Introduction

If you are unsure how to write an ISO to a USB flash drive, this guide will show you how to use Rufus to accomplish this task.

Read this if you plan on using this tool with another operating system.

When this guide was written, it was written with the intention of using it for Linux exclusively. However, it can be used with any operating system (with USB boot support).

In this scenario, the only required adaptation will be to source out the OS image yourself.

Guide notes:

  • New USB drives are favored due to cost. If you reuse a drive, format it outside of Rufus first.
  • CD/DVD creation is not covered in this guide. If you need instructions for this, refer to the original version of this guide.
  • This guide is on it's 3rd major iterarion due a UX change in Rufus 3.x changing everything. The final version of Revision 2.0 can be found here.
  • If your laptop has a failed optical drive, USB boot can be used in lieu of replacing the optical drive.
  • While a Linux ISO is used in this guide, this tool can be used with any modern operating system. Support for older OSes is not guaranteed.

Tools

Parts

No parts required.

A new USB drive is recommended. If you reuse an older drive, format it prior to use. Plug your USB drive in now. This will make it available to Rufus right away.
  • A new USB drive is recommended. If you reuse an older drive, format it prior to use.

  • Plug your USB drive in now. This will make it available to Rufus right away.

  • To write the ISO to the drive, download Rufus. Place this somewhere it can be easily found.

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FTP is the safest for most people. Torrent clients require additional configuration beyond the scope of this  guide. After downloading Rufus, download an ISO for the distro you want to use. This can be done over FTP or Torrent. Once a download prompt comes up, choose Save file and click OK.
  • FTP is the safest for most people. Torrent clients require additional configuration beyond the scope of this guide.

  • After downloading Rufus, download an ISO for the distro you want to use. This can be done over FTP or Torrent.

  • Once a download prompt comes up, choose Save file and click OK.

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Default Download locations: Windows 7/8.x/10: Downloads Windows XP: Documents and Downloads Locate where the ISO was downloaded to. This is typically in the system default download location.
  • Default Download locations: Windows 7/8.x/10: Downloads Windows XP: Documents and Downloads

  • Locate where the ISO was downloaded to. This is typically in the system default download location.

  • If you did not plug in your USB drive before, do it now.

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This procedure will erase your USB drive. Make a backup before proceeding! If you are having problems booting from USB on a legacy system, select Add fixes for older BIOSes. Open Rufus and click SELECT.
  • This procedure will erase your USB drive. Make a backup before proceeding!

  • If you are having problems booting from USB on a legacy system, select Add fixes for older BIOSes.

  • Open Rufus and click SELECT.

  • Find the ISO you want to use. Once you find it, choose Open.

  • Rufus will ask you to choose ISO or DD mode. If you are unsure, select ISO mode.

  • After locating the ISO and selecting a USB drive, click Start and then OK. Click OK on the format warning and the image will be wrirtten to the drive.

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Finish Line

7 other people completed this guide.

Nick

Member since: 11/10/2009

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3 Comments

Link if you like or not your choice... https://www.ifixit.com/Story/20263/Creat....

tcagle53 - Reply

Unetbootin does not work anymore and is considered unstable to use when installing any Linux OS, also 4GB USB drives are more than big enough to get the job done

Will Unknown - Reply

My reasoning for saying 8GB is because 4GB sticks are all but nonexistent (8GB is more popular now), but if you already own the 4GB stick then it'll work. I even use one from 2006 in the guide, to show that reuse is possible.

Oh really? I always thought it was still a usable option - thanks for letting me know that I was wrong.

Nick -

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