How To Make Bootable USB

Having a bootable USB is very essential, especially if you are a Netbook user. Using bootable USB to install an operating system (OS) not only makes the installation faster, but also saves a DVD.

Creating or using an USB drive to install Windows operating systems is very easy if you follow the below mentioned steps.

bootable usb drive

If you are planning to use bootable USB to install Windows 7 or Vista please refer our guides:

Install Windows 7/Vista using bootable USB guide

And also, you can refer install Windows 7 on Acer Aspire One guide

Coming back to bootable USB guide, here we assume that you are using either Vista or Windows 7 to create a bootable USB.

Step 1: Insert your USB (4GB+ preferable) stick to the system and backup all the data from the USB as we are going to format the USB to make it as bootable.

Step 2: Open elevated Command Prompt. To do this, type in CMD in Start menu search field and hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter. Alternatively, navigate to Start > All programs >Accessories > right click on Command Prompt and select run as administrator.

Step 3: When the Command Prompt opens, enter the following command:

DISKPART and hit enter.

LIST DISK and hit enter.

Once you enter the LIST DISK command, it will show the disk number of your USB drive. In the below image my USB drive disk no is Disk 1.

Step 4: In this step you need to enter all the below commands one by one and hit enter. As these commands are self explanatory, you can easily guess what these commands do.

SELECT DISK 1 (Replace DISK 1 with your disk number)

CLEAN

CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY

SELECT PARTITION 1

ACTIVE

FORMAT FS=NTFS

(Format process may take few seconds)

ASSIGN

EXIT

Bootable USB

Don’t close the command prompt as we need to execute one more command at the next step. Just minimize it.

Step 5: Insert your Windows DVD in the optical drive and note down the drive letter of the optical drive and USB media. Here I use “D” as my optical (DVD) drive letter and “H” as my USB drive letter.

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

D: CD BOOT and hit enter. Where “D” is your DVD drive letter.

CD BOOT and hit enter to see the below message.

BOOTSECT.EXE/NT60 H:

(Where “H” is your USB drive letter)

USB Bootable

Step 7: Copy Windows DVD contents to USB.

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 (most of the current motherboards support this feature).

Note that this bootable USB guide will not work if you are trying to make a bootable USB on XP computer.

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Comments

  1. Eone says

    Any idea how to stop the format process without make usb corrupted because i want to edit the command to fs=ntfs quick and it really take a long time to format with this large usb size…

  2. DAVID says

    People,a lot of you that are experiencing problems is because you don’t write exactly what you have to write in CMD. All the marks like “:” , “/” should be respected and everything will workout. I only noticed one problem, “BOOTSECT.EXE /NT60 H” is the way the site advices us to write,but that space between EXE and / is was not good for my command so i put it without space and it worked.

  3. b25 says

    problem
    this tool can only be run on systems booted using a PC/AT BIOS. This system was booted using EFI or some other firmware type.

    what should i do?

  4. Xoka says

    For the people having troubles with ISO-files.

    You should be able to mount the file with DaemonTools to create a virtual disk and copy the files from there.

    h ttp://www.disk-tools.com/download/daemon

    You can also open the ISO using Winrar if you only want to browse the files.

    Good luck!

  5. Majo says

    what if i dont have Windows on dvd and i want it on usb, do i have to burn it to dvd first then continue with these steps above?

  6. Ivy says

    after step 6, do i go back to the same cmd prompt window i was using earlier? and when i type CD BOOT at step 6, it doesn’t bring me ‘BOOTSECT.EXE/NT60′. what’s wrong?

  7. Shayne says

    I tried this and installed windows 7. It worked. thank you very much. But how to install Windows XP in this way(DVD content to USB and install). There is no CD BOOT folder in my disc.
    p.s.-it’s a DVD which has microsoft office 2003 package and windows XP sp2.

  8. Delited2meetU says

    OMG Thank you so very much this posting and many of the comments enabled my skill set to accomplish install windows 7 ISO file via xp to windows 7 new hard drive. some how I did it wow thanks all and this post most of all!!!

  9. yogi z best says

    da right, here writh take format fs=ntfs few secons, i don’t believe my pc formating and take few hours ha ha ha ha xD

  10. Prince says

    I have iso of win 7 in of of the drive in my computer not in dvd. so what should I write insted of D:CD BOOT ??

  11. david says

    Thank you, i’ve done it!
    One thing to mention, first i start cmd, on step 6 i got following problem:

    f:bootsect.exe /nt60 e: hit enter

    Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.

    Could not map drive partitions to the associated volume device objects:
    Access is denied

    So, I started cmd as administrator and repeat step by step,
    and it worked :).

    If someone experience same problem, just start cmd as administrator and repeat steps once again :).

  12. H says

    using the assign command is questionable. without any drive letter the selected device 1 will be assigned to the next drive letter. consequences there after

  13. Saft-Arla says

    A HUUUUUGE tip of speeding this procedure up by 5-15 times depending on the size of your flash memory, use the command “format fs=fat32 quick” instead of “format fs=fat32″. For me it took 14 seconds instead of 1 hour 32 minutes with a 32GB Freecom drive. And avoid using NTFS, this will deny permissions.

  14. mr shaikh says

    dear sir
    i completed step 6 then inserted cd to dvd drive
    please advice how i copy windows
    content to usb
    thanks

  15. didi says

    If you encounter the issue with “Access denied”, try using the line “format fs=fat32″ instead. It worked for me.

  16. Carlton says

    I followed the steps as directed. However, I am at a loss for running step 6.

    The ISO that I am attempting to add to the USB drive was created from an EXE file using ImageBurn. The result was two files (ISO and MDS) in a folder on my desktop. How do I direct the CMD to access those files? I see no “BOOT SECT” or “NT60″

    Thanks. Please explain in layman terms. I am trying my best being a non-IT person.

    Thanks

  17. Saad says

    Kindly please guide what can i do to make my usb bootable for XP the above steps is same but the last from my point of view will be issue because in XP setup there is no boot folder and bootmgr so please resolve this issue

  18. himshikha says

    I gave following commands:

    C:\Windows\system32>J: cd boot (J is my DVD drive)

    J:\>cd boot

    J:\BOOT>bootsect.exe / nt60 K: (K is USB drive)

    I am getting below msg: (after hit enter)

    bootsect {/help:/nt60:/nt52} {SYS : ALL: :} [/force] [/mbr]

    Boot sector restoration tool

    Bootsect.exe updates the master boot code for hard disk partitions in order to switch between BOOTMGR and NTLDR. You

    can use this tool to restore the boot sector on your computer.

    Run “bootsect / help” for detailed usage instructions.

    J:\BOOT>

    Plz anyone can help………..???? Where I am doing mistakes..!! or any problem with my OS..

    Right now I am using Window 7 OS at my PC.
    And want to recover data of my laptop that has same OS.
    Waiting for reply..!!

  19. himshikha says

    “make sure it doesnt a read/write switch like floppies have”

    what does it (a read/write switch like floppies have) mean..??

  20. himshikha says

    e:bootsect.exe /nt60 f: hit enter

    Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.

    Could not map drive partitions to the associated volume device objects:
    Access is denied

    e:\boot>

    I have same problem.

    I use a external DVD WRITER for run a windows 7 dvd

    plz reply soon…i need it badly..!!

  21. admin says

    @ Thanks, Jolan. We will soon come up with a guide on installing Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1 from the same USB.

  22. Jolan says

    You don’t need to have 1 usb for each os u want to make a bootable USB from,
    If u created 1 bootable usb, u can shrink the bootable partition.
    With the unallocated space u created u make a full new partition,
    and u overdo the steps above…
    Don’t forget to set the right partition on active to boot from…

    Hope this helps alot of people who are about to buy 5 USB’s to spare their money … :-)

  23. Dang says

    I am having with step 6. When I inserted windows cd, i type your instruction to type D:CD BOOT
    Now it says D:CD’ IS NOT RECOGNIZED AS AN INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL COMMAND, OPERABLE PROGRAM OR BATCH FILE.
    Help me please! I have no idea what to do.

  24. admin says

    @ M
    Good to know that it worked for you without any issues. The key is to run the Command Prompt as administrator.

  25. M says

    Awesome instructions and appreciated. Got my image ready for deployment via USB now and as a backup. Cheers!

  26. Lore says

    you saved my life, my note had win 7 starter (original) and then when i was updating my win, my SO was corrupted and i couldn’t reinstall it again. With this guide i could install win 7 home premium :P (sorry for my bad english >.<)

  27. Jau says

    Nice writeup. Would have liked to have a mail-link button of some sort, as I am at another computer than my own. Fixed it by using a web-based mailer, but still ;-)

  28. umar says

    E:\BOOT>bootsect.exe/nt60 h:
    Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.

    Could not map drive partitions to the associated volume device objects:
    Access is denied.

  29. okcn.aline says

    For beta lovers, how did you get Windows 7 Beta 6.1.7000 for so long? And why is in Copyright 2006?

  30. zohair ahmad says

    Thank you. Worked well. Note: that in BIOS it actually picks as a Hard Drive and not a removal drive

  31. CharlieM says

    I got till the point of Windows CD drive. I haveno installation disk for windows. Bougtthecomputer ready to use. What can I do now? Help pls.

  32. Kartikeswar Senapati says

    F:\BOOT>BOOTSECT.EXE NT60 G:
    After the above the following message came:
    bootsect <sys:ALL::>[/force] [/mbr]
    Boot Sector restoration tool
    Sootsect.exe updates the master boot code for hard disk partitions in order to switch between BOOTMGR and NTLDR.You canuse this too to restore the boot sector on your computer.
    Run “bootsect /help” for detailed usage instructions.

  33. HANS says

    Successfully got a bootable IDE drive on Windows Server 2003 (XP).

    This is how to do it:

    Do all the steps until step 4 where you typed “ACTIVE”.
    Now format your drive in My Computer.
    Get back to cmd window and continue the steps.

    THIS INSTRUCTION WORKS FOR MAKING A BOOTABLE SPARE HARD DRIVE, not USB as they’re not recognized by the OS.

  34. Vincent says

    step 6 i seem to be having a problem… my D: drive is called D…. so when I type in D: CD BOOT it says incorrect function… what do i do?

  35. Mark H says

    I would like to thank you for this tutorial, this showed me quickly how I can make a bootable usb, I prefer the longer part then the shorther like some abovementioned people referred to.
    Thanks again

  36. dave tree says

    thanks… you didn’t tell what to do if after D:\>cd boot a error message “system cannot find path specified”. everytime i follow instructions from different forums it NEVER works. i don’t know why i haven’t learned my lesson and ignore these “flights of fancy ‘fixes it’ from wannabe’s

  37. george says

    What if I have a 2 disc set for recovering windows 7. How do I copy these files over. Would I need two USB’s?

  38. Wtf says

    “This tool can only be run on systems booted using PC/AT BIOS. This system was booted using EFI or some other firmware type.

    Wtf? I have Win7 Pro on an Asus K53U.

  39. AiXer says

    “Format process may take a few seconds”
    Definitely not. With a 32 gig drive, it takes almost an hour…

  40. Koppo says

    Plug the usb drive out and again in. Solved the issue for me as it was H: with only ~70MB left. After replug it worked.

  41. oldfashioned says

    couldn’t finish.
    C:\users\oldfashioned>E: CD BOOT (E is my disk)
    can’t do:
    E:\>CD BOOT
    E:\>BOOTSECT.EXE/NT60 D: (D is my USB)
    does anyone have an idea:

  42. mahadevan says

    e:bootsect.exe /nt60 f: hit enter

    Target volumes will be updated with BOOTMGR compatible bootcode.

    Could not map drive partitions to the associated volume device objects:
    Access is denied

    e:\boot>
    im getting this type of error, what can i do to make a usb.

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