Build yourself a bootable Ghost USB key

Ramon asks in a comment on the GHOST boot disks for HP dc7700 (III) post;

Any way I can get both disks on 1 usb drive?

Below I go through the steps used to make a bootable USB drive and adding the files from the disks created from my IMG files.

How-to: Build yourself a bootable Ghost USB key

1.) Remove U3 and Format as FAT32 😉
(You don’t need reformat the disk at this stage as it is done at step 4.)

2.) Grab yourself the HP USB Tools. We’ll use the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool in this ‘how-to’ but grab both for your tool kit.

3.) Format a floppy as an MS-DOS startup disk. You need to do this as my IMG files use IBMDOS (PC DOS) not MS DOS and the HP tool needs access to the MS-DOS startup files (MSDOS.SYS, IO.SYS, COMMAND.COM)


4.) Install and run the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool
Point to the DOS startup files on the floppy created in step 3.


5.) Copy the tools from the floppy built from your IMG file.
NOTE: Do not clobber the system fils that you added in step 4.

OR as we have moved onto the USB key we can use a bit more of the disk space and introduce some more functionality such as multiple network card driver options. A skeleton file can be downloaded from MediFire and unzipped straight onto the formatted thumbdrive — (MediFire) Link updated 24-Apr-2008

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22 Responses to Build yourself a bootable Ghost USB key

  1. shiva says:

    recently i heard frmo one of my friend that his system was formatted in just less than 10 mins.
    is it really posible, he said that its name was ghost format, each system should have a seperate floppy of thet formatting cd made considering its configuration.
    n y how i have a vague idea about it.
    i want to know more abt it.
    plz do reply me about it.
    ( formattin my hard disc in lesss than 10 mins)

  2. Sara says:

    The only problem I have found with this, is that it recognizes the “key = jump drive” as the c drive, so when I image it… it images the jump drive. I can not find a command that works to change the drive in autoexec.bat. Very strange.

    • Martin says:

      I had the same problem. Its very simple…
      If you are using ghost cast server set it to restore the image to drive 2 which should be your real c drive.
      If you are using stand alone ghost use the command dst=2 (or 3) at the end. If you havent got the command here is one thats works for me:

      @echo off
      SET TZ=GHO+00:00
      prompt $p$g
      cd \ghost
      echo Loading…
      GHOST.EXE -clone,mode=pload,src=1:3\image.gho:1,dst=1:1 -sure -auto -fx

      simply change it to:

      GHOST.EXE -clone,mode=pload,src=1:3\image.gho:1,dst=2:1 -sure -auto -fx
      or similar….

  3. Luke says:


    Ive been following your posts for creating a USB bootdisk, however im having a few problems (that i wont go into)

    Do you have – “ (MediFire)” Hosted anywhere else, or could you mail it to me please?



    Ps. Do you have a complete img for ghost+8256X? Or w/o the ghost.exe (I have this anyway)



  4. @Luke

    It seems that MediaFire have killed off 😦
    I’ll relocate a copy and post it again.

    cheers 🙂

  5. Agur says:

    Ghost newbie very interested in joining the current century and creating the bootable Ghost USB key. Trying to create an image of HP dc7700 and want to know:

    1. Will the have the NDIS needed for Intel 82566DM?
    2. Going forward, what tutorial can you point me to in order to add new NDIS drivers to the bootable USB key?

    Thanks. Great blog! Can’t wait to see the opening ceremonies 888!

  6. @Agur
    The current download for the Intel 82566DM uses an e1000.dos (6-Feb-2008) so the NDIS in should work. If it does not, download the drivers from the link above and update the e1000.dos file in the unpacked zip file.

    Rather than explaining the adding of a totally new NDIS file in the comments I’ll do it as a new post.

    cheers 🙂

  7. Ron says:

    How would I add more NIC drivers to the existing I have several different Dell & IBM computers.


  8. Pingback: Build yourself a bootable Ghost USB key II « Visible Procrastinations

  9. @Agur, @Ron

    I have finally posted the details for adding additional Network cards to the USB key. This is outlined in Build yourself a bootable Ghost USB key II

    cheers 🙂

  10. @shiva
    recently i heard frmo one of my friend that his system was formatted in just less than 10 mins.

    Just yesterday we were restoring ‘for sale’ images onto HPd510 machines based on the WinXP restore CD that originally shipped with the machines. These images were taking approx 4 minutes to deploy to 10 machines per cycle using a dedicated 1GB network.

    Your restore from the image will depend on the size of the image, the bandwidth of the restore media (CD, DVD, USB, Network, etc.) and the compression level of the image.

    10 minutes does not sound unreasonable for a system restore image.

  11. Ing says:

    I had problem because I do not have a floppy drive and a floppy, finally solve it. Documented in my website.
    Thankyou for the wonderful guide.

  12. Marcus says:

    My USB drive is being shown as the C:drive. I used your code for autoexec file but it says it find the image.ghost

  13. Pingback: Ghosting an HP 6390p « Visible Procrastinations

  14. nm says:

    using i am getting BOOTMGR missing error. no one else seems to be having this problem though. any ideas on what it might be?

  15. Kulbir Suri says:

    I had no problem at all. I just added autoexec.bat and ghost.exe file to USB pen drive.

  16. Jon says:

    This and the part 2 guide were fantastic. Thanks very much.

    I had problems with it on a Dell e6410 until I removed the call from the Autoexec.bat, seems to be a model specific issue but just a heads up.

  17. Mike Smith says:

    Try this, as simple as it gets for Ghost USB boot drives

  18. Simon says:

    Thanks for a great write up….
    What do you do if you dont have a floppy drive to get the PCDOS files?

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