Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Creating a DOS Bootable USB KEY

With the ever popular USB Keys increasing in size and convenience, many have requested directions on how to make one USB bootable. This will of course be dependent on the BIOS supporting the USB boot feature on the unit in question and the proper setup of the USB Key device. Provided the device is USB bootable and the appropriate setting have been made to the BIOS to boot from a USB device, here are the instructions for setting up the USB KEY:

Create a DOS bootable floppy disk on a separate machine such as a desktop that has a floppy drive attached to it. Just in case you do not have a prepared DOS bootable disk to boot from ready and are a little hazy on how to create it, you can get the free boot disk creator from bootdisk.com. This will provide you the utility which you can use to make a DOS bootable floppy Disks.
The utility will automatically look for a floppy to create DOS bootable:

For USB Key, you will need to use a utility called "HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool" which you can download from http://files.filefront.com/HPUSBFWEXE/;7241778;/fileinfo.html.
The utility is used as follows:

The Device section should have a drop down menu to select the USB Key device that you would like to create into a DOS bootable drive (mine is a SanDisk Cruzer). In addition to the device, you will also need to check mark the area that reads "Create a DOS startup disk" and "using DOS system files located at:" (in my case this was the G drive). Use the square browse box to select the location of your DOS bootable floppy created above (it may be a:\ in your case).
Select "Start" to see the following:

Select "Yes" and see:

At this point, your USB Key drive should be DOS bootable.

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