We get technical support questions pretty regularly requesting info on how to perform tasks like updating a mainboard BIOS or making filesystem fixes. I thought it might be helpful to offer our general procedure so others can have access to this information as well. Here’s a quick how-to on Booting to MS-DOS 7.0 from a USB Drive.

Tools you will need:

  • Windows 98 System Files
  • HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool
  • USB thumbdrive (256MB will work fine)

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Download and extract the win98boot.zip. This directory will be used later.
  2. Download SP27608.exe. Run the installer to install HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.
  3. Insert a blank USB thumbdrive into your systb. *** Warning! All data on this USB drive will be erased! ***
  4. Run the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool (Start >> Programs >> Hewlett-Packard Company >> HP USB…Tool)
HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool
Click for full size
  • Under “Device” select your USB drive.
  • Under “File System” Select ‘Fat’ or ‘Fat32’
  • Type a name for the “Volume Label” if you’d like
  • Place a check in the “Create a DOS startup disk”
  • Click the box labeled “…” and navigate to the “win98boot” directory you extracted earlier.
  • Click “Start”
  • Follow the prompts
  • Safely remove your USB drive

Your USB drive is now bootable.
Insert your newly formatted drive into any USB-bootable mainboard, reboot, and select the USB drive as the first boot device. You will be brought to a Windows 98 MS-DOS prompt. From here you can update your BIOS, make system disk fixes, etc.