If your computer runs Windows 10, it's a good idea to have a bootable Windows installation disk, in case you ever want to reinstall Windows on your computer.

Mar 06, 2020  Create bootable USB with Rufus. Now that you've downloaded the ISO file, you need special software to create a bootable USB flash drive with it. Only copying the file to the USB will not work. There are various programs which you can use to create a bootable USB flash drive in Windows, such as UNetbootin. Apr 16, 2018  If you create the boot drive with Rufus, it’ll use the entire drive, so 64GB and 128GB flash drives will have the full disk space made available. Windows XP Notes. If you are attempting to use Windows XP on a USB drive, there are a couple of things to bear in mind. After downloading the PALADIN ISO, you will need to download one of the following tools to create a bootable PALADIN USB. The most common tools used to make PALADIN USB are: I. Unetbootin (macOS, Windows, Linux) II. Rufus – (Windows) 2. Jun 09, 2017  UNetbootinis free software and it is also available for Windows and Linux. Check the path name of your USB Disk. Always in Disk Utility, select the new partition that we created in the previous step, and click on the information button, it will give you the information about the new partition.

If you don't have a Windows 10 disk, you can create one using the methods described below.

  • Method 2: Download ISO and create bootable USB.

Requirements

Before you create a bootable Windows 10 disk, make sure you have the following:

  • A computer connected to the Internet, with a USB port or DVD burner.
  • A USB flash drive with a capacity of at least 8 GB, which is either empty or ready to be completely erased; or a blank DVD-R disk.
  • A valid Windows 10 license; either a numeric license key or a Microsoft account with a Windows 10 license that is associated with your computer.

Method 1: Use the Media Creation Tool

The Media Creation Tool is a program provided by Microsoft that downloads all required files, and write them to your DVD or USB flash drive. Follow these instructions to download and use the Media Creation Tool.

Warning

The following steps will completely overwrite the data on your USB flash drive. All existing data on the disk will be destroyed.

  1. Open a web browser and go to Microsoft's Windows 10 download page. Under Create Windows 10 installation media, click Download tool now.
  1. Run the installer. At the UAC prompt, click Yes. The installer gets things ready, then displays Notices and License terms. Read the terms and click Accept to proceed.
  1. At the screen What do you want to do?, select Create installation media for another PC, and click Next.
  1. At Select language, architecture, and edition, don't change anything if you're creating the installer for this computer. Make sure Use the recommended settings for this PC remains checked. (If you're creating a disk for another computer, uncheck this box and make changes now.) To continue, click Next.
  1. At the screen Choose which media to use, you can choose USB or DVD as the destination. In this example, we'll create a USB flash drive. Select USB flash drive, and click Next.
  1. You'll be asked to Select a USB flash drive. If your USB flash drive is not inserted, insert it now, wait a few moments and click Refresh drive list.

Then, select your USB flash drive, and click Next.

  1. Windows 10 downloads the installer and write it to your USB flash drive. You can continue using your PC while it runs in the background.
  1. When it's finished, you'll see Your USB flash drive is ready. Click Finish. Setup will clean up its temporary files and exit automatically.

You can now remove your USB flash drive from the computer. For information about how to use it, see how to boot with your installation disk, below.

Method 2: Download ISO and create bootable USB

You also have the option to download the Windows 10 ISO image file to your computer, then create your bootable disk manually with another program.

If you're using Windows, you must use the Media Creation Tool to download the ISO. If you're using another operating system, such as macOS or Linux, Microsoft offers a direct download.

Create

Windows: Download ISO with Media Creation Tool

If you're using Windows, follow these steps to download the Windows 10 ISO with the Media Creation Tool. (Steps 1–4 are the same as in method 1.)

  1. Open a web browser and go to Microsoft's Windows 10 download page. Click Download tool now.
  1. Run the installer. At the UAC prompt, click Yes. Read the license terms and click Accept.
  1. Select Create installation media for another PC, and click Next.
  1. At Select language, architecture, and edition, don't change anything if you're creating the installer for this computer. Click Next.
  1. At Choose which media to use, select ISO file, and click Next.
  1. Choose a location on your computer to download the ISO file, such as your Downloads folder. Make sure you have enough space to download the file (it's big - between 3 and 5 gigabytes, depending on the version).
  1. When the download is complete, Media Creation Tool offers to Burn the ISO to a DVD. It also displays the full path and file name of the ISO file on your computer.

Optional: If you'd like to verify the location of the file, click the file name to open the folder where it was downloaded.

Optional: If you'd like to burn a DVD of the ISO now, click Open DVD Burner to open the Windows Disk Image Burner. Insert a blank DVD-R disk into your DVD drive and follow the instructions.

  1. Click Finish to close the Media Creation Tool.

You can now skip to the step create bootable USB with Rufus.

macOS X, Linux: Download ISO directly

If you're using a non-Windows operating system, follow these instructions to download the Windows 10 ISO.

  1. Open a web browser and go to the Windows 10 ISO download site. Microsoft detects your operating system and reroute you to the direct download page.
  1. Under Select edition, select Windows 10 and click Confirm.
  1. Under Select the product language, select your language (English, for example), and click Confirm.
  1. Under Downloads, you'll have the option to download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. If your computer has a 64-bit CPU, choose the 64-bit Download. If you're not sure, see: How to determine if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit CPU.
  1. The download begins in your browser. Make sure you have enough disk space to download the file (it's big - between 3 and 5 gigabytes, depending on the version).

Create bootable USB with Rufus

Now that you've downloaded the ISO file, you need special software to create a bootable USB flash drive with it. Only copying the file to the USB will not work.

There are various programs which you can use to create a bootable USB flash drive in Windows, such as UNetbootin. In these instructions, we'll use a free Windows program called Rufus.

Warning

The following steps will completely overwrite the data on your USB flash drive. All existing data the USB flash drive will be destroyed.

  1. Open a web browser and go to the Rufus website. Scroll down to Download, and choose either Rufus or Rufus portable (either one works).
  1. When the download is complete, run the Rufus executable. You don't need to install it because the program runs without being installed.
  1. If your USB flash drive is not inserted, insert it now. It will be immediately recognized by Rufus.
  1. Click the disk icon. It looks like an optical drive and disk. Navigate to the Windows ISO you downloaded, select the ISO file, and click Open.
  1. The Rufus status line will say 'READY.' To write the ISO to your USB flash drive, click Start.
  1. Rufus warns you that all data on the USB will be destroyed. If you have any important files on the USB flash drive, this is your last chance to cancel, and back up your files. To proceed, click OK.
  1. The ISO is written to the USB flash drive. It should only take a few minutes.

You'll know it's complete when the progress bar is fully green, and the status line says 'READY' again.

Click Close to exit Rufus.

How to boot with your installation disk

To use your Windows 10 installation disk, follow these steps.

  1. Verify the computer's BIOS is configured to boot from a removable disk. To access your BIOS, you need to reboot the computer and press a specific key before boot sequence begins. For detailed instructions, see: How to enter the BIOS or CMOS setup.
  2. Then, if necessary, change your boot sequence so the DVD/USB drive is listed before your HDD or SSD in your boot order. (If you don't see your USB drive in the list, insert your installation USB flash drive before powering on the computer and try again.)
  3. If your BIOS is properly configured, power down the computer.
  4. Insert your installation disk.
  5. Power on the computer.

Create Boot Disk Windows 10

Instead of loading the operating system from your HDD/SSD, your computer boots from your removable disk, and the Windows installation begins.

Additional information

There are hundreds of Linux distributions, ranging from the friendly Ubuntu and Linux Mint to the powerful Arch Linux. What they all have in common is that we download an ISO file, and must then create a Linux Installation Disc or USB. In this guide, you will find the best free applications to create Linux installation media, with or without persistence.

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Table of Contents

  • How to create a Linux installation USB Flash Drive

How to create a Linux installation USB Flash Drive

The use of optical discs is on a steady decline; it's a matter of time before they go the way of the floppy disks. USB thumb drives offer a faster and more convenient alternative, especially when it comes to Linux installation.

You see, most distributions allow us to run Linux as a 'live environment' straight from the installation media. This way we can check out the distro, and any possible incompatibilities, before committing to installing it on the hard drive.

For this live environment, a CD or DVD will work, but it will be woefully slow, and noisy while reading the disc. By creating a Linux installation USB, we gain not only in speed but on some distributions we can have the so-called 'persistence.'

Persistence means that whichever changes we do in the live environment will remain even after a reboot. In effect, we have a completely portable Linux installation, which can run on the majority of systems.

Boot Disk Windows 10 Usb

We can even have multiple different Linux distributions on the same USB flash drive. Since many diagnostic tools and antivirus rescue discs are based on Linux, a single thumb drive can be our diagnostic multi-tool for any computer malady.

UNetbootin: Create a Linux installation USB with persistence

UNetbootin is probably the most convenient way to create a Linux installation USB.

The reason is that we don't even have to have downloaded an ISO beforehand. UNetbootin will download the ISO for us, for the most popular Linux distros.

UNetbootin also allows us to create persistence on Ubuntu, and most of the Ubuntu-based distributions: Linux Mint, Lubuntu, etc. The persistence file can be up to 4GB, the limit of the FAT32 filesystem.

Last but not least, UNetbootin is very straightforward and easy to use. There are no perplexing choices for beginners, we just choose the distribution or an ISO file, select the USB drive and click OK. UNetbootin will do the rest.

Rufus: The fastest way to create a Linux installation USB

We have seen Rufus before, here on PCsteps. It was our app of choice for the creation of a Windows Installation Disc or USB.

Contrary to UNetbootin, Rufus can create any Boot USB from an ISO, Linux or Windows.

This makes it a more complicated program than UNetbootin. It gives us a choice between MBR for BIOS/UEFI, MBR just for UEFI, or GPT partition scheme, four types of filesystems (FAT32, NTFS, UDF, and exFAT), and the Cluster size.

Those options can very well overwhelm a beginner. Even so, the default settings (MBR and FAT32) are good enough to create a Linux installation USB for most uses.

Also, Rufus claims to be the fastest boot USB creation tool, according to the app's homepage. However, their test is admittedly a bit dated. They apparently haven't bothered to re-run it since 2011.

If we don't care about persistence or the automatic downloading of the distro's ISO, Rufus is an excellent choice to create a Linux installation USB.

YUMI: Multiple Linux installation ISOs on the same USB

YUMI allows us to have multiple different Linux live environments on the same USB. Those can include Linux distributions, antivirus rescue discs, diagnostic tools, partitioning apps, disk cloning tools, and more.

Like UNetbootin, YUMI has the option to download the ISO for our distribution of choice, and it also includes Antivirus Tools and System Tools.

After we have selected the drive, we can check the 'Download Link' checkbox to download the ISO of our choice, before we proceed to the creation.

For distributions based on Ubuntu, we can also choose to create persistence.

Even though the purpose of YUMI is to create a Multiboot USB, it won't allow us to add multiple ISOs from the beginning. We need to wait for the first ISO to install on the USB, to add the second, and so on.

Also, according to YUMI's creators, YUMI was designed to create multiboot live environments, not for a Linux installation.

Windows Boot Disk On Usb

Of course, it won't stop us from starting the installation through the live environment, and it should work in most cases.

If, however, we are more interested in creating a Linux installation USB than a Linux Live USB and don't care about multiboot, UNetbootin or Rufus are better choices.

How to create a Linux installation CD / DVD

Many older systems won't support boot from USB. This is not a problem, though, since creating a Linux installation CD or DVD is as simple as burning the ISO image to a disc.

On Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10, we can just right-click on the ISO and select the 'Burn disc image' option.

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Create A Boot Disk For Windows 7

If, however, this is unavailable, every good CD/DVD Burning software has the 'burn disc image' option. One of our favorites it InfraRecorder, which is available as a portable app that doesn't need installation.

Just make sure to select 'Write Image,' and not a data disk containing the full .iso file. That won't work for a Linux installation.

Apart from that, there are no special settings to make a Linux installation CD / DVD bootable. The ISO already contains the proper configuration for the disc to boot.

Do you have a favorite app for creating a Linux installation USB, CD, or DVD?

If you prefer one of the above apps or you like an app we didn't mention to create Linux installation media, let us know in the comments below.

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