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HOW TO: Making a USB Thumbdrive Bootable

Supergrover

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This will be the first in a series of HOW TO's dealing with the various uses of a USB Thumbdrive.

First in the series is Making that USB Thumbdrive good for more than storing you're data, after making the drive bootable you will be able to for instance run Memtest86+ or say a BIOS flash off of the Thumbdrive rather than using you're old Floppy drive.

So prepare to throw you're old floppy drive out the window!
Well that maybe a bit hasty.

First of you will need This little Program.
Save it to you're desktop.
You'll need winrar to unpack the file, but I am sure everyone has it.



Once it is uncompressed you can put the folder wherever you want it.



Then run HPUSBFW.




Make sure the Device listed is your ThumbDrive you plan to use.



Then make sure the file system is "FAT", and check the box that says create a DOS startup disk. The gray box should turn white, make sure you have "using DOS system files located at" box checked.



Press the browse button and point it to the folder called "usbimage" in the DriveKey folder.



Format means ERASE, so you will lose all the data on your drive.



Once thats done, your thumbdrive is now bootable!

You can now load you ThumbDrive with whatever bootable programs you want.

Now when you're ready to boot off the drive, go into your bios, by holding the delete button when you turn the computer on, or reboot it.
-In the bios, make sure your boot priority is set so your first boot device is your USB Thumbdrive. It will be represented as a hdd
 

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sswilson

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Have you used this much super?

Is it possible to copy files (like dos flashing utils) over to the disk and use them from there?

I had a look at some of these methods of making a bootable flash drive a couple of weeks ago and it looked to me like I'd have to go through one of the full setups like making a bart disk to get a flash program onto it.

Wouldn't it be great if mobo manufacturers would just provide their bios updates on a downloadable bootable iso????? (I can dream can't I..... :) )
 

enaberif

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Most motherboards now come with the ability to use a flash drive to update the bios from the bios itself. Now granted I've found a couple of times the Asus bios' can ONLY be updated from dos no matter what.

To me this procedure is basically making your thumbdrive a bootable disc with a dos environment on it so copy your files onto it like you always would and update bios' with it if you please.
 

Supergrover

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Have you used this much super?

Is it possible to copy files (like dos flashing utils) over to the disk and use them from there?

I had a look at some of these methods of making a bootable flash drive a couple of weeks ago and it looked to me like I'd have to go through one of the full setups like making a bart disk to get a flash program onto it.

Wouldn't it be great if mobo manufacturers would just provide their bios updates on a downloadable bootable iso????? (I can dream can't I..... :) )
Yes I have used this for flashing, I will have a Flashing How To: up by the end of the week along with a Memtest from USBDrive Guide.
 

sswilson

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Yes I have used this for flashing, I will have a Flashing How To: up by the end of the week along with a Memtest from USBDrive Guide.
Cool!!!!

I'll be looking for it. Maybe it'll give me a real reason to pick up a cheap flash drive..... :)
 

Supergrover

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ineedaname

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Toronto
I use a bootable flash drive all the time. Norton ghost 2003 is a good program to put on it.

It makes things a lot easier but unfortunately not all mobo's play nice with usb flash drives.
 

Para_Franck

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Is it possible to build a RAID setup with this method? It is the only reason I am keeping my old FLOPPY.
 

SugarJ

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Is it possible to build a RAID setup with this method? It is the only reason I am keeping my old FLOPPY.
What's a floppy? :biggrin: I can;t see why you couldn't, bootable storage is bootable storage.

Nostalgia zone: Anyone remember when floppys were actually floppy? The first computer we had was a Radio Shack TRS-80 which came with an optional external 8" floppy. And a tape drive which stored data at 300 baud.

Back on topic:
Nice guide, it gives me something to do with this OCZ Rally2 I bought last month just because it was such a good deal.
 

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