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How To Boot Your PC From A USB Drive

In this quick guide, we are going to show you the easiest way to create a fully functional bootable USB drive. Before learning how to create a bootable USB drive let’s find out what is a bootable USB drive is first. Well, a bootable USB drive is nothing but a normal USB drive that contains an operating system that boots your computer.

To clarify it further, if your USB drive is bootable when your computer starts it automatically detects the bootable USB drive and then starts booting using it. Now let’s see how to make a proper bootable USB drive. To do this, there are various softwares available on the internet. For example, Etcher, Win32 Disk Imager and UNetbootin, etc. But for this guide, we are going to use Rufus. Rufus is an open-source bootable USB drive maker that is very popular. So let’s get into it. 

First, you need to have the ISO file of your preferred operating system. Downloading the ISO file is not very complicated. All you have to do is, go to the official website of your preferred operating system and download the ISO file from there.

After that, to contain the installation files you need a USB drive. But before continuing, make sure that the capacity of your USB flash drive exceeds 8 GB. In this process, your USB drive will get formatted. And therefore, if you have important data stored on your USB drive, back it up completely. Also, don't forget to format the USB drive fully before you start.

In case your USB drive is in an inaccessible state or you forgot to backup your data before formatting you may have to use a recovery software to get your data back.

Finally, you have to download Rufus. To download Rufus, you can visit their website or visit their SourceForge page.  Since Rufus is portable, it does not need any installation. Once you have downloaded Rufus, simply launch it. Rufus also has a CLI interface that won’t be needed for novice users. But if you need heavy customization options, then it is better to go with the CLI version. 

To create the bootable USB, simply plug the USB drive into your PC and run Rufus.  When you launch Rufus for the first time, it will ask you if you want to update it to the latest software version. It is best to answer “Yes” to have the latest version. On the top, you will see an area for ISO selection. From there, locate the ISO file that you have downloaded.

Once the ISO is loaded into Rufus, click on the “Start” button to start the creation of your bootable USB drive. Give Rufus a few minutes to do its job and it will show you a message when it is done. When you see the notification, you can pull out the USB drive from your PC and use it as you wish. If you've done everything correctly, the installation wizard should appear. If this is not the case, you may have to recheck the steps once again.