How to Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive for PC

Fewer computers include a DVD player. And the truth is that it makes a lot of sense, especially if we consider that most multimedia content is already enjoyed in streaming. The cloud has made it less and less necessary to store information on CDs and DVDs. We could say that currently, blank and rewritable discs have been replaced by the use of a USB memory stick, which is easier to handle, less damaged, and can be overwritten as many times as necessary.

How to create a bootable or self-booting USB stick

Pen drives and USB sticks are also used very frequently in computing, whether to run a portable operating system, reinstall Windows or run diagnostic and repair tools for PCs such as the famous Hiren’s Boot.

But to carry out any of these actions, your USB flash drive must be self-bootable. Similarly, it should run automatically before the BIOS loads the main operating system installed on the hard disk.

Of course, for a PC to boot from the USB stick, it is necessary to change the BIOS settings. bootable USB stick

Create a Bootable USB

That said, to create a bootable USB, it is not enough to copy the ISO image or the files that you are interested in on the pendrive. IF you do this, the PC will not be able to boot from the connected USB drive. Instead, you must make certain adjustments using a suitable image recording tool, such as Rufus (available for Windows for free).

  • First of all, if you still don’t have the Rufus application, proceed to download it from its official website. You can use both the standard version and the portable version (if you are going to use it occasionally and do not want to install it on your computer permanently).
  • Next, insert the USB stick and open the Rufus app.
  • You will see how Rufus automatically detects the pendrive in the ” Device ” field (if not, select it manually). Then click on the ” SELECT ” button.
  • In the search window, locate the image of the ISO file you want to burn, click on it and press the ” Open ” button. Note: For this example, we will use an Ubuntu installation package as an example.
  • This action is optional, but if you click on the small symbol located to the left of the button “Select,” the application performs a security check image, analyzing its integrity by calculating the checksum MD5, SHA1, SHA256, and SHA512. As we say, it is an optional action, but it can come in handy if we use an image downloaded from a doubtful or unknown source.
  • In the partition scheme, select ” MBR. “
  • On the target system, make sure that the ” BIOS or UEFI ” option is enabled.
  • If you will use the pendrive on an old PC, drop-down “Show advanced properties of the unit” and check the box ” Compatibility options for old BIOS.
  • Finally, you can go to the “Volume label” field. Give a new name to the bootable USB memory you will generate.


If everything is correct and the pendrive does not present any error, you will see that the “Status” field appears as “Ready.” Click on “START” to start the image recording process.

Depending on the type of ISO image you want to record, you may receive a message from RUFUS requesting to select a writing mode. Select ” Write in ISO image mode (Recommended). “

Likewise, in some cases, Rufus will also ask you to download additional files to record the image correctly. You will see this message if you try to burn an Ubuntu ISO for the first time. Select ” Yes ” to continue.

From here on, the recording can go on for several minutes. So relax and go about your life while Rufus does all the dirty work. Once the process is complete, you will see a message on the screen indicating that your bootable USB stick with the automatic startup is ready. Goal achieved!

Configure the PC to boot from USB as we mentioned initially, connect the pendrive and restart the computer. If the recording was successful, the BIOS will load the content we just recorded onto the USB memory automatically.

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