WHAT IS A USB DRIVE
USB Drives have been popularized for their ease of use and portability. While most people find themselves using them for simple tasks like storage, backup or data transfer between computers, few realize the full potential of flash drives. This series will cover the ways to unlock that potential and find new uses you may not have realized were possible. From ultra-secure banking to entirely self-contained operating systems, flash drives can do so much more than just hold your photos. These uses all have one common function between them: bootability.
A USB flash drive is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated USB interface. It is typically removable, rewritable and much smaller than an optical disc. Most weigh less than 30 g
It is a small solid state storage module that plugs into the computer’s USB port. Using flash memory chips that can hold up to a terabyte and more of data, the ubiquitous USB drive functions like a hard drive. USB drives are used for auxiliary storage, backup, data transfer between computers and for disseminating product information. They can also hold an operating system and be used to boot the computer ( Ever-increasing storage capacities of USB drives have all but rendered writable CDs and DVDs obsolete.
WHAT IS A BOOTABLE USB DRIVE
A bootable flash drive will allow you to boot the computer from the file system on the flash drive rather than your hard drive.
Your computer has a boot sector on the hard drive that contains information about its use. The volume boot record will contain instructions on how to execute an operating system or other programs. In order for us to boot to a flash drive, it must have a master boot record, volume boot record, and contain an operating system or a program that can be executed. This might sound like a daunting task but has been made easy in most cases by programs that help us create this.
Best Tools to Create Bootable USB Drive for Windows or Linux ISO files
Modern-day laptops and systems do not have CD or DVD writers and you need a bootable USB drive to load or install operating systems. There are a lot of tools out there to create bootable USB drives from ISO files. Some tools allow you to create a single OS USB drive while some others are multi-boot drive creators. These bootable drives are easy to carry and offer faster writing speeds. Here are the 10 best-tested software to make bootable drives.
1. UUByte ISO Editor
When it comes to ISO burning, UUByte ISO Editor is always your best friend. The most noticeable advantage is that this program is extremely easy to use. No hassle and no complex settings. All the technical details are under the hood. You don’t need to know any tech terms to get the program working. After five clicks, a bootable USB drive will be ready for OS installation or system rescue. It is great for creating bootable USB or DVD from Windows ISO images.
- Super easy to use
- Bleeding fast file writing speed
- Compatible with UEFI and Legacy boot
- Ultra-simple user interface
- Support USB and DVD drive
- Able to edit, extract, create and copy ISO file
- Work on Windows OS as well as macOS
Download UUByte ISO Editor
Rufus is one of the lightest of all the software tools. Rufus offered a portable version that you can use without having to install it. The tool automatically detects the USB drive and offers to create a bootable drive using MSDOS, ISO, and DD images.
- Fastest software
- No installation required
- Supports multiple file system that includes FAT, FAT32, NTFS, UDF, and ExFAT
- Can create a bootable drive for all versions of windows and Linux distributions.
- Option to detect bad sectors in the drive before writing files to a USB
- Easy Interface.
If you are looking for a simple yet effective tool to create bootable media, Wonder ISO is a good choice. This tool does not come with any complex options as it is clean and safe to use. The SysGeeker Wonder ISO can create Windows, Linux, and Mac bootable drives and is one of the best Rufus alternative tools you must consider.
- Directly edit the ISO file on the system.
- Compatible with both MBR and new UEFI booting modes
- Can create ISO of any folder or file
- Free Trial is available
Download Wonder ISO
Unlike Rufus, this software requires you to run the setup in order to install it. The installation process is quick and automatically creates a shortcut on the desktop. The best part of this tool is that it is updated regularly. Now let’s peep into its other specifications.
- The interface is complex and cluttered.
- Can create multiple partitions on a bootable USB drive
- Capable to create both Windows and Linux bootable drives.
- Read and Write Speed Test of USB drive
- Supports four file systems that include FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT
- Option to create an ISO file from Bootable Drive
- Recommended for Advanced users
5. Universal USB Installer
This tool is offered by Pendrivelinux.com and can be used to create both Linux and Windows bootable USB disks. It is a 3-step process that involves selecting a pre-defined Linux distro or Windows version, browsing ISO files, and finally selecting the USB drive.
- Supports FAT32 and NTFS file systems.
- Source files include ISO ZIP or DD types
- Easy installation
- User-friendly Interface
- Option to create Anti-Virus rescue disks
- The tool is free to use and Open source
- Regular updates
This is a free tool and does not require any installation. But you need to have a .NET Framework installed in order to run this software. You can create only a windows bootable USB drive with this tool and does not support Linux.
- No need for installation
- Fast conversion
- Supports Windows 7,8, Vista, 2008 and 2012
- Source file types include ISO, DVD, and Folder
- Can create both removable(USB) as well as fixed bootable drive.
- Can drag and drop the source files on the interface.
- Simple Interface.
YUMI aka Your Universal Multi-Boot Installer is also offered by Pendrivelinux.com. This tool is used to create a bootable USB disk for multiple operating systems, antivirus scanners, and other system tools. It is a free and open-source tool.
- Quick installation
- Option to download ISO file online
- A large collection of predefined OS, Anti-virus, and other diagnostic tools.
- Option to view and un-install a particular OS from a bootable drive
- Supports NTFS and FAT32 file systems.
- Supports both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems
- Can make an Android Bootable disk
8. Linux Live USB Creator (LiLi)
This is an open-source and free software to create a Live USB drive. As the name suggests, it is used to create only a Linux bootable drive. This tool also tells you if the ISO file is clean or corrupted.
- No need to reboot after completion
- Can select from a large number of Linux distros.
- Attractive colorful Interface
- The persistence feature allows you to save and install your own software.
- Source files include ISO, ZIP, and IMG
- Translation to thirty-two different languages
- Option to download source file online
- Software tool cab installed on all versions of windows.
9. WinSetUp From USB
Originally developed to create a bootable drive for Windows (XP) operating systems, this tool is updated to create a bootable disk for multiple operating systems including Windows and Linux.
- No need for installation.
- Can create both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of windows
- Automatically formats and creates partitions in disk
- Can create a bootable disk along with an antivirus rescue disk on a single USB drive
- Being an open-source tool, it is updated on regular basis by community members.
- Simple and clear Interface
Advantages bootable usb drive
Our computer geeks have never stopped improvising and innovating technologies. And the USB flash drives, sticks or keys were invented to replace the old CDs that were normally used for data back-up storage, including the bootable OS. The new bootable USB demonstrated ultra-convenience when used. It is so small and more portable than the CD. You can just place it in your pocket without being too concerned that it may get damaged. There is no danger of scratches as there would be in the CD. What could be even more advantageous is that it is faster to load data when you are using flash drives such that if becomes faster to boot your PC with a bootable USB stick. Majority of computer users opt for the netbooks for convenience. However, most of the models of these PCs do not have a CD drive such that the bootable CD would not be of any use for a non-booting netbook. In as much that all netbooks have USB ports, then it is possible to install your OS through the use of bootable USB sticks or keys.
Disadvantages of using bootable USB
Despite the practicality and convenience of using the bootable USB stick or key, it is never free from any drawback. The USB is too hardware dependent. This negative aspect shows the dependent on the BIOS, motherboard and model of flash drive. This will have to match with your bootable USB stick. There are known instances when the bootable USB drive works in one PC but does not do well with another laptop. The bootable USB then is sometimes selective so you have to be sure that your USB is compatible with your computer hardware. This gives the advantage to bootable CDs which can be used in almost any PC that has a CD drive.
Any computer user should always have a back-up for his data. These are now stored in USB drives. Choosing a USB stick with larger storage capacity will enable you to make room for a bootable USB that will rescue you when the OS in your hard drive malfunctions. The non-booting of the hard drive seldom happens, but it may so it is still paramount to keep a bootable USB device handy at all times.
Drop your comment