How to Make a Bootable NTFS USB

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A USB thumb drive can be a diagnostic tool.

A bootable USB drive is a useful tool for any IT professional. It provides an additional installation media for malfunctioning computers or systems that aren't equipped with a DVD drive. A USB flash drive or key can also be loaded with diagnostic and repair utilities for the various systems you might encounter on a daily basis. Creating a bootable NTFS USB drive is not complex. The key is to use the Diskpart and Bootsect commands in combination.


Step 1

Open the "Start" menu and use the search field to launch the Diskpart utility. The Diskpart utility is a command line program used to partition physical disks.

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Step 2

Type "list disk" to show all the disks attached to the system. Make a note of the USB drive's disk number.


Step 3

Type "select disk 2" to select the USB drive. Replace "disk 2" with your actual USB drive number.

Step 4

Type "clean" to erase any existing partitions on the USB drive.


Step 5

Type "create primary partition" to use all the space on the drive. Use the "size=" parameter if you want to limit the size of the primary partition.

Step 6

Type "select partition 1" to select the primary partition.



Step 7

Type "active" to mark the new disk as active.

Step 8

Type "format fs=ntfs" to format the partition.

Step 9

Type "assign" to assign a drive letter to the USB drive.


Step 10

Type "exit" to leave the Diskpart Utility.

Step 11

Type "bootsect.exe /nt60 U:" to make the USB drive bootable. Replace "U:" with the drive letter Diskpart assigned to the USB drive.

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