How to Copy a Bootable USB Drive

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
You must properly format the new USB drive before copying over the contents.

Having a bootable USB drive on hand is a simple and effective way of repairing any computer troubles you may encounter. A bootable USB drive allows the computer to boot into the USB drive instead of the computer's internal hard drive, bypassing the need to load the entire operating system and possibly perpetuating any trouble or viruses. If you've got a USB drive for your home desktop computer and want a second bootable USB drive for your work laptop, creating a copy is easy.


Step 1

Download the Boot Sect Utility from Unzip the downloaded file and move the resulting "bootsect.exe" file to the C: folder.

Video of the Day

Step 2

Insert the non-bootable USB flash drive into the computer's USB slot. Before copying the files over from the bootable USB drive, the second drive must be made bootable.


Step 3

Click "Start" and type "cmd" into the search box. Right-click the resulting "Command Prompt" application and select "Run as Administrator."

Step 4

Type "diskpart" at the command prompt and hit "Enter." Type "list volume" and hit "Enter." This will list the available drives. Make note of the drive letter and volume number of the USB drive, listed as "Removable" media.


Step 5

Type "select volume #", using the noted volume number, and hit "Enter." Type "active" and hit "Enter." Type "format=fs NTFS" and hit "Enter." Type "assign" and hit "Enter." Type "exit" and hit "Enter."


Step 6

Type "cd C:\" and hit Enter to switch directories to the C: drive. Type "bootsect.exe /nt60 ABC:", using the noted drive letter, and hit "Enter." Close the command prompt.


Step 7

Insert the original bootable USB flash drive into a second open USB slot. Open the contents of the drive via Windows Explorer.


Step 8

Select "Edit" and "Select All" from the menu bar to highlight all the contained files. Select "Edit" and "Copy" to copy the files.

Step 9

Open the contents of your empty USB via Windows Explorer. Paste the contents of your clipboard by selecting "Edit" and "Paste." Once the files copy over, the drives are identical and you can remove them from the computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Bootable USB flash drive

  • USB flash drive

  • BootSect Utility

  • Windows Vista or later



Report an Issue

Screenshot loading...