Saturday, 31 October 2020

Boot to almost anything using an IODD Mini SSD device emulator

In a recent E2B chat session, a user wanted to use an E2B USB drive to contain lots of special disk images. These images contained multiple partitions. Some of these images used multiple GPT partitions. For instance multiple Mac OS X installers, full multiple-partition Windows To Go with BitLocker, full Linux OS with swap and encrypted data partitions.etc.

Unfortunately, such a scenario is not feasible when using Easy2Boot (at least not easily!) - however, the user did own an IODD DVD emulator, so I suggested using it's VHD feature.

He did not realise that it could be used in this way!

The IODD Mini

The IODD Mini #ad  SSD CD\DVD drive emulator is a solid-state version of the IODD 2531 and 2541 (see previous blog article here).
You can see from the picture below that it is approx 9cm x 4cm in size and will easily fit in a pocket.

As you may know, these Zalman and IODD 'DVD' emulators can load ISO files and then the USB device will appear as a USB DVD drive.

They can also load a VHD file and then it will appear to a computer as a 'USB disk' - so you can boot to a VHD containing a fully install Windows OS.

However, he did not realise that you could simply create an 'empty' VHD and then select that on his IODD device - thus the USB drive will appear as an unformatted USB drive.

He can then partition and format it as he wishes, install an OS to the USB 'drive', etc.

Thus it is possible for his IODD to contain multiple disk images of different multiple-partition Windows OS's, Linux OS's with swap partitions, Mac OS X, Mac Installer, Hackintosh Installers, DOS Flash images, etc. and they can be MBR or GPT partitions.

He can even mount more than one VHD as a disk device, so the second VHD could contain common programs, drivers, data, etc. which he can easily access after booting from the first VHD. You can even boot from one VHD and install to another VHD.

The IODD Mini VHD file can be configured to appear as a Removable 'Flash' drive or a 'Fixed Disk' HDD - just use either a .RMD extension or a .VHD file extension. If required, you can also write-protect the virtual disk too.

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