Hi syntax85 and welcome to LQ!
Booting the installation media from a USB stick is the best way to go.
If your first attempt with unetbootin failed, I suggest you re-try your attempt with unetbootin again just to make sure you didn't miss a step or get an error.
Alternatively, you can try to boot the USB stick in a different PC.
Or, you can check http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
for a lot of information on using USB devices to boot linux.