Burning a Bootable .iso to a Flash Drive

Usb And Dvd Storage Shows Portable Memory

Loading a new operating system to a machine can be a pain in the neck.  To make it worse, more and more manufacturers are moving away from shipping PCs and other machines with a disc drive.  Many will wonder why they would opt to do that and the answer is rather simple, discs can’t hold that much information on them.

A more common way now to load an operating system onto a machine is with the use of a USB flash drive.  The problem is to make it bootable, you can’t just open it up and drag and drop files. 

You might be looking into this information because you bought a new copy of Windows 10, or more likely, you are trying out a free Linux operating system.  The easiest for a beginner is Ubuntu, which can be downloaded here.

A .iso file is a disc image.  You can mount these images using software to make your machine believe that it has the disc inside and is reading it.  Now in Windows 10, they cut out the third-party software and you can just right click on a .iso file and click mount.  Mounting an image is now easier than ever, but if you need to boot an image from your BIOS (when you turn on your PC), this does you no good.

The solution: making a USB flash drive into a bootable disc image.  This way you can load it up, plug it in, and when you turn on a machine it is plugged into it will recognize the device as a disc and allow you to boot from it.  This is commonly used to install both Windows or Linux on a machine.

You can’t just drag and drop files onto your USB and expect it to be bootable.  So you need to use software to help you out.  There are hundreds of free options out there and you can browse around if you like, but my personal favorite is Rufus for Windows or Linux.  The reason for thisis it’s simplicity, this should be a simple process and you don’t need a thousand options to mess around with.

bootable usb

Rufus can be downloaded at their website here.  Upon installing the software the interface you get should look exactly like this.  Similar programs will look the same and have the same basic options.  You choose the device, choose the disc image, format it to your system type, and click start!  When it is done your USB drive is now bootable.

Plug it into the machine you wish to load an operating system on, and when you start up click F12 on most machines.  From here your machine should boot from the flash drive, giving you the option to install whatever operating system you’ve loaded onto it.

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