Feb
12
2011

Fbinst – Universal Bootable USB Flash Drive tool

Fbinst is a USB Flash Drive Formatting tool.It can create universal bootable USB Flash Drives which can be booted on different BIOSes.This tool was created by Bean, the creator of Burg Bootloader.

The problem with bootable USB Flash Drives is compatibility. If your USB Flash Drive boots on your computer, there is no guarantee that it will boot on another computer.

There are three modes, HDD, ZIP and FDD, and different BIOSes use different parameters to boot USB Flash Drives. Some BIOSes use LBA mode to access the USB Drive and some don’t. Some BIOSes skip some sectors at the beginning of disk. Hence it is difficult to create a USB flash Drive that can be booted on different BIOSes.

Fbinst solves this problem by creating a special disk layout on your bootable USB Flash Drive making it more compatible with old and troublesome BIOSes.

Download Fbinst from http://download.gna.org/grubutil/
Fbinst is a command line tool .You can find out more about Fbinst and its usage at http://reboot.pro/7932/

Batch Script to Automatically create Bootable USB Flash Drive with Fbinst

New users may find fbinst a little complex to use.So I found this script made by Maanu at Reboot.pro .You can use this script to easily create a Bootable USB Drive with Grub4Dos as the Boot Loader.

  1. Download AutoFbinst.Zip and extract it to a folder.
  2. Execute formatusb.cmd
  3. Connect your USB Flash Drive
  4. Enter the correct hd number of USB Flash Drive
  5. Select the compatibilty Mode.The first option – USB HDD FAT32 works in most cases.If it does not work you can choose a different mode.
  6. Copy menu.lst to the root your USB Flash Drive.You can now boot from your USB Flash Drive

You can check these screenshots for a visual guide.Click on the images to view full size.

Fbinst creates a 8 mb reserve partition on your USB Flash Drive.This partition contains grldr and fb.txt

8 mb reserver partition

A GUI Frontend for Fbinst also exists.It is called FbinstTool.The page is in chinese.So you have to use Google translate to read it in English.

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About the Author: Bharat Balegere

Bharat Balegere is a 23 year old blogger from Bengaluru. He is a technology enthusiast and loves tinkering with computers and usb drives.

5 Comments + Add Comment

  • hey there, thanks great post!

    what i understood about boot cd is the one like bart pe, where i can perform diagnostic for the system without booting from the hdd

    so lets say i created an universal bootable usb flash drive using Fbinst, i can do the same thing like what i did using bart pe, but using a bootable usb flash drive? or do i need to “install” additional programs into the flash drive to do such thing?

    juz wondering, how can i use this bootable usb flash drive?

    sorry for the long question =)

    • You can use this bootable flash drive to boot your bart pe and other boot cds.In this article I have shown how you can install grub4dos to your bootable USB Flash Drive using Fbinst.Once Grub4dos is installed you add your own menu.lst and programs to boot your USB Drive.Check this – http://agnipulse.com/tag/grub4dos/ for some tutorials on Grub4dos to boot isos and programs from your USB Drive.

      • i see, thanks for the reply!

  • The FBInstTool from here http://code.google.com/p/grub4dos-ireneuszp/downloads/detail?name=FbinstTool.7z has a GUI and lots more – it also contains fbinst internally and works under Win 7 – why not use that?

  • The FbinstTool has a new version 1.605 from original link and it has English interface built-in already. I just tried.

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