Note: There is a compatibility issue where isosel does not show up on newer EFI / UEFI machines.
Booting from isostick still works, but you may need to use another machine to change ISOs.
This is under active development, status can be checked here.
It will work just fine in a USB3.0 port, however, since they are backward-compatible.
You can keep your entire library of ISOs with your at all times, space permitting.
You can load any ISO into the optical drive at any time.
Thanks to isosel, you can even switch to a different image when booting from your isostick.
If you are not satisfied within 30 days of purchase, we will exchange or refund your order, no questions asked.
However, we do ask that you let us know what you didn’t like before you decide to return it!
We are always working to improve isostick, and would prefer to fix any issues for you if we can.
Note: isosel will not work with older PowerPC-based Macs, see the related isosel question below.
While almost all microSD cards work perfectly with isostick, some cards have proved incompatible.
For this reason, we strongly recommend customers consult the wiki page of tested microSD cards before buying cards for use in your isostick.
We also encourage everyone to add cards you have tested that are not yet on the wiki.
This helps us track down compatibility issues and it helps fellow customers in their purchasing decisions.
Please feel free to contact us directly to troubleshoot any problems you may encounter, or if your experience with a card differs from what is stated on the wiki.
Note that microSDXC cards (any card 64GB and larger) come pre-formatted as exFAT and must be reformatted as FAT32.
Rufus is the recommended utility for formatting ≥64GB cards as FAT32, with the following settings:
Check out this forum topic for other utilities to format large cards as FAT32.
You will see a list of your ISOs, with the currently-loaded one already selected. Also, a countdown will appear at the top of the screen. If you do not press any keys before the countdown is over, the selected image will be booted.
Simply use the up and down arrow keys to select the image you want to boot, then press Enter to make your choice. Your computer will reboot. Be sure you once again boot from your isostick’s CDROM, this time your computer will boot the chosen image instead of isosel. The chosen image will stay loaded in the optical drive until you choose a different one, either using isosel, ISO Manager, or by editing iso_filename.txt by hand.
Other information is also provided by isosel at the bottom of the screen. This includes whether your isostick is read-only or read/write, the installed firmware revision, and your Service Code.
See the Tested Hardware List for the latest details on isosel compatibility.
You must have a bootable ISO loaded in the optical drive for isosel to show up.
Most bootable images work with isosel. A notable exception is Apple-specific discs, such as a MacOS X install disc.
When in doubt, try switching to a different bootable image. If that fixes the problem, please let us know which image wasn’t working, preferably with a link to download it if it is publicly available. This will help us fix incompatibilities in the future.
Some BIOSes just do not like isosel (personally, we think they’re jealous).
This can result in loops where you always get isosel, and never the image you want.
In such cases, you may want to disable isosel, as described in the entry below.
Any name will do, such as “isosel-disabled.bin”
To re-enable it later, just rename it back to isosel.bin.
Older PowerPC Macs should boot directly to the loaded image, assuming it’s a PowerPC Mac-compatible image.
They contain information about your isostick that help us to more quickly assist you with support requests.
For those wondering, they contain the following:
- Hardware revision
- Bootloader revision
- Installed firmware revision
- microSD card operating speed
- SD Specification version the microSD card adheres to
- A hash and the first two digits of the isostick’s unique serial number
- Whether the isostick was read-only or read/write at the time
- A checksum to ensure the Service Code was typed correctly
By “burning” a disc to your isostick, it would show up as an ISO file on the microSD card.
This would be especially useful, we think, for netbooks or other new computers that come with software for burning a recovery disc, instead of including a physical disc. We have found that some manufacturers do not even provide a downloadable ISO or drivers on their website!
If you would like to see this happen, let us know! With enough interest, we may add it 🙂