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I am trying to create a bootable USB stick from a .iso image (it isn't a linux distro or anything of the sort) intended for use with a CD. I've tried UNetbootin and dd but they don't boot.

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marked as duplicate by LiveWireBT, Florian Diesch, don.joey, Eric Carvalho, minerz029 Dec 26 '13 at 21:54

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

3  
Could please be more specicif, what OS will be running from the ISO? the booting creating process depends on the OS which you want to boot from. –  João Pinto Dec 5 '10 at 12:42
    
If you do this, your USB Stick will work for less time than usual. You can't write a USB stick many times. Cheers! –  DrKenobi Dec 16 '10 at 7:37
    

7 Answers 7

Try Ubuntu Startup disk creator, I don't think it discriminates about which input ISO you give it. (System->Administration->Startup Disk Creator), then select the .iso you want to burn and the output USB drive. I've used it several times now for creating a boot environment on both a thumb drive and a backup USB hard drive.

You haven't told us anything about the USB drive itself though, it might be handy to::

  • print the output of sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdX (where sdX is the device (sda/sdb/sdc etc) name given to the USB drive upon plugging it in, you can find this at the bottom of dmesg as you insert the drive)

    Mine (in a MacbookPro):
    Device      Boot    Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sdb1               1          26      204819+  ee  GPT
    /dev/sdb2   *          26        3065    24414064   af  HFS / HFS+
    /dev/sdb3            3082        3212     1048576   82  Linux swap / Solaris
    /dev/sdb4            3212        9291    48827392   83  Linux
    

    (Make sure a partition on the drive is actualy marked as bootable (* in the boot column)

  • attempt to boot from a bootable USB thumb drive or similar on your machine to test it, maybe its not capable or not setup to boot from an external USB device (check BIOS for more info)

  • also, try the bootable drive on another machine as this will at least tell you if the drive itself is working correctly
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The USB creator ("usb-creator-gtk") won't touch an openSUSE .iso when I try it. It seems to only like Ubuntu .iso files. –  Pointy Jun 30 '11 at 14:01

The best software to create a bootable USB from a .iso file for me is multisystem

1: http://liveusb.info/multisystem/install-depot-multisystem.sh.tar.bz2 more info official site

enter image description here

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Usually, Unetbootin works perfectly so try to file a bug if possible.

If you want to make a bootable ubuntu flash disk, you could try the Ubuntu Startup Disk Writer.

For Fedora, there is a similar utility.

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Calixte said: "(it isn't a linux distro or anything of the sort)"... –  Vojtech Trefny Dec 5 '10 at 13:51

looke in the link http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/13379/create-a-bootable-ubuntu-9.10-usb-flash-drive/ it is very smple goodlack

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UNetBootin isn't working. I have it installed on my netbook (running Ubuntu 10.10), on my desktop PC (running Ubuntu 10.10 AND Windows 7) but I get the same result each time, which is nothing. Is there a command-line tool available? –  Calixte Dec 7 '10 at 19:54
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While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. –  hexafraction Aug 16 '12 at 13:22

MultiBoot USB does what you want. Your ISO should be a Linux distribution though.

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Silly question but does your system know to look for a USB drive at boot-up or do you need to press a combination of keys just after start-up?

Sometimes you may be better just burning a CD for older systems. More details would help!

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I have to press F12 and then chose which device to boot from. It works because that's what I used to install Ubuntu on it. –  Calixte Dec 18 '10 at 8:28

A "bootable" USB disk requires a "bootable" ISO files to be burned on it.

The litmus test is simple: If burning the said ISO on a DVD would get you a bootable DVD, then any of the methods (like "startup disk creator") to "burn" the ISO on usb would do the trick. But if the ISO would not give you a bootable DVD, then it can NEVER give you a bootable USB, because bootable is just not what your ISO is.

I know I am reviving a two year old thread, but looking at the number of views, and its unanswered status, I could not resist answering it.

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