How to Make a Bootable Pen Drive – Step by Step Guide

Written by: Hardik Jethva

Last Updated: September 4, 2023

types of pendrive from different brands
ASUS ROG pendrive along with KINGSTON pendrive and many more lying on a table.

Searching for a comprehensive guide on “How to Make a Bootable Pen Drive”? You’ve come to the right place. This article is your one-stop solution for creating a bootable pen drive, formatted for various operating systems and platforms. Whether you’re a Windows 10 user, a Mac enthusiast, or still on Windows 7, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll take you through a detailed, step-by-step guide to create your own bootable pen drive. Further, you’ll learn how to format the pen drive on different operating systems, including using command-line options. If you’re wondering about the differences between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, we’ll clear that up too.

1 How to create your own Bootable Pendrive

If you have problems creating a bootable Pendrive or want to format your USB Flashdrive the right and easiest way for Mac, Windows 7, and 10. In this guide, you will see various steps to perform this process.

  • To begin with, get one old Pendrive with at least 8 GB capacity.
  • After that, connect the Pendrive with your Computer.
  • Lastly, please follow the tricks mentioned in this article.

2 How to format Pendrive for Windows 10

If you want to format a Pendrive using File Explorer, use these easy steps:

1. Press the [Windows] and [E] key at the same time so that the Explorer opens.

2. Switch to “This PC” on the left, there you will see your USB stick.

3. Now, Right-click on that USB stick and choose the “Format” option.

4. Here you can choose between different settings. If you have no special requirements, click on the “Restore device standards” button.

5. With “Volume designation” you can give the USB stick a name if required.

6. Activate the quick formatting to complete the process as quickly as possible. If you keep the USB stick and do not pass it on, the quick formatting is sufficient.

7. Formatting starts with the “Start” button. Depending on the size of the USB stick, this process can now take a few seconds to minutes.

Once you complete these steps, you can start storing documents, pictures, videos, and other files on the removable drive.

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How to format pendrive for windows 10

3 How to format Pendrive in Mac

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How to remove data from pen drive on mac

You can review all of the following steps on the images below. To format a Flash drive on a Mac, first, attach it to a USB slot on your computer.

  • A window emerges, based on the setting, indicating how the file should be treated. Close the pop-up window.
  • In the Spotlight search bar, type “Disk Utility.” By clicking on the small magnifying glass in the top right corner of your menu bar, you may access the search.

3. Confirm with the [Enter] key.

4. On the left, in the hard disk utility menu, you will see the name of the USB stick listed. Select it by tapping on the name.

5. Switch to the “Delete” tab.

6. With “Format” you can now choose between the predefined reformatting such as “FAT” or “Journaled”.

7. You can rename the stick under “Name”.

8. If you have sensitive data on the stick and want to make it clear that it is completely deleted, you can use the “Security Options” button to overwrite your USB stick up to seven times.

9. Click on “Erase” to finally format your USB stick.

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How to format pen drive on a mac

4 How to format Pendrive for Windows 7

1. Insert the USB stick into a free USB slot on your computer and wait a few seconds.

2. Press the key combination [Win – R] and enter explorer.

3. Now you can see all drives connected to your computer, including the USB stick.

4. Right-click on the symbol of the USB stick.

5. Select Format from the context menu.

6. In the window that appears, the file system option is particularly important.

If you also want to use the USB stick with other operating systems such as Mac OS X or Linux, select FAT32 here.

If you only want to use the stick with Windows, select NTFS here.

7. If you only want to quickly delete all data on the USB stick, leave the Quick format option switched on.

8. If you want to carry out thorough reformatting, switch off the quick formatting.

9. Give the stick a name under the volume name.

10. Click Start, to begin with, formatting. After some time, your USB stick will be formatted.

5 How to format Pendrive in cmd

Most of the time, if your computer is not recognizing a USB drive, you can try formatting the USB stick using Diskpart.

Diskpart is an in-built utility for managing hard drives. It may be used to format hard discs, both internal and external ones.

Diskpart is far more effective than Windows Explorer for formatting USB sticks. Here’s an example of how to use Diskpart to format a USB device that isn’t visible in Windows Explorer.

  1. Go to the command prompt by entering “cmd” in the search field, right-clicking on the program, and selecting “Run as administrator”.
  2. Type “diskpart” and hit Enter to run the program.
  3. And then type “list disk” to list all the disks of your PC.
  4. Command “select disk 1” and hit enter. Here disk 1 is the name of the USB drive.
  5. Write “clean” and hit Enter.
  6. Now type “create partition primary” and hit enter.
  7. Type “format fs = fat32 quick” or “format fs = ntfs quick” and press Enter to format USB drive to FAT 32 or NTFS as required.

Finally, type “exit” to end it and you have already completed the task of formatting the USB stick with Diskpart. Then you can activate the part and assign drive letters for the USB drive. But Diskpart is not dangerous for people who are not familiar with Diskpart because all operations cannot be undone once progress has started.

6 How to make bootable Pendrive Windows

Step 1: Open the hard drive program

The hard disk program can be found via the Windows console. To do this, use the search bar to search for “cmd.exe”, which will result in the “command prompt”.
You can now enter various commands in this window. We need “diskpart”. Enter this and confirm with entering. Then comes a security question and you confirm it with YES. Now the program “diskpart.exe” opens, which we now need.

Step 2: prepare the stick

Now a new console window opens. In this, you first enter “list disk” to get a list of all available physical storage media.

You must now find your USB stick in this list. The fastest way to find it is to look for the storage space. If you have found it, you have to mark it now. It works like this:

Note the number of your desired data carrier

Select it with the following: “select disk (NUMBER)”

An asterisk or dot should now appear in front of the desired data medium. Make sure once again that you have chosen the right data carrier, i.e. the USB stick that you want to make bootable.

To make a bootable USB stick, you have to clean it first. It’s straightforward: Since you have already selected it, you now have to type “clean” and confirm with entering. The process will then be established to you.

Step 3: Partition the USB stick

Now a new partition has to be created. You do this with the command “create partition primary”. You then have to activate it by entering and confirming “active”.

However, we must not forget the last step for the partition, because you still have to determine the format of the formatting. In this situation, you can use the command “format FS = NTFS quick”. So now partitions are ready, and the stick is bootable and ready for use.
But, one small thing is still missing. So that Windows can advise the data carrier in the data system, a drive letter is needed. The HDD program assigns this itself by confirming and entering “assign” in the console.

Step 4: Play Windows using the USB

To equip the stick with the operating system, you must first download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft.

Once you’ve done that, open the program, accept the license agreement, and follow the steps below:

First select “Installation medium (USB stick, DVD or ISO file) for another PC” and click on
Then you have to choose your preferred language, Edition (Windows 10), and the architecture (you usually use 64-bit). Tip: You must first click the checkbox next to “Use recommended options for this PC”. Go on!

In the next step, you select “USB stick”, click on and you now have to choose your USB stick.
Then it takes a little time until the stick has been completely loaded and everything has been downloaded. However, this process runs automatically.

What is still important to note is that during this step you pause your virus scanner (e.g. Avira, Officescan, etc.), as otherwise, the tool may show an error message prior to the process completion.

If you follow all these steps, your USB or hard drive is ready to begin a PC with Windows.

Step 5: Start the Computer from the USB stick

The last step now depends on which PC is used. In principle, however, the process is always the same.

First, start up the PC and hold down the key for the boot menu (usually F2, F10, F12 or DEL)
in the boot menu, you select your bootable USB stick and start the PC.

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7 Difference between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0

Physical Difference2.0 Pen Drive is colored monochrome inside (white and black). 3.0 Pen Drive is colored blue inside.
SpeedWith a data transfer rate of up to 5 Gbit/s (625MB/S), USB 3.0 is roughly 10 times quicker than USB 2.0. USB 2.0 has a transfer rate of 480 megabits per second (60MB/s), which is exceedingly slow when compared to USB 3.0. Although it is a little slow for data transfer, it is enough for connecting peripherals such as keyboards, mouse, headsets, and the like.
PriceA USB 3.0 Pendrive is more expensive but has higher speed and more storage volume. The USB Pendrive 2.0 is usually cheaper, it depends on the storage volume.

FAQ's about Bootable Pen drive

What is a Bootable Pen Drive?

A bootable pen drive allows you to boot up your computer using the software stored on the USB drive, bypassing your computer’s internal hard drive. This is useful for installing new operating systems, troubleshooting, or running diagnostic tools.

Yes, you can format a pen drive on a Mac using the “ExFAT” file system, which is compatible with both Mac and Windows. We explain this further in the section “How to format Pendrive in Mac.”

You might need a bootable pen drive to install a new operating system, repair a damaged system, or run special software without affecting your main storage drive. It’s a convenient and portable solution for various computing needs.

The core steps for creating a bootable pen drive are similar, but the system requirements and specific utilities might differ. Our sections “How to format Pendrive for Windows 10” and “How to format Pendrive for Windows 7” delve into these differences.

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About This Article

Hardik Jethva
Written by: Hardik Jethva author

Hardik Jethva is an experienced author of the BestCheck family. Working from scratch, he has developed an amazing interest in testing and writing about different products in a transparent manner. His writing skills got more audience for BestCheck. Apart from his professional life, Hardik has his eyes on travelling, meditation, eating healthy food, socializing with people, and car rides.

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Updated: September 4, 2023
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