Partitioning a USB Flash Drive

I have several questions, for some unspecified reason thoroughly missing in Sandisk KB and even local forums (hard to grasp why), related to formatting and partitioning Sandisk flash drives, and would appreciate them answered separately:

  1. What is the best way and suitable tools to partition a Sandisk Blade into several partitions, all recognized by Windows and visible simultaneously in Win Explorer with different drive letters?

  2. Can someone explain, why by default Windows recognizes only a single partition on Removable Devices? What is the reason for such limitation?

  3. If “Removable” bit is deleted from a flash drive to make all its partitions visible in Windows, can it cause its damaged in any way in operation afterwards? Will it be possible to use “Safely Remove Hardware” Windows feature after that?

  4. What utilities are recommended to recover data from Sandisk Blade? What is the best file system TYPE for Sandisk flash drives and why? Is this file system still the best for making a bootable flash drive with OS image on it?

  5. Where to download a Sandisk Tool suitable to Format & Restore factory formatting of a Sandisk Blade, if it was re-formatted by a 3-d party tool and become slow after that? Any other approaches to restore original drive speed?

  6. What Tools can be used to find out USB Controller and Memory  Chip models of the Sandisk Blade, which is helpful in creating a CD-ROM partition on it?

  1. Remove the USB’s Removable bit setting or install on the host the dummy.sys filter or Hitachi cfadisk filter.

  2. They saw no need to partition removable devices. And until recently most removable devices were small or very expensive.

3.a. Sure, anything is possible, even if the bit isn’t flipped.

3.b. Don’t know.  I have never found a need to partition a UFD.

  1. Depends on what you’re backing up.  I always keep the original files on my hd.  XXCOPY is very fast moving files around.  FAT is the most widely recognized File System and FAT32 is needed for large drives.  I boot USBs with both and with NTFS also.

  2. No idea.

  3. No idea but then why would you want/need too?

What tool would allow to remove the Removable bit setting? Lexar USB Format is old and appears not to remove the bit from Cruzer Blade. Since only one partition is recognized afterwards anyway.

Creating a CD-Rom partition on the flash drive would allow to install to it and boot from it OS images not based on RAM-Drive usage, which limits use of such bootable drives on different PCs due to small RAM-Drive size and other shortcomings. Some 3-d party tools allow to add a virtual CD-Rom partition to U3 Sandisk Flash drives, but it doesn’t seem to work same way with non-U3 Sandisk drives. Possibly, a flash drive ability to load a CD-Rom partition is chipset specific. Or may be it just marketing prompted firmware limitation.

Can someone from Sandisk explain, why they limit a user’s ability to create a CD-Rom partition on their flash drives despite Sandisk stopped making U3 drives long ago? Why they don’t provide to end users flash formatting tools either, specific to their drives’ chipsets? Even recommended by Sandisk to end users recovery tools can’t format their own drives!

I boot my BartPE flash drives without using ISO images or a CD partition.  Booting an ISO does indeed require a lot of RAM.  Booting from a writable USB drive has advantages over a non-writable CD drive.

Most manufacturing decisions are based on cost and customer desires.  If the demand isn’t there it doesn’t get done.

When you say “writable”, do you mean that your bootable BartPE flash drive allows after booting to write to its RAM-Drive, or to the flash drive, or to a virtual drive it creates on the host PC’s hard drive using EWF? Each mentioned method has advantages and shortcomings.

And writing what kind of data you are talking about: installing software after booting from the flash drive on a host PC with a different config, or adding specific to the host PC drivers, or maintaining a Windows Page file?

Can you give a link to BartPE based bootable USB Flash version that fully uses EWF to write data and create page file on a virtual drive placed on a host PC’s hard drive?

I can write to the flash drive, why not it’s a writable device.  RAMdrive and FBWF are RAM based and I can write to them also if I desire.  I’ve never used EWF or virtual drives.

To the flash drive I can write AV updates, malware updates, network config setting changes, data files, hd images, etc etc.  How much depends on how big the USB drive is.

If you would like to find out how to create a bootable USB device visit the 911cd forums. But we don’t help with warez systems.  

BTW I have 2 bootable Cruzers with U3 still installed on them.  It’s not necessary to remove it to have a bootable device.

HI - I loaded chromium / Flow os onto a Sandisk 4gb Blade and I can’t reformat the entire usb so i can use all 4gb. Pls adsvise how best to do this.