Create Bootable USB flash Drive-Part 15 min read

How you install your OS(Operating System), By a bought DVD ? or Download the .iso file and burn it to dvd? What if your device is without a optical drive ? or With a corrupted optical drive ?

Well. In case of me , I don’t think about the optical drive. Usually I take a pen drive make it bootable and then install the OS with it. So , How you gonna make a bootable usb flash drive? Its pretty easy, I’ll tell you how I make usb flash drive. Before doing that there is some precautions that you should know about.

  1. If your computer got busted by doing this things, I am not responsible for that.
  2. You  should know about what you are doing,Follow the steps exactly.

Windows OS(Windows Vista/7/8): 

You’ll need a windows pc(Windows Vista/7/8)  and the desired OS’s .iso file to create a bootable windows usb flash drive. There are several ways to collect the .iso file. You can download it from the internet or get it from cd/dvd. There are many applications available for making cd to .iso . Try googling. And also you’re gonna need a USB flash drive ( 4GB+ ) 😛 . So the required things are, 

  • USB Flash Drive (4GB+)
  • Microsoft OS Disk / .iso file (Vista / Windows 7/8 )
  • A computer running Vista / Windows 7/8

So make sure you got those required things. Now there is two ways usually I use to make a bootable usb flash drive.

  1. Easy way: Microsoft themselves provide a handy application to make windows 7/8 bootable named windows 7 USB DVD download tool. You can download it from here. You’ll need microsoft dot net framework 3.5 to get this tool working. If you need any assistance regarding the tool see here. Though this tool failed sometimes but its fast and easy. Just follow the steps and the tool will make it for you.
  2. CLI way: Its bit difficult but the most effective and working way ( Sometimes the easy way fails). Anyway lets come to the point.
    • Formatting the hard drive : The steps here are to use the command line to format the disk properly using the diskpart utility. [Be warned: this will erase everything on your drive. Be careful.]
        1. Plug in the USB drive
        2. Open a command prompt as administrator ( find cmd from start >> right click >>Run as administrator)
        3. Enter on diskpart and find the drive number of the usb drive by typing the following in cmd ( command prompt window)
           list disk

          The number of your USB drive will be listed ( See the free space/size/name) .You’ll need this for the next step.I’ll assume that the USB flash drive is disk 1.

        4. format the drive by typing next instructions on the same window. I am assuming disk 1 is the USB flash drive ( use the previous list number in case of you.replace number ‘1’ by your disk number)
          disk below.
          select disk 1
          create partition primary
          select partition 1
          format fs=NTFS

          When you format the USB into NTFS (by format fs=NTFS command). It may take sometime depending on your USB drives size , processor speed , and USB drives speed. So,After all of that your USB is formatted to make it bootable.

    • Make Drive Bootble: Next we’ll use the  bootsect utility that comes up with windows vista/7/8 to make the flash drive bootable.
      1. Insert your Optical CD/DVD on the drive or mount the .iso( it means adding it like cd/dvd) . In windows 8 you can mount it directly with the built in mounter . There are many third party software out there to mount .iso in windows 7 or Vista.I recommend using WINCDEMU to create or mount iso files.
      2. Change directory to dvd’s boot directory  where bootsect lives. I’m assuming the dvd or the mounted iso is marked by drive latter ‘D:’. In the same command prompt window that you were using during formatting type
        cd d:\boot

        to change directory to boot.

      3. Use bootsect to set the USB as a bootable NTFS drive prepared for a Vista/7/8 image. I’m assuming that your USB flash drive has been labeled disk G:\ by the computer(you’ll put your drive letter on the place of G:/ ) . To do this type below commands in cmd:
        bootsect /nt60 g:
      4. Ahh! you can now close the command prompt window. we’re done here. 😀
    • Copy the installation files to your USB: The best way to doing this copy job is using windows explorer and selecting all (ctrl+a) & copy ( ctrl +c ) from the mounted iso or the optical DVD and then paste(ctrl+v ) it to the USB  drive . After you’ve copied all the files into the drive your bootable usb drive is ready.
    • Set your BIOS to boot from USB: I am assuming that you already know this. And the bios settings usually vary from computer to computer . Just set it to boot from USB Just like you usually do to to set boot from DVD/CD.The difference is you need to select the USB(in some case USB-HDD) in place  of CD/DVD.
  3. UltraISO way : I don’t know much about this way. This application seems complex to me. Search in google to do it with UltraISO.

Credits : Kevin’s Blog

So, huh! That’s all for today. In next post of this sequel. We will learn how to make a bootable linux USB from windows or linux OS.Stay alive. Good bye. 🙂

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