Supported operating systems: Linux
What this guide accomplishes: Making a USB drive bootable to install Linux on systems without an optical drive.
- This guide favors NEW USB drives because of how cheap they are. Reusing a drive is okay, but it should be formatted before using it for a boot drive.
- The current version of this guide does not provide steps on how to burn the ISO to DVD. Most systems do not have USB boot issues and many laptops made within the past 5 years no longer include internal optical drives. DVD media is also typically single use.
- If you purchased your laptop used to find the optical drive failed, this option is more practical then replacing the optical drive in many scenarios.
Note: This problem typically only comes up on older hardware or systems with buggy BIOSes. Most systems will never have a problem with this.
If your system that has trouble booting from USB media directly, a CD boot manager can be used to get around these problems. These guides will show you what your options are (along with how to burn them to CD):
Purchase a 16GB USB flash drive. In many cases, 16GB drives are the same price as an 8GB drive (or in some cases, cheaper).
To write the ISO to the drive, download Rufus. Put this program somewhere where you can easily find it for later.
Once Rufus is downloaded, download the ISO for the distro you chose. This can be done over FTP (Slower) or torrents (Faster).
After you have the ISO downloaded, find the default download location. If this has been changed, it will not be located here.
Plug your USB drive in. This will allow the system to quickly detect it for ISO writing.
Find Rufus and open it. Once Rufus is open, find a icon that looks like a CD and locate the downloaded Linux ISO.
Once you find the ISO, click it and then click Open. Select the ISO you want to write to the USB drive. Note: If ISO Image is not automatically selected, click on the drop-down menu to select it manually.
Once you locate the ISO, select Start. At this point, you will be warned the drive will be erased. Click OK and the image will be written to the drive.
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