Partition a USB Flash Drive in Windows XP

One way to Partition a USB Flash Drive from Windows XP and mark it active “bootable”. Windows detects many Flash Drives as “Removable Disks” and flash drives are often shipped formatted as a “Super Floppy” (USB-FDD without a partition table) . The Windows built in format utility cannot create a partition table on Removable Disks. Furthermore, the diskpart utility in Windows XP will not allow you to partition removable media, although diskpart does work for partitioning a Flash Drive from later Windows 8 and 10 versions.

To address the inability to partition a Flash Drive in Windows XP, you need to use a third party low level partitioning tool such as BOOTICE, created by Pauly.

Note: I partition my flash drives as USB-HDD (with a partition table), simply because my computers support booting from Flash Drives formatted to be seen as a USB Hard Disk.

How to Partition a Flash Drive from Windows XP

  1. Download, unzip, and run BOOTICE.EXE
  2. First set your “Flash Drive” as the Destination Disk.
  3. Then click Parts Manage.
    BOOTICE Manage Partition
  4. Next choose to ReFormat USB Disk.
    BOOTICE Format USB
  5. Select USB-HDD mode, and then click Next.
    BOOTICE Set USB-HDD Mode
  6. Now select Fat32 for filesystem and then click OK.
    BOOTICE File System Fat32

That’s all there is to it. If all went well, you should now have an active USB-HDD bootable Flash Drive. Fat32 formatted with the partition table containing a single partition. You should also be able to Boot It as a Hard Drive.