YUMI Legacy was the first Universal Multiboot Installer. It’s a software tool that allows you to create a multi-boot USB drive that can hold multiple operating systems, antivirus tools, diagnostic utilities, and other bootable tools. This allows you to easily switch between different tools or operating systems without needing separate USB drives.
Table of Contents
What is YUMI Legacy?
The “Legacy variant” refers to the earliest version of the YUMI software that is designed to work with older hardware that use BIOS instead of UEFI. UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is a modern replacement for the traditional BIOS system, and some older systems still use BIOS.
This Legacy Multiboot USB Boot Creator can be used to quickly make a multisystem bootable USB flash drive containing several different ISO files. You might use it to boot from USB Windows installers, Linux installers, Live Linux, stand alone virus scanners, drive backup tools, PC diagnostic software, etc.
For the most part, the bootable ISO files are stored within the YUMI Multiboot folder. This makes for a nicely organized portable Multiboot drive that can still be used for traditional storage purposes.
Though originally intended to be used to boot from USB “LIVE Linux” Operating Systems and tools, using it to install Linux from a flash drive to a hard drive should also work fine with most distributions. In addition, any installed distributions can easily be removed using the same tool!
YUMI Legacy (BIOS USB Boot Only)
You can use this version if your computer supports BIOS booting, and if you do not plan to run your Windows installers in UEFI mode. Most modern motherboards still have Legacy BIOS firmware support through CMS Legacy mode.
Install ISO Files to USB from the Setup Screen
Run ISOs from the Multiboot USB Boot Menu
YUMI Legacy Limitations
- NTFS or Fat32 filesystems (no exFAT support).
- BIOS USB boot only (no UEFI support).
- Cannot use ISO files larger than 4GB.
BACKUP DATA: You must Backup any data you wish to keep before using the “Format” options. When choosing the “Wipe Entire Disk” option, all partitions sharing that disk number will be wiped clean.
YUMI Legacy Download and Changelog:
30 Jan 2022 YUMI-220.127.116.11.exe: Added support for newer versions of Redo Rescue Backup and Recovery.
YUMI SHA-256: 168A7FD30817E07EFECBD1805FF1E8629A62BE137B74D0B77958472F0993D134
Keep in mind that this version has been archived and no longer being actively updated!
NOTE: YUMI exFAT works with exFAT formatted USB drives. With YUMI legacy, the drive must use a Fat32/NTFS format, otherwise Syslinux will fail and as a result, your drive will NOT Boot. NTFS may not work with every distribution but is required for storing files over 4GB. The UEFI variant must use Fat32 format.
The Installer will format your select USB drive, but be aware that all partitions on the select disk will also be deleted. Ensure that you have made a backup of any info you want to keep before using YUMI software on any drive.
Basic Essentials to create a Multi System Bootable USB Drive
Recommended: You will have the best experience when using a fast SSD flash drive. Here is a list of suggested Best Fast Flash Drives.
- 2GB+ flash drive (128GB – 1TB size works best).
- Computer that can boot from USB.
- Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 Operating Environment.
- YUMI (to create a Multiboot Bootable USB).
- Your favorite Windows and Linux ISO Files.
Legacy YUMI Changelog
1/29/22 YUMI-18.104.22.168: Updated to support newer versions of Redo Rescue Backup and Recovery.
How to Create a MultiBoot USB Flash Drive (Windows)
- Run* YUMI following the onscreen instructions.
- Then, Run the tool again to Add More ISOs/Distributions to your Drive.
- Restart your PC. But be sure to set your Boot Menu to boot from USB.
- Select a distribution to launch. Then, boot and enjoy!
That’s really all there is to it. If all went well, then you should be booting your favorite distributions from your custom YUMI MultiBoot USB drive!
How a YUMI Multisystem Bootable USB Works
YUMI (Your Universal Multiboot Installer) enables each user to create their own custom Multiboot UFD containing only the distributions they want. Presented in the order by which they are installed. A new distribution can also be added to the bootable device each time the tool is run.
If you run YUMI from the same location you store ISO files, then they should be auto detected (*See Known Issues Below), eliminating the need to browse for each ISO.
Other Notes: If MultibootISOs was previously used, you must reformat the drive, and start over. A Legacy YUMI Boot uses Syslinux directly, and chain loads to grub only if needed, so it is not compatible with the older Multiboot ISO tool.
USB Bootable ISO files
Here are some Bootable Live Linux Distros, Portable Operating Systems, Windows Installers, and tools that you can install and boot from USB. Note that support varies between the YUMI variants. Also, keep in mind that although this list is somewhat comprehensive, it is by no means all inclusive.
Popular Linux Distributions
- Debian Live
- Bootable USB Linux Mint (with persistence)
- Puppy Linux
- Ubuntu (with persistence)
Other Distros Alphabetical
- CAELinux (Computer Aided Engineering)
- CentOS Live
- Clear Linux
- Damn Small Linux (DSL)
- gpxe (Net Bootable Distros)
- OSGeo Live
- Peach OSI Linux
- Pear Linux
- Pinguy OS
- Scientific Linux CERN
- Semplice Linux
- SLAX (Tiny Slackware Based Distro)
- Slitaz (Another Tiny Distro)
- Sparky Linux
- Sugar on a Stick
- System Rescue CD
- Tails (Anonymous Browsing)
- Liberte (Anonymous Browsing)
- TinyCore (A Tiny Linux Distribution)
- Ultimate Edition 3
- Zorin OS Core
USB NetBook Distributions
USB Bootable Virtual Machines – ProxMox (Virtual Machine Environment) VME
USB Antivirus Tools
- Acronis Antimalware CD
- AOSS (Malware Scanner) system\stage1
- AVG Rescue CD (Antivirus Scanner)
- AVIRA AntiVir Rescue CD (Virus Scanner)
- Bitdefender Rescue Disk (Antivirus Scanner)
- Comodo Rescue Disk (Antivirus Scanner)
- Dr.Web Live CD ; does install to root
- F-Secure Rescue CD
- GDATA Rescue CD
- Kaspersky Rescue Disk (Antivirus Scanner)
- Panda SafeCD
- Windows Defender Offline
USB System Tools
- Acronis True Image
- BackBox (Penetration Testing)
- BackTrack5 (Penetration Testing)
- Boot Repair Disk
- Clonezilla (Backup + Clone Tool) – with Persistence
- DBAN (Hard Drive Nuker)
- Deft (Forensics)
- DRBL (Diskless Remote Boot in Linux)
- EASEUS Disk Copy (Disk Cloning Tool)
- FreeDOS (Balder img)
- GParted (Partition Tools)
- GRML (system rescue)
- HDT (Hardware Detection Tool)
- Kali (Penetration Testing) – with Persistence
- Memtest86+ (Memory Testing Tool)
- Matriux (Penetration Testing)
- Offline NT Password & Registry Editor
- Ophcrack (Password Finder)
- Parted Magic (Partition Tools)
- PING (Partimg Is Not Ghost)
- Partition Wizard (Partition Tools)
- Redo Backup And Recovery (Recovery Tools)
- Rip Linux (Recovery Distro)
- Trinity Rescue Kit
- Ultimate Boot CD (Diagnostics Tools)
- Web Converger (Web Kiosk)
Bootable USB Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, XP and Other OS/Tools
- Linux Live Tools for OCZ
- Linux CNC
- Hiren’s Boot CD
- Falcon 4 Boot CD
- Hiren’s Boot PE
- Sergei strelec WinPE
- Other WinPE
- Kon-Boot Floppy Image
- Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Installer. (YUMI can be used in place of Microsoft’s “Create Media Tool” for Windows 11, 10)
- Windows XP Installer
- Windows To Go
Boot and Run Windows 11 from VHD on USB
The option to Install, boot, and run Windows from VHDx on USB option is available via the exFAT variant. Enabling you to experiment with running Windows 11 or 10 portably.
- Phoenix LiteOS – Put Windows 10 or 11 on USB
Unlisted USB Bootable ISOs
- Try an Unlisted ISO (SYSLINUX)
- (GRUB Run from RAM)
Troubleshooting, Known Issues, Bugs
With the Legacy BIOS variant, if you encounter a message stating
An error (1) occurred while executing syslinux. Your USB drive won't be bootable.
Make sure your drive is formatted using a Fat32 or NTFS partition with an MBR (Master Boot Record). An exFAT formatted Partition will not work. GPT (GUID Partition Table) Fat32 or NTFS Partitions are also not currently supported.
If you encounter a message stating
Insane primary (MBR) partition. Can’t find myself on the drive I booted from
First, replace your chain.c32 file located at multiboot/chain.c32 with (you’ll need to unzip the file) -> This zipped chain c32 File
If replacing the chain.c32 file does not fix the problem, your Bootable USB drive may be improperly formatted, contains more than one partition or MBR, or your BIOS is not properly detecting the USB drive as USB-HDD, and/or its firmware needs to be updated. You can try to format your USB Drive. to restore or bring it back to an original factory state.
Windows to Go/Installers – Options Explained
YUMI Legacy Variant:
The Windows to Go option creates a VHD file that is 20GB in size. As such, it requires the drive to be formatted NTFS. Fat32 cannot support a file more than 4GB in size. Many flash drives you might find at local department stores won’t be fast enough. You’ll need a Very Fast Flash Drive. When Windows boots from the USB for the first time, it will go through the setup process and then reboot. Boot using your Windows to Go menu option a second time to finalize the setup process and finally boot into your full Portable Windows.
The Single Windows Installer/PE options are most likely to work for both stock and modified ISO files. When using it, you are limited to storing one Windows Installer per USB drive (I.E. one Win XP and one Win Vista 7 or 10). The Multiple Windows Installer/PE options allow for storing more than one stock Windows Installer per drive. Generally, only unmodified Windows ISO files will work with this option.
-wimboot option stores the extracted Multi Windows Installers in their own directory. -bootmgr option moves the bootmgr and bcd files to root of drive. (note: -bootmgr option does require a Windows Vista or later host to run bcdedit).
YUMI Legacy does not natively include files to make it UEFI Boot from USB. However, it is still possible to boot and run your Windows Installers from UEFI. To switch between added Windows versions, navigate to the multiboot/win-directory (replacing win-directory with the Windows version you want booted) on your USB. Once there, move the bootmgr, bootmgr.efi, and entire boot folder to the root of the flash drive. Then reboot, booting your computer from the UEFI compatible USB. If all went well, it should boot straight into your chosen Windows Installer.
Try an Unlisted ISO options explained
Legacy Boot Variant:
- Try Unlisted ISO (Grub Partition 4) – This boot option will attempt to USB boot an ISO file using Grub. It adds a 4th partition table to the pen drive and uses this as a placeholder for the ISO. This method should successfully boot most Linux based distributions.
- Try Unlisted ISO (Grub) – Same as boot option 1, but attempts booting from an ISO without using a 4th partition placeholder.
- Try Unlisted ISO (Grub From RAM) – Same as boot option 2, but attempts to store the ISO in system memory and boot it from there. Useful for cases where the ISO is small, and you’d like to boot from USB an OS and then move the flash memory stick to different machines to subsequently boot the OS from them as well.
- Try Unlisted ISO (via Syslinux) – The original default supported boot option. Syslinux works for booting many distributions, but not all.
UEFI Boot Variant:
- Try Unlisted ISO – This boot option will attempt to boot from an ISO file using Grub Partnew. It works by creating a 4th partition table on the USB device (a 4th partition must not already exist). Then, either the configuration file or Linux and Initrd files are located and Boot is attempted. The Try Unlisted option found in YUMI UEFI supports dragging and dropping of new ISO files to try into the /multiboot/ISOS folder. Once copied there, they will be autodetected and added to the boot menu.
Multiboot folder and volume name:
Most added distributions are stored within the multiboot folder. This is also the root directory set for syslinux. In some cases, the Volume Label of your drive must be MULTIBOOT in order for OpenSUSE, CentOS and several other distributions to start up. YUMI attempts to automatically create this Volume Label, however it can sometimes fail. So please ensure that the Volume Label of your USB remains MULTIBOOT if you expect these distributions to start up and boot.
When booting Linux distributions from some laptops such as the Lenovo Yoga with a touchscreen, the acpi=off boot parameter might be necessary in order to successfully boot.
My PC wont Boot from my flash memory device, but BIOS supports USB boot!
Some Flash Drives ship formatted (without a partition), but all variants require the drive to contain a partition with a MBR (Master Boot Record). To ensure compatibility, the installer will format your device.
How to force a rebuild of the Syslinux MBR:
The following can be very useful if your drive is somehow no longer bootable.
From the multiboot folder on your flash drive, delete the hidden file ldlinux.sys and then rename the libcom32.c32 file to _libcom32.c32. Then use YUMI to install any menu item. The installer will notice that the file is missing and will then attempt to reinstall syslinux and repair the master boot record. Once finished, rename _libcom32.c32 back to libcom32.c32.
Other Known Issues:
TAILS – If your Multiboot Bootable USB is detected as a “fixed” hard drive and not a “removable” disk, (a few of the larger AXE and SanDisk drives have the removable bit flipped this way), in which case you need to remove occurrences of the boot parameter “live-media=removable” from the Live64.cfg file found at “\multiboot\tails-amd64-3.3\EFI\BOOT\” or consequently TAILS will fail to find the live filesystem.
The files for Flacon 4, Hiren’s Boot CD, Trinity Rescue Kit, Backtrack, Avira Antivir, and Dr.Web Live are stored outside of the multiboot folder. Most other distribution files remain contained within the multiboot folder. Feel free to inform me of a simple working solution!
The older variants support Windows XP Install from USB via ISO. In order for the Windows XP installation to succeed, you must perform the following steps;
1.) To begin an install, select (Stage 1)
2.) Upon first reboot, you must select (Stage 2)
3.) Finally, after (Stage 2) is complete — upon the second reboot, select (Stage 3) and begin booting from the destination drive (where you installed Windows XP). If this option fails, simply remove the flashdrive and reboot!
* The Legacy variant does support NTFS, however not all distributions will boot from an NTFS formatted device. Though Windows to Go and distributions containing files over 4GB require using NTFS with the Legacy variant.
Troubleshooting Boot Errors:
While trying to run an ISO from USB, If you get a Boot error saying:
Error 60: File for drive emulation must be in one contiguous disk area
This commonly happens on the persistence file, when using YUMI Legacy with NTFS format. You may have to do this after adding an Ubuntu based distro with persistence on an NTFS drive. Though still possible, Fat32 filesystems don’t encounter this issue as often.
You need to defragment your ISO or persistence file:
Defraggler <— (free version works fine).
Defragmenting an ISO File
When using “Try an Unlisted ISO (GRUB)” options in YUMI Legacy, broken or non-bootable menu entries can be fixed by editing corresponding entries found in \multiboot\menu\menu.lst
If you don’t have a floppy drive and get fd0 errors while booting, simply add floppy.allowed_drive_mask=0 to the append line for the troubled entry. Although the best fix is to simply disable floppy in BIOS.
Persistently Saving Changes: YUMI uses the casper-rw persistence feature for some (but not all) Ubuntu based distributions. Yes, you can also have multiple persistent distributions, as each distro utilizes its own casper-rw file. * Persistence will not always work on NTFS formatted USB drives. Additionally, some distributions will not boot via NTFS.
Ophcrack Tables. In order to load Ophcrack tables, the tables folder needs to exist at the root directory of the USB device; (example F:\tables\vista_free). You can get Ophcrack Tables from the Official Ophcrack site. Once downloaded, simply unzip them to the root of your USB. Because you’re using this method, you can have your Windows XP and Vista/7/10 tables all working together on the same device.
Running YUMI on Linux: Some versions of YUMI can be run from Linux using WINE, though drive partitioning and format features do not work due to WINE disallowing the use of functions that require elevated administration privileges.