How to Create Bootable USB Drive to Install Windows Vista?

This tutorial will help you in creating a bootable USB drive of Windows Vista which you can use to install Vista in any system. It might become very useful when you don't have access to DVD drive.

1. First format your USB drive in NTFS file system. You can do it by attaching your USB drive to your system and then format it from My Computer window.

2. Now open Command Prompt window from Start menu. Right-click on Command Prompt entry in start menu and select "Run as administrator" option.

3. Now type diskpart in Command Prompt window and press Enter. It'll launch DiskPart program:


4. Now provide following command:

list volume

It'll show a list of all drives in your system. Look for your USB drive entry. As in the below screenshot, the USB drive is "G" which you can determine from its "Type" entry.

Now you have to select the USB drive volume by providing select volume no. command. Since in our case volume no. of USB drive is "Volume 4", the command would be:

select volume 4

Now we have to make this drive active. So provide active command:


Now exit from DiskPart using exit command.


5. Now we need to create Boot sector on USB drive. We'll use "bootsect.exe" utility for this task. You can find this utility in Windows Vista setup disk. It'll be present in "Boot" directory.

Now provide following command in Command Prompt:

bootsect /nt60 G:

Here G is drive letter of USB drive. Replace it with the correct drive letter if your system has some other letter for USB drive.


6. At last, copy all files/folders from Vista Setup DVD to your USB drive and you have done.

Now you can boot using your USB drive and can install Windows Vista in any system.

PS: You can also take a look at some free tools to automatically create bootable USB drives to install Windows using following link:

Ultimate Collection of Best Freeware to Create Bootable USB Drive to Install Windows and Linux

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Posted in: Windows Vista

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  • you can copy all the contents of the disk from source dvd/cd to your usb using

    xcopy x:*.* /s/e/f y:

    where x: stands for your dvd/cd drive


    y: stands for your usb.

    before doing this, please check and note down original drive letters and replace them with x and y.

  • Thanks !! Very useful !!!!

  • Excellent, going as charmed :) just to install windows now .... :D hope that that will work as this tutorial :D

  • I have Vista Home Edition with an OEM licence, I need to instale it again, but have no idea how to handle this prob, because I have no Vista setup CD/DVD ...As far as I know, Microsoft doesn't produce anymore Vista, but I wanna keep it together with my OEM licence. What is to be done?

  • VG

    ^^ Dont you have a recovery disc for your system? Also do you have a recovery partition in your hard disk? Most of the branded computer systems come with recovery partition.

  • No recovery partition on my hard disk. I just found a CD Recovery endeed, between the other received CD's, but for my real shame don't know how to manage it ;P
    I explored it a little bit, but seems to be a very poor information compared to the 25 GB Window file dimension from C directory...

  • 'bootsect' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. <---That's what I got when I entered the bootsect /nt60 g: command

  • I'd also like to know how you go from C:\Users\Administrator> to E:\boot> is this a step we have to take to indicate where the boot file is to be accessed?

  • VG

    ^^ You dont need to go to any other drive of folder. Simply execute the command.

  • like Trent said in his first post thats what I got when I entered the bootsect /nt60 g: command. Where is a problem?

  • VG

    ^^ Are you running bootsect command inside DISKPART or outside it?

  • 'bootsect' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. <---That's what I got when I entered the bootsect /nt60 g: command

    Here is the part he left out. After you exit diskpart now type the drive letter of your CD/DVD drive that your Vista disk is in or the hard drive letter if its on there.
    d: "press enter"
    cd boot "press enter"
    once in the boot folder continue with
    bootsect /nt60 G:

  • Thank you very much!!!!

  • Hello. I am following your instructions, it was going flawlessly, and when I got to my "ACTIVE" command, it tells me no partition is selected. How do I make my "removeable" into a "Partition"?

  • i Got a problem with it, i have install that in my windows 8 and it say when it startup BootMgr file misssing Help.
    Sorry my english

  • thanks dear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Im getting "'bootsect.exe' is not recognized as an internal or external command
    operable program or batch file. Trying to do Windows xp bootable usb.

  • maybe my Cd doesnt have a folder BOOT

  • Thanks very much!!!! It saved me after hours struggling!!!

  • Like Robert, The same happened to me about the "Active" command, no partition selected. Now what?

  • Didn't work for me.

  • When i ran active command in diskpart it said no partition selected. i did do select volume 4 command and it was volume 4 though what to do??

  • really need help!!

  • diskpart
    list disk
    select disk 0 (if disk 0 is C:\)
    create partition primary size=100 (size=100 only then if you like to create 100mb partition)
    format fs=ntfs quick

  • thanks a million. It worked when everything else failed

  • This worked graciously.! Thanks. I did however have to move the dvd contents to my jump drive in the inception of the entire process, due to a couple of prior failures. But back in action non-the less. ; )

  • Hey Guys idk if this will help but i found out that i could not make the VOLUME as ACTIVE so instead i looked around and now instead do this
    CMD (as admin)


    "list disk"

    "select disk no." (no.=which ever number u want to select)

    "select partition no." (no.=which ever number u want to select, selecting the partition of selected disk)


    this worked for me so im am sorry if it didnt work for the rest of u but i tried

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