How to make the Symantec Endpoint Recovery Tool boot from a USB memory stick

Article:TECH131578  |  Created: 2010-01-08  |  Updated: 2014-04-23  |  Article URL
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Technical Solution


Your computer does not have a CD Drive, or you want to able to boot SERT from a USB stick.



In order to create a bootable SERT (Symantec Endpoint Protection Tool) USB stick, you will need the following:

  • The current Symantec Endpoint Recovery Tool CD ISO Image. 
    (Using your product serial number, you can download the tool from Fileconnect,
  • A Windows Vista or Windows 7 client to configure the USB stick
    (Windows Server 2008 will also work)
  • A USB memory stick at least 1024MB in size
  1. Using a tool such as WinRAR or similar, extract the SERT.iso file to the root of your local file system (i.e., C:\SERT).
  2. Open a command prompt with administrator right.
  3. Insert the USB stick into the computer.  
  4. Type the following command to start Diskpart: 

  5. Type the following command at the Diskpart command prompt, to list the available disks:

    list disk

    The List Disk command is important. It will show you what disk number your USB drive is. Failure to select the right disk at this point may result in loss of data from your hard disk. Normally the drive is Disk 1, but you should confirm before proceeding.

  6. Type following commands to format the USB stick and prepare it for SERT:

    select disk [disk number]
    create partition primary
    select partition 1
    format fs=fat32

  7. At the command prompt, type the following to copy the SERT files to the USB stick:

    xcopy C:\SERT\*.* [drive letter of USB]:\ /e /h /f 

  8. To be sure your SERT USB stick has the latest definitions, download the 32bit version of the JDB file from Symantec and extract the file to the root of the your USB drive.  You can download the latest definitions here: 

The USB stick now contains a bootable version of SERT with the latest set of definitions.  You can now boot your computer to the USB Stick and begin scanning.


Security administrators interesting in enhancing the capabilities of SERT may be interested in the Connect Forum article on How to Customize Symantec Endpoint Recovery Tool.  That document contains detailed instructions about how to boot SERT from a USB, how to add additional third-party functionality, and how to update SERT's definitions.  Please do note that this white paper is unsupported and Symantec Technical Support cannot offer assistance on those steps.

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