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v4: Create a Bootable Linux USB device

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v4: Create a Bootable Linux USB device

If your PC doesn’t have a CD/DVD drive then there is no way to boot your PC into the rescue environment using the supplied CD/DVD images. However, just about every modern PC has the capability to boot from a USB flash drive (memory stick) and fortunately there is a free utility to convert your Linux CD image into a bootable USB stick.

In this tutorial I’ll show you the simple steps required to create a USB stick that boots into the Macrium Reflect Linux rescue environment.

Prepare your USB stick

Make sure your USB stick is formatted as FAT16. It must be FAT16 not FAT32 or NTFS. FAT16 is nearly always abbreviated to just FAT in most Windows operations.

Please note: The maximum size of the USB stick is 4GB. Unfortunately larger devices cannot be formatted as FAT16.

Open ‘My Computer’, right click on your USB drive and select properties:

If the ‘File system’ isn’t FAT then you’ll need to format the USB stick as FAT16 (FAT). Right click on the drive and select ‘Format’.

Make sure that FAT is selected as the file system. It’s best to leave the ‘Quick Format’ option un-checked.

Note: If you receive a message saying ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ then in some cases the format has actually finished and this message can safely be ignored.

Create the Linux ISO image

We need to create an image of the bootable CD so we can transfer the contents to the USB stick.

  1. Start Reflect, click the ‘Other Tasks’ panel, and then click the ‘Create a boot-able Rescue CD’ option.

  2. The Rescue CD wizard will open.

    Ensure that the Linux option is selected and click 'Next'.
  3. The next Wizard page is the burn page.

    Click the CD/DVD burner drop-down list and select ‘Create ISO image file’.
  4. Click ‘Finish’ and choose a location for your image file. For this example we’ll choose c:\rescue.iso’ as the destination.

Copy the ISO image contents to your USB stick

To make your USB stick bootable with the contents of your Linux boot image we need to download a free utility called ‘UNetbootin’ from here: . Choose the ‘download for Windows’ option and save the file to your desktop or anywhere you can easily access it.

  1. Double click ‘unetbootin-windows-282.exe’. The following dialog is displayed:

  2. Choose the Diskimage option and enter/select the path to your image file created previously.
  3. Select ‘USB Drive’ as your target disk type and choose your USB stick drive letter in the drop down list.
  4. Click ‘OK’ to copy the image files and make the USB stick bootable.

That’s it!
You’ve made a bootable USB stick.  When you restart you should see the Linux rescue environment loaded from the stick.

You need to make sure that USB booting is enabled in your BIOS. Please refer to your BIOS manual or help guide. If you don’t have access to these then you’re bound to find information on your BIOS configuration for USB booting if you search the internet.
Last Modified:18 Dec 2012

Last Modified By:

Type: Tutorial

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