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I don't have access to a blank CD, so I'm booting via live USB. The problem is I can't partition that drive when it's running my OS, or I think that's the problem. Is there a way to convert the install on the USB disk to persistent?

If not I could get hold of an empty USB, but if it's possible this would be a lot easier.

Thanks in advance for any responses! :)

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easiest way is to do it while creating the usb, by startup disk creator or otherwise – Karthik T Oct 16 '12 at 1:01
Hi, thanks for your reply! I used Universal USB Installer to install the .iso, would I have perhaps been able to skip that step and install it persistent immediately? – Callum McIntyre Oct 16 '12 at 1:04
This page shows a persistance option as Step 4 of creating the USB, that should do it. That will make changes that you do, remain between reboots – Karthik T Oct 16 '12 at 1:57

A cross-platform application for this is Netbootin

enter image description here

I found that there are a a lot of tools very simple to use in Windows (it is possible that someone who wants a new Linux installation does not have a Linux OS installed yet) One that I have tested is Live USB Install (also cross-platform). In my opinion it is the best in creating the "persistence".

And there are others, like LinuxLiveUSB.

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