Home How Tos How to Make a Bootable USB Drive Using Command Prompts

How to Make a Bootable USB Drive Using Command Prompts


Has your DVD ROM and Operating System ever crashed on you both at the same time? Your unit needs formatting. But  you can’t just do it because your DVD drive decided to show you the middle finger when you badly needed it.

Getting an external DVD drive may sound like a viable option at this point, but what if your pockets don’t go that deep?

Well, if you have an idle USB pendrive lying around, then we may have found a working solution for you—we can teach you how to turn that USB stick you have into an Operating System install disk.

That way you won’t ever have to worry about having a working DVD drive every time you feel like installing a new OS into your machine.

Here we go:

Step one

Plug in the USB pendrive then open the Command prompt. If you’re using Windows XP, 7 or 8, a simple trick would be to go to the “start” menu and click on “run.” If you still can’t locate “run,” then go to “search” and search for it.

Now under the “run” option, enter the word “cmd.” You may be required to enter the Administrator’s password if you’re accessing your PC via a guest account.

cmdStep two

selectOpen disk management utility. Just enter the command “disk part.”

Step three

diskpartIn the command bar, type “list disk” and press enter on your keyboard. That should display all the drives that you’ve connected to your PC. Your USB stick will be one of the drives listed. Just take note of the letter attached next to it.

Step four

Now you have to select the USB pendrive. Enter “select disk #,” replacing the “#” with the number of the USB drive you are using.

For instance if your USB drive is “4,” then the command you enter should read something like “select disk 4.”

Step five

listdiskThe next step involves cleaning the flash drive. To do this, just type “clean” and press enter. The disk management utility will scan the USB pen drive and erase all data afterwards.

Step six

Now you have to create a bootable partition in your USB pendrive. Just type “create partition primary” and press enter. Once done a message saying the operation was successful will pop up.

Step seven
You have to select the partition you have just created. To do this, type “select partition 1” and click on enter. You’ll receive a confirmation message. Just type “active” and press enter after that to activate the partition.

Step eight

Now it’s time to format the USB pendrive. All you have to do is enter the command “format fs=fat32” and press enter. This, depending on the actual size of your pendrive can take anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours. The progress will be shown as percentage. Just let it run to 100% before you move to the next step.

Step nine

Go ahead and assign the USB stick a drive letter. You can do this by typing “assign” and you’d have automatically assigned the thumb drive a letter. Once done, type “exit” to close the disk management utility.

Step ten

What you have at this point is a bootable USB drive. You can go ahead and copy all the installation files of any operating system you wish to install in your PC—Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8. The choice is yours. All you have to do is drag and drop the files into the USB drive and you’d have created an operating system install disk out of your idle USB pen drive.

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