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How to Make a Bootable USB Flash Drive Using Diskpart

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

This article may have been automatically translated. If you have any feedback regarding its quality, please let us know using the form at the bottom of this page.

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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 2 GB 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 2 GB on the USB flash drive so larger files can be used. Diskpart is a Disk Partition utility available within Windows.

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

Note: You require a 4 GB minimum USB flash drive and your Windows reinstallation DVD.

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2. How to use Diskpart

  1. Insert your USB flash drive (4 GB or larger preferable) into your system.

Warning: Following the remaining steps results in all data on the USB flash drive being lost. Ensure that you back up any data to another device before proceeding.
  1. Go to the Command Prompt. Select Start and type CMD in the search field, right click on CMD.exe and select Run as administrator.
    Alternatively, go to Start > All programs > Accessories > right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

Search_ CMD

  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 starts the utility.

  4. LIST DISK - This shows 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 a 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 Command Prompt, enter the following:

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

Command Prompt

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

G:\xcopy g:\*.* /s/h/f  f:\ 

This copies 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 makes the USB drive bootable. When selected at startup, it boots straight into the Windows installation.

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Additional Information

Article Properties

Affected Product

Storage, Drives & Media, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Legacy Laptop Models, Fixed Workstations

Last Published Date

22 Dec 2023



Article Type

How To