I find it useful to have a USB boot disk when I am messing about with hardware, particularly since many systems no longer have a floppy drive. It was also the only useful thing I could do with the freebie Lotus QuickR 256Mb USB pen given away by Mary Beth Raven at ILUG 2008

There are a few articles on the web about creating these, one of the best is this O’Reilly Digital Media Blog

I personally found that for a windows boot disk the easiest method ( suggested in a response on the blog above ) was to use the Dell utility and rename the autoexec,bat file to stop it running the Dell diagnostic software

The utility is available at


The much praised HP Drive Key Boot Utility can be found at


I struggled with this a bit because it defaults to a linux boot disc whereas I wanted a windows boot disc ( to run Ghost 2003 )