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Old 11-23-2013, 06:07 PM   #1
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How to burn a bootable iso onto a flash drive?

Hi, I am in a somewhat strange situation and need some help. I bought parts for a new computer, got just about everything put together and plugged in, then went to plug in the dvd drive, and couldn't find the ide connector on the motherboard. Turns out, I should have made sure it had one before deciding to keep using my ancient dvd drive rather than buying a new one.

So right now, my old computer is dismantled and the new computer is sitting there waiting for a boot device. The only place that sells dvd drives locally is almost 40 minutes away and wants $50 for something that costs $20 online. So, short of being patient and waiting for a new drive to be shipped, I'm thinking my best bet is to burn the iso to my flash drive and boot off that and worry about a dvd drive later.

But here's the twist. I am a Windows user, and the iso is going to be a windows install as well. The only computer I have access to right now, which I am using to type this, is a laptop with linux (debian/kde) installed, and I have no idea how to use it.

I copied the iso onto the computer, but I don't know how to burn it onto the flash drive and make it a bootable device. I have tried googling, but everything I found talked about applications which I don't know how to get or command prompts which I don't know how to do.

If anyone could please explain in terms a windows user can understand how to use linux to turn a flash drive into a bootable device with a windows iso, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks for any help.
Old 11-23-2013, 08:49 PM   #2
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I've had good success with unetbootin.
Old 11-23-2013, 09:26 PM   #3
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you can download and install unetbootin at your windows or Debian computer and then create a bootable flash drive from there with your desired Linux distribution.

Good Luck to you!
Old 11-23-2013, 09:50 PM   #4
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if the iso is a hybrid type you can use the dd command to write to the USB stick, otherwise as suggested above unetbootin does the job well.
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Old 11-24-2013, 03:54 AM   #5
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unetbootin is available in the ubuntu repositories but I have found that this version doesn't always work.
the standalone version from: always worked well
this is the download url

after download you may have to right click on the file, open properties > permissions > and check: allow executing file as a program.
in persistence just choose a high number (higher than left-over space) and it reserves the rest of the flashdrive's space to save changes to the system, e.g. themes, newly installed apps
Old 11-24-2013, 05:45 AM   #6
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dd if=Your-Image.iso of=/dev/sdx bs=1M change the x to your usb device. now you have a bootable image I do this for cdrom.iso I want to test.

you can also boot the iso in grub2 check it out here
Old 11-24-2013, 05:49 PM   #7
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Be sure you KNOW what is what on the dd command!!!

Many of the more modern distro's easily write directly to a flash drive from an .iso file with a dd command for use to install. I use it all the time.

So you are stuck with windows. The suggestions for the ways are OK. Some quite fast.

You could if you want, install a virtual machine and use a VM to create a boot usb from and iso.

Could get wild and create a pxe/gpxe/ipxe server on the windows and use it to boot your new system up if it has a pxe boot option.


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