Dual Booting Bartpe and Backtrack3 from USB Flash Drive.

Not too long ago, I decided to install my bartpe onto a usb flash drive, as most modern pc today are capable of booting from usb devices, and in the process I thought of making it a dual boot with one of my favorite distros (Backtrack3) so for this tutorial we will go over the process of installing UBCD4win and Backtrack3 onto a usb flash drive in this case I use a 2Gb Sandisk. What is UBCD4win? well, is an application that is used for installing bartpe(bart preinstalled environment) on to a cd or usb flash drive from a windows xp install cd, very useful for repair and maintenance task. It will give you a complete Win32 environment with network support, a graphical user interface (800×600) and FAT/NTFS/CDFS filesystem support. Very handy for burn-in testing systems with no OS, rescuing files to a network share, virus scan and so on. Here you can find a complete list of tools that will be already built in your bartpe install . You can think of bartpe as a cut down version of windows xp.

There are a few things you will need before hand:

  • you will need to download UBCD4win
  • you will also need a copy of windows xp pro sp2, (don’t recommend oem)
  • download ubusb (to put your bartpe onto the usb flash drive)
  • download a copy of backtrack3 iso image (burn it to a cd)

Note: “Should I mention that before you continue, backup the content of your usb drive as it will be destroy in the process”
1 – start by installing UBCD4win


2- Once you finish installing UBCD4win select the source path of your windows xp installation, in my case I just use the cd drive.


3- Next click on “plugins” and make sure the “<CONFIG to install to usb drive>”, and “(Required for Multiboot)” are enabled.

4- Once you enable the plugins, select “create an iso media” even though you will not be putting the iso on a cd/dvd, but the iso image is used for post processing task, and last click on the build button. (at this time the process of building the bartpe install begins)

5- After the build process has finished without errors, lets proceed to put the bartpe install onto the usb flash drive. Open the ubusb application and select the usb drive, also make sure you use these settings:

  • select fat16-LBA as the filesystem
  • also make sure you use “syslinux” as the bootloader

6- Next you will proceed to put the backtrack3 files from the cd onto the usb drive, for this copy the “boot”, and “bt3” folders to the root of the usb drive.


7- Ok, now is where it gets a bit tricky… when you boot from the usb flash it will try to find the “syslinux.cfg” file in the “boot/syslinux/” directory, so that’s the one we will be using, by now you will have two “syslinux.cfg” files, one from your ubcd4win install and the other from your backtrack installation, and of course we only need one, so we will be adding the content of the “/syslinux/syslinux.cfg” (ubcd4win) to the /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg” (backtrack) configuration file which is the one you computer will be using to boot the usb flash drive, and for good measures you can get rid of the first “syslinux.cfg” file, also if you don’t like the background of the boot menu, you can always use the “vesamenu.c32” that the usbcd4win uses, just point to that path on “your syslinux.cfg” file.

8 – Next make sure your computer is set to boot from the usb flash drive, by going to the BIOS, insert your usb flash drive and boot.

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2 thoughts on “Dual Booting Bartpe and Backtrack3 from USB Flash Drive.

  1. jimmy

    hey, I’ve been trying for quite some time to get my bartpe from cd to usb flash drive, this method makes it really easy….

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