How can one verify successful creation of USB Boot?

Creating a bootable USB to install Windows is one of the ways that many people choose, with fast Win installation speed, compact device to use. Currently, there are many software to create USB boot for you to choose to use. And after creating the user should also check the operability of the USB boot, whether created successfully or not.

Rather than having to shut down the computer and then connect the USB for testing, users can utilize certain software to verify the USB boot after its creation. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to check USB boot on Windows.

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1. Check USB bootability from Disk Management

Step 1: Open a search window on your computer and type “disk management”.

B2: Select the item “Create and format hard drive partitions”.

Select “Create and format hard disk partitions”
Select “Create and format hard disk partitions”

Step 3: Choose the formatted drive (e.g., “disk 1”) and click the right mouse button to access the “Properties” option.

Step 4: Go to the “Volumes” tab and click on “Partitions”. You will notice certain boot flag types being highlighted, such as “Master Boot Record (MBR)” or “GUID Partition Table”. Moreover, mobile devices capable of booting from an ISO file will either show a status of “No Volume/No Media” or have a small partition size (typically just a few MB).

Navigate to the “Volumes” tab and select “Partition style”
Navigate to the “Volumes” tab and select “Partition style”

If you do not see the “No Media” status in the “USB Device Properties”, it indicates that you are unable to create a bootable device.

2. Check USB bootability from Command Prompt

Another method to verify the bootable status of an external storage drive is to run certain commands on the Command Prompt.

Step 1: Launch the Command Prompt application by typing “cmd” in the search box, and ensure that you are using an administrator account to execute the command line instructions.

B2: Could you please input the following commands?

list disk

B3: When formatting removable media with ISO, an error message is shown as “No Media/No Volume” or the displayed size is very small in MB.

Check USB bootability from Command Prompt
Check USB bootability from Command Prompt

3. Check USB Bootability from Windows PowerShell

Windows PowerShell is capable of offering prompt information on booting from a USB drive.

Step 1: Use the “Search” function in Windows to look for “PowerShell.” Once found, run the program as an administrator.

Step 2: Utilize the “get-disk” command to retrieve detailed information regarding your USB drive.

Please verify whether or not the device is in a “Healthy” state, displaying an operating status of “No storage media” with a capacity of 0 Bytes (or an extremely low capacity).

Check USB bootability from Windows PowerShell
Check USB bootability from Windows PowerShell

4. Check USB boot with Ultimate Boot USB

Once the tool is downloaded, users need to run it as an administrator by right-clicking on the installation file and choosing “Run as administrator”. In the UltimateBootUSB interface, navigate to the “Drive letter” section, select the USB drive, and click on “Test USB”.

UltimateBootUSB checks USB boot

The test results will be shown on the interface as depicted below, indicating that the USB boot has been successful.

QEMU interface on UltimateBootUSB

5. Test USB boot with QemuBootTester

QemuBootTester requires users to run the program with administrative privileges. On the interface, click on “Hard drive” to verify if USB boot or hard disk operation is functioning properly. Below that, choose the name of the USB drive and click on “Run Qemu” to proceed. This applies when a user is booting from a Legacy USB standard.

Check USB boot Legacy

The results of the USB boot Legacy test will be displayed as shown below.

QEMU interface on Qemu Boot Tester

To test the UEFI standard USB boot, select “EFI-x64” from the Boot Mode drop-down box, and then click on “Run Qemu” to perform the USB Boot testing.

Check UEFI Standard USB

The USB boot result, in accordance with the UEFI standard, operates as demonstrated below.

QEMU USB boot UEFI interface

6. Use the software Qemu Simple Boot

This is an entirely free application, available as a compressed file. To utilize it, simply download it onto your computer, extract it, and run the Qsib.exe file.

Run Qemu Simple Boot

when interacting with the Qemu Simple Boot program’s main interface which will appear as shown in the image provided.

  • In the Bootable section we will choose HDD.
  • The Ram Size part is pushed to the full size, 1024 MB corresponding to 1 GB of RAM memory.
  • In the Select Physical Disk section, you will choose the USB drive, as the example here is drive I.
  • Finally, click the Start Qemu Test button.

If everything goes well, the boot screen on the USB will appear identical to when you boot from the actual machine. The only distinction is that the boot speed through the emulator is not as quick as that of the real machine.

7. Using MobaLiveCD

Another easy way to verify if the USB boot has been successfully created is by using the MobaLiveCD software. This software is designed to emulate the Qemu system, enabling the user to run a temporary virtual machine and boot from the USB. MobaLiveCD is a useful tool for checking the status of USB boot.

Please download MobaLiveCD from the developer’s website by clicking on the link below.

  • Download the tool MobaLiveCD

Once the download is complete, please right-click on the downloaded EXE file and select “Run with admin rights”. If you don’t run the program as an administrator, you will receive an error message saying “Unable to copy file kqemu.sys” and you won’t be able to proceed to step five.

Run the MobaLive CD application as admin

Please click on the “Run LiveUSB” button located at the bottom of the window.

Select Run the LiveUSB

Please choose the USB you wish to inspect from the provided drop-down list. If you are uncertain about the drive letter, please open an Explorer window and search for the drive in the sidebar.

Select OK

When prompted to create a hard disk for the virtual machine, click the “No” option next to the red X icon.

Choose No

Following that, a Command Window will be displayed with the text “boot”. This indicates that the virtual machine is attempting to boot from the drive you chose in the preceding step.

Command line in Command Prompt

If you see the Windows logo, it indicates that the drive can be booted. Please click on the X icon located in the upper right corner to close the window.

Windows logo

If the process becomes unresponsive or stops functioning at the command prompt, your drive will be unable to start up.

8. Magic ISO Maker checks drive image files

You can also utilize the free software called Magic ISO Maker to verify if the drive image file is bootable. This is an effective method to guarantee the bootable status of the drive image files prior to writing them onto the USB.

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Please download Magic ISO Maker. If you have used a computer from the 19th century onwards, it will evoke nostalgia with its old-fashioned fullscreen installer.

After the installation is finished, launch Magic ISO Maker and choose “Open…” option from the “File” menu.

Open ISO file

Please select your ISO file from the menu.

Select ISO file from the menu

Please check the menu bar. If you find the term “Bootability“, it means that the ISO file will be able to boot when it is burned onto a CD or USB. If the term “Bootable” is not present, it indicates that you have not successfully created a bootable USB.

Appearing from Bootable means that the USB boot is successful

The most effective way to test the bootability of a drive is by booting the computer from that drive. However, if you prefer not to restart the computer, you can utilize Qemu Simple Boot or MobaLiveCD to test the drive. If you wish to ensure that the drive file (such as an ISO or DMG) is bootable prior to burning it onto a USB or CD, Magic ISO Maker is an ideal option.

Congratulations on the successful implementation!

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