A bootable USB flash drive is very helpful when you need to manage your disk/data on an unbootable computer. Besides, you can also reinstall your system or diagnose system boot problems with the help of a bootable disk. Here, I’ll show you how to make a bootable disk totally on your own.

Bootable USB Drive – Introduction

What Is a Bootable USB Drive

A bootable USB drive refers to a USB disk that is used to help you boot into their computer without OS. In this way, you can do a lot of things on your computer. USB boot is actually the process of using a USB device (such as USB flash drive) to boot/start a computer. The computer hardware will be enabled during the boot process, so that all the information and files needed for the system booting will be gained.

When a Bootable USB Disk Is Needed

A bootable disk is required when you plan to do the following things:

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How to Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive

Before this, you need to prepare a USB flash drive with large capacity; you have to make sure there is no valuable data on the USB drive since the following steps will ruin all data here. Then, you should follow the tutorials given below.

2 Ways to Build a Bootable USB Drive

The first way: making use of Command Prompt.

Step 1: insert the USB flash drive you have prepared to another computer that is working well.

Step 2: open cmd.exe as an administrator. You can search “command prompt” from the start menu; then, right click on the search result (shows as a desktop app) and choose run as an administrator.

run command prompt as administrator

Step 3: type “diskpart” in the Command Prompt window and press “Enter” to open the diskpart.exe.

type diskpart

Step 4: type “list disk” in diskpart and press “Enter”. Then, you will see all the disks connected to current computer. Then, type “Select Disk *” (* stands for the drive number of your flash drive) and press “Enter”.

list disk and select disk

Note: If you’re not sure which the USB flash drive is, you may open Windows Disk Management to have a look at first.

Step 5: type “clean” and press “Enter” to erase everything on the selected flash drive. This is similar to drive formatting.

Step 6: create a new main partition on the USB disk by typing “create part pri” and pressing “Enter”.

create a new main partition

Step 7: type “select part 1” and press “Enter” to select the newly created primary partition. If you’re worrying you may select the wrong partition, you can type “list partition” & press “Enter” to check. After that, repeat the “select part 1” command to continue.

select the primary partition

Step 8: type “format fs=ntfs quick” and press “Enter” to format it as a ntfs partition. You’ll see this prompt when the formatting process is completed – “DiskPart successfully formatted the volume”.

Then, type “active” and press “Enter” to set this partition as active; if this is finished, you’ll see “DiskPart marked the current partition as active”.

format partition and set active

Tip: If you remember there is important data on the USB drive after formatting, you shouldn’t waste any time regretting; instead, you should start to recover data from the formatted USB drive as soon as possible.

Step 9: at this time, you can close the diskpart by typing “exit” and pressing “Enter”. Also, repeat this to exit command prompt.

Step 10: the last step is to burn the .iso (image file) to this USB flash drive.

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The second way: making use of third-party tool.

Step 1: get the free copy of MiniTool Partition Wizard and install it on a computer.

Step 2: connect a USB flash drive to this computer and launch the software to enter its main window.

Step 3: select the drive that represents your USB flash drive from the right panel; then, click on “Format Partition” from the left panel. (If the flash drive is a new one, you may need to create partition on it).

click on Format Partition

Step 4: select NTFS as the file system and press the “OK” button to continue.

set as NTFS partition

Step 5: keep the USB flash drive selected and click on “Set Active” from the left panel.

Set Active

Step 6: click on the “Apply” button in the upper left corner of the software main window and choose “Yes” from the pop-up window to apply changes.

apply changes

Step 7: wait until you see the following interface. Now, click on the “OK” button to finish.

wait a moment

Step 8: burn the target .iso (image file) to this USB flash drive.

Now, your USB flash drive is ready for use. You should eject it from this computer and inserter it to the target computer you want to boot into.

Click to know HP boot from USB you've created.

This post tells an easy way to build boot disk and recover data from non-bootable system.

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