How to Create a USB Boot Disk for XP

by Susan Reynolds

If you are having trouble booting, or starting, your Windows XP computer, you are going to need the help of a boot disk. You can use a CD-ROM that contains the necessary startup files for Windows XP, but you can also put boot files on a USB flash drive. Boot files take up less than 1 GB of data, which is the perfect size for a flash drive. If you ever have trouble starting your computer, you can access the files on your USB boot disk.


Insert a USB flash drive into an empty port on your computer. The flash drive should have no files on it.


Click on "Start" and "My Computer."


Right click on your USB flash drive listed on the menu and choose "Format."


Click on "FAT32" and "Start." The computer will format the USB so that it is compatible with the computer. Click on "OK" when it finishes formatting.


Go to a website that allows users to download boot files for the Windows XP (see the "Resources" section of this article). Save the files to your flash drive and then unplug it from your computer. Keep the drive in an easily accessible location for emergency use.

About the Author

Susan Reynolds has been a writer since 2008. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of South Florida and is a licensed real estate agent in Florida.

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  • photo_camera flash drive. image by Yuri Bizgaimer from