Make Bootable USB (on any computer) with Unetbootin

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Turn any of those old extra flash drive into a useful tool. Make that flash drive a bootable USB driver. Install Windows or Linux right from a USB flash drive. Quick and easy setup with Unetbootin.

Everyone has extra flash drives laying around these days. Get some renewed good use out of them with Unetbootin. With it, you can turn any old or new flash drive into a small useful portable tool for installing your favorite OS or even a standalone boot tool. Really, you can make any bootable USB tool you want.

The best tool I have found and really the only one I use to make bootable flash drives is Unetbootin. It is simple and just what you need to get the job done quick and easy. Unetbootin is a small and lightweight program that you can run on just about any platform. From their website, you can download the application for use on Windows, Linux, or Mac.

Download the Unetbootin program here:

Unetbootin at a Glance

When you first launch Unetbootin, you will see a few pretty straight forward options. You can select your desired distribution from the drop down at the top. Or you can browse your computer and select the ISO for the distribution you already have locally. One of the great things about this program is that if you don’t already have the ISO downloaded or are unsure where to get it, you can get it and automatically from the source.

Make Any Flashdrive Bootable - First Look

After you have selected your operating system or tool to install to the flash drive, select the correct drive letter at the bottom and click “OK”. Be careful when you select the drive letter though. If you select the wrong one, you will lose the data on the drive. So be very sure of the drive letter!

Note: is that if your flash drive does not show up in drive list at the bottom, you may need to close the application and relaunch it. Unetbootin will only recognize the drives that your operating system has mounted before the program is opened. It does NOT auto refresh the list.

Installing the Boot Files to Flash Drive

Once you have all of your settings selected simply press “OK” and wait. Unetbootin will begin installing all the necessary files to the flash drive and then making the drive bootable. The time it takes to install all the files to the drive depends on the size of the ISO, distribution you selected, and the speed of your flash drives so keep that in mind.

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Make Any Flashdrive Bootable - Flashing the Drive

Ready to Boot Flash drive

One the program is done installing all the files to the flash drive, you are ready to boot into your new flash drive tool. Just plug that sucker into what ever machine you want to boot it on, and make sure the BIOS has USB boot enabled and then you are good to go!

Make Any Flashdrive Bootable - Completed the Install

Bootable USB drive with Unetbootin

Now with your sweet new bootable USB drive setup with Unetbootin, you can install whatever operating system you want. Right from a USB drive. Even run a boot tool or computer maintenance tool right from any USB drive. Just one simple program, Unetbootin! Just find the ISO for your favorite tool or OS, grab a flash drive, run Unetbootin, and boot off that USB drive!

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