Portlock Knowledge Base

Creating a bootable USB drive

Date Published: June 3, 2008

Date Updated: October 21, 2009

USB devices and flash drives have slowly replaced CD/DVD as the preferred portable storage solution for many IT administrators. A bootable USB device aids system administrators with system recovery, system deployment and system maintenance tasks. Portlock's Bootable USB Drive Wizard can create a bootable USB. The Portlock Bootable USB Drive Wizard can be found in the following Portlock products:

The Portlock Bootable USB Drive Wizard places either the Portlock Boot CD or Portlock SMART Suite — both bootable products — onto a USB device. The Portlock Bootable USB Drive Wizard requires users to have an ISO image or a physical CD with either the Portlock Boot CD or Portlock SMART Suite.

Consider the following possibilities with a bootable USB drive:

  • Boot a system with no CD/DVD drive

  • Access all the same tools as running from CD/DVD
  • Carry your USB flash drive at all times
  • No more CD/DVD burning
  • Faster boot time
  • Portability
  • Use as a backup solution to create and store images of system files
  • Create a bootable USB device with any ISO image
  • Copy files and directories to/from USB bootable device
  • Image and restore entire OS platform to/from USB bootable device

The USB Drive Wizard, found in Portlock Drive Explorer’s "Tools" menu, is a step-by-step procedure for creating a bootable USB device. Supported devices include USB flash keys and USB disk drives. We also support hard disks that use ProStor Systems RDX Technology, such as the Dell PowerVault RD1000. For more information on RDX Technology, please see: http://www.rdxstorage.com/.

Bootable USB drive

Locate your Portlock Boot CD or Portlock SMART Suite ISO image or CD-ROM. Version 5.0 or greater of the Portlock Boot CD or Portlock SMART Suite is required.

Bootable USB drive

The USB Drive Wizard provides three options for file-system type when formatting your USB device. The following rules apply for each file system:

  1. Less than 2GB = FAT, FAT32, NTFS

  2. Greater than 2GB = FAT32, NTFS
  3. Greater than 20GB = NTFS
Bootable USB drive

If a system has multiple USB devices, each device will be displayed in the drop-down menu. This will overwrite existing data on the USB device. Select the desired file system format for the USB device and select "Next."

After the Portlock Bootable Wizard successfully creates a bootable USB drive, ensure that the BIOS is set to boot from a USB device. This is performed from the boot order in the BIOS settings.

Bootable USB drive

Note: Not all systems have USB-boot capabilities. Before booting from a USB device, ensure that the system’s boot order, found in the system BIOS, supports booting from a USB device.

You now have a bootable USB device with Portlock SMART Suite directly on it. This feature is sure to be a favorite as you now have a solution to hurdle many obstacles. If a new version of Portlock Storage Manager or Portlock Drive Explorer is released there is no need to purchase a new USB device, just overwrite your existing one following the same steps from above.