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  1. #1
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    Default Making a bootable USB flash drive

    Many modern day systems no longer come with floppy drives, so how are you supposed to load a new BIOS, or boot into DOS to run a virus scan, or malware search and destroy tool?

    If you have a USB flash drive you can boot from it! Your motherboard has to support this feature of course. Please review your documentation that came with your system on how to activate this feature, or if it is available on your system.

    There are a few ways to make a USB flash drive bootable, I'll go over one way that I use.

    First grab the free HP Drive Key Boot Utility.

    Save this file to your computer and install it.

    Now download and extract the contents to c:\win98boot this file.


    WARNING THIS WILL FORMAT YOUR USB FLASH MEMORY DRIVE AND ALL INFORMATION WILL BE LOST!!!


    Now run the HP Drive Key Boot Utility. Select the USB flash memory drive, if it is not already selected for you.



    Browse to where you installed the Win98 boot files. (c:\win98boot).



    Click the Start button.

    The utility is now formatting your USB flash memory drive.

    When complete you can copy the contents of C:\Win98boot to your USB drive. If you want to have CDROM support also copy the files from the "cdrom" sub-directory.

    Now boot your computer and see if your work, well works.

    You can add any DOS based program that was written to run on your processor. MalWareBytes has an excellent DOS utility that scans for malware. AVG from grisoft may be copied here so you can scan for viruses. This is very handy since most viruses/malware are Windows aware and will fight you for control of your Windows based system. Booting to DOS from the USB flash drive gets around the control for MS Windows issue.

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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    Thanks Muddy. Do you know if this can be done with Vista? Or Win7?
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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueXJ View Post
    Thanks Muddy. Do you know if this can be done with Vista? Or Win7?
    Well the utility should run in either, and when it boots from the USB drive it is actually running Win98 DOS which means it isn't running Windows at all, so yes it should work with any flavor Windows you have on your computer.

    Remember the idea here is to be able to start up your computer and run applications from DOS, like anti-virus, malware checking software. Like you could do with a bootable floppy but with a lot more available space.

    I think you can get a 2GB USB thumb/flash drive for like 10 now.

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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    Awesome article Mudderoy! but dont forget some machines you have to press a certain function key (during boot before windows starts to load) or actually go into the BIOS to enable the boot from USB option.

    Have you tried a bootable Linux flashdrive? I use them when Windows completely bonks out to backup files, and drivers just in case a reinstall is the only option left.

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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    Quote Originally Posted by toast018 View Post
    Awesome article Mudderoy! but dont forget some machines you have to press a certain function key (during boot before windows starts to load) or actually go into the BIOS to enable the boot from USB option.

    Have you tried a bootable Linux flashdrive? I use them when Windows completely bonks out to backup files, and drivers just in case a reinstall is the only option left.
    yeah I didn't want to get off into the minutiae of how to go into the boot menu, or settings in the BIOS. It can be different between motherboard manufactures, and BIOS makers, so that's why I directed people to their motherboard manual, or computer user's guide.

    I have several "LIVE" CDs for Linux, but I actually created a Windows boot CD so when/if my system craps out I run Windows from the CD. This lets me get into the registry, run check disk, etc... It is part of the Wininternals admin pack.

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    Default

    Did you use BartPE to create ur windows live cd? I've always wanted to make one but never got around to it.

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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    Quote Originally Posted by toast018 View Post
    Did you use BartPE to create ur windows live cd? I've always wanted to make one but never got around to it.
    No I used WinInternals, but I seem to remember creating one with BartPE as well. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    hey muddy, could you do a write up on different programs you use to check computer systems. i.e. check the hard drive/MotherBoard/virus scanner from usb device. just a basic computer tool box in a flash drive kind of thing.

    thanks
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    Also if you have Ghost or Acronis, they will make a bootable USB, but it will launch into their respective copy applications.
    Just navigate to the root of A: via DOS to access something else on the drive.

    Nick

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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    Quote Originally Posted by TeXJ View Post
    hey muddy, could you do a write up on different programs you use to check computer systems. i.e. check the hard drive/MotherBoard/virus scanner from usb device. just a basic computer tool box in a flash drive kind of thing.

    thanks
    I have plans on doing this, but it will be on my computer consulting site. http://www.muccs.com/ I just started redoing it a few days ago so there isn't much there right now. I'll let you know.

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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    Oh sweet I didn't know ya did that
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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    Bootable USB drives are awesome.. I have a few at home that I use with Linux on them... so I can run a complete OS off of the drive... that way if I am trying to check out someone's computer that isn't working correctly I can do that... usually I am able to get most of their documents and such off of the computer so it won't be a complete loss... unless of course the HD is corrupt or done all together...

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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedragon436 View Post
    Bootable USB drives are awesome.. I have a few at home that I use with Linux on them... so I can run a complete OS off of the drive... that way if I am trying to check out someone's computer that isn't working correctly I can do that... usually I am able to get most of their documents and such off of the computer so it won't be a complete loss... unless of course the HD is corrupt or done all together...
    Many times the hard drive can be brought back to life by freezing it. Put it in a plastic bad and stick in the freezer for 12 to 15 hours. Take it out hook it up and you'll have about 15 or 20 minutes of life out of it to retrieve anything that hasn't been destroyed.

    So far this has worked 100% of the time for me and anyone I have told about it.

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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    also a program called spinrite. works pretty well too. It continues to "read" the data until it can.
    GREEN XJ CLUB MEMBER

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    Default Re: Making a bootable USB flash drive

    yeah I have heard of the freezer trick... have done that a few times too... works pretty nicely.. usually when mine quit working they start ticking like a bomb though... never really thought to see if that might work with those types.. LOL..

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