making bootable usb with ms-dos or ubuntu linux to check hard drive failure on the laptop

1 minute read

Quite descriptive title.

My friend had a laptop failure. It has windows 7 installed, but it didn't boot. I tried to boot in safe mode, but it still failed. It stops at reading "ati..." file.
I suspected hard disk failure, but wanted to prove it before I but a new hdd for him. It could have been a link failure on disk, which I could fix by running chkdsk.exe.

So, I needed a bootable disk with minimum tools. Initially I went for bootable usb with a few DOS files.

Comprehensive tutorial that you can follow step by step. You would need to download and I ran virus checker, just in case. You wouldn't run a executable you have downloaded from Internet without checking it first.

I used FDisk to check the hard drive. Oh, it reminded me of the old days, but it didn't detect the hard drive. So, I wanted to make a bootable ubuntu this time.

Of course, you would need to download ubuntu iso file. Then download usb installer from

The utility will guide you to create a bootable usb with ubuntu.

So, in conclusion, I used Disk Utility in ubuntu. It detected several bad sectors in the hard disk. Very nice and powerful tool for free.