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How to convert a bootable CD into a bootable Flash USB

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Thanks all for these directions.  In the mean time, I also found an interesting but not free software, Flashboot (
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I've tried FlashBoot, it basically makes your USB drive bootable, (which can be done by free tools, eg. HP USB drive tool), then create an image of the CD and copies it to the flash drive with a small bootloader that when booted copies the entire image into RAM and boots it.

The entire process can be done with freeware tools, I've done it to create a 2.5" USB HD drive that could boot different OS's, eg. BartPE, VistaPE, Acronis Rescue CD, etc, using GRUB4DOS.

The easiest way would be:

1) Make the flash drive bootable using the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.
2) Create an ISO of your BartPE or UBCD4Win using ImgBurn or some tool, just make sure it's a standard bootable ISO.
3) Then use GRUB4DOS to load the image into RAM and boot it when you boot off of the flash drive.

This is a section of the menu I used for Acronis Rescue CD which shows how I load and then boot the ISO:

--- ---[size=12pt]title Acronis True Image Home v11
map --mem --read-only (hd0,0)/Acronis.iso (hd32)
map --hook
chainloader (hd32)
boot[/size]The main problem with this approach is that the target machine always has to have enough RAM to load the image into - this is why I prefer to use a USB 2.5" HD with BartPE installed plus you get heaps more storage.

I ended up dumping this method as a lot of machines USB2.0 ports aren't USB2.0 until an OS and driver are loaded, (including mine  :(),  which made loading an ISO image off of the drive and then booting it vvvveeeeeerrrrrrryyyyyy sssssllllllooooowwwww, (ie. 1.1MB/s).

Alternatively, instead of steps 2 and 3 above, once you have made the USB flash drive bootable you should be able to use PEINST to install BartPE onto it.  PEINST is part of PEBuilder.

Regarding the type of bootable CD I'd like to convert, they are of all kinds : WinPE, BartPE, DOS, but generally not Linux.

I also just tried yesterday UBCD4win, which solves the problem I had with BartPE CD on a SATA notebook, now it would be great to "USBize" it.
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All you need to do is add the driver for the SATA interface on your notebook to your BartPE but I'm surprised that the SATA interface on the notebook isn't capable of using the generic driver in a BartPE.

Try Reatogo to create your BartPE.  It has a builtin driver detector that can add the drivers off of the machine you build your BartPE on.

Thanks a lot for this information.  Actually after your first post I downloaded and tried PE2USB and it worked great, I now have a USB bootable key with the latest UBC2Win version.  As a bonus, with this release, the SATA HDD of my notebook are now seen by the PE system.

Now, the next question is : is there any equivalent with Vista instead of XP SP2 : for instance, using chkdsk from XP on a Vista system may cause problems ?

Now, the next question is : is there any equivalent with Vista instead of XP SP2 : for instance, using chkdsk from XP on a Vista system may cause problems ?
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Have a look at WinBuilder - it can be used to build PE environments including a really small VistaPE, (40MB).

VistaPE 010 is probably the WinBuilder project you want to use and customise it from there.

BTW, AFAIK Vista still uses the same NTFS as XP - WinFS got canned before Vista was released - so the normal chkdsk and any standard HD tools should be OK.

Thanks !  I was asking about Vista vs XP and chksdk because after I perform a vista chkdsk on a XP system, the next XP chkdsk detects errors in the "uppercase file" (?) and corrects them.  Without any seeable impact on my system, for the moment.


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