How to Make USB Flash Drives Emulate a Bootable CD-ROM

Written by joe lewis
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How to Make USB Flash Drives Emulate a Bootable CD-ROM
USB flash drives are a convenient type of boot media. (usb flash drive image by Bosko Martinovic from Fotolia.com)

USB flash drives are a convenient means of file storage, but they can also be formatted in such a way that they actually emulate a CD-ROM boot disc. A USB flash drive can come in handy as a boot disk as it has an increased storage capacity compared to a CD-ROM. USB flash drives are more portable and durable than CDs as well.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Windows-based PC
  • HP USB Disk Format Tool
  • Windows system files
  • USB flash drive

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Download the HP Disk Storage Format Tool (see Resources). This is the application that will format the USB flash drive to make it a bootable disk.

  2. 2

    Download the Windows system files (see Resources) and save them to a folder of your choosing. These files are necessary for the USB flash drive to be properly formatted as a bootable disk.

  3. 3

    Connect the USB flash drive to an available USB port on the Windows-based PC.

  4. 4

    Run the HP Disk Storage Format Tool.

  5. 5

    From the "Device" drop-down menu, choose the USB flash drive from the list.

  6. 6

    From the "File system" drop-down menu, choose "FAT 32" from the list.

  7. 7

    Check the "Create a DOS start-up disk" box. Click the dotted button and select the folder containing the Windows system files. This process is vital as it ensures the USB flash drive will be recognised as a bootable disk.

  8. 8

    Click the "Start" button. A warning prompt will appear. Read the warning and then click the "Yes" button to begin the format. When complete, the USB flash drive will be a bootable disk.

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