How to Make a Bootable USB Flash Drive or Memory Card for Windows XP

This tutorail is for making a Bootable USB Flash Drive or Memory Card that can be used to install Windows XP on Netbooks that do not have optical drives. To complete this tutorial you need a PC with a version of Windows XP / Vista / 7, and a USB Flash Drive or Memory Card that is at least 1GB in size or more.

Download you will need:

flash-drive-prep.zip

Extract the files in ‘flash-drive-prep.zip’.

You will get two folders, ‘bootsect’ and ‘usb_prep8′.

Inside of the USB_prep8 folder double click the executable named ‘usb_prep8.cmd‘ You will get a window that looks like this

usb_prep8

Press a key and you will get another window, as shown below

usb_pre8_2

These settings are preconfigured for you all you need to do now is click start. Please ensure that you select the correct flash drive or Memory Card drive.

Once the format is complete DO NOT close the window just leave everything as it is and open a command prompt from your start menu (type ‘cmd‘ in the search bar or run box depending on your version of windows.).

Inside of the command windows go to the bootsect directory, extracted from the above downloaded zip file. In that folder, you should find 2 files, ‘bootsect.exe’ and ‘bootmgr’.

(use the ‘cd <directoryname>’ command to switch folders and ‘dir’ command to list contents of a directory you are in.)

Now type ‘bootsect.exe /nt52 X:‘ NOTE ‘X:‘ is the drive letter for the USB Flash Drive or Memory Card that you just formatted. Please change this value accordingly. What this does is write the correct boot sector to your USB Flash Drive or Memory Card, this allows your PC to boot from the USB Flash Drive or Memory Card. Without it nothing works.

Please note: When running the bootsect.exe command you cannot have any windows open displaying the content of your USB Flash Drive or Memory Card. If you have a window open bootsect.exe will be unable to lock the drive and write the bootsector correctly.

If all went well you should see "Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes." Now, close this command prompt (don’t close the usbprep8 one by mistake) and the petousb window.

Your usbprep8 windows should now look like this. If it does not, try pressing enter.

usb_prep_3

Now you need to enter the correct information for numbers 1-3.

Press 1 and then enter. A folder browse window will open for you to browse to the location of you XP setup files. This could be your physical or virtual cdrom drive with xp cd or image inside it, or a folder in the computer with the XP setup files.

Please note that for the Compaq Mini 110, you will need to slipstream Intel SATA Drivers into your XP install CD or ISO otherwise, you will get a BSD (blue screen of death) as you try to boot from the USB Flash Drive/Memory Card or you will not be able to see a your hard disk in the XP setup. Click here to view a tutorial on how to slip stream the Intel SATA Drivers into you Windows XP Install CD or Image (iso).

Press 2 and enter a letter not currently assigned to a drive on your PC. Warning: If you select a drive letter that is assigned to a device on your PC, this device will be formated and you will lose all your data on that drive. The system will not work if you select a network drive.

Press 3 and enter the drive letter of your USB stick

Press 4 to start the process.

The script will ask you if its ok to format the drive whose letter you selected in 2 above. This is just a temp drive the program creates to cache the windows installation files. Press Y then enter.

Once it’s done formating press enter to continue again, you can now see the program copying files to the temp drive it created. Once this is done press enter to continue again.

Next you will see a box pop up asking you to copy the files to USB drive yes/no you want to click yes.

Once the script has completed copy files a popup window asking if you would like to USB drive to be preferred boot drive. Select YES on this window.

Now select yes to unmount the virtual drive.

And we are done. You now have a USB Flash Drive or Memory Card that is bootable and can be used to install windows XP on a variety of computers.

END

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43 comments

  1. Hi! I made a bootable USB and plugged it into my new laptop Asus x501a-xx017 and when the Windows installation begins I’m getting a BSD with the following technical information:

    STOP: 0x0000007B (0xF78DA524, 0xC0000034, 0×00000000, 0×00000000)

    Can anyone help?

  2. you say above “Click here to view a tutorial on how to slip stream the Intel SATA Drivers into you Windows XP Install CD or Image (iso).” but it is unclickable! Help, please. I am having a hell of a time trying to figure out what to do here. I have prepared an xp installation flash drive but get the bsd at the beginning of instalation.

  3. hi,
    I want to install fedora on my asus n61 partition that i have already created. I tried to put the fedora live on my hdd and when i boot press esc but it is not working. I also tried to put it on my memory stick and do the same thing but when it boots it keeps loading and loading. So i found this tutorial e tried it out with my memory stick and the “peToUSB” is not recognizing my memory stick? :s. Neither my external HDD. I tried to refresh…

  4. what is this? (use the ‘cd ’ command to switch folders and ‘dir’ command to list contents of a directory you are in.)

  5. ^ Basic DOS navigation.

    “cd” means “change directory”. for example, if you’re in:
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\>

    and you type one of the directories (or folder):inside that directory (or folder)
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\> cd My Documents

    you will navigate to that directory:
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents>

    if you type:
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents> cd..

    then you will navigate to the previous directory:
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>

    Anyway, I’m currently trying this method.. I’ve been having headaches coz my compaq mini CQ10 just won’t accept the bootable flash winxp installer I made via wintoflash. I’m getting that 0x07B stop error.

  6. Tom’s hardware lists other utilities, USB_multiboot 10, WinSetupFromUSB and
    WinToFlash.. any thoughts on these?

  7. Hi Ben…I have not used any of those so I have no thoughts on them. I am having to do quite a number of windows 8 installs via USB – i will try and see how they work and get back to you

  8. this greatly depends on whether you BIOS supports booting from USB or MEM Card – to check, please enter your bios and look at boot options, and make sure it searches the USB ports for boot devices as well….or, if your machine supports it, go to boot selection screen during the POST (power on self test) and see if it detects removable media that is plugged in…then select said removable media to boot from it.
    How to get to BIOS settings or the boot device selection menu depends on which type of machine you have. for those, please refer to your manual or documentation from the computer maker.

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