What is a Non Bootable Disk?

Written by Tony Landry, Updated on October 06, 2023

Non Bootable Disk

A non-bootable disk is a normal disk that can be of any device with a file system or it can be a raw storage drive that is not ready for data storage and access.

This ultimately shows that the drive cannot be used to boot a computer. It can store files, folders, and other types of information that can be viewed or used only with the help of an operating system.

This Non bootable disk contains a file system. This file system acts as a dump yard that stores, retrieves, and updates files dynamically. It’s the basic data structure that contains a set of rules for where and how to store data inside a storage drive.

The file system inside a Non bootable disk can vary accordingly. For example, the storage drives used in PCs use a single file system for every individual drive and partition. But in the case of mobile storage drives like memory cards of Android devices use a combinational file system to make use of the disk efficiently. It all depends on the operating system used.

Difference Between Bootable and Non Bootable Disk

Bootable Devices Non Bootable Disk
Bootable devices contain a unique utility software program or operating systems A non-bootable disk lacks the necessary boot information and files required to start a computer and load an operating system
Both the information as well as the boot files that required initiating a PC can be stored inside a bootable disk It contains regular data, files, or applications but does not have the boot sector or bootable files needed for the computer to initiate a boot sequence from the disk.
A Boot Disk can have partitions but contains only a single file system for each partition A non bootable disk space can be partitioned and different file systems and different file formats can be used in a single storage drive.

Advantages And Disadvantages of A Non Bootable Disk


  • Disk partitioning and virtualization is possible.
  • To create a Non bootable disk just a normal format is enough. The disk will be ready for data storage and access to files.
  • A Non bootable disk is independent of storage size, brand, and type.
  • The Non bootable disk can be secured by encryption and compression methods to ensure data security.


Though the non bootable disk has many advantages, we can’t use the non bootable disks directly without having an operating system or other supporting utility programs. We can able to convert a non bootable disk to a bootable disk without any or mild data loss. But while converting a bootable disk to a non bootable disk, certainly there will be a sufficient amount of data loss.

NOTE: Refer to the attached article to recover files from a non-bootable hard drive.

Some Useful Tips:

To convert a non bootable disk to a bootable disk, we can use software programs and utilities available in the internet market. For example, some of the software is Unet bootin, Wubi installer, Kon boot, etc.

To convert a bootable disk to a non bootable disk will be as easy as eating a piece of cake. To do this just connect the bootable drive as a secondary drive to a PC and then format it. Normally the booting program of a bootable disk is saved in the form of a file inside that storage drive. When the storage drive is formatted, all the data inside the hard drive is erased completely and a new fresh file system is structured for data usage.

Suppose you try to change the boot program file alone in a bootable disk, then you may be in a critical situation like missing the storage drive or storing the partition space permanently.

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