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Make a Bootable USB Flash Drive

Update: see also a  Vista / WAIK implementation (which I haven't tried yet)

This method of creating a bootable USB flash drive is the easiest I found and works flawlessly every time.


HP tool is attached to this page.

Get the Stuff

For this tutorial there are some things you will need to have:

  1. USB Flash Drive
  2. HP USB Flash Drive Format Tool (Archive password is "pasta")
  3. Win98 Boot Disk or the Files
  4. Some of these Programs (makes the disk more useful) (broken link)

Getting it Ready

After downloading the HP Format Tool install it. Get your boot disk or the downloadable files and copy/extract them to a folder on your HD. Make sure anything on your USB Drive is backed up because we are going to format it...

Make it Bootable

  • Open the HP Format Tool
    Start/Programs/Hewlett-Packard Company/HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool
  • It should automatically select your USB Drive.
  • Select FAT or FAT32 Under File System.
  • Select Create a DOS startup disk
  • Select using DOS system files located at and point to the folder containing the boot disk files.
  • Then click Start

Add Some More Stuff

As is your new boot disk can’t do much other than boot the computer to DOS so you need to add other programs to make it more useful. I put a small list of files and programs together it is located at

Using It

This can be tricky since most older computers do not support booting to USB Devices. You will have to go into the BIOS and play around with the boot sequence trying things like USB ZIP etc. You will have less trouble with newer systems.

Additional Resources

Other Methods