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Rufus + Win8EE + LM17.1C + UEFI + MK A Persistent Live flashdrive

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 08:12 PM

Create A UEFI-compatible Linux Mint 17.1 - Cinnamon X86-64 Persistent Live-flashdrive Using Rufus 2.2 Under Windows 8.1 - Enterprise Evaluation X86-64





Guide Overview

The purpose of this guide is to teach you how to create a peristent Linux Mint 17.1 - Cinnamon X86-64 live-flashdrive for UEFI computers, using Rufus. Rufus itself doesn't support creating persistent live-flashdrives, so you'll be creating a live-flashdrive using Rufus, and then manually adding persistence to it.

Tools Needed

  • Linux Mint 17.1 - Cinnamon X86-64



  • Rufus 2.2



  • A flash drive (6GiB or larger recommended)


  • Boot up Windows, login to your user account, open Internet Explorer, and visit "http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=172".
  • In Internet Explorer, on the Linux Mint site, choose a download mirror, and download the ISO file for Linux Mint.
  • In Internet Explorer, once the Linux Mint ISO download is compelete, visit "https://rufus.akeo.ie/downloads/rufus-2.2.exe", and download the EXE file for Rufus.
  • In Internet Explorer, once the Rufus download is complete, you can close Internet Explorer.
  • Open Explorer, nagivate to your user's download folder, copy both the Rufus installer, and the Linux Mint disc image to "C:\Users\Public\Public Downloads".
  • Logout of your user account, and login using your administrative account.
  • If you haven't already, connect your flash-drive.
  • Open Explorer, navigate to "C:\Users\Public\Pulic Downloads", right-click on "rufus-2.2.exe", and choose "Run as administrator".
  • You will get a UAC prompt when the Rufus executable tries to run, allow it to run.
  • In Rufus, click "No" when asked to check for application updates.
  • In Rufus, under "Device", choose your flash-drive (if it's the only viable drive, it will already be choosen) as the device to be used.
  • In Rufus, under "Partition scheme and target system type", choose "GPT partition scheme for UEFI" as the partition table type to use.
  • In Rufus, under "File system", choose "FAT32" as the filesystem to use.
  • In Rufus, uncheck "check device for bad blocks", check "Quick format", check "create a bootable disk using", choose "ISO image" for what to use when creating the bootable disk, and uncheck "Create extened label and icon files".
  • In Rufus, beside the drop-down menu for your image source, click on the disc-drive button, browse to "C:\Users\Public\Public Downloads", select the Linux Mint ISO, and click "Open".
  • In Rufus, under "Cluster size", choose your desired cluster-size (eg: "4096 bytes"; for non-persistent flash-drives you may wish to use a larger cluster-size like "64 kilobytes").
  • In Rufus, under "New volume label", enter your desired partition label (eg: "ESP").
  • In Rufus, click "Start", when the warning message pops up, take one last moment to make sure for sure Rufus is saying it will write to the flash-drive you desire, and then click "OK" to proceed.
  • In Rufus, click "Close". Then exit Explorer.
  • Reboot your computer into Linux Mint 17.1 - Cinnamon X86-64. Depending on how your computer's boot order is you may need to use your UEFI's quick-boot menu to boot from the flash-drive.
  • In Linux Mint, open Gnome Terminal, and type "sudo parted -l". Located your device node name for your Windows partition (eg: "/dev/sda4").
  • In Gnome Terminal, type "sudo mkdir /media/Windows".
  • In Gnome Terminal, type "sudo mount /dev/sda4 /media/Windows". Substitute "sda4" for your Windows partition.
  • In Gnome Terminal, type "sudo -i", then type "dd if=/dev/zero of=/media/Windows/casper-rw bs=1M count=4095". If your flash drive is smaller than 6GiB then you'll need to use a smaller count, as this count creates a file that is 1MiB smaller than 4GiB. You cannot create a larger file, even if your drive has enough space, because fat32 filesystem has a file size limit of 4GiB-1MiB.
  • In Gnome Terminal, type "exit", then type "mkfs -t ext4 /media/Windows/casper-rw", and when prompted to proceed despite the file not being a block-device, type "y", and press "enter".
  • In Gnome Terminal, type "cp /media/cdrom/boot/grub/grub.cfg /media/Windows/grub.cfg". This assumes your flash-drive is currently auto-mounted to "/media/cdrom".
  • In Gnome Terminal, type "nano /media/Windows/grub.cfg".
  • In Nano, scroll to the bottom of the file, and write "menuentry "Start Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon 64bit (with persistence)" {".
  • In Nano, scroll to the bottom of the file, and write "    set gfxpayload=keep".
  • In Nano, scroll to the bottom of the file, and write "    linux /casper/vmlinuz file=/cdrom/preseed/linuxmint.seed boot=casper persistent iso-scan/filename=${iso_path} quiet splash --".
  • In Nano, scroll to the bottom of the file, and write "    initrd /casper/initrd.lz".
  • In Nano, scroll to the bottom of the file, and write "}".
  • In Nano, press "control" + "x", type "y", and press "enter".
  • Close Gnome Terminal, and reboot into Windows.
  • Login as an administrator.
  • Open Explorer, browse into your flash-drive, open a second Explorer instance, and browse into "C:\".
  • In the Explorer instance that is browsing your flash-drive, delete the grub config file located at "/boot/grub/grub.cfg".
  • In the Explorer instance that is browsing your C: drive, copy "grub.cfg" to the flash-drives "/boot/grub" directory. You can now delete the one from the C: drive.
  • In the Explorer instance that is browsing your C: drive, copy "casper-rw" to the flash-drive's main directory. You can now delete the one from the C: drive.


  • Rufus doesn't have built-in persistence creation support, but you can use it to create a live-flashdrive, and then manually add peristence, that is what this guide covers.
  • While this guide is extremely specific about operating systems and software versions, the information within will apply to many setups. To help others, report your successes. If any deviations were required consider replying with a properly formatted modified-version of the tutorial.
  • Tested using Rufus 2.2 on Windows 8.1 - Enterprise Evaluation X86-64 to create a persistent Linux Mint 17.1 - Cinnamon X86-64 UEFI-compatible live-flashdrive.
  • This tutorial assumes you have both a user account and an administrative account on Windows. If you are using a setup that only has an administrative account you will need to keep that in mind whilst following the instructions.
  • This tutorial assumes using a flash-drive that is blank aside from a GUID partition table. That isn't to say it's a requirment, only that testing with other flash-drive states wasn't performed.
  • To use the live-flashdrive in persistent mode, at boot, choose the custom menu entry you added that reads "Start Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon 64bit (with persistence)".
  • If the completed live-flashdrive, when using persistence, boots into the terminal rather than the GUI, give it a minute, it may still be loading!


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