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Three Simple Ways to Format a Bootable SD Card (Useful Tips)

Updated by Tracy King on Nov 23, 2021
Written by Brithny
mins read

SD card is widely used in your digital camera, notebook, and even some cell phones. If you are working with a laptop, you likely won't have an included DVD-ROM drive. If you want to install or format your Windows, you run into some problems. Thus, a bootable SD card or a bootable USB becomes important for you. 

A bootable SD card is a special device that contains a bootable operating system. It allows you to boot your computer that has boot problems or suffer from system crashes. But why do you want to format a bootable SD card? The main reason is compatibility. As you know, different devices support various file systems. To fit a certain device, you have to format your bootable SD card to NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT file system.

This article explains how to format a bootable SD card using Windows File Explorer, Disk Management, and EaseUS Partition Master. Instructions in this article apply to Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Windows File Explorer Step 1. Connect the SD card to your computer with a card reader...Full steps
Fix 2. Disk Management Step 1. Connect your SD card to your computer with a card reader...Full steps
Fix 3. EaseUS Partition Master

Step 1. Find your SD card and right-click the partition you want to format and choose "Format"...Full steps

Method 1. Format Bootable SD Card with File Explorer

The most straightforward way to format the bootable SD card is using File Explorer. With this method, you can format the bootable SD card with simple clicks.

Step 1. Connect the SD card to your computer with a card reader.

Step 2. Go to "This PC" and open Windows Explorer, right-click your SD card, and then choose "Format".

Step 3. Specify the file system and set a new label for your SD card. Click "Start" and "OK" to confirm the formatting.

format a bootavle sd card with file explorer

Method 2. Format Bootable SD Card with Disk Management

Another way to format the bootable SD card is using Disk Management. When the File Explorer doesn't work well, Disk Management is a nice choice. Follow the steps below to format a bootable SD card.

Step 1. Connect your SD card to your computer with a card reader.

Step 2. Right-click "This PC", choose "Manage" to enter "Disk Management".

Step 3. Locate and right-click your SD card, choose "Format".

Step 4. Click "Yes" to continue, set a new label, file system - exFAT, FAT32, or NTFS to the card. Then click "OK" to format your SD card.

format a bootable sd card with disk management

Method 3. Format Bootable SD card with EaseUS Partition Master

The most recommended way to format a bootable SD card is using a disk management tool - EaseUS Partition Master. With this partition manager, you can format your bootable SD card to NTFS, FAT32, or Ext 2/3/4 in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista.

Besides, this format utility allows users to format bootable USB drives or external hard drives. It has a user-friendly interface and is easy to handle. Follow the detailed steps below to format your bootable SD card.

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Step 1. Find your SD card and right-click the partition you want to format and choose "Format".

Step 2. Set a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Step 3. Click "OK" on the pop-up window to continue.

Step 4. Click the "Execute Operation" button on the toolbar, then click "Apply" to start formatting your SD card.

Extra Tip - How to Create a Bootable SD Card

You can create a bootable SD card or a bootable USB with simple steps. Here is an example of creating a bootable SD card with Rufus.

Step 1. Download Rufus from here. (https://rufus.ie/en/)

Step 2. Start Rufus. Right-click on the downloaded file and select "Run as Administrator".

Step 3. Select your SD Card in the Device drop-down menu. The file system should be Fat32.

Step 4. Check the boxes Quick Format and Create a bootable disk. Select the Windows 10 ISO file for the bootable disk.

Step 5. Press the "Start" button and wait for it to complete.

how to make an SD card bootable

Conclusion

The three solutions above can make it easy to format a bootable SD card. It is recommended to use EaseUS Partition Master because it provides users with more advanced options. Additionally, you can learn how to make an SD card bootable with the detailed steps. This post could be very helpful for you.

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About the Author

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

Read full bio

Written by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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