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I've been using Unetbootin but it occasionally fails to create a bootable usb the way I need it to, especially with the newer versions.

Is there a way I could extract the iso myself?

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Extracting the ISO will not make a Bootable USB/CD/DVD –  Uri Herrera Mar 29 '12 at 5:19
Here is how to extract ISO to usb and make it boot able –  Web-E Mar 29 '12 at 5:59
This question appears to be abandoned by the OP. Voting to close it. –  Ringtail Dec 24 '12 at 20:59

4 Answers 4

This is a bit destructive, but works all the time. It will write everything to the /dev/sdb (which is the usb device. )

sudo dd if=/path/to.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=16M

read the manpage of dd

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This will only work if it is a hybrid ISO containing an MBR and partitioning to allow you to use it as a disk image too. So it may or may not work for the questioner's case. –  James Henstridge Mar 29 '12 at 9:47
@JamesHenstridge: This is true, however, most "live CD" ISOs have this property. So, this method should work for most real-live use-cases. –  oneself Apr 4 '13 at 15:01
isohybrid is a useful command for this purpose: –  Ehtesh Choudhury Oct 9 '14 at 3:59
@EhteshChoudhury that is how the kernel does it on make isoimage:… –  Ciro Santilli 六四事件 法轮功 纳米比亚 威视 Sep 14 at 14:28

Depends. If you are going to use a Live Linux ISO like the Ubuntu LiveCDs then you can use the tool that comes with Ubuntu called Startup Disk Creator. Type Startup in Dash and it should appear there. From there on, the disk creator can create a Live USB from any Linux ISO that is a LiveCD.

If you are referring to a Windows ISO for example that changes everything. I suggest you see this question: How to create a bootable USB from a .iso file?

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According to this tutorial it is possible.

Just use whatever distribution CD you choose in its place.

Note: Usually the failure to create a bootable USB is the USB itself. Some thumb drives just don't want to cooperate.

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or a bad ISO... –  Brock Hensley Jul 3 '13 at 21:57
Although your answer is 100% correct, it might also become 100% useless if that link is moved, changed, merged into another one or the main site just disappears... :-( Therefore, please edit your answer, and copy the relevant steps from the link into your answer, thereby guaranteeing your answer for 100% of the lifetime of this site! ;-) You can always leave the link in at the bottom of your answer as a source for your material... –  Fabby Mar 24 at 12:00

Use the following Program:

Universal USB Installer Click Here

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That's not manually. –  techtonik Jun 24 '13 at 14:53
@techtonik It's as "manual" as dd or any other piece of software that performs the same function. –  Jason C May 23 '14 at 1:01
@JasonC, are you sure that simple raw copy from ISO to USB is enough to make it bootable? I thought that you need to do some checks that ISO fits USB correctly and set some bits to make it bootable. –  techtonik May 23 '14 at 8:08

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