How to Burn ISO Files to a USB Drive

Burning an ISO file to a USB drive may be challenging sometimes. Especially if you’re looking to boot from the USB Device after the files are being transferred. Even though it sounds fairly straightforward, the process goes way beyond ordinary copy-pasting of files to the external drive. ISO is an image file of an optical disk. It contains the information to be written on the optical disk in a highly-compressed format.

There’s no actual burning involved in the process. The term has been carried forward from the time when these ISO files were used to command lasers to burn the magnetic data into the compact disk.

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There’s an excellent free software called Rufus that helps us to fast forward and automate the process of burning ISO files to a USB drive.

Steps to Burn ISO Files With Rufus

The below explained method also works for burning the Windows 10 ISO file to a USB drive. However, it is recommended to use Microsoft’s download and installation tool for that process.

You need to follow the steps as mentioned below;

1. Download the Rufus software. The software is capable of preparing the USB drive for installation, automatic extraction of the content of the ISO file, as well as copying the extracted files to the required USB device.

2. You then need to double-click on the file that you just downloaded. It’ll go by the name  “rufus-<version>p.exe”. This will launch the Rufus program on your system.

3. If not already plugged in, proceed to insert the USB device into your computer. Make sure it is the same USB device in which you intend to burn the ISO file.

4. In the Rufus application, go to the drop-down under “device” and then select the USB device in which you intend to burn the ISO file. Rufus displays useful insight like the total size, drive letter, the free space available on the drive, e.t.c to help you in identifying the correct drive.

5. Now head over to the drop-down below “boot selection”, you need to ensure that the selection is either ISO or Disk. And then click on the “select” button.

6. Carefully locate and select the ISO file that needs to be burned to the flash drive, after that click on “open” to load the file into Rufus.

7. At this point, Rufus will perform an inspection of the selected ISO file. This can often take a couple of seconds. Now head to the area of Image options, If you see an option called “standard Windows Installation”, you should select that. Feel free to leave the other options as default.

8. You can have a look at the “show advanced format options” menu under the Format Options tab to see all the formatting options. It is advised to leave everything as default is you’re not sure about what you’re doing.

9. Now click on the “start’ button to initiate the process of burning the ISO file to the selected USB device. You may see certain warning messages while the process gets completed. Address these messages properly and then click ok to proceed.

10. Rufus will properly format your USB drive to make it bootable. Then, it’ll copy all the file contents of the ISO image to the selected USB device. This process may take several minutes depending upon a number of factors like ISO file size, processor speed, as well as the USB hardware speed.

11. Wait till the status of the process in the Rufus program becomes “ready”. Once done, you can feel free to eject the USB device and close the program.

Congratulations! You’ve now successfully burned the ISO file to your USB device. The USB device should now be ready to boot. Rufus is among the best free tools available to do this process. However, alternatives like ISO To USB, BalenaEtcher and Universal USB Installer are worth a try.

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