How to Create Bootable USB Drive?

A bootable USB drive is a USB drive that can boot up when you start your system. It comes in handy if you ever want to boot your operating system from your flash drive in case of emergency purposes. For example, if your hard drive fails, your OS on the system might become corrupt due to which you might be unable to boot regularly hence you will need to boot in from another device. In such cases, having a bootable USB is becomes very essential.

Using bootable USB to install an operating system (OS) not only makes the installation faster, but also helps in sharing data between multiple computers. But the process for making your flash drive bootable is quite complex hence, be careful while doing this. Read on to learn how to create a bootable USB device:

Instructions: Before starting the procedure, backup all the data from the USB as it will be formatted to make it as bootable.

Step 1: Connect or insert a USB flash drive (preferable 4 GB or more) into the USB port of your computer

Step 2: Open the Command Prompt window as an administrator

Step 3: Now, just enter the following command:

DISKPART and press Enter
LIST DISK and press Enter

Once you enter the LIST DISK command, you will see the disk number of your USB drive. Note the drive number or drive letter of the USB flash drive.

Step 4: Now, at the command prompt type the below commands

  • Select disk <X> and then click ENTER (where X is the drive number or drive letter of USB drive)
  • Clean and hit ENTER (this command erases all data from the USB flash drive)
  • Create partition pri  and hit ENTER  (Creates a new primary partition on the USB drive)
  • Select partition 1 and click ENTER (Select the partition that you just created)
  • Format fs=ntfs quick and  press on ENTER (To format the partition to NTFS)
  • Active, and then click ENTER
  • Exit and hit ENTER.

Note: In case the server platform supports Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) then format the USB flash drive as FAT32 instead of NTFS by using the format fs=fat32 quick command and then click ENTER.

This will close the disk management utility (Diskpart). But do not close the command prompt, just minimize it.

Step 5: Then, insert your Windows DVD in the optical drive and note down the drive letter of it (say D here) and USB media (H for instance).

Step 6: Go to the command prompt and execute the following commands:

  • D: CD BOOT and press Enter (where “D” is your DVD drive letter)
  • CD BOOT and press Enter

After which you will see the message as stated below:


(Here “H” is your USB drive letter)

Step 7:  Now, copy the Windows DVD contents to USB. Copy all the installation files and all the drivers that are necessary for booting.

With this you are done with your bootable USB. You can now use this bootable USB as bootable DVD on any computer that comes with USB boot feature. However, it is quite complex procedure and vary risky hence it is essential to have data backup. One single mistake would interrupt the entire process leading to loss of your vital data. If you encounter such instances, then download the Remo Recover Windows / Mac software and execute it. The tool will recover all your lost data back in just few minutes from any device like USB flash drive, hard drive or from any other USB external drive.

How to Create Bootable USB Drive? was last modified: January 30th, 2014 by Molly Owen

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