[SOLVED] Memtest86 - Does format matter/Can you still store files within a bootable USB?

ShangWang

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I wrote memtest86 on a 29.3GB USB on FAT32 and it only allocated 500mb total for the drive. Is it possible to allocate more space and it would still make the bootable drive work or is this not possible?

Does it matter whether not it's NTFS or FAT32? Can it also be FAT and not cause issues, or will memtest86 only write to either NTFS or FAT32? Will it just not boot properly on a different format?

I don't want to make the drive only exclusive to being bootable, am I able to still write documents and pictures on the bootable USB and retrieve them so it can serve as both storage and a memory test or will this make the bootable USB crash/not function when booting it?

Do I need to update memtest86 frequently/does it need updates to function properly in the future, or can I just install it once and use the same version years later?

Is it necessary to choose the "zero drive" option on the app or can I just delete the volume and reformat it manually through Windows disk partition to get rid of the bootable drive? Can I just delete everything in the drive without having to reformat it/create a new volume, and is there a difference between the 3 options if I just want to use it as a normal storage device?
 
I wrote memtest86 on a 29.3GB USB on FAT32 and it only allocated 500mb total for the drive. Is it possible to allocate more space and it would still make the bootable drive work or is this not possible?

Does it matter whether not it's NTFS or FAT32? Can it also be FAT and not cause issues, or will memtest86 only write to either NTFS or FAT32? Will it just not boot properly on a different format?

I don't want to make the drive only exclusive to being bootable, am I able to still write documents and pictures on the bootable USB and retrieve them so it can serve as both storage and a memory test or will this make the bootable USB crash/not function when booting it?

Do I need to update memtest86 frequently/does it need updates to function properly in the future, or can I just install it once and use the same version years later?

Is it necessary to choose the "zero drive" option on the app or can I just delete the volume and reformat it manually through Windows disk partition to get rid of the bootable drive? Can I just delete everything in the drive without having to reformat it/create a new volume, and is there a difference between the 3 options if I just want to use it as a normal storage device?
Fat32 can store files only bellow 4GB. You can always partition USB dongle and have second partition in NTFS.
 
I wrote memtest86 on a 29.3GB USB on FAT32 and it only allocated 500mb total for the drive. Is it possible to allocate more space and it would still make the bootable drive work or is this not possible?

Does it matter whether not it's NTFS or FAT32? Can it also be FAT and not cause issues, or will memtest86 only write to either NTFS or FAT32? Will it just not boot properly on a different format?

I don't want to make the drive only exclusive to being bootable, am I able to still write documents and pictures on the bootable USB and retrieve them so it can serve as both storage and a memory test or will this make the bootable USB crash/not function when booting it?

Do I need to update memtest86 frequently/does it need updates to function properly in the future, or can I just install it once and use the same version years later?

Is it necessary to choose the "zero drive" option on the app or can I just delete the volume and reformat it manually through Windows disk partition to get rid of the bootable drive? Can I just delete everything in the drive without having to reformat it/create a new volume, and is there a difference between the 3 options if I just want to use it as a normal storage device?
Fat32 can store files only bellow 4GB. You can always partition USB dongle and have second partition in NTFS.
 

ShangWang

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Fat32 can store files only bellow 4GB. You can always partition USB dongle and have second partition in NTFS.
I see, I have no real worry about that, I was more so referring to how it affects the bootability of memtest86.

I'm not familiar with "dongle" and having different format partitions in the same drive, can you explain how that works?
 
"Dongle" is accepted name for small devices to connect to a PC, it's name roots are in small things tied to a key chain for instance. In this case it's a USB device with memory but could be a iFi or Bluetooth.
In any case it's just another storage device as far as PC is concerned so it can be partitioned and formatted normally.
 

ShangWang

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"Dongle" is accepted name for small devices to connect to a PC, it's name roots are in small things tied to a key chain for instance. In this case it's a USB device with memory but could be a iFi or Bluetooth.
In any case it's just another storage device as far as PC is concerned so it can be partitioned and formatted normally.
I see, regarding the second partition when I use memtest86 it makes a partition of 500mb. You're saying I can make new partitions/volumes using the leftover space and use that for storage? Can I also store files in the bootable partition, or will that mess things up?

The 500mb partition uses 250mb for the bootable files, do you know what the other empty 250mb might be used for?
 

USAFRet

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I see, regarding the second partition when I use memtest86 it makes a partition of 500mb. You're saying I can make new partitions/volumes using the leftover space and use that for storage? Can I also store files in the bootable partition, or will that mess things up?

The 500mb partition uses 250mb for the bootable files, do you know what the other empty 250mb might be used for?
Leave the bootable partition alone.
Completely.
 
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ShangWang

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Leave the bootable partition alone.
Completely.
Thanks, someone told me you're able to store additional files in there but I guess not. Do you know what that extra space is for?

So if I make another partition it's completely safe and won't mess with the bootable partition?
 

USAFRet

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Thanks, someone told me you're able to store additional files in there but I guess not. Do you know what that extra space is for?

So if I make another partition it's completely safe and won't mess with the bootable partition?
While you might be able to use that space in the bootable partition, it is only 250MB. Trivially small. Not worth the risk of screwing things up.

And for me, given the very small cost of flash drives, I try not to merge purposes.
Why waste a 32GB flash drive on a small function like memtest + random file storage?
Use a tiny drive for that memtest, and only that.

Use the 32GB drive for other things.
 
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ShangWang

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While you might be able to use that space in the bootable partition, it is only 250MB. Trivially small. Not worth the risk of screwing things up.

And for me, given the very small cost of flash drives, I try not to merge purposes.
Why waste a 32GB flash drive on a small function like memtest + random file storage?
Use a tiny drive for that memtest, and only that.

Use the 32GB drive for other things.
I don't have any other drives, I bought a 5 pack since I didn't have any and thought why not for the value: USB Stick Flash Drive 32GB 5 Pack USB 2.0 Thumb Drive Jump Drive Pen Drive Bulk Memory Sticks Zip Drives Swivel Design Yellow/Red/Blue/Green/Black (5 Pcs Mixed Color) : Amazon.ca: Electronics

In the case where I did want to use a new partition to store files and not mess with the bootable one, this is fine and not really risky?
 

USAFRet

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Right.
So a pack of 5 drives....

Use one for memtest.
Use one for other bootable things.
That leaves you 3x 32GB (96GB) of other flash drive space.

But yest, using the rest of this 32GB thing for other purposes should be fine.
 
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ShangWang

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Right.
So a pack of 5 drives....

Use one for memtest.
Use one for other bootable things.
That leaves you 3x 32GB (96GB) of other flash drive space.

But yest, using the rest of this 32GB thing for other purposes should be fine.
Ok, thank you. I just wanted to make the most out of the bootable drive to also store things in there if I was going to just use it for memtest86 since I don't have any smaller USB.
 
Get yumi, re partition your stick to have the full size and use yumi to add memtest to the boot menu, the usb will continue to be fully usable to copy files to and memtest will only occupy as much MB as it is instead of wasting a partition.
Yumi will also allow you to add many other tools and linux distros to the usb stick.
 
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ShangWang

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Get yumi, re partition your stick to have the full size and use yumi to add memtest to the boot menu, the usb will continue to be fully usable to copy files to and memtest will only occupy as much MB as it is instead of wasting a partition.
Yumi will also allow you to add many other tools and linux distros to the usb stick.
Thank you for the suggestion, I'm not really looking to save that much space but that does sound useful if I want that extra 250mb. You're saying with yumi memtest will just install onto the full 32GB in a single partition, and I'll be able to safely store additional files on the same partition?

How is this different from saving some files to the boot partition?

Will saving files normally to a boot partition with extra leftover space actually mess up the boot partition somehow, or is this because it actually needs that extra space for logging and other things so taking up some of that space will make it not work?
 
Thank you for the suggestion, I'm not really looking to save that much space but that does sound useful if I want that extra 250mb. You're saying with yumi memtest will just install onto the full 32GB in a single partition, and I'll be able to safely store additional files on the same partition?

How is this different from saving some files to the boot partition?

Will saving files normally to a boot partition with extra leftover space actually mess up the boot partition somehow, or is this because it actually needs that extra space for logging and other things so taking up some of that space will make it not work?
With yumi memtest will just be a single file, either the iso or even the floppy image and the boot menu loads this image up treating it like the real disk.

I don't know what tool you used to get memtest to create a 500Mb partition but that is not a boot partition, 500Mb was the limit for very early DOS systems and there is no reason to do that on a modern system.
 

ShangWang

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With yumi memtest will just be a single file, either the iso or even the floppy image and the boot menu loads this image up treating it like the real disk.

I don't know what tool you used to get memtest to create a 500Mb partition but that is not a boot partition, 500Mb was the limit for very early DOS systems and there is no reason to do that on a modern system.
All I used was the memtest86 app from the zip file, it just did so automatically once I wrote it to my USB. In any case you're saying it will write it to a single partition and you can save other files on that one partition without trouble correct?

Do you know particularly if that empty 250mb is actually needed for the case when I installed memtest86 and if you can save files there or not?
 
All I used was the memtest86 app from the zip file, it just did so automatically once I wrote it to my USB. In any case you're saying it will write it to a single partition and you can save other files on that one partition without trouble correct?

Do you know particularly if that empty 250mb is actually needed for the case when I installed memtest86 and if you can save files there or not?
Yumi will not change anything as far as partitions it will only write files to the usb.
That 250mb partition is not needed and as long as you don't delete anything on it you could write files there as well.
 
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USAFRet

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Here's a thought...

Since you have a few of these 32GB drives.
Make 2x with memtest.
Leave one untouched after that.
One of them, format and see if you can use the other partition, or that 250GB free space, for whatever you wish.

If it works, great.
If it fails or you mess it up, you still have the other one which still works.

Basically...just try it.
 
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