Creating a USB Boot Drive
Desktop Training - DSL

Creating a USB Boot Drive

The main purpose of a USB boot drive is to create a DSL drive that you can insert into a USB port of a computer that is running a different operating system. Many people will use this to become a mobile computer in that they are able to use this disk to run off different types of hardware. It is much the same a a Live CDROM except you will be able to save information and settings on the USB drive. You will be completely independent of the host operating system.

There are two standard configurations for USB drives as they are represented in the BIOS.


The USBHD standard is used to configure storage devices like hard drives that connect using USB.

The USBZIP is used for devices that are like the Iomega ZIP drive.

If you will look at the BIOS of your hardware you will see the options that your motherboard will support. Choose the option that is supported. Older computers do not support USB booting.

Right Click the Desktop to go to the Menu and select Apps / Tools / Install USB Pendrive. make your choice of USB-ZIP or USB-HDD depending on your needs.

This is what you will see once you begin the install.

DSL Pendrtive BIOS boot FAT USB_HDD install/upgrade.

  1. Your BIOS must support USB_HDD booting.

  2. 2. A single FAT partition will be made.

  3. Backup/Restore will be pre setup.

  4. Do not have your pendrive mounted.

Enter the device name of the pendrive: sda

Is this an installation or upgrade: i

Use DSL iso from [L]iveCD, [F]ile, [W]eb: l

Now enter any boot options you would like. For example:

vga=normal toram

Choose your keyboard language if not English:

ready to proceed. Y or N: y

Last chance to exit before destroying all data on /dev/sda

You will then see the sda wiped out, partitioned and then DSL setup. This will take a few minutes.

You will receive a message that the USB installation is complete.

If you are wanting to use MyDSL applications you may save them to the /cdrom directory in order for the to boot automatically.

When you boot the USB Pendrive you will notice that it may start slower than you thought it should but this is normal. Once it is loaded it will run at a normal speed.