HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool For Windows Ver 2.2.3


This article discusses the prerequisite steps involved in preparing a USB flash drive for use as a bootable device.  Before you can make a USB flash drive bootable, changes have to be made to the flash drive that will allow it to be recognized as a bootable device by a PC. 

Important Note:  While most newer PC’s support booting from a flash drive, not all PC’s support this feature, and the tool discussed here will not work on all USB flash drives.

There are a some good reasons to create a bootable flash drive, popular reasons to create a bootable flash drive include:

  • Using it to copy the installation files of an operating system, such as Windows 7, which can then be used to install the operating system to a PC. 
  • Preparing it to allow for the creation of a ‘Rescue Disk’, such as the Avira Antivir Rescue System.
  • Using it to host a portable operating system, aka a Live USB.

Here are some general considerations when planning for the creation of a bootable USB flash drive:

  • A partition may need to be created on the USB flash drive
  • The “bootable” flag must be set on the primary partition on the USB flash drive
  • A MBR must be written to the primary partition of the USB flash drive
  • The partition must be formatted
  • A bootloader must be installed to the partition 
  • The PC has to support booting from a USB flash drive. This option may not be enabled by default in the BIOS
  • The HP USB disk storage format tool does not work on all thumb drives.  If you have the need to prepare a USB flash drive, this is probably the easiest method available, and you should try this tool. 

Downloading HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool For Windows Ver 2.2.3
Note
:  HP does’nt seem to make the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool readily available for download from their websites.  You can find it at online at numerous sites, but you will need to determine if the site you download it from is a safe site. I downloaded it off of the Corsair forum.

This page takes you to the appropriate thread within the Corsair forum.
Once on the page search for the file link “HPUSBFW_2.2.3_MASTER.zip”
http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?p=432257

Download.com (at cnet) has the previous version available for download.
HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.1.8 – Download from cnet.com
http://download.cnet.com/HP-USB-Disk-Storage-Format-Tool/3000-2094_4-10974082.html

After downloading, you should expect to have to extract it either from a zip file or if you download it from cnet, a brief install will extract it for you.

Preparing a USB Flash Drive with the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool For Windows Ver 2.2.3
Insert the USB flash drive.  Make note of the drive letter assigned to it by your Windows System.  The USB flash drive needs to have a drive letter assigned for the Disk Storage Format Tool to see it. 

From within Windows Explorer, browse to the downloaded HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool (probably HPUSBFW_2.2.3_MASTER.exe).  Right click on the file and select Run as administrator.  The Disk Storage Format Tool should open.

Under Device, you should see your USB flash drive.  Select your File system, and name the device under Volume label if you desire.  Make sure Quick format is checked, then press the Start button.

You will be warned that all information on the device will be lost.  Press Yes to continue

You should see a notice that the format completed successfully (see the arrow).  Press OK to finish.

You should now be able to use the USB Flash drive to add system files and make a bootable drive, create an Avira Antivir Rescue System flash drive, or use it to host a portable operating system and create a Live USB flash drive.

Links
Guide – How to Make a Bootable USB Drive
This link will take you to the appropriate thread within the Corsair forum to download the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.  The thread also covers how to use the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool, and goes further than this article and discusses how to make a bootable flash drive using Windows 7 system files.

Once on the page search for the file link “HPUSBFW_2.2.3_MASTER.zip”
http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?p=432257

Download.com (at cnet) has the previous version available for download.
HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.1.8 – Download from cnet.com
http://download.cnet.com/HP-USB-Disk-Storage-Format-Tool/3000-2094_4-10974082.html

Live USB – Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_USB

How can I create a bootable USB flash device running Windows Preinstallation Environment (PE) 2.0?
http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/usb/how-can-i-create-a-bootable-usb-flash-device-running-windows-preinstallation-environment-pe-2-0-.aspx

Kevin’s Blog
This article explains a manual method for preparing a flash drive to be a bootable device using the Microsoft tools DiskPart and Bootsect.  This method is an option if the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool does not work on your flash drive.
http://kmwoley.com/blog/?p=345

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