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I tried to use the usb-creator.exe from Ubuntu 10.10 desktop i386 ISO image and it does create an USB stick that doesn't boot. When I try to boot from it I get:

Operating System not found.

I try to do this from Windows 7 x64. I'm not looking to create a live Ubuntu media, only an installation USB disk.

I repeated the process several times and I even tried to reformat the USB drive (FAT32), no success yet.

The USB stick is a 8GB one.

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10 Answers 10

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Well you can create a Live-USB disk that can be used for installing the operating system with unetbootin. Here is the official documentation on USB installation.

Make sure that you boot the USB disk at system startup, i.e. when you on your computer. That means the BIOS of your computer has to be set to try to boot from USB before it boots from hard drive and the stick has to be inserted before hard drive booting takes place.

The usual procedure from within Ubuntu is to use Startup Disk Creator. With that you just select the Ubuntu image or LiveCD and the USB-Media and go ahead. See picture below:

Startup Disk Creator usage

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Set to boot from USB in BIOS. that is if you haven't set to it.

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4  
@Jesse If the "operating system not found" error happens when attempting to boot from the USB flash drive and not otherwise, it's unlikely that changing BIOS settings would help. In this case, the problem is that the USB flash drive is not bootable. –  Eliah Kagan Jan 9 '13 at 4:19

From what I see, you have downloaded an ISO file and burnt it to a USB stick. In other words, you have created a liveUSB. And, you expect it to install Ubuntu inside of Windows 7. That is only possible if you have downloaded a WUbI installer. To install Ubuntu using a WUbI, you can follow this link.

If you are trying to install using a LiveUSB, check how to boot from USB for a better idea.

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Thanks guys! I actually tried all your suggestions. But the situation remains the same. I downloaded wubi. When the installation approached near the end, there appeared error and the installation could not complete. –  J. N. Jan 22 '12 at 8:36
    
@J.N. what error is it? –  hexafraction Jul 4 '12 at 16:52

I prefer using Startup Disk Creator on the Live CD, (or usb-creator for Windows, extracted from the Ubuntu iso). Unetbootin should also work if the version is up to date.

The first thing you should do with either, is check the MD5SUM of the downloaded iso to confirm the download was not corrupted.

If the MD5SUM checks out try the Live USB on a second computer. Some computers just will not boot Ubuntu.

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Get a pendrive 8gb or larger then:

  • Partition using GPARTED on LiveCD. 4GB / - 3gb home rest for swap.
  • Grub on sdx (first partition of your pendrive)
  • Install on usb.
  • Configure your bios to boot from usb. If you have fast usb 3.0 pendrive it should be quite quick and work fine.

If you need any further details/how to explanations, please ask ahead in the comments.

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I recommend UNetbooting, you can read about it and others here:

http://www.webupd8.org/2009/04/4-ways-to-create-bootable-live-usb.html

Also, Ubuntu has a program installed by default called 'Startup Disk Creator'. This works great for installing Ubuntu (and derivatives) onto a USB.

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There are lot of programs, My personal Fav:

All does same to create the usb from windows machine.

You point to the ISO, choose the usb and start. They will prepare the USB in 5-10 min.

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If I use "Universal USB installer" then will the resulting flash drive be able to run a tryout of OS or it can also be used for installing ubuntu (overwrite or dualboot with windows) ? –  Gaurav Sharma Oct 5 '12 at 7:15
    
@GauravSharma all three allow both tryout & installation. –  Web-E Oct 5 '12 at 10:30

Quoted: The recommended way to install Ubuntu from a USB flash drive is to use the usb-creator program, point it at a ISO image of a Ubuntu installation CD that you have downloaded, and let it create a bootable USB that you can use instead of the CD.

Source: Ubuntu

Below you can find more information that can help you in your process.

Installation/FromUSBStick

UNetbootin

How to Put Ubuntu on a USB Thumb Drive

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Just look here http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/install-ubuntu-desktop

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. –  Eliah Kagan Jan 15 '13 at 5:15

I like the Universal USB installer. Download it from here

Then run the program double-clicking it with admin privilege. The program will run and you have to direct it to the downloaded iso file. Here is a screenshot below (credit goes to the site owner)

enter image description here

Please take caution to select the actual drive letter of the USB drive.

enter image description here

Now restart your PC to boot from the USB drive

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