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Windows 7: Unable to make thumb drive bootable


08 Dec 2010   #1

windows 7 home x64
 
 
Unable to make thumb drive bootable

I just recently bought a new motherboard (old one died), and didn't realize that it had no IDE port on it for easy Windows 7 re-installation (my only available dvd drive is still IDE). After trying to find a friend with one, I ended up trying to make a bootable thumb drive using the Windows 7 bootable USB drive utility and my father's computer, and every single time I've tried to do it, it gives an error right at the end about bootsect.exe saying it isn't bootable. Any suggestions?

Asus P5QL-VM, Intel Core 2 Duo q9300, 4gb (2x2gb) ram, seagate SATA hard drive of some sort, GEForce 9800GTX+ gpu.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Dec 2010   #2

Windows 7 ultimate X64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kaljaen View Post
I just recently bought a new motherboard (old one died), and didn't realize that it had no IDE port on it for easy Windows 7 re-installation (my only available dvd drive is still IDE). After trying to find a friend with one, I ended up trying to make a bootable thumb drive using the Windows 7 bootable USB drive utility and my father's computer, and every single time I've tried to do it, it gives an error right at the end about bootsect.exe saying it isn't bootable. Any suggestions?

Asus P5QL-VM, Intel Core 2 Duo q9300, 4gb (2x2gb) ram, seagate SATA hard drive of some sort, GEForce 9800GTX+ gpu.

Hi Kaliaen,
Assuming that you already formatted your flash drive, it is set as "active",
you'll need to use either powerISO or similar program for copying boot files or use the bootsect utility that comes on the Windows 7 disk to make the flash drive bootable.
Open command promt:
  1. Insert your Windows 7 DVD into your drive.
  2. Change directory to the DVDís boot directory where bootsect lives:
    d:
    cd d:\boot
  3. Use bootsect to set the USB as a bootable NTFS drive prepared for a Win 7 image. Iím assuming that your USB flash drive has been labeled disk G:\ by the computer:
    bootsect /nt60 g:
The easiest way is to use Windows explorer to copy all of the files on your DVD on to the formatted flash drive. After youíve copied all of the files the disk you are ready to go.
Never had an issue using this method.
Oh, and be sure to set your bios boot priority and make sure you have boot from flash drive enabled.
Let me know if this helps you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2010   #3

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)
 
 

You need a 4gb flash drive or larger

That's how I do it and I think it's the easiest and fastest way :
USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create
Step 1. Format the USB Flash Disk


Run CMD (elevated) and type:
diskpart
list disk (*now find your USB disk number, you'll find it by its size)
select disk 1 (*if your USB is disk 1)
clean
create partition primary
select partition 1 (*this is 1, no matter what number is your USB disk)
active
format fs=fat32 (or ntfs, works with both)
assign
exit
Note: Don't type the things in parentheses above!!
Step 2. Copy Windows 7 or Vista's DVD content to the Flash Disk



Still on CMD, assuming your dvd is drive d: and your usb is drive e:
xcopy d:\*.* /s/e/f e:\
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Dec 2010   #4

Windows 7 ultimate X64
 
 

Quote:
You need a 4gb flash drive or larger
That too...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

 

If the other methods don't work for you, the one I've found which always works for me is to install Ultra ISO, on File tab open ISO, on Bootable tab Write Disk Image, Format, Write.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2010   #6

Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2010   #7

windows 7 home x64
 
 

@Dreem - I can't do that, I have no (working) DVD drive available to me. I'm currently using a barely functioning PC that is more or less only capable of browsing text-heavy websites.

@DocBrown - Any time I do that from my current machine (which is running XP), it doesn't see the flash drive in the disk list.

@Greg - I'll give that a shot, never tried using UltraISO before.

EDIT - For clarity, I'm currently on WinXP 32bit, and I was reading that the cause of my problems has something to do with the bootsect that I'm trying to put onto the flash drive being 64bit under the 32bit OS - Can anyone shed some light on that?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2010   #8

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)
 
 

[QUOTE=Kaljaen;1118640]@Dreem - I can't do that, I have no (working) DVD drive available to me. I'm currently using a barely functioning PC that is more or less only capable of browsing text-heavy websites.

@DocBrown - Any time I do that from my current machine (which is running XP), it doesn't see the flash drive in the disk list.

@Greg - I'll give that a shot, never tried using UltraISO before.

EDIT - For clarity, I'm currently on WinXP 32bit, and I was reading that the cause of my problems has something to do with the bootsect that I'm trying to put onto the flash drive being 64bit under the 32bit OS - Can anyone shed some light on that?[/QUOTE]


Yes, I have read you have to make a 64bit Windows 7 flash on a 64 bit computer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2010   #9

windows 7 home x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post

Yes, I have read you have to make a 64bit Windows 7 flash on a 64 bit computer
Yeah, that's what I saw, rather unfortunate for me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Dec 2010   #10

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)
 
 

Do you have any friends with a portable USB DVD drive or anybody with a 64 bit computer ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Unable to make thumb drive bootable




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