If you aren’t super-techy, you might be wondering how in the world you can boot with USB. I know for me, sometimes these things can get a little complicated, which is why I am going to draw out a little map for you to get this done right. Being able to boot with USB is an essential objective if you are using a net book or you want to boot Linux with USB.
Using a bootable OS is going to make installation faster, but it also saves using a DVD. First off, you need to insert your USB into your system – its recommended that the stick itself is 4GB+ to get the most out of your drive and your USB. Also, make sure you backup all your data from your USB because you are going to be formatting the USB to make it bootable!
The last thing you want, is to lose all your precious info from your USB. In fact, if you need to, you can go out and buy a new USB. These are pretty cheap for the sticks, about $15 or less depending on the brand and features.
Next, you want to open your elevated command prompt. In order to do this, simply press your start menu button, and find the “search” option. Type in CMD then you should hit the CNTRL+SHIFT+ENTER keys. Once the command prompt opens you will need to enter in the following commands:
DISKPART and hit enter.
LIST DISK and hit enter.
After you enter in the LIST DISK command, it should show the disk number of your USB partition. After you are done doing this, you need to enter the commands below (one by one):
Select Disk 1 (you need to replace the 1 with your disk number in this case)
Create Partition Primary
Select Partition 1
and press EXIT
You will still need to use the Command Prompt, so make sure you don’t close it just yet. You can, however, minimize it to the bottom of your screen for later use. The next objective is to insert your windows DVD into the drive and jot down the drive letter.
Sometimes its D sometimes its E or F. In this case, I am going to use “D” as my DVD drive and “E” as my USB drive. Go back to your command prompt window and type in the following commands:
D:CD Boot (enter)
CD Boot (enter, will show you the following message):
Next, you need to copy windows from the DVD to the USB. That’s about it. Now you have a bootable OS on your USB and you can use this any time you want. You can also (which is why people oftentimes do this) make bootable USB and then use that USB with the bootable OS on it on ANY computer that has a USB hub.
This is most of the newer computers, however, I have also found that surprisingly enough a lot of PCs from 5+ years ago also have a USB hub. If you cannot find the USB hub on your computer look in your user guide or go on the site you bought the computer and take a look at the “pictures”. A lot of the time, they will visually show you exactly where your USB hubs are.
Most laptops have 2 or more, most PCs have 1-2. Please note that this specific guide will not work on a computer with the XP operating system. This is ONLY for Vista and Windows 7.