How To Create A Bootable USB For Any Desktop Operating System


Some years back, creating a bootable USB drive was not an easy task. You’ll notice some years back anyone that bought a new desktop or laptop, chances are it came along with an ‘Installation disk’. Also, if you go further, you will notice the hardware for PCs that were custom built usually had their own installation disk. Since that time things have really changed and now you can easily download operating systems on the internet and easily create a bootable USB for any operating system of your choice provided you have the app for it. Here is what you should do.

Download An ISO File

For you to create a bootable USB for a desktop operating system, you will need a disk image. A disk image is simply the OS’ installation files that are packaged as an ISO file. An ISO file basically contains files burned to an optical disk like a DVD or CD. It is basically whatever was on those installation disks but in a soft copy form rather than a hard copy form.

For Windows 10, you can easily download an ISO image via Microsoft’s Media Creation tool. For Windows 7, you might need to search on torrent sites or sites that upload ISO files. For all the Linux distributions, you can download their respective ISO file from their distribution’s official page. The only problem you will encounter is if you’re trying to find an ISO file the macOS version because they are not easily available. Again, you might also consider searching torrent sites for them.

Ubuntu iso file

If you must download from a Torrent site, make sure it has a very good rating and you can verify the file before you make use of it.  We should also mention that you should have a valid license key for any OS requires it. This will not motivate you to pirate an OS.

Creating a Bootable USB

Some of the operating systems like the macOS normally come with utilities for burning a disc image to a USB drive but others do not do this in most case. The Disk Utility program in macOS is somewhat complicated and if you are doing this for the first time, you might want something simpler. This is where you have to give Etcher tool a try. This tool is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. All that is required of you is an ISO file and a USB. The tool will take care of the rest in three simple steps. Again, make sure your USB has enough space and you don’t have any file in it to burn the file. Also, it must be in the correct file system.

Etcher tool

Booting With A USB

Once your bootable USB is ready, you can now plug it in, and boot straight to the operating system that you burned earlier to it.  In case it doesn’t boot up, then you might need to change the boot order from your systems BIOS settings so that it can read the USB before it reads your computers hard drive but apart from that, there is nothing to it.


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