How to Create Bootable USB Drive/DVD – With or Without Any Software

Want to know how to create bootable USB Drive or DVD? You are at the right place.

Nowadays, not many users are interested in burning ISO images on CD/DVD disk to use them as bootable media. USB or Flash drives have conveniently replaced CDs and DVDs in this regard. USB drives as bootable platforms are much faster, especially when you need to install an operating system like Windows 10 on the computer.

Creating a bootable drive is quite a simple and straightforward process. All you have to do is burn the ISO file. This article will explain how you can burn an ISO file and create bootable USB flash drive as well as CD/DVD.

What is an ISO File?

ISO is also known as ISO image. It is basically an archive file like .zip or .cab etc. But, It contains everything that should be in an optical disc including the file system. Any files ended with an extension “.ISO” is ISO file. Users can burn it to a pen drive or any other disc if they want. Big software makers allow users to download ISO images of their software package so that it can be burned or mounted.

What is Bootable Media?

A bootable media is a data storage medium which contains some special files/programs that allows a computer to run an operating system or utility software from it. The bootable disks are also referred as startup disc or boot disc. We need bootable media in various cases. Especially, When we want to install any operating systems like Windows 10 or Ubuntu Linux, we may need it. Else, Many data recovery, backup and security software providers provide bootable solutions. It helps users to recover their valuable data when the system crashes. Anyway, The bootable media can help you in many situations.

USB Pen Drive (Flash Storage Drive)

How to Create Bootable USB Drive/DVD

There are two ways you can follow to make a USB flash drive or DVD bootable. You can do it using third-party software or by executing some simple commands. You can follow either way. But, I always prefer using a third-party tool as it is more convenient.

1. Create Bootable Disk Using Command Prompt (Without Any Software)

Many people don’t know that they can easily create a bootable flash drive using just a few commands. In this case, They can use either command prompt or PowerShell. Anyway, Here are the procedures to do it.

The whole procedures are divided into two parts.

a. Format Disk Using Command Prompt

  • At first, Insert a USB flash drive (At least 8 GB) in your PC.
  • Now, Open the command prompt as administrator. You can open the start menu, type cmd, right-click on the command prompt and choose “Run as administrator.”

Run command prompt as administrator

  • Then, Run the following commands.
diskpart
list disk

select disk in diskpart command

  • Now, It will show you a list of disks connected on your PC. You will have to find out which one is your USB flash drive by seeing the total size. Let us assume the disk 3 is the flash drive. So, Then, Run the following commands.
select disk 3
clean
create partition primary
select partition 1
active
format fs=ntfs quick
exit

Diskpart command - create and format partition

After executing these commands, you are ready to go.

b. Copy Files from ISO Image

Now, You will have to copy all installation files from the ISO image. For example, You have downloaded an ISO image of Windows 10. Now, You want to make bootable windows pen drive. In this case, You will have to copy all of the files from the ISO image to the pen drive. How you can do that? Let us follow these steps.

  • At first, Right-click on the downloaded ISO file and choose Open With > Windows Explorer. It will create an additional drive in your PC that you can find in This PC (My Computer).

Copy files from ISO Image

  • Just, Go to that drive and copy everything from there and paste it in your flash drive.
  • Now, Wait until it finishes the copying process.

Now, You are done. By this way, You can easily create a bootable flash drive without any third-party software. I have tested it by creating a windows bootable pen drive. I am not sure whether will it work for other software/OS or not.

How to Create Bootable Disk Using Trusted Third-Party Software

I prefer using third-party software to make a disk bootable in many cases. Because It helps to avoid all complexity. There are many tools available that can help you in this regard. But, A few of them are good enough.

Best 3 Bootable Disk Creator Tools

Here, I have picked three tools that you can use to make any sort of disk bootable.

1. Rufus

Probably, It is the most popular free tool that can make your disk bootable. It also gives you the ability of customization. So, You can change your partition scheme between GPT or MBR, Image Option, Target system, etc. Rufus is very simple and easy to use. To create a bootable disk using this tool, follow these instructions.

Use Rufus to Create Bootable Disc

  • At first, Download this tool from here: https://rufus.ie and the open it in your PC.
  • Now, Choose which USB drive you want to make bootable. By default, It should be automatically selected.
  • Then, Click on “Select” from the boot selection section and choose your ISO image.
  • After selecting your preferred options, click on start to begin the process.
2. Power ISO:

PowerISO is the software I prefer over other tools in some special situations to create a bootable USB/DVD. Because Sometimes I found free software failed to create a bootable disk from specific ISO images when the PowerISO was completely successful. You can use it too. But, It is not completely free software. It means You will have to purchase to get full benefits. But, The free version is good enough to get your basic job done.

Here are steps to create a bootable disk using PowerISO-

  • At first, Download and Install PowerISO.
  • Then, Open it with administrative rights.

Choose to Create Bootable USB in Power ISO

  • Now, Click on tools from the menu and choose “Create Bootable USB Drive.”
  • Then, A new window will appear. There, You will have to select the USB flash drive as the destination drive. By default, It should be selected automatically.

Creating Bootable USB Drive in PowerISO

  • Now, Choose the ISO image file that you already have downloaded and then click on start.
  • It will take a few minutes to complete the process.

By this way, PowerISO can make a bootable USB drive. It is so easy to use and has many other extremely useful functions. If you wish, you can purchase it. The cost is just 29.95 USD.

3. Universal USB Installer

Universal USB Installer

It is another free and opensource tool that can create a Windows or Ubuntu bootable media. You can consider using it too. Follow this link to download this software.

Use the Media Creation Tool

If you want to create a bootable windows disk, probably the media creation tool is one of the best choices. Because it comes directly from Microsoft. To use this tool, you can follow these instructions.

  • At first, Download the media creation tool from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
  • Now, Open it on your PC and make sure you already have inserted a USB flash drive.
  • Accept the agreement in media creation tool and go ahead. It will take a while to prepare everything.

Create Installation Media in Microsoft Media Creation Tool

  • When It will ask “What do you want to do,” select “Create Installation Media (USB Flash Drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC.”
  • Now, Click on Next and then select the version and language.
  • Again, Click on Next.

Create Bootable USB Drive in Media Creation Tool

  • Now, Check USB flash drive and go ahead.
  • It will automatically download and burn the ISO into your flash drive simultaneously.

These are some best ways to create a bootable USD Drive or DVD. I hope these tips will help you in the future.