How to Make USB Flash Bootable XP

Written by ezekiel james
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How to Make USB Flash Bootable XP
Create a Windows XP bootable flash drive for troubleshooting. (usb flash drive image by Bosko Martinovic from

Creating a bootable USB flash drive is a useful tool in computer troubleshooting and repairing problems in Windows XP. Booting from a flash drive allows you to access files and folders externally. A bootable flash drive helps when dealing with severe computer virus situations because you can examine corrupted files without further damaging your system. It is important to use a blank USB drive.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 4 GB USB flash drive
  • Windows XP installation DVD

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  1. 1

    Connect your USB flash drive to an available USB port. Turn on your computer.

  2. 2

    Click on the "Start" menu, and then click on "All Programs." Click on the "Accessories" drop down menu. Right-click on the "Command Prompt" application. Select "Run as Administrator" to launch Command Prompt with all administrative privileges.

  3. 3

    Type in "DISKPART" into the Command Prompt window. Press the "Enter" key. Then type "List Disk" followed by pressing the "Enter" key. Command Prompt will search for and then list all available storage drives attached to your computer.

  4. 4

    Determine which disk is your USB flash drive. The available disks will be labelled "Disk 0, Disk 2, Disk 3" up to as many as you have. Your main system hard drive is Disk 0. If you have only one internal hard drive, and no other external drives, you USB drive will be Disk 1. Type "Select Disk 1" followed by the "Enter" key.

  5. 5

    Type in the following commands one-by-one followed by the "Enter" key each time to format your flash drive:








    Minimise the Command Prompt window to move it out of your visual work space.

  6. 6

    Maximise the Command Prompt window. Type "D:CD BOOT" then press the "Enter" key. Type "BOOTSECT.EXE/NT60 H:" followed by the "Enter" key. Minimise the window.

  7. 7

    Insert the Windows XP installation DVD into your computer's DVD drive. Exit the Windows installation wizard window.

  8. 8

    Maximise the Command Prompt window, and then type "xcopy d:*.* /s/e/f e:\" to copy the contents of your Windows installation DVD to your USB flash drive. The copying time varies depending on how fast your computer system is.

Tips and warnings

  • Backup any data on your flash drive before completing this task. Creating an external boot disk requires that you completely reformat your flash drive. The reformatting process deletes any data on the flash drive.

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