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 intended to be Linux exclusive by design. While this guide was written for Linux, it can be used to write any operating system to a USB drive.

In this scenario, the only required adaptation will be to find out where to download the ISO you are looking for.

Guide notes:

  • New USB drives are favored due to cost. Reuse is fine, but these drive should be formatted outside of Ruufus first.
  • CD/DVD creation is not covered in this guide. Systems made within the past ~5 years are increasingly becoming optical drive-less. Refer to this archived copy if you need instructions on how to burn a CD.
  • If your laptop has a failed optical drive, USB boot can be used in lieu of drive replacement.
  • While a Linux ISO is used in this guide, this tool can be used with any operating system that supports USB boot. Older operating systems are not guaranteed to work.

Tools

Parts

No parts required.

If you reuse an older drive, it should be formatted prior to use. Note: To avoid formatting an existing drive, a new drive should be purchased. To make the drive easy to find, plug it into your PC now. To write the ISO to the drive, download Rufus. Place this somewhere it can be found easily.
  • If you reuse an older drive, it should be formatted prior to use. Note: To avoid formatting an existing drive, a new drive should be purchased.

  • To make the drive easy to find, plug it into your PC now.

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

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For most people, FTP is the safest option. Torrent clients require configuration that is beyond the scope of this guide. After downloading Rufus, download the ISO for the distro you want to use. Once you find the ISO, select FTP or Torrent to download it. While FTP is slower, it does not require client side configuration like torrents.
  • For most people, FTP is the safest option. Torrent clients require configuration that is beyond the scope of this guide.

  • After downloading Rufus, download the ISO for the distro you want to use.

  • Once you find the ISO, select FTP or Torrent to download it. While FTP is slower, it does not require client side configuration like torrents.

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In most cases, the download location will be Downloads (7/8.x/10/Vista) or Documents and Downloads (XP). After the ISO is downloaded, find the location it was downloaded to. This will be the default location unless it has changed.
  • In most cases, the download location will be Downloads (7/8.x/10/Vista) or Documents and Downloads (XP).

  • After the ISO is downloaded, find the location it was downloaded to. This will be the default location unless it has changed.

  • If you did not plug in your USB drive earlier, do it now. This will make it available to Rufus.

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This procedure will erase your USB drive. Backup the drive before proceeding! Rufus will ask you if you want to use ISO or DD mode. While both modes work, select the recommended option if you are in doubt. Optional: If your drive is older, run a block scan to verify it is good first. Find Rufus and open it. Find an icon that looks like a CD. Click the CD icon and locate the ISO.
  • This procedure will erase your USB drive. Backup the drive before proceeding!

  • Rufus will ask you if you want to use ISO or DD mode. While both modes work, select the recommended option if you are in doubt. Optional: If your drive is older, run a block scan to verify it is good first.

  • Find Rufus and open it. Find an icon that looks like a CD. Click the CD icon and locate the ISO.

  • Once you find the ISO, click it and then select Open. Note: If ISO Image is not selected, this can be changed from the drop-down menu.

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

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Finish Line

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Nick

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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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