Create Bootable Windows Server 2008 USB Stick

| Install | USB | Windows Server

I recently had the need to install Windows Server 2008 from a USB stick. This was because I didn’t have a working DVD drive to hand. I found a couple of tutorials online explaining how to create the disk. They generally explained this technique:

C:\> diskpart

DISKPART> list disk

     Select the USB device from the list and substitute the disk number below
     when necessary

DISKPART> select disk 1
DISKPART> create partition primary
DISKPART> select partition 1
DISKPART> active
DISKPART> format fs=fat32
DISKPART> assign

xcopy X:\*.* /s/e/f Y:\

     where X:\ is your mounted image or physical DVD and Y:\ is your USB

However it appears diskpart is unable to see USB sticks under Windows XP. I have later tried on Vista and this limitation appears removed. But for those using Windows XP I have found an alternative method.

Firstly find the bootsect.exe tool on the Windows Server disc (in the boot directory). Then run this command where U is the drive letter of the USB stick.

D:\boot> bootsect.exe /nt60 U:

Now copy all the files from the Windows Server disc onto the USB stick. This can be done by dragging in the GUI or using the xcopy method shown previously.

I have yet to repeat this procedure and I might have previous partitioned or formatted my USB stick in a unique way. So if this method doesn’t work drop me a mail and I’ll see what I can do.