Bootable USB Flash Drive

Nate explores the unnecessarily complex world of creating a bootable USB drive and shows you how to make it a lot simpler than it may have seemed.

Published 2005-10-23. Read 856,942 times. 0 Comments. Tagged: hardware tutorials usb

So you just got your new computer from Dell, HP, etc. and for some reason who knows what you need to boot from a boot disk. AHHHH WTF!!! They didn’t install a floppy drive on my computer. That is ok because you have come to the right place. I am going to show you how to turn your USB Flash Drive into a boot disk (they come with many new computers instead of floppy drives)

Get the Stuff

For this tutorial there are some things you will need to have:

  1. USB Flash Drive
  2. HP USB Flash Drive Format Tool (Archive password is “pasta”)
  3. Win98 Boot Disk or the Files
  4. Some of these Programs (makes the disk more useful)

Getting it Ready

After downloading the HP Format Tool install it. Get your boot disk or the downloadable files and copy/extract them to a folder on your HD. Make sure anything on your USB Drive is backed up because we are going to format it…

Make it Bootable

  • Open the HP Format Tool
    Start/Programs/Hewlett-Packard Company/HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool
  • It should automatically select your USB Drive.
  • Select FAT or FAT32 Under File System.
  • Select Create a DOS startup disk
  • Select using DOS system files located at and point to the folder containing the boot disk files.
  • Then click Start

Add Some More Stuff

As is your new boot disk can’t do much other than boot the computer to DOS so you need to add other programs to make it more useful.

Using It

This can be tricky since most older computers do not support booting to USB Devices. You will have to go into the BIOS and play around with the boot sequence trying things like USB ZIP etc. You will have less trouble with newer systems.

About Oli: I’m a Django and Python programmer, occasional designer, Ubuntu member, Ask Ubuntu moderator and technical blogger. I occasionally like to rant about subjects I should probably learn more about but I usually mean well.

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