A bootable USB flash drive is usually used for booting into Windows. It also allows you diagnose hardware issues and can be used to install Windows on your PC. This spares you from the hassle of purchasing Windows Installation CD and then waiting for hours to install Windows on your PC. However, to enjoy these benefits, you first need to create a bootable USB flash drive.
Step by Step Guide to Creating a Bootable USB Drive
Here is an easy step by step guide to help you create a bootable USB key drive:
1. First things first- To begin with this process, first you need to find out whether or not the computer you want to use your bootable USB drive has the capability of booting to a USB drive. If you have an old system, it may probably not have this feature. The most recent computers built since Windows Vista was released are basically capable of booting to a USB device.
2. Nonetheless, to determine whether or not your PC is capable for booting to a USB device, access your system's BIOs.
3. There are numerous ways to enter the BIO's of the systems. The ways to enter the bios vary from system to system and BIOs manufacturers. Nonetheless if you computer was manufactured in the last few years it will allow you to enter the BIOs by pressing any one of the five keys: [F1], [F2], [DEL], [ESC] or [F10]. However, if your PC is old before 1995, you can try hitting these keys to enter the BIOs set up: [CTRL]+[ALT]+[ESC], [CTRL]+[ALT]+[ENTER] or [Page up] and [Page down].
Webmaster's message: You need to start the computer and press one of the above mentioned keys before the BIOS hands over control to Windows. You have only a few seconds. On most computers the startup screen will display a message that indicates which key you need to press to access the BIOS.
4. Once you successfully enter the BIOs of your computer, you will see a blue screen. Check the bootable device list. If the USB device is listed, simply move your USB drive on the top most position to make it your first boot device.
5. To make bootable USB drive for Windows 7 or 8, make sure you have Windows 7 or 8 installed on your computer.
6. Also, make sure you have a flash drive of at least 4 gigabytes. This is needed to store all the necessary files.
7. Now plug the USB drive and create a backup of the files, if any, you have stored in your USB drive. This is important because the drive will be formatted when you are carrying out the booting process. This means the files you have stored in your USB drive will be deleted. Therefore, it is advised to create a backup to avoid the loss of your important files.
8. Once you create backup of the files, now click Start and in the search box type "cmd" to open an elevated windows command line. After typing the "cmd" command Press [CTRL]+[Shift]+[Enter].
Another way to open elevated windows command line is to click on start menu, go to All programs, accessories and then right-click on the command prompt menu item. After clicking select Run as Administrator.
9. Simply type cd c:windowssystem32. This will change the directory to the Windows system 32 directory.
10. Now to get to the next step of creating a bootable USB drive, type DISKPART and press [Enter]. Then again type LIST DISK and press [Enter]. The DISKPART command is basically a recovery console command. This enables you, the user, to delete and create partitions on your computer without any hassle.
11. After you type LIST DISK and press enter, you'll see a list of the disk drives connected to your PC.
12. Find the disk number of your USB drive. For this you will have to type SELECT DISK [USB disk #].
13. Now type the following commands as stated below one by one. Press enter after typing each command. Here are the commands:
CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
SELECT PARTITION 1
FORMAT FS=NTFS (This may take a few minutes, depending on your system's USB drive size)
15. Now go to start menu, click on My Computer. Note which drive is assigned to your USB flash drive and DVD drive.
16. After that, go back to the command prompt window. Here type D: CD BOOT and press enter.
17. Then type CD BOOT and press enter again.
18. Here you are almost through with the booting press. All you need to do is type BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 H: (this command is to substitute USB flash drive letter for H if needed) and press enter.
19. Now simply copy all the contents of the Windows Installation DVD to your USB flash drive.
And you are done! This will help you set up your USB flash drive to be a bootable USB drive for Windows 7 or 8 (which ever you're using).
This helps to increase PC's boot time in Windows when used.
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