TL;DR – Starting with Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14965, you can format any “Removable” USB Flash Drive with more than one partition. Perfect for installation of large (over 4GB) WIM files on UEFI machines! Hey all, back from a week at the Microsoft MVP summit, a Week in the UK, and a week […]
via Formatting a removable USB drive with 2 partitions — Keith’s Consulting Blog
Back in 2013 I attempted to put a Patriot 64GB USB thumb drive through the paces as a Universal WinPE (BIOS and UEFI 64bit). But Win7 Diskpart couldn’t do it, couldn’t back a primary and a primary part. I read up on some tricks to perform a forced firmware update, trying to “flip bits” on the firmware to get it to look like a fixed disk instead of a removable USB thumb drive. None of the tricks worked. So I gave up on it. In the time that’s passed, I did move from a Patriot to a SanDisk Extreme 64GB and it looks like for all intents and purposes I might be able to get THAT thumb drive partitioned up as a universal WinPE with 2 partitions (one Fat-32 the other NTFS).
To date my workaround was to just do a WinPE 32bit/BIOS only flavor. That allowed me to use an NTFS partition and flat-boot the whole thing in one big 64GB partition on the thumb drive. This worked on the Patriot and the SanDisk equally well. It works on smaller older thumb drives too. One partition does all the heavy lifting, no dual partitions required. But still I knew in time this would need to be migrated forward to get on board with Win10 and UEFI/GPT format computers.
Reading this article just now gives me hope for the production release of the next Diskpart that finally sheds the limits of USB drives and gives them the benefit of the doubt, letting them masquerade as fixed disks with multiple partitions. Now we can get a universal WinPE that boots 64bit UEFI or 64bit BIOS machines and can lay down images on either. Now THAT, is a change I can believe in. And I will now pursue getting onboard the UEFI/GPT bandwagon along with Win10.