Bootable USB: what is it and how to create it?

A bootable USB can help you install new operating systems by booting the computer from it. It is possible to install or record any system on your flash drive, although it must have the necessary storage capacity, between 2 and 16 GB. The size of the USB memory varies depending on the type of OS.

The bootable USB is a pendrive used to boot the computer from itself. That is, the words “bootable USB” are a way of saying “bootable USB”. This is done by technicians or anyone who wants to repair a computer on their own. A Microsoft, Linux or Mac operating system can be saved on the pendrive. It is also possible to install the operating system on the pendrive , in order to open it on any computer. Next, we explain how to make a bootable USB for the different operating systems.

How to create a bootable USB for Windows 10?

Windows 10 is one of the most used operating systems on computers, due to its intuitive user interface and speed of operation. Likewise, it is one of the preferred ones because it offers compatibility with the vast majority of existing applications and video games.

Before answering the question, you should also know how to boot USB. Well, booting a USB means giving the necessary format to any pendrive and saving an operating system inside it that we can later open or install on the computer. In this case, we will explain how to create a bootable USB to be able to install Windows 10 on any computer.

The first thing you should do is download the Windows 10 operating system from its official page. The download will be free, but the use of the system with all the benefits requires paying a special license. Once you have downloaded the operating system you will have to save it on a pendrive. The latter will be formatted and you will lose any data you have stored on it. For that reason, we recommend that you backup everything you have on the flash drive before booting it.

In the case of Windows 10, you won’t have to do complex steps for its installation, since its installation tool itself will do the necessary tasks to format the pen drive and store the ISO image. When the process is finished you can use the pendrive in any USB port of the computer where you want to install Windows 10.

The best programs to make a bootable USB

If you want to make a bootable USB by yourself, you can do it easily, thanks to various programs that some computer specialists have created. Next, we present several of the most used applications to boot a flash drive.

1. Rufus

This could be the best program to boot a USB. You simply need to download Rufus from its official website and follow the steps that the program itself will give you. This application works for Linux, Windows and Mac . In fact, one of its specialties is being able to create a bootable USB for Windows 7 quickly.

2. PassFab for ISO

Thanks to this application you can directly download the Windows 10 operating system and store it on a DVD or pen drive. If you want to boot from USB with Windows 10, with this software you can achieve it. Simply, you install the OS on a flash drive, to later open it on any computer. Also, it should be noted that it works with different file systems, FAT32, FAT and NTFS.

3. UNetbootin

If you are looking for a simple application to save any operating system on a flash drive , this could be the one. It works with Windows, Mac and Linux. In fact, you will be able to download various Linux versions from the same program. Similarly, it is possible to save various additional tools on the bootable pendrive, for example, office automation and antivirus packages.  

4. Yumi

Yumi is a program dedicated to people who need advanced boot options. Thanks to this application you will be able to record different operating systems on the same flash drive, something that makes the work of computer technicians and engineers easier.

5. Live USB Install

If what you want is to boot Linux from USB, with this application you won’t have any problems, since it offers direct download of the version you want. Then, you create the bootable USB to be able to use it on different computers. Similarly, there is a version of this application that is used to make pen drives with Windows operating systems.  

6. Etcher

Etcher is free and open source software compatible with Mac, Linux and Windows. It is used to create bootable units on various storage devices (pen drive, CD, DVD and hard drives). Also, it offers a user interface that is very easy for beginners to use. With this application you will be able to create various bootable devices automatically.

How to create a bootable USB for Mac?

According to the official Apple website, it is not mandatory to create a bootable pen drive with a Mac operating system. However, it is an important task for those who need to install the same system on several computers. These are the steps you must follow if you want to have a MacOS Big Sur on your flash drive ready to install on another compatible Apple device .

  • First, you need a flash drive with a capacity of at least 12 GB. This flash device must be formatted as Mac OS Extended.
  • Second, you must have the macOS Big Sur installer.
  • The computer where you are going to use this bootable pendrive must be compatible with the version of MacOS to be installed. You should also download the appropriate installer from a Mac running Sierra 10.12.5 or higher.
  • Next, on an Apple computer, connect the pendrive that you will use and open Terminal.
  • If you are installing Big Sur, paste the following command: sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Big\ –volume /Volumes/MyVolume
  • Afterwards, press the Return button to enter the previous code. You’ll be prompted for the admin password, so add it, and then press Return again.
  • Enter the letter “Y” when the process requires it. “Y” means “Yes”, specifically, it means that you are willing to delete the volume (information you have on the connected flash drive).
  • If Terminal asks you for permission to access the removable volume (pendrive), select “Ok”. This will continue to copy the operating system to your flash drive.
  • When the creation of the bootable pendrive is finished, Terminal will notify you, so you can now remove the storage device to use it on other compatible Mac computers. The volume should be left with the name of the installer you downloaded, in this case Install Big Sur.

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