One way to Partition a USB Flash Drive from Windows XP and mark it active "bootable". Windows detects Flash Drives as "Removable Disks" and flash drives are typically shipped formatted as a "Super Floppy" (USB-FDD without a partition table) . The Windows built in format utility cannot create a partition table on Removable Disks. Furthermore, the diskpart utility in Windows XP will not allow you to partition Removable Media, although diskpart does work for partitioning a Flash Drive from Windows Vista/7.
To address the inability to Partition a Flash Drive in Windows XP, you need to use a third party low level partitioning tool such as BOOTICE, created by Pauly. BOOTICE Home Page
Note: I partition my flash drives as USB-HDD (with a partition table), simply because my computers support booting from Flash Drives formatted to be seen as a USB Hard Disk.
One way to Partition a Flash Drive from Windows
- Download BOOTICE, unzip, and run BOOTICE.EXE
- Make sure your "USB Flash Drive" is set as the Destination Disk
- Click Parts Manage
- Click ReFormat USB Disk
- Select USB-HDD mode, and click Next
- Select Format as Fat32, and click OK
You should now have an active "bootable" USB-HDD Fat32 formatted Flash Drive, containing a partition table with a single partition. You should be able to Boot It as a Hard Drive.