Were you aware that Windows is unable to partition a USB thumb drive? It’s true, if the USB device is identified by Windows to be of the removable media type the flash drive will not show up in any of Windows partitioning tools. The obvious solution is to convince Windows that the drive is not removable, but rather a fixed device, so that it will then treat it like any other attached harddrive. Sounds simple enough, but simple is not always easy – especially when it relates to computers. As you’ve hopefully imagined, simple is easy in this case!
BootIt, a free utility from Lexar, allows the user format, label, mark as bootable, and flip the removable media bit on USB thumb drives. The last feature, flip the removable media bit, is the answer to our problem. The bit controls whether the device appears as fixed or removable to Windows – introducing functionality appropriate to either situation. As the tool is developed by Lexar for their brand of thumb drives, it may not work for every device out there. However, in my testing of a few non-Lexar brand flash drives, the software worked flawless. So, just ensure you’ve done a bit of testing to verify BootIt is behaving correctly before you begin truly using the partitioned USB thumb drive.