How to make Pen Drive Bootable

Published On
October 2, 2020
how to make a bootable pen drive

Having a bootable Pendrive is always recommended especially if you are dealing with fixing computers or switching between different OS or experimenting on something. But for beginners, making a bootable pen drive is one of the difficult task as it seems complex and probably doesn't work every time since that are a couple of things to care about. Additionally, if you are making a bootable pen drive for Windows 10, terms like MBR and GPT can confuse a lot of people. That's just how our mind works. In this article, we will be telling you about how to create a pen drive bootable easily using Three-different methods so that you can choose the best one for yourself. All of these methods involve using GUI (graphical user interface) and doesn't involve the use of the command line. If that sounds complicated to you and doesn't know what that means, don't worry.

How to make Pen Drive Bootable

As we mentioned earlier that we will be mentioning three different ways to create a bootable pen drive so that you can decide which works for you. Do remember that while we have listed the methods in no particular order, you may choose one for yourself by looking at their pros and cons or advantages and disadvantages.

  • Using Unetbootin

This one is probably the most balanced way to create a pen drive bootable. And creating a bootable pendrive shouldn't be an issue since there are not many options to work with. Surely the UI may not be much pleasing but it makes the job done way easier and faster than the other two options mentioned on this list.

Click on the link here to download UNetbootin.

To create a bootable pen drive using UNetbootin

  • Assuming that you already have an ISO file, open UNetbootin
  • Click on Diskimage and select your ISO file
  • Under 'Type' option, select your pen drive
  • Click on OK
  • Wait till the process is finished

How to make Pen Drive Bootable

That's it. That's how easy it way to create a bootable pen drive. Do note that the time to finish the process may vary on the size of the ISO file and the write speeds of your pen drive. Sandisk Red colored pen drives are usually slow and supports old USB 2.0 hardware which means that they will take much longer time in comparison with pen drives utilizing the newest USB 3.0 or 3.1 hardware.

Pros of UNetbootin

  • Available for Linux, Mac and Windows.
  • Ability to download distributions
  • Doesn't require installation
  • Lightweight
  • Completely Open-source
  • Easy UI and doesn't make things complicated

Cons of UNetbootin

  • Not for advanced users
  • May not boot some ISO files which require special adjustments
  • UI may not be appealing to some

While UI definitely doesn't matter especially when it can get our work done, some people do have their own preferences.

  • Using Etcher

Also known as Balena Etcher, is one of the most advanced and modern tools to create a bootable pen drive. Not only Etcher looks good, but it can also work for both, advanced users and beginners. Some Linux distro files like Manjaro ISO file doesn't boot for us when flashed using UNetbootin or Rufus but works like a charm when flashed using Etcher.

Link to download Etcher

To create a bootable pen drive using Etcher

  • Download and Install Etcher (125mb file)
  • Once installed, open it
  • Assuming you have already downloaded the ISO file, click on Flash file from ISO
  • Select Target (Your USB pen drive in this care)
  • Click on Flash
  • As we said earlier, that it may take some time to complete the process depending upon the size of the ISO file and your pendrive write-speeds

How to make PenDrive Bootable

Pros of balenaEtcher

  • Completely Open-source
  • Modern UI
  • Simple Navigation
  • Works even with ISO files which require some additional adjustments

Cons of balenaEtcher

  • Doesn't work without installation

Personally, our favorite is Etcher since it works for us. However, the case might be different for you.

Also Read: How to Dual boot Ubuntu and Windows 10

  • Using Rufus

Rufus is a perfect option to create a bootable Pendrive if you are looking for more controls and prefer a somewhat advanced tool. Even though you can set things to default, it offers it users a plethora of options to play with which a lot of people would love to. Surely it can confuse beginners and we wouldn't recommend this to beginners as well. Still,it works and can be really good for advanced users.

To create a bootable pen drive using Rufus

  • Select your USB pen drive as 'Device'
  • Select your ISO File as ' Boot Selection'
  • You can leave other settings as default if you don't know or doesn't want to change them
  • Click on Start
  • Wait for Rufus to complete the flashing

create a bootable usb

Pros of Rufus

  • More advanced controls
  • Perfect for professionals and advanced users
  • Completely Open-source

Cons of Rufus

  • Might appear too complex to beginners

So that was how you can create a bootable pen drive using various different tools. You can pick the best one for yourself. However, if you are still confused, UNetbootin might be the choice for you. But don't forget that some ISO files like the one for Manjaro, only boots if flashed using etcher.

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