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.
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.
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
3. 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 file, 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
6. 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.
7. 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
This is another free tool for bootable Live USB creation. It has a collection of pre-defined distributions and system utilities similar to the Universal USB installer but the size of the collection is much small compared to UUI. You can download the software for Windows, Linux, and Mac. (separate files for each OS).
- The option of selecting a distribution from their database (online download) and upload the ISO file from the local
- Creation of only Linux and related distributions.
- No need for the installation of software
- Easy and Simple to understand Interface.
- Option to create a bootable fixed hard disk and removable USB disk
This is yet another multi-boot USB drive creator and can also be used to create a multi-boot ISO file. It is a lightweight application and does not require installation. Presently, it is available to run only on Windows operating system.
- Drag and Drop facility for uploading ISO files
- Installation not required
- Simple and easy Interface
- Option to edit the bootloader
- Supports a number of Linux distros
- Free tool
10. Passcape ISO Burner
This is one of the best ISO burners to burn ISO imaged on CD/DVD/USB-Drive/SD cards/ZIP drives. The program is portable and does not copy any files on the hard disk. Although it is free to use the software, it provides lifetime tech support.
- Supports WinXP to Windows 10
- Simple interface for Beginners
- Option to extract ISO file on local disk
- Lightweight Software
- Need Administrative rights to use all the features.
- Supports most of the DVD-writers and USB drives.
BalenaEtcher is an open-source utility used to burn files on the hard disk from operating systems such as .iso and .img files to make it a live SD card or USB flash drive. It is considered the best bootable USB creator.
To install an OS on your PC or operate an operating system, you can use these live SD cards or USB drives. If you are into operating systems and penetration testing, BalenaEtcher has made it easier for you.
The user-interface it has is the primary aspect that makes Etcher one of the best and most commonly used live USB creators. It has one of the most straightforward user interfaces one can expect from Balena Etcher. No complicated setup or other command-line code you need to enter. Within a couple of taps, the command will be executed. Burning every file on your chosen Operating System takes only three taps.
This command-line interface feature is still under development for those who choose to do this from the command-line interface.
Create a Bootable USB Drive Faster Now
In the year 2017 the sleek Ultrabooks are preferred over heavy laptops and desktop computers, CD drives are vanishing from the hardware. Installation of Windows or Linux is now being done from portable devices like USB or SD cards. Creation of such bootable drives is made easy with these free tools. Which software are you using to create bootable drives? If you are using a tool that is not listed here, share it in the comments section.