How to boot a USB
Have you had problems with your computer and you need to reinstall the operating system (OS) or do you want to start programs without starting the OS? For these cases, the use of bootable or bootable drives, such as USB drives or DVDs, is usually used, which have the ability to open and start programs on computers where the OS has not yet been loaded into RAM we will teach you here how to boot a USB.
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 booted or bootable USB refers to a bootable removable drive that is capable of starting on its own within the computer without the need for an operating system to open applications. With a booted USB, you will be able to execute functions that the operating system may not include, reinstall operating systems or even run them without going through the installation process. To boot a USB, you generally need the following:
- ISO image of the program or file that you want to open or run on your computer.
- Pendrive that has a storage capacity clearly greater than the file you want to enter it (at least 4 GB onwards)
- 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: 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, is free, and 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. More than one piece of software can be stored on the same drive, as long as there is space for it and they do not exceed the 2 TB limit. Like Rufus, RMPrepUSB is also free, but does not have a Spanish version.
- UNetbootin: this option is exclusive for GNU / Linux operating systems, although it can be installed on all other operating systems. It is one of the oldest ways to create booted USBs and it is compatible with Ubuntu.
There are other programs built into the operating system that you can use to boot a USB, then we will explain how to do it. Anyway, and whatever program you decide to use, it is important that you know that everything that is in memory will be erased. For that reason, you should format the USB beforehand and make a backup to make sure that there are no files on it that you can lose. Learn how to format a pen 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 Windows 7’s built-in USB / DVD Download Tool. To know how to boot a USB with 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 the “open” or “open” option.
- Then click on the “next” or “next” 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 pen drive.
- When this 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.
How to create a Windows 10 bootable USB
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 Windows 10 bootable 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 USB stick or memory card with at least 8 GB of storage, as the space for the operating system can take up 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 option “USB Flash Drive“, which will start downloading Windows 10 to the device once you connect it.
- If this does not come out at the end of the procedure, you can press the option “Update the list of units”.
- After the download is complete, the operating system will be stored on the device and ready to use when you need it.
Having a bootable USB with Windows 7, 8, 10, among others, is a good investment when it comes to solving boot failures that your computer may register. With these simple tips you can do it yourself without the need to resort to third parties.
For more ways to install the latest Windows operating system, visit our How to install Windows 10 article.