or trying Linux or for using a specific Linux environment on a temporary basis.
How to Make a Bootable USB Drive
To make a USB drive bootable, you can use specialized software that copies the necessary files from the operating system or utility to the USB drive. This type of tool will also set up the drive’s boot sector so that the computer can recognize it as a bootable device. YUMI is a software utility that can automatically do all of this for you.
Keep in mind that while preparing, formatting, and making a bootable USB drive, any existing data on the drive is wiped clean and overwritten, so you will want to back up any important files you wish to keep, before proceeding. Additionally, you may need to change the boot order found in your computer’s BIOS or UEFI settings to boot from the USB drive instead of its local internal hard drive.
How can I Boot from USB?
Here are the steps to get your computer to boot from USB:
- Insert a prepared USB bootable flash drive into your computer’s USB port and then power on or restart the PC.
- During the system post, (as text starts appearing on the screen), enter the system BIOS or UEFI by pressing a hotkey on your keyboard such as F2, F8, F9, F11, F12 or the Del key.
- From the list of boot devices set your USB drive to be the first boot device.
- Click Save or press F10.
- Let your system proceed to startup and boot from the USB thumb drive.
If all went well, your computer should proceed to read and execute the software stored on the USB pendrive instead of the operating system installed on the computer’s internal hard drive.
The three YUMI Variants
Over the years there have been three different variants of this popular Multiboot USB software tool.
- YUMI Legacy: The initial development was Legacy. It supports BIOS USB booting only and USB drives formatted with NTFS or Fat32 filesystems. It was originally created in 2010 and then later released for use to the general public in March of 2011.
- YUMI UEFI: Shortly thereafter, the second UEFI iteration was created. This was done in an effort to support both BIOS and UEFI USB boot modes, as motherboard manufacturers began replacing BIOS firmware with UEFI. It only supports booting from USB drives with a Fat32 filesystem.
- YUMI exFAT: Then most recently, the final exFAT variant was released. It currently uses a Ventoy bootloader, supports UEFI and BIOS USB booting via a secondary hidden Fat32 partition, and utilizes an exFAT partition for storing the bootable ISO files.
NOTE: Only the exFAT variant is recommended going forward, as it utilizes the most modern UEFI and BIOS supported USB boot methods. If there are certain distributions or features that exist in the other versions and you would like to see supported, please contact me so I can look into adding support for them. Additionally, if you find YUMI useful, please help spread the word by sharing a link to this site with others.