Partition a USB Flash Drive in Windows

How can I partition a USB flash drive from Windows 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 11, 10, 8 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 older computers support booting from USB flash drives formatted to be seen as a USB Hard Disk.

How to Partition a USB Flash Drive from Windows

  1. Download BOOTICE, unzip, and then run BOOTICE.exe
  2. First set your "Flash Drive" as the Destination Disk.
  3. Then click Parts Manage.
    Partition a USB Flash Drive
  4. Next choose to ReFormat USB Disk.
    BOOTICE Format USB
  5. Select USB-HDD mode, and then click Next.
  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 USB flash drive. Fat32 formatted with a partition table containing a single partition. You should also be able to Boot It as a USB Hard Drive.

Enjoy ;)