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When creating a Live USB using Startup Disk Creator, the program creates an apparent ISO9669 read only partition that spans the entire drive. This was not too bad back in the days of 2 or 4 GB flash drives. It is a total waste with 16GB and larger drives.

How can I convert this dead space to a useful NTFS partition that can be used for Data storage by both Linux and Windows?

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Creating a NTFS Data Partition on a Startup Disk Creator, balenaEtcher or Similar ISO9660 USB

Since 19.10 the process of cloning an OS to USB as done by Startup Disk Creator, creates a casper-rw partition.

This partition can be used for persistence by pressing shift at boot and esc, then F6 and esc again. then typing a space and the word "persistent".

This must be done every boot where persistence in wanted.

It is possible to modify the ISO file used by SDC to include the word persistence into grub, but it is not easy.

If the Ubuntu install is mainly needed for installing Ubuntu, the casper-rw partition can easily be converted to a NTFS partition, that can be used for Data storage by both Linux and Windows.

Procedure

  • Run Startup Disk Creator or Etcher to create Live 19.10, (or later), USB
  • Boot new Live USB to activate casper-rw partition, then Power Off.
  • Reboot the Live USB toram. (press shift when booting, hit F6 and type a space and toram).
  • Unmount casper-rw partition using Disks.
  • Open Terminal and run:

    sudo mkfs.ntfs -f -L data /dev/sdx3

were x is the drive number of the new Live USB

enter image description here

The drive should now have the original data space minus the size of the OS ISO.

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  • "It is possible to modify the ISO file used by SDC to include the word persistence into grub, but it is not easy." -- Well, it depends on what you think is easy. See this link, and this link
    – sudodus
    Jun 28 '20 at 5:41
  • @sudodus Perhaps I should have said "not AS easy". With the help of mkusb-plug it is at least possible. Jun 28 '20 at 5:53
  • Yes, either you install mkusb[-plug] that can do it in one operation or run sed and then SDC, in both cases two operations.
    – sudodus
    Jun 28 '20 at 6:01

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