Creating a USB Bootable Drive
If no boot disk is available visit bootdisk.com for some downloadable images.
To clarify the process, here is how to manually make a bootable USB drive.
First, there are a few system requirements that must be clarified:
Obviously, your computer’s BIOS must allow booting from a USB device. Most
recently manufactured computers allow this functionality.
You’ll also need a bootable floppy disk or CD. For example, you can use a Windows
98 CD or a Dell Resource CD.
You will also need a utility with the ability to create a master boot record, create and
set active partitions, and format and transfer boot files. The DOS fdisk and format
utilities that are present on the Windows 98 CD will handle this perfectly.
A USB drive that is capable of being made bootable. There are a few that have
strange partition structures that do not allow for making bootable partitions. Contact
the manufacturer if you’re not sure your USB drive is bootable.
Now that we have all the prerequisites taken care of, let’s get to how to actually make the
1. Make the USB drive the first drive in the drive sequence. This is necessary because
fdisk will not allow a partition to be active (bootable) unless it’s the first drive. This
can usually be accomplished by plugging the drive in, powering on the computer,
and going into the BIOS to change the boot sequence. If this is unsuccessful, simply
disabling or unplugging the other drives in your system (except the CD-ROM, of
course!) will do the trick.
2. Boot the computer to a DOS shell from the bootable floppy or CD with the USB drive
3. Run fdisk.
4. Set the primary partition on the USB drive to active by using "set active partition"
(option 2) in fdisk. If you don’t already have a primary partition on the USB drive, use
fdisk to create one.
5. Exit fdisk.
6. Reboot the computer to a DOS shell from the bootable floppy or CD with the USB
drive plugged in.
7. If you want, use the DOS command dir c: to verify