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How to use an USB stick from DOS

  • The USB stick needs to be formated as FAT or FAT32.

  • You need to insert the USB stick before you boot the
    computer in order for the stick to be recognized.

  • You need a computer that supports USB sticks from DOS.
    Older computers may not support this.

  • You may need to activate an option in BIOS before you can use
    a USB stick. These options varies from computer to computer.

  • For computers without BIOS support you can try installing
    DOS drivers (se below).

Check if you have the right kind of USB stick

Plug the USB stick into a Windows computer, then right-click the
icon for the USB stick found in 'My Computer', and select
'Properties' and see what it says after 'File system'.

It should say either 'FAT' or 'FAT32'. If it says anything else you
need to format the stick with a FAT-format.

To format the stick right-click the icon for the USB stick again, then
select 'FORMAT'. When you format a USB stick all information
on it is deleted so make sure you have backup if you would need
that information later.

Test if a USB stick works from DOS

Insert the USB stick BEFORE you start the computer. Watch the
screen for a message about a USB stick being recognized.

In DOS you access a USB stick by its drive letter and if you are
lucky the drive letter for the USB stick is displayed on the screen
when the computer boot up.

If not you have to try to find the drive letter of the USB stick
by trial and error:

Searching for a USB stick in DOS

The drive letter for the hard disk is always C in DOS.

At the DOS prompt (the C:/>), type in ...

DIR C:  [Enter]

This will give you a list of all the files in the root directory
on the hard disk.

Now the trick is to try all the other letters from A to Z
and see if the USB stick happens to respond to one of
the letters.

In DOS the hard disk is always drive C so you can skip
that letter.

A floppy drive will usually be drive A: and drive B:
(it can be both at the same time) but a USB stick
can also use A or B.

If you have a CD-rom it is usually drive D: or E: but a
USB stick can also use these letters.

Usually the USB stick will be the first letter after the
hard disk or the CD-rom.

Computers without BIOS support for USB sticks

You can download drivers for USB support here

Check the readme.txt file inside the zip archive
for instructions.


For further information refer to www.bailine.com/faq