Have you had problems with your computer and need to reinstall the operating system (OS) or want to start programs without starting the OS? For these cases, bootable or bootable drives are often used, such as USB or DVD, which have the ability to open and start programs on computers where the OS has not yet been loaded into RAM memory.
In the past, this was done with CDs or DVDs, but over time they have become obsolete and, although pen drives or USB drives are also used less frequently today, they are the perfect option if we want to install software on an empty machine or if we want to install an operating system from scratch, be it Windows, Linux or another. If you want to know more about it, we will teach you how to boot a USB so that you can give it the use you need.
What is a booted USB
A bootable or bootable USB refers to a bootable removable drive that is capable of starting itself within the computer without the need for an operating system to open applications. With a booted USB, you will be able to run functions that the operating system might not include, reinstall operating systems, or even run them without going through the installation process. To boot a USB, you usually need the following:
- ISO image of the program or file you want to open or run on your computer.
- Pendrive that is clearly larger than the file you want to store on it (at least 4 GB and up).
- An application that allows you to boot the USB. Next, we will see several options to achieve this.
Programs to boot a USB
There is more than one program that you can use to boot a USB, some are integrated into the operating system and others must be downloaded beforehand. These are some of the best programs to boot a USB :
- Rufus: this is an external application that will allow you to boot a USB with ISO images. These do not necessarily have to be for Windows, as they can also be for other operating systems. The advantage of this program is that it works for all OS (Windows, macOS, Linux/GNU). It is translated into Spanish, it is free and it has portable versions that do not require installation.
- RMPrepUSB: also an external application, it is one of the most effective programs to boot storage units. It is possible to save more than one software on the same drive, as long as there is space for it and they do not exceed the 2TB limit. Like Rufus, RMPrepUSB is also free, but it does not have a Spanish version.
- UNetbootin: this option is exclusive to GNU/Linux operating systems, although it can be installed on all other operating systems. It is one of the oldest ways to create bootable USBs and is compatible with Ubuntu.
There are other programs built into the operating system that you can use to boot a USB, below we will explain how to do it. In any case, and whatever program you decide to use, it is important that you know that everything inside the memory will be erased. For that reason, you should format the USB beforehand and make a backup to make sure there are no files on it that you could lose. Learn how to format a flash drive by clicking on the link.
How to boot a USB with Windows 7 step by step
To create a bootable USB with Windows 7, you can use the built-in Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. To learn how to boot a USB with the USB/DVD Download Tool, follow these steps:
- Locate the USB boot program on your computer, select it, and click “Browse.”
- Go to the folder where the file or ISO is located, press the right mouse button, and click on the “open” or “open” option.
- Then click on the “next” or “following” button.
- In the second phase of this procedure, after the computer has recognized the USB drive to boot, select Begin copying. In this way, the program will take care of formatting your flash drive.
- When the said procedure is finished, your USB device will be ready to work as an installation tool in Windows 7, 8.1, and even 10 operating systems.
In case you are looking to install or reinstall the Windows 10 operating system, this is what you have to do to learn how to make a bootable Windows 10 USB :
- Download the Windows 10 ISO image: you can do it using the Official Media Creation Tool or through the Windows Tech Bench web service. In case you want to use the latter, go to the Microsoft website and select the Microsoft option “Tech Bench ISO”.
- Make sure you have a flash drive or memory card with at least 8 GB of storage since the space for the operating system can occupy more than half.
- Accept the terms and conditions that appear on the page, and choose the option “Create installation media for another computer”.
- Choose the language, version and architecture (32 or 64 bits).
- Then, select the “USB Flash Drive” option, which will start downloading Windows 10 to the device once you connect it.
- If it does not come out at the end of the procedure, you can press the “Update the list of units” option.
- Once the download is complete, the operating system will be stored on the device and will be ready to use whenever you need it.
Having a bootable USB with Windows 7, 8, and 10, among others, is a good investment when it comes to solving boot failures that your computer can register. With these simple tips, you can do it yourself without the need to resort to third parties.