Creating a Bootable USB

Earlier, I had my molar bands installed. Val, my dentist, asked me to fix her netbook computer. I wanted to buy this one before and too much surprise it was, hers was pink!

Her computer has Windows XP installed on it and it has a BSOD 0xED error – Unmountable Boot Volume. I have encountered this a lot of times when I was still with eTelecare and working for Matrix ACS (Dell) account.

Most of the netbooks today do not have an optical drive. Good thing I still have an extra USB here which I can make as a bootable drive to initialize the Windows XP repair.

[toggle_framed title=”Here are the stuff that you need:”]

  • Another computer (to prepare the USB drive)
  • At least 2GB high-speed USB drive
  • OS CD (Windows XP, Vista, Ubuntu, etc.) or an ISO
  • Bootsect.exe, bootmgr, PEtoUSB and USBPrep8
  • English comprehension and very basic Windows UI knowledge (take note that computer nerd skill is not needed here though very basic DOS syntax knowledge is required)

[/toggle_framed]
Now, here are the steps:

  1. Download the required files needed here -> usb_prep8. I have compiled it. Freeware FTW!
    [download_box] usb_prep8 [/download_box]
  2. Extract the downloaded compressed file on your working computer.
  3. Double-click usb_prep8.cmd. A new command prompt window appears.

    usbprep

    USBPrep

  4. Press Enter key on the command prompt below. A new window pops up.

    PE to USB

    PE to USB

  5. Stay with the settings unless you are better than I am :P. Do not close the two windows.
  6. Open a new command prompt window.
  7. Go to the same directory where the files are saved via the command prompt.
  8. Execute bootsect.exe /nt52 X: (note that the X: is the drive letter of your USB drive. Make sure that you do not have any Windows Explorer opened and targeted from the same drive because the command syntax will fail as it cannot lock and write the bootsector of the USB drive.
  9. If all goes well, a print line shows: Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.
  10. Close the command prompt window where you performed the bootsect syntax NOT the other windows I was talking about.
  11. Once converted, press Enter on the USBPrep8 command prompt until it shows something like this:

    usbprep

    USBPrep 2

  12. Input 1. Press Enter. A folder browser window opens where the source files are located. Usually this is your CD-ROM drive. If you have ISO mounted, point it there (note that the ISO should be mounted, hence, treated as a virtual CD-ROM)
  13. Input 2. Press Enter. Input any unassigned drive letter  on your computer (i.e. L:)
  14. Input 3. Press Enter. Input the drive letter of the USB drive.
  15. Input 4. Press Enter to start the process.
  16. The script will asks you to format the L: (this is an example on this scenario). Press Y for yes as this is just a temp drive .
  17. A set of lines that shows that files are copied appears. Press Enter to continue.
  18. A popup appears asking you to copy the files to the USB drive. Obviously select Yes.
  19. Once the script has completed copying the filed, a new popup appears asking if you want to have the USB drive preferred U:. Click Yes. It will unmount the temp drive.

Your USB drive has the OS installer on it and it can be booted directly from the BIOS. Make sure that you select to boot from the USB first, not the CD-ROM or the HDD.

Let me know if anything is unclear 😀 have fun!

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