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How to Create a Bootable DOS USB Drive

DOS isnt widely used anymore, but you wouldnt know if from reading instructions written by manufacturers for BIOS updates, firmware-updating utilities, and other low-level system tools !hey will often re"uire you to boot into DOS and run the utility #e once formatted our floppy disks with $S-DOS using the format utility built into #indows, but most computers dont have floppy disk drives anymore !hey may not even have optical disc drives%

Use Rufus
#indows wont allow you to select the &'reate an $S-DOS startup disk( option when formatting a )SB drive * its grayed out #e will be using +ufus instead Its a fast, lightweight application that includes ,reeDOS Download +ufus and launch it +ufus doesnt re"uire any installation * you will see the +ufus application as soon as you launch the downloaded e-e file 'reating a bootable )SB drive with DOS is simple. / 0 4 'onnect your )SB drive to the computer and select it in the Device bo1nsure the &'reate a bootable disk using( checkbo- is enabled and ensure ,reeDOS is selected 2+ufus includes ,reeDOS, so you wont have to download anything else 3 'lick the Start button This will erase the contents of your USB drive! Back up any important files on the )SB drive first

!hese should be the default options, so you may not even have to configure +ufus at all !he process should be e-tremely "uick * it took five seconds on our system

Copy Your iles Over

5ou have probably created this boot drive because you have a DOS-based program to run, such as a BIOS update utility or another low-level system program !o actually run these files from DOS, you will need to copy them over to your )SB drive ,or e-ample, you may have a BIOS BI6 and ,78S9BIOS B8! file you need to run in DOS 'opy these files into the root directory of the )SB drive after formatting it

Boot !nto DOS

5ou can now boot into DOS by restarting your computer If your computer does not automatically boot from the )SB drive, you may need to change your boot order or use a boot menu to select the device you want to boot from Once you are in DOS, you can run the program you copied to your )SB drive by typing its name at the DOS prompt ,ollow any instructions provided in the manufacturers documentation to run the application

!hese utilities still use DOS to ensure they have low-level access to the hardware without any other programs interfering or #indows getting in the way !his helps ensure BIOS updates and other low-level operations work properly 5ou could use a bootable )SB drive to run old DOS applications, but you would be better off using DOSBO: to run old DOS games and other applications

"ot eedbac#$ %oin the discussion at discuss&howto'ee#&co(

S9O# 8+'9I;1D +18D1+ 'O$$16!S 203 'hris 9offman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek 9e<s as at home using the 7inu- terminal as he is digging into the #indows registry 'onnect with him on =oogle>

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