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Bootable USB Flash Drives and How to Create Them

Aug 25, 2008
A USB flash drive is thought to be a much better alternative than a floppy disc or a CD. It can be dropped or scuffed without being damaged due to the durable outer shell. They are also portable and can be placed anywhere, from your key chain to your pocket. The storage possibilities are endless and many people do not even use the whole amount that is available on the USB flash drive.

When the USB flash drive was first introduced by IBM, they were as simple in colour as they were in style and memory storage. You are now able to purchase one in any colour of the rainbow and any size of memory that you desire. The price that you pay will depend on how much storage the removable device has.

Not only does a USB flash drive save paper, but you can have all of your important programs at your fingertips no matter which computer you are sat at.

The technical words for USB are a "Universal Serial Bus" device. Making a bootable USB flash drive is not as easy it may look. It is much harder than making a bootable disc or a floppy disc. A bootable USB flash drive can come in handy, but creating one could cause you to become very stressed out. A bootable USB flash drive simply means that you can upload important programs to a computer from your removable memory storage device, or as we know it the USB.

The following are directions for a Windows computer:

Your first step should be to download and install the Windows Automated Installation Kit. This also contains Windows PE 2.0.

Open a command and execute the following:


- There should be a list of disks with information about each one. Select disk 1, assuming that the USB key is disk 1. This has to be correct or you could accidentally erase the hard drive instead.

- Clean or remove any information from the disk and create a partition primary.

- Select partition 1 and use format fs=fat32. You will then exit.

Your next step is to setup and customize Windows PE with the following steps:

- Click on the Windows Start menu, open "All Programs", and then the Windows AIK program folder. Select and click "Windows PE Tools Command Prompt". Run command: Copype.cmd x86 c:winpe_x86.

Insert the USB flash drive into the computer and run the following command to copy WinPE and its contents to the USB flash drive: xcopy c:winpe_x86iso*.* /s /e /f e:

A bootable USB flash drive also makes it easy to cancel out an old computer and switch in a new one. You do not have to have a boot disk if you have a bootable USB flash drive.

There are many tutorials out there that can help you to create a bootable flash drive; some are more successful than others.

The bottom line is that after you have created this, you will be able to boot all of your regular programs from an advanced menu. Plus you can still use your USB flash drive on any computer that you wish.
About the Author
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. For logo branded USB Flash Drives , he recommends Flashbay.com.
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