Make Hard Drive Bootable Windows 10

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PAGE CONTENT:Make External Hard Drive Bootable with EaseUS OS2Go (Easiest Way)Create a Bootable External Hard Drive via CMDInstall Windows 10/8 on External Hard Drive (Edition Limited).

Need help to make drive bootable in Windows 10

"Hi, what's the best way to make an external hard drive bootable? Like copying all the Windows boot files to it so that I can boot Windows 10 from the bootable drive. Please, an easier way is much more appreciated." There are many significant reasons for creating a bootable HDD or USB drive that carries a user's customized Windows operating system.

Frequently asked questions

Why cloned HDD or SSD won’t boot and how to solve it

For example, when your PC unexpectedly shuts down and can be never turned on due to hard disk failure or system corruption, you can still easily start the computer from the bootable drive.

  • A bootable external hard drive also does great help when a computer's dead or crashed. Besides, with a bootable external USB drive, you can use your own operating system wherever you go and whenever you like. To enjoy these advantages through creating a bootable external hard drive, you have three workable methods to choose from.
  • Applies to:Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP (32-bit and 64-bit). The simplest and quickest way to make an external hard drive bootable is to use the Windows portable creator software - EaseUS OS2Go.

What is a Boot Partition?

It is recognized as the best Windows OS cloning software, Windows To Go USB alternative, bootable USB creation tool and portable Windows USB creator. The software will clone all system files, boot files and other personalized data files to the target drive.


Simply prepare your external hard drive in which you're going to make bootable, and follow the detailed steps below to make an external hard drive bootable in Windows 10 or other supportable OS. Detailed guide:. Install EaseUS OS2Go on your Windows computer, it will display your system drive's used space.

Plug in a USB drive that is larger than the system drive used space. Choose the target USB drive and click Next to continue.

  • EaseUS OS2Go will notify you that the following operation would delete all data on your drive. Make sure that you have backed up all the important data. Click the Continue button to proceed. Adjust disk layout.
  • The default disk layout on the target drive will be exactly the same as the resource drive. You could also edit the layout according to your needs. Tick the option there if you're using a Solid State Drive as the Windows bootable drive.

Next, click Proceed. Then EaseUS OS2Go will start to create the portable USB drive.

It usually takes a while depending on your OS and Network condition. When the progress reaches 100%, the USB drive should be bootable now.

Insert the portable Windows USB and start your computer. Press the required key (F2, DEL, F10..) to access BIOS.

Choose to boot from the USB disk. Note: Please make sure that the boot mode (UEFI or Legacy) of the portable USB and your target computer are the same, otherwise you may not be able to boot.

In addition to being a bootable HDD/SSD/USB creator for Windows use, EaseUS OS2Go also enables Mac users to run particular Windows apps and games from the bootable external drive.

Following are useful posts for Mac users:. Applies To: Windows 10/8/7. Windows Command Prompt can also be useful method to create a bootable external hard drive in Windows 10, 8 or 7.

But compared with method 1, this solution is more complex and is likely to cause a boot failure. Be cautious during this process. Format the external hard drive. To format a drive using cmd via Command Prompt, follow the diskpart commands below carefully.

Try your best to avoid any mistakes. Type cmd in the search box, you can get the best match called Command Prompt. Right-click on it and choose "Run as administrator".

On the Command Prompt black window, enter the following commands in the same order here: . X is the number corresponding to your disk. You have to replace it with the corresponding letter from your own system.

Press "Enter", every time you enter your command. diskpartlist diskselect disk Xcleancreate partition primaryformat fs=ntfsassignexit. If everything goes well, this is how your cmd screen will look like.

To Sum Up

Copy the Windows 10 installer files. Insert your Windows DVD into the optical drive. To open "dism.exe" in CMD, open Command Prompt Admin (Windows + X), enter the command in the following:. g:cd bootG:\bootbootsect /nt60 d:. "g" is your DVD drive letter. "d" is your external drive letter.

Copy all files from the Windows CD to the drive using xcopy by entering the command in the following:.

cd\G:\xcopy g:\*.* /s/h/f d:\. All those commands are used to make your external hard drive bootable.

Select the bootable drive at the Windows startup, it will boot Windows immediately.

If you receive a message says: "Could not open the BCD template store. Status = [c000000f]", try the following commands to repair console to rebuild BCD or, you can watch the video to fix your boot problems (BCD problems are included).

attrib c:\boot\bcd –h –r –sdel c:\boot\bcdbootrec /rebuildbcd. Applies To: Windows 10 Enterprise/Education/Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise.

In Windows 10 Enterprise/Education/Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, there is a built-in feature that enables you to create a Windows To Go workspace by creating an imaged version of Windows on Windows-compatible external hard drives.

However, unlike OS2Go that is available for all Windows versions. This feature is only accessible for Windows 10 Enterprise/Education/Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise users and only certified USB drives can be made bootable.

Useful post: How to Create Windows To Go USB Without the Enterprise Edition.

Requirements for USB Drives:. Has high random read/write speeds and can run Windows workloads smoothly. Has been tuned to ensure they boot and run on hardware certified for use with Windows 7 and later.

Is backed with manufacturer warranties and should continue operating under normal usage. If you are using the right Windows version and have a certified external hard drive, you can make the external hard drive bootable.

(This process will format your external hard drive, back up your external hard drive in advance.). Download the related installation ISO file from Microsoft and connect the hard drive to your computer.

Go to "Control Panel" and find "Windows To Go". Choose the external hard drive and click "Next". Click "Add search location" to search for the ISO file. Select the ISO file to make the external hard drive bootable.

How to make a bootable USB in Windows 10

Choose whether to use BitLocker or not. If you do, be sure you won't forget the password. Click "Create" to confirm. (Windows will format your external hard drive during the process. If there is any data you want to recover, learn how to recover data from the external hard drive here.).

Wait for the process to finish. When it's done, a bootable external hard drive is successfully created.

Three methods have been used to make the external hard drive bootable, which offers you different choices.

Method 1 clones the system to your external disk by means of system cloning. Method 2 copies the startup file on the CD to the external disk by means of the command line.

Method 3 uses Windows 10 built-in features. But using Windows 10 built-in features not only has several limitations but also may cause data loss.

So if you want a simple and safe solution, choose Method 1. If you have a good knowledge base, three methods are applicable. Br the way, if your drive fails to boot, you can always refer to the video in method 2 to fix the boot problem.

Anuraag Singh| Modified: 2021-11-11T16:19:55+05:30 | Windows Error | 4 Minutes Reading . In any case, the partition contains bootable data, sometimes the system may fail to detect it as a suitable partition.

This is owing to the fact that, to be recognized by the PC as a bootable partition, the partition does not require a bootable environment, it only needs to be marked as active system partition.

Users can add the active marker to hard drive partition using Diskpart, a command-line disk management application is built into Windows. Therefore, in the upcoming section, we are going to discuss a manual procedure to understand how do I make a partition bootable in Windows 10.

Before that, let us know about boot partition in a clear way.

For Windows OS including XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10, a boot partition is a partition that holds necessary files. In fact, the boot partition is also considered as a boot volume.

Whenever users install other Operating systems, for e.g., Windows Vista if they already have Windows XP installed or next Ubuntu to already installed Windows Vista, then they must have to contain two partitions, i.e., dual-boot or multi-boot configuration.

We all are aware of the importance of data, So it is highly recommend that first sucre your data and then perform steps to make partition bootable. Download computer data recovery software.

How to make a hard drive bootable in Windows 10 easily

Also read this: Enable the Disk’s Controller in BIOS menu. Perform the methods to make HDD partition bootable in Windows 10, 8, 7 either using the command prompt (CMD) and diskpart. Before executing the steps, first, you have to install Windows 7 use Disk Management from Windows 7 for creating a boot partition and after that, install Windows 10.

Also, you can use Disk Management for Windows 8 to install Windows 10 OS on a new partition.

Follow the below steps to make the boot partition in Windows 10:. First of all, boot into Windows 10.

Open Start Menu and type diskmgmt.msc to access Disk Management.

Click the OK button or press Enter key. Check if you have the unallocated space on the hard disk.

If so, then right-click on unallocated space and click the New Simple Volume. In case, if you do not have any unallocated space, you can shrink the volume Windows 8 already uses.

For this, right-click on volume and click the Shrink Volume. Continue with instructions to accomplish the process.

Go through the following steps to make partition bootable using command prompt:. Open Windows screen and after that, type cmd. Right-click on Command-Line Prompt and choose Run as administrator. Now, type diskpart and press Return key.

Now, the Diskpart will launch. When the Diskpart is active, the traditional command prompt will be replaced by Diskpart prompt, identifying a command you enter will be processed by an application.

Enter list disk and again, press Return key. You have noticed that the number assigned to a drive that contains partition you want to make bootable.

You can find that particular number in the first column. Mark select disk X, replacing X with the number assigned to a suitable drive.

Now, press Enter key. Type list partition and press Return key. Consider the number assigned to a partition that you wish to make bootable.

Enter the select partition X, replacing X with a total number of the partition you wish to select. Press Enter key. Type active and press Return key to require Diskpart to mark that bootable partition as active.

Method 2. Make an External Hard Drive Bootable with CMD

In the end, select Exit followed by Return key, to close the Diskpart. Now, you can close the Command Prompt window. In this blog, we have discussed a step-by-step procedure to make partition bootable in Windows 10 manually. But before implementing the manual solution to make HDD partition bootable. First, secure your data. You might tryWinToUSB .

Fwiw, I've installed Win10 on a Sandisk Extreme usb drive with WinToUSB and from looks of taskmanager it actually runs it in RAM.

Method 1. How to Make an External Hard Drive Bootable with EaseUS OS2Go

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Details (required): 250 characters remaining Was this reply helpful? Sorry this didn't help. Thanks for your feedback.How satisfied are you with this reply?Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.How satisfied are you with this reply?Thanks for your feedback.You might tryWinToUSB .Fwiw, I've installed Win10 on a Sandisk Extreme usb drive with WinToUSB and from looks of taskmanager it actually runs it in RAM.