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Windows 7: please help with getting my USB formatted/bootable

07 Mar 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
please help with getting my USB formatted/bootable

Hello. I am trying to make my 1TB eGo USB 2.0 Desktop Hard Drive bootable. I am running Win 7. The bios hardware supports booting from a USB drive, and I am able to select the USB drive from the boot menu. But when I choose the USB drive, I get:
A disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
I am able to read/write from the USB drive normally via Win 7 with no problems, but I am missing that something "bootable" - what is it? I used bootsect make the USB drive bootable. thanx.
(the USB drive is formatted NTFS and could this matter my computer is formatted 64 bit and the USB drive is formatted with whatever you get when you select NTFS - would that be 64bit in my case?)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #2

windows 7 ultimate x64

Try this program from HP, it is the one widely used:

Download HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.2.3 Free - Windows-based Format Utility for HP Drive Key or DiskOnKey USB Device - Softpedia

However, questions need to be answered here, are you trying to run Windows 7 from the USB drive? If so, just install Windows 7 to this drive...even though I wouldn't recommend it myself. I would however run Windows 7 PE from this external drive and for that go here and download this program:

This will create a bootable CD, USB harddrive, and will boot to Windows 7 PE. A little more advanced but easy to do. Hope this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2011   #3
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Welcome to SF! 11225e

If you are planning to install 7 directly to the external drive once made bootable it won't work! Windows 7 will not install to any usb hard drives or devices directly. You caninstall Windows from a usb drive or device however once made bootable or mounting an iso image.

For simply seeing the drive made bootable that can done having the 7 installation or upgrade media in the optical drive and opening a command prompt to use the DiskPark tool. But you would end up with a bootable drive lacking an OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 Mar 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I guess I was not clear. I do not wish to INSTALL an OS, just make the USB drive bootable. But when I try to, using a tool or not, I get the error I wrote.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2011   #5
Orbital Shark



If you follow the instructions below it should work, I've tried it myself :)

How To make Bootable USB

Note   Note
No 3rd party software required, it's all controlled from within Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

it should.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2011   #7
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

It does! I've had to make some usb install keys without a 3rd party app for some repairs. You will need the 7 dvd in the drive however when cd(change directory) to the boot folder and run the bootsect.exe. That will write the boot code to the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Ok, let's start again. I did this:

1. Insert USB harddrive to the system and backup all the data from the USB
2. Open elevated Command Prompt. To do this, type in CMD in Start menu search field and hit Ctrl + Shift + Enter. Alternatively, right click on Command Prompt and select run as administrator.
3. Enter the following commands:
4. The LIST DISK command will show the disk number of your USB drive.
5. Enter the following commands:
SELECT DISK 1 (Replace DISK 1 with your disk number)
(navigate to bootsect.exe)
BOOTSECT.EXE/NT60 E: (“E” is USB drive)
6. Copy Windows DVD folder to USB drive

Then I received the following response in cmd window:

Updated NTFS filesystem bootcode. The update may be unreliable since the
volume could not be locked during the update:
Access is denied.
Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.

does this mean that it worked or not - hard to tell?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

To install from a USB HD.

Use windows 7/Vista disk management to create a new Primary partition on the usb HD - 12gb is plenty - create new simple volume - format as fat32 or ntfs.

Mark the new partition Active.

Mount your 7 iso - copy and paste the contents to the new partition.

Restart pc and boot from the usb HD -using bios one time pop up boot menu.

No need for command prompt.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Mar 2011   #10
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64

Once you type the exit command you don't close up the command prompt but leave that open. For the next step you will still be using the command prompt as long as you have a 7 or even Vista dvd since they share the same type of bootloader.

With the dvd in the optical drive type D: or other drive letter in at the prompt and press enter to switch to the optical drive. You follow that with "cd boot" = change from root to boot folder directory and press enter again.

Once at the "drive letter\boot\" prompt type "bootsect.exe /nt60 E:" and press enter one more time. And right away you did see the "Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes" confirmation and ended up back at the dos type prompt back where you started. The drive should now bootable since the confirmation was displayed.

From there you simply copy the entire contents over to the external drive and boot from it. All this was seen to in one session. I've done this with flash drives which work on the same boot option for selection of usb hard drive.

In fact since the drive was already partitioned and formatted to NTFS all you should have had to do was browse to the 7 dvd and run the "bootsect.exe /nt60 e:" command and called it a day as long as the drive was empty not having any files present on it. The need for running DiskPart is when you either need to clean a drive or have one raw or seeing exFat, Fat 16/32, or another file system present on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 please help with getting my USB formatted/bootable

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