How to Create Bootable DOS USB Disk in Windows 10 or 8.1

Sometimes having a bootable DOS USB disk/drive becomes handy to run legacy applications, Operating Systems and few updates which need the computer to boot from DOS USB or floppy disk. Unfortunately, Windows 10 and  8.1 OS do not allow to creating bootable USB drive while formatting, rather they support only floppy disks in this method. Here is the simple guide about how to create bootable DOS USB disk in Windows 10 or 8.1 by using third party application.

Since we do not get the option to make MS-DOS bootable USB disk in Windows 10 or 8.1, we will be using third party tool called ‘Rufus’. It can create a DOS bootable USB disk, then you need to copy the other required files for the real purpose, like BIOS update files.

Here is an example of Windows OS which doesn’t allow to create DOS bootable disk and it is (‘Create an MS-DOS startup disk’) disabled for USB disk.

option disabled in windows


Create Bootable USB Disk in Windows 10 or 8.1 by Rufus

1) Download Rufus from the official site here, it’s a free and small tool. Installation is not required, just download and run it when the USB is connected.

2) It automatically detects the connected USB disk. As you must be knowing all existing data in the USB will be erased.

Rufus comes with FreeDOS OS, so you do not need to download any DOS OS here. Therefore, to create a simple bootable DOS USB disk in Windows 10 or 8.1, make sure to select ‘FreeDOS’.

How to Create Bootable DOS USB Disk in Windows 8

3) If you like to create MS-DOS bootable disk, select the MS-DOS version, but you need to have MS-DOS ISO file for that. MS-DOS ISO can be downloaded here (Win98_bootdisk.iso). Once you have downloaded the Win98_bootdisk.iso file, browse the ISO while formatting USB disk as shown below.

Bootable DOS USB Disk in Windows 8.1

Once the disk is formatted, it can boot your computer in FreeDOS OS. Now you can copy the other files (BIOS update or other DOS based programs) to USB disk by Windows explorer and start using.

Connect the USB and restart the computer. Make sure that the USB storage boot is enabled in the booting order or you have the option to select it before the real OS boots up. You may need to change the BIOS option to change the booting order. Once you are in DOS, you should be able to access the files (you copied – like BIOS update) and execute them.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

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