FlashBoot: Create self extracting standalone USB formatter

FlashBoot can create standalone self-extracting EXE file (USB formatter) with predefined contents. This file will run in end-user environment under Windows XP or any later version of Windows and extract its content to USB storage device specified by end user without asking any additional questions. This USB thumbdrive will contain FAT filesystem (of variable size) and, if necessary, will be bootable. Self-extracting archive can have customized icon, title, description text, and commands to run after extraction.

Let's take lightweight Linux distribution called Slax to demonstrate how FlashBoot can create self-extracting archives with variable-sized FAT filesystem: https://www.slax.org/

1) Run FlashBoot Pro, click Next:

Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Starting FlashBoot
Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Starting FlashBoot


2) Choose "USB imaging and duplication" in the the Main Menu:

Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Choosing USB imaging and duplication in the Main Menu
Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Choosing USB imaging and duplication in the Main Menu


3) Choose "Create self-extracting EXE file (USB formatter) with predefined content" in this menu and click Next:

Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Self-extracting EXE file with predefined content
Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Self-extracting EXE file with predefined content


4) Choose "stretching FAT filesystem" in this menu and click Next:

Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Choosing stretching FAT filesystem
Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Choosing stretching FAT filesystem


5) Set volume label and specify folder with input files. Allow all filesystems except FAT12. Allow all cluster sizes. Click Next:

Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Volume label, folder with input files and FS options
Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Volume label, folder with input files and FS options


6) Customize self-extracting archive: set icon, command to run after extraction (current directory in this context will be new filesystem on USB storage device, separate multiple commands with && if necessary), title and description text for end user. Then click Next:

Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Customizing self-extracting archive
Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Customizing self-extracting archive


7) Specify target EXE file:

Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Specifying target EXE file
Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Specifying target EXE file


8) Check summary information and click Compress Now:

Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Summary information
Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - Summary information


9) Wait for process completion:

Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - In progress
Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - In progress


10) Self-extracting EXE file is ready to use. Click OK to exit:

Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - FlashBoot done
Create Self Extracting USB Formatter - FlashBoot done



Let's test just created self-extracting archive. Here's now it looks like:

Self Extracting USB Formatter - Testing
Self Extracting USB Formatter - Testing


Progress window looks like this:

Self Extracting USB Formatter - Progress Window
Self Extracting USB Formatter - Progress Window


When extraction is finished, custom command is executed:

Self Extracting USB Formatter - Running custom command after extraction
Self Extracting USB Formatter - Running custom command after extraction

Besides self-extracting archives with stretching FAT filesystem, FlashBoot supports creation of self-extracting archives with stretching NTFS filesystem, and self-extracting archives with fixed-sized image with any filesystem(s). See FlashBoot User Guide for useful examples and detailed screenshots explaining these features.

Creation of self-extracting USB formatters is available only in FlashBoot Pro.