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Introduction

If you are unsure how to write an ISO to a USB flash drive, this guide will show you how to do this using Rufus. Many modern systems do not include an internal optical drive and require a USB drive or optical drive to boot operating system installation media.

As many laptops and desktops begin to not ship with an internal DVD drive, an external drive is now required if it cannot be added on or additional hardware is required. Using a USB drive is a practical workaround for these systems and allows for future tweaks (Ex: including drivers).

Unless your application REQUIRES a DVD, it is generally better to get a 16GB USB flash drive and avoid all of the hassles that come with using optical media since it is no longer convenient on optical drive-less laptops and now requires another purchase.

Read me: Important note about legacy operating systems.

Important: OSes without USB boot support are not guaranteed to work. While the risk of a problem is low, results outside of Linux and modern Windows/MacOS releases are NOT GUARANTEED.

This guide was originally written just for Linux. However, it can be used with any operating system that supports USB boot and is not tied to one specific operating system in practice. Since these operating systems may create unforeseen issues, you are on your own.

Guide notes

  • If you have a used USB drive, format it outside of Rufus before use.
  • CD/DVD creation is not covered. If required, refer to Revision 1.
  • This guide is on Revision 3. If you are using Rufus 2.x, refer to Revision 2.

Tools

Parts

No parts specified.

  1. A new USB drive is recommended. If you reuse a spare drive, format it before use. To write the ISO to the drive, download Rufus. Place this somewhere it is easily found.
    • A new USB drive is recommended. If you reuse a spare drive, format it before use.

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

  2. Torrent clients require additional configuration not covered in this guide. After downloading Rufus, download the ISO being written to the drive. After downloading Rufus, download the ISO being written to the drive.
    • Torrent clients require additional configuration not covered in this guide.

    • After downloading Rufus, download the ISO being written to the drive.

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  4. Default download location: Windows 7/8.x/10: Downloads Plug the USB drive in.
    • Default download location: Windows 7/8.x/10: Downloads

    • Plug the USB drive in.

    • Locate the downloaded ISO. This is typically in the default download location.

  5. This procedure will erase your USB drive! If you are having problems with legacy hardware, select Add fixes for older BIOSes. Open Rufus and click SELECT. Find the ISO and click Open.
    • This procedure will erase your USB drive!

    • If you are having problems with legacy hardware, select Add fixes for older BIOSes.

    • Open Rufus and click SELECT. Find the ISO and click Open.

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

    • After configuring the writing process, click start. Click OK on the formatting warning.

Finish Line

8 other people completed this guide.

Nick

Member since: 11/10/2009

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2 Comments

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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