How Can I Create DOS-Based Bootable USB Pen Drive?

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Even if you are using the latest version of Microsoft Windows, i.e. Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 8, there might be instances when you want to boot your computer externally. There are several benefits of booting the computer from DOS, for example troubleshooting, executing in any external DOS command, etc.

In earlier versions of Windows, such as Windows 98, Windows 2000, or Windows XP, the computers were configured in a way that they were capable of booting from the DOS-based bootable floppy disks, CD-ROMs, or USB pen drives. This is not the case with the latest versions of Windows operating systems. Since the latest versions of Windows operating systems do not support DOS architecture any more, they do not even have any built-in tool or feature that allows you to create a DOS-based bootable CD-ROM or USB pen drive.

Even after this, if, because of any reason, you still want to create a DOS-based bootable USB pen drive, you are required to download a third-party software application that allows you to get the job done without any overhead. All you need to do in order to use the software is that you need to log on to the computer using elevated privileges. Even if you don’t want to log on to the computer using administrator account, you can still initialize the application individually using administrative rights.

Here is what you need to do in order to make your USB pen drive DOS bootable:

  • If security is not a major concern for you, log on to the computer using the account that has administrative privileges.
  • Download and install the HP Format Tool. (It is a free tool that can be searched on any of your favorite search engines using any web browser.).
  • Once downloaded, connect the target USB pen drive that you want to make DOS bootable.
  • Right-click the downloaded executable (.exe) file of the HP Format Tool application.
  • From the displayed context menu, click the Run as administrator option.
  • On the opened User Account Control confirmation box, click the Yes button to provide your consent to initialize the application with elevated privileges.
  • On the opened interface, make sure that the connected USB pen drive is listed under the Device drop-down list.
  • Under the Format options section, ensure that the Quick Format checkbox is checked.
  • Also, check the Create a DOS startup disk checkbox.
  • Optionally check the using system files located at checkbox, and specify the location of the bootable files in the enabled field.
  • Once this is done, click the Start button to start creating the DOS-based bootable USB pen drive.