How to Create a Bootable USB Drive for a PXI Controller

Publish Date: Dec 09, 2016 | 0 Ratings | 0.00 out of 5 | Print | Submit your review


PXI embedded controllers have several boot options available. The different options available with the supported PXI embedded controllers can be found in the Knowledge Base article, Boot Options for PXI Embedded Controllers. Beginning with the PXI-8171 series, it is possible to boot from a USB drive. This tutorial will show the process for creating a bootable USB Drive as well as modifying a PXI controller BIOS to boot up using a USB drive.

Table of Contents

Required Components

  • A PXI Controller that supported being booted from the USB port
  • A USB storage device that conforms to the USB mass storage device class

Note: The following method will only work if your USB drive conforms with the USB Mass Storage Device Class. This tutorial was tested using a Lexar Media JumpDrive Secure and a SanDisk Cruzer mini.

Create the Bootable Flash Drive

  1. Download the from the Attachments section.

  2. Unzip and place it on your Desktop.

  3. Insert a USB flash disk into one of your computer's USB slots.

  4. Allow the OS to identify the USB Drive properly.

  5. Run the USBSelect.exe application.

    • If Using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you will need to run this programs as an Administrator. To do this, right click on the executable and choose Run As Administrator

  1. The application will detect all USB flash disks in the system and display them in a drop-down list. Select the USB flash disk you would like to make bootable using the drop-down list.


  1. After selecting the appropriate disk, click the Make Bootable button. The application will format the USB flash disk with a bootable DOS image FreeDOS. A progress bar will indicate when the application is finished formatting the disk.

  1. Close the application by clicking Close

  1. The USB flash drive should now be bootable.


If you would like to use this USB drive to update the BIOS of your controller, reference KnowledgeBase 2GIGKD0Z: Determining and Upgrading PXI and VXI Embedded Controller BIOS Versions.


Modify the Controller’s BIOS Boot Order to Boot from the USB Drive

Note: For detailed instructions on modifying device boot order, reference your PXI controller user manual.

  1. Insert your USB key into your PXI controller.
  2. Boot your controller and enter your BIOS by pressing the Delete key as the computer boots.
  3. Ensure that the Boot Option is set to Window/Other OS.  If not, you will need to reboot the system after modifying and saving this setting.
  4. Navigate to the Boot Order menu and ensure your USB key is an enabled device and is listed above the other devices.
  5. Navigate to the Legacy USB Support option usually located under Advanced » Integrated Peripherals, and ensure it is Enabled.
  6. If you are using a PXI-8108, PXIe-8108, or 8110, do the following configuration changes:
    • Navigate to Advanced »SATA Configuration »SATA Mode Selection and select IDE
    • Navigate to Advanced »USB Configuration and enable Legacy USB Support
    • Navigate to Advanced »USB Configuration »Mass Storage Devices and select Auto
    • Navigate to Boot »Hard Drive BBS Priorities »Boot Option #1 and select USB
  7. Save the changes and exit the BIOS.
  8. Your PXI controller now boots from the USB drive.

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