Create a bootable USB Flash Drive using the diskpart utility

Create a bootable USB Flash Drive using the diskpart utility

This article provides instructions on how to create a bootable USB flash drive using the Diskpart utility.

Table of Contents:

  1. Create a bootable USB Flash Drive using the Diskpart utility.
  2. How to use Diskpart.
Caution: These instructions are aimed at advanced users. You may change a setting that could prevent your computer from starting correctly and you could suffer a potential loss of data. Use these instructions at your own risk !

1. Create a bootable USB Flash Drive using the Diskpart utility

A user may want to create a bootable USB flash drive which has a larger partition than the maximum 2Gb created using the Dell Diagnostic Distribution Package (DDDP), see Article How to Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive using Dell Diagnostic Deployment Package (DDDP).

Diskpart can be used to create a partition larger than 2Gb on the USB flash drive so larger files can be used. Diskpart is a Disk Partition utility available within Windows.

Please follow the steps in the next section on how to use Diskpart to create a bootable Windows USB flash drive:

Note: You will need a 4Gb minimum USB flash drive and your Windows re-installation DVD

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2. Using Diskpart

  1. Insert your USB flash drive (4Gb + preferable) into your system

Warning: All data on the USB flash drive will be lost, make sure you save any data before proceeding.
  1. Navigate to the Command Prompt. Select Start & type CMD in the search field, right click on CMD.exe and select Run as administrator
    Alternatively, navigate to Start > All programs > Accessories > right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator

Elevated Command Prompt

  1. A User Account Control (UAC) dialog Window may appear. Click Yes to Continue.

  2. When the Command Prompt opens, enter the following commands followed by Enter

  3. DISKPART - This will start the utility

  4. LIST DISK - This will show the disk number of your USB flash drive. In the image below the USB flash drive shows as Disk 2.


  1. SELECT DISK X (Replace X with your USB flash drive number, we are using 2 in this example)

  2. CLEAN - This wipes the drive

  3. CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY- Creates partition

  4. SELECT PARTITION 1- Selects partition 1

  5. ACTIVE- Marks the current partition as active

  6. FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK - This formats the partition

  7. ASSIGN- Assigns a drive letter.

  8. EXIT

Insert your Windows DVD into the optical drive.
From the command prompt, enter the following:

g: <enter> (Where "g" is your DVD drive letter)
cd boot <enter> (changes to boot directory)
G:\boot bootsect /nt60 d: <enter> (Where "d" is your USB drive letter)

Copy all files from the Windows CD to the USB flash drive using xcopy

cd\ <enter>
G:\xcopy g:\*.* /s/h/f f:\ <enter>

This will copy the Windows installation files onto the USB flash drive, it may take several minutes.

xcopy switches are as follows:

/s - Copies directories and subdirectories except empty ones.
/h - Copies hidden and system files.
/f - Displays full source and destination filenames while copying.

To display the full list of switches, type xcopy /? <enter>

This will make the USB drive bootable and when selected at start up, will boot straight into the Windows installation.

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Article ID: SLN153364

Last Date Modified: 09/20/2019 04:38 AM

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