The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

How to Create a Bootable USB Key

Last week I needed to boot to ConfigMgr Task Sequence bootable media on a machine that I didn’t have a CD/DVD drive for. PXE isn’t enabled in this environment, and I was under a tight timeframe to get it done…I needed to create a bootable USB key fast. I remember trying to use the ConfigMgr wizard to create a bootable usb key last year, but for some reason I couldn’t get it to work. Because of that experience, I instead pursued taking my existing bootable ISO and creating a bootable USB key from that. I came across instructions that are posted several places on the internet…mostly in forums. Unfortunately no one has posted where the original instructions came from. I’d love to give credit to that person because they really helped me out last week. I’m posting them here as a help to others…and so that I will always have an easy way to find the instructions the next time I need them! I’ve also modified the original quoted instructions to be more specific to the bootable ISO scenario.

Insert your USB flash drive and enter the following commands at a command prompt:

list disk

Note: Confirm which disk is the USB drive. The instructions below assume that your USB flash drive will be seen as disk 2. If you select the wrong disk you will wipe the wrong drive…possibly your hard drive.

select disk 2
create partition primary
select partition 1
format fs=fat32 quick

The final step is to copy the files from the bootable ISO to the USB key. Mount the ISO using a program such as Virtual CloneDrive. Use Xcopy to copy the files from the ISO to the USB key. The command line below assumes that D: is the drive letter where the bootable ISO is mounted and E: is the drive letter for the USB key.

xcopy d:\*.* /e/f e:\


September 30, 2009 - Posted by | ConfigMgr


  1. […] How to Create a Bootable USB Key « The Realm of the Verbal Processor Filed under: Windows […]

    Pingback by How to Create a Bootable USB Key « The Realm of the Verbal Processor - Rod Trent at | October 2, 2009

  2. Hi,
    So you first created an iso of your ConfigMgr task sequence and followed this procedure to put it on an usb stick? How big was your iso?

    Comment by Karl | December 19, 2009

  3. The ISO that I created was the bootable media (boot image) to use to connect to ConfigMgr to run a task sequence…not a full offline image. The ISO was somewhere around 170MB…the standard MDT bootable ISO that you can create in the ConfigMgr console.

    Comment by Jarvis | December 19, 2009

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