How to Create a MS-DOS bootable USB flash drive

MS-DOS is taken among the early operating system, though it is an old one, but it’s a powerful OS too. MS-DOS bootable USB flash is still very useful today. It could be used to access a system that doesn’t have any OS installed. Or, it’s mostly used to flash BIOS or other firmware from DOS mode.

So, here we will discuss on how to create a MS-DOS bootable USB flash drive

Also try Windows 10 Technical Preview with this method, but you can always make bootable usb drive from command prompt on Windows.

Requirements

  1. A USB flash drive
  2. Rufus v 1.1.7 with Free DOS Support
  3. Windows 98 MS-DOS Image file
  4. Computer

Step 1 – Download Rufus Utility tool

Rufus is a small utility that helps format and create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys/pendrives, memory sticks, etc.

Download Rufus from github

Note: If the button above didn’t work visit Rufus Official

Rufus can be especially useful for cases where:

  • you need to create USB installation media from bootable ISOs (Windows, Linux, etc.)
  • you need to work on a system that doesn’t have an OS installed
  • you need to flash a BIOS or other firmware from DOS
  • you want to run a low-level utility

Step 2 – Download Windows 98 MS-DOS Bootable Image file

MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers. It was the most commonly used member of the DOS family of operating systems, and was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s to the mid-1990s, until it was gradually superseded by operating systems offering a graphical user interface (GUI), in particular by various generations of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Download MS-DOS

Note: If the Button above didn’t work try visiting AllBootDisk.com 

Step3 – Run rufus_v1.1.7.exe file

Rufus Utility to boot USB Flash drive with MS-DOS

Rufus Utility to boot USB Flash drive with MS-DOS

Despite its simple goal, Rufus is quite flexible. To gain full functionality, you’ll want to hit the “Format Options” toggle, which might as well be called “Advanced”, as it opens up a couple of extra options. Hitting that toggle also increases the number of options in the “Create a bootable disk using” menu. By default, MS-DOS will be shown.

Step 4 – Make USB bootable

Click the disk icon to the right of “Create a bootable disk using:”, and selected the win98_bootdisk.iso you downloaded in Step 2.

Step 5 – Start with BIOS

Click start, once you are finished. You could copy your BIOS upgrade files to this USB flash and run the executable in DOS mode.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why would a MS-DOS USB Drive be useful today? Wasn’t that included in older Operating Systems?

A: MS-DOS was the underlying layer of the Windows 9x series of Operating Systems (Windows 1-ME) that was the “functionality” of the system. A MS-DOS bootable disc can be used to run many recovery tools (still used today) and also update the BIOS of the computer. If you are running an x64 system with no floppy drive and a manufactuer who only provides a 16-bit BIOS updater, this method is the only way to update your BIOS.

Q: I checked my flash drive after applying the steps above and it is empty? What gives?!

A: Unless the option to show protected operating system files is checked in folder options, Windows will hide these files due to their attributes matching that of system files. Don’t worry, the relevant files are still there

Q: I have no further need for the MS-DOS System Disc, how can I remove it from my flash drive?

A: You may format the flash drive with the built in Windows format utility or you may format it by using the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool that was used above.

Hope this tutorial helps!

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Comments

  1. Tigrou says

    I followed everything described on this page (using Rufus 1.2 and Win98 boot disk). When i select iso file Rufus give me error message : “Unsupported ISO” “This version of Rufus only supports bootable ISOs based on ‘bootmgr/WinPE’ or ‘isolinux’. This ISO image doesn’t appear to use either”. I tried to make boot disk despite warning message (by clicking on start) but then it create a non bootable disk.

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