Installations from a USB flash drive have become one of the easiest ways to update your computer with a new operating system. A USB installation is quick, extremely portable, and has the added bonus of reverting back to a storage device following the install. I cannot tell you how many discs I ruined over the years by messing up the write process, but I have a lot of very shiny drink-coasters in my living room.
You’ll find a fair few ISO to USB tools out there, and they feature a range of tools for beginners and advanced users. To keep this test fair, I’m going to use each tool to burn a copy of Windows 10 Insider Preview 10130 x64 to an 8GB Integral drive, formatted each time. Let’s take a look at the burn time, and the resources available to each software. For science!
First up, Rufus. Rufus comes as a very small executable with minimal options for tinkering, aside from partition scheme, file systems, cluster size, and the type of bootable you’ll be creating. Once you’ve selected the bootable disk type and the ISO image you’ll be burning, you can happily hit Start and wait for the process to finish.
Rufus is a simple and easy to use. It automatically detects your USB drive and capacity so you can easily identify which device you are formatting.
ISO image on your hard disk must be a valid bootable image because Rufus scan the image before you load it. If you get any error, just uncheck ‘Create bootable disk’ option.
Rufus can be used to create bootable USB pendrive for All Windows versions and all Linux distros. + fast, easy, run without installation.
RMPrepUSB is one of the most complete ISO to USB packages on this list. Aside from the above mentioned features, it comes packed with a host of other BootLoaders, DiskDoctor, Speed Tests, and individual user configurations for those drives you constantly prepare.
It’s all in one tool. Features come with cluttered interface. If you don’t know what are you doing, don’t use it. I personally do not recommend it if you want a simple bootable USB to install new operating system.
RMPrepUBS is specialized in creating multiple partition in a single USB drive. You can install multiple ISO of different OS or save user files along side of the bootable USB.
The special feature of RMPrepUSB is you can create a partition in USB drive just like you do on your hard disk making it more useful for saving files plus using the same drive as a separate folder for storing files. This keeps your files separate from the operating system files.
3. Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
Such an eloquent name. You select your ISO. You select your media type; USB or DVD. You click Begin Copying, and off it goes. In what is the most basic of basic GUIs, and with only two options, the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool is almost sublimely simple, comparable only to ISO to USB.
YUMI, or Your Universal Multiboot Installer, is another multiboot installer with settings for a massive range of ISOs. Unlike Xboot, YUMI asks if you’d like to add another ISO or Distro to your USB following a successful burn, so don’t worry if you cannot find the multiboot builder.
YUMI allow you to prepare the bootable USB drive multiple operating system in one USB drive without formatting it.
You can download the ISO of your favorite OS. YUMI have large collection of free OS based on Linux and other free OS projects. Just select what you want and YUMI will give you the direct download link for it. The interface is quite easy to use and useful.
WinSetupFromUSB offers a mid-range of features. It isn’t quite RMPrePUSB, but it has so much more to offer than the other basic burners we have already covered, particularly the inclusion of FBinst Tool, Bootice, and RMPrepUSB.
Each of these additional tools come with popup instructions detailing their use alongside WinSetupFromUSB, but can all be used with their original functions i.e. RMPrepUSB opens in its own dialogue with the customizable ISO/USB interface mentioned above.
This is also a tool for those who want to install multiple operating system on one USB device.
WinSetup From USB let you install Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 2000, Windows 7, Windows 10, any Linux distribution.
When you prepare the USB drive using ‘WinSetup From USB’ you will be presented with the list of operating systems installed on the thumb drive and select the preferred operating system to boot from. Though the interface is simple, non expert users may find it difficult to use.
WiNToBootic is yet another bootable pendrive software which helps you to make your bootable pendrive for windows vista/7/8/8.1.
Again a basic tool with minimum option. Just drag and drop your .ISO image or click on ‘drop ISO here’ icon. It will auto detect your USB media. Hit the ‘Do It’ button, WinToBootic will do the everything rest.
It is rather a speedy and convenient software which you can use. It is a standalone as well as user friendly and supports NTFS, windows all versions.
7. Universal USB Installer
Specialized tool for creating bootable live Linux OS.
It has predefined list of most of the Linux distributions available.
Give path of ISO image and USB flash drive you want to boot from. Prepare a Live antivirus rescue disk using it. A special option for this is also given for reuse CD.
Specialized menu for Linux, also support windows 7, vista, 8, 8.1 and above.
This tool is an exact clone of Universal USB installer or you can also say Universal USB installer is a clone of UNetbootin.
Create a bootable USB for any Linux distribution.
If you are not using Windows as your host operating system, then UNetbootin is an option to go for. UNetbootin is available for Linux, iOS and Windows.
So if you are using Linux, most of the software’s listed here will not run where UNetbootin will come to help.
9. Linux Live USB Creator (LiLi)
LiLi is one more software used to make bootable usb. The special feature called built-in Vitalization allow users to run the installed Linux operating system without restarting the Windows which are an exclusive feature of LiLi.
If you are concerned only about Linux you must go for this.
10. WinUSB Maker
This is more that just a bootable USB creation tool, though you can use it for that also. This is a special tool that will allow you to clone hard disk partition on your portable memory device like USB thumb drive or portable hard disk.
WinUSB maker copies exact partition of your local hard disk along with the boot files and file structure. You can also restore the saved partition from the USB device to your hard disk making it useful as a backup tool. This is a must have tool for everyone. We have already discussed about this earlier here.
This is more than just a bootable USB maker. You can create a rescue CD or a disk having multiple operating systems or tools like antivirus rescue CD.
It combines multiple tools in ISO image making it more useful than just a USB creating tool. XBoot can create ISO image from files and then write these files to USB drive for booting or installation.
12. Windows Bootable Image Creator
This is a straight forward and ultra small tool that accomplishes its job as you expect. It has a super simple interface and minimum buttons to avoid confusion of new users. This is a tool from AskVG.
There are only basic buttons and only one task to do. Just create a bootable USB drive to install or try new operating systems. I wonder how it is so small and light. It is just 160KB in size.
You can use the UltraISO trial version an ISO to USB tool. Whilst the trial version restricts the size of ISOs created, it does nothing of the sort if you’re burning something created elsewhere.
On opening UltraISO, browse to your ISO location in the bottom half of the file explorer. Once located, double click. This loads the ISO image for burning. Then head to Bootable > Write Disk Image.
Be sure to use the USB-HDD+ option for best results, unless advised otherwise. Hit Write and off you go!
WinToFlash is another windows based bootable pendrive software. If you have download an ISO file in your computer then you can create boot file in your pen drive this tool.
It simply helps you to create bootable pen drive of windows and after you make bootable pen drive then install windows anywhere anytime from your pen drive and do not have to woorry about CD/DVD’s.
Simply insert pen drive in your computer and run Setup. exe file and it will install windows in your computer.
15. Passcafe ISO Burner
Unlike its competitors, Passcafe ISO Burner lets create bootable USB not just from ISO file but also from Windows DVD or installation files. The program is simple and easy to use. The only catch is that it isn’t portable.
16. BootSage Tool
This is another alternative to Above tool with some GUI changed and Improved than earlier.Currenly supports running all Windows operating systems starting with Windows XP.All versions of the Windows AIK are supported, as are Windows Vista/2008, Windows 7, 8 and above versions.
17. ISO to USB
ISO to USB is a free and small software that can burn the ISO image file directly to the USB drives, these USB drives include USB flash drives, memory sticks and other USB storage devices, it also supports to create a bootable USB disk with Windows operating systems. Freeware.
18. Novicorp WinToFlash
WinToFlash is powerfull application for Multiboot USB creation with millions of satisfied users all around the globe. With WinToFlash you can create a Multiboot USB drive with Windows Setup, live linux, offline antivirus, data recovery, hardware tests or even install fully functional Windows like Windows To Go on a USB in just a couple of mouse clicks!
WinToFlash downloads software for Multiboot USB from the Internet and cache it on the hard drive, formats a USB, installs bootloader, creates boot selection menu and checks the file system for errors for you fully automatically.
The WinToFlash makes the job hassle free for you.
FlashBoot is an ultimate tool for making bootable USB devices.
FlashBoot can install fully-functional Windows 8/8.1/10 to USB thumbdrive (so you can boot Windows from USB and carry your OS, your apps, your documents, your browser in the pocket, run it in public library, in internet-cafe, work-from-home etc).
Also, FlashBoot can convert Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 installation CD/DVD to bootable USB disk, useful for Windows installation on netbooks and other devices without CD/DVD drive. FlashBoot supports USB flash thumbdrives and USB hard disks.
20. Image Writer
This program was initially written to fill a need for Ubuntu Jaunty (9.04) Netbook Remix. Recently, it has grown in popularity for other project developers, namely Arm development projects (Android, Ubuntu on Arm, etc). Anyone is free to branch and modify this program. Patches are always welcome.
21. Power ISO
PowerISO is a powerful CD / DVD / BD image file processing tool, which allows you to open, extract, burn, create, edit, compress, encrypt, split and convert ISO files, and mount ISO files with internal virtual drive. It can process almost all CD / DVD / BD image files including ISO and BIN files. PowerISO provides an all-in-one solution. You can do every thing with your ISO files and disc image files.
This is a powerful tool to create a bootlable USB with few clicks.
Hence, These are best bootable pendrive software for windows and linux easily. Choose any of them which you like most and find easy. If you need any assistance, or have any query, feel free to write to us in comments below.