Is there a way to create multiple partitions on DVD and make one of the partitions a bootable volume? I like to create a small bootable partition that is formatted as FAT32 volume and create NTFS partition that can host larger files. Is there a tool/method to do this burn a DVD with these volumes?


  • I have a 16 GB USB stick which I'd like to have 4 GB as iso and 12 GB as ext4. But now I know that is not happening in 2021 as yet. Or ever. – Tomachi Feb 1 at 14:42

Optical media was not designed to support partitioning.

CD-Rs and later derivations normally use the ISO-9660 file-system directly, without partitions.

DVDs generally use the ISO-9660 file-system and can also work with UDF file-system. The problem remains: No partitions.

Limited Exceptions:

  • Some Mac disks are written with HFS or HFS+ partition table instead of or in addition to ISO-9660. Such disks use the Apple Partition Map (APM) partition table.

  • Some Linux distributions' installer disks use ISO-9660 that coexists with a partition table, but the intent here is different: to support different media in different ways. When the image is burned to a CD-R or DVD, it appears to be a partition-less ISO-9660 disk; but when it's written to a USB flash drive, it appears to be a partitioned hard disk.

As a conclusion: a file system can definitely be designed to be able to partition ODs, but that would server a very limited purpose and that's why it was not actually done.

  • It's theoretically possible to create multiple data tracks on a CD. This was, in fact, used by some copy protection schemes. Doing so however is very impractical and will require custom code to work, if it's even feasible at all. For all practical purposes, stick to a single file system. – Too Short Aug 26 '20 at 8:44
  • Yes, that tech was actually designed so i'd support both data and audio in one session. – Overmind Aug 26 '20 at 10:59

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