Most people have limited flash drives for their everyday use, including storage and data transfer. However, you can go beyond this limitation by merely using a bootable USB. This USB allows a boot of your PC from its file system instead of the computer’s hard drive.
A bootable USB is used in a diverse number of ways. Some of these ways are writing image files, offering a clean operating system installation, storing an operating system’s image, and updating an old Windows to Windows 10. That said, the most common use of a bootable USB is restarting a computer. The most case scenario is where a PC can no longer start itself due to a system failure or virus attack.
There are several software for creating a bootable USB. Some of these programs include Rufus, Etcher, dd, Unetbootin, and Easy2Boot. Etcher, however, stands out. Etcher attributes its conspicuous nature to the following factors;
- Straightforward steps – the use of Etcher is simplified and easy to use as compared to the other programs, which offer quite confusing procedures.
- It has a friendly user interface – after downloading Etcher, the first distinct feature that captures your attention is the modern and colorful state it bears.
- Its constant development – Balena, the company behind the product of Etcher, has set aside a team that is continuously working on improvements to this tool. This team boasts of a 15-time update on the program in the past year.
- It has a friendly-hard-drive – Etcher protects you, as the user, from accidental erasing of data by offering you the option of selecting the drive to access. A similar malware can put you at risk of losing your data by a single syntax error.
- Verified burning- Etcher assures its users of proper burning of images contrary to the other options available, evidently in complaint reports issued before Etcher’s invention. Previously you would end up with a failed booting from a device due to distortion of SD cards.
- It is portable – Etcher is relatively light-weighted, enabling it to be carried from an external drive.
- It works with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS and maintains a relatively high speed.
How to Make a Bootable USB for Windows
Etcher works efficiently with Windows 10, 8.1,8, and 7. Before engaging in the creation of a bootable USB, you need these two things:
- An image file.
- A USB drive with at least 4GB storage if you are using a 32-bit operating system or 8GB and above if you are using a 64-bit operating system.
The making of a bootable USB follows the steps stipulated below.
Step 1: Download and install Etcher (Windows)
This step may seem challenging from a glance, but it’s easier than you may assume. By following the guidelines below, you will flawlessly head to step 2.
- Visit Etcher’s Official Website.
- Click the download link.
- Follow the instructions of installation and install Etcher.
Step 2: Attach the USB drive
Once the download and installation exercise of Etcher is complete, insert the drive on the computer. You will then open Etcher, either from the start menu or the shortcut menu available on the desktop. Remember to check for any data that you would classify as indispensable in the flash drive. Speed is anyone’s desire. Nevertheless, quite often users complain of delay. This delay is caused by using a flash drive that doesn’t support the recommended USB 3.0 standard.
Step 3: Select a bootable image for Etcher
Etcher supports a wide range of image formats – ISO, IMG, ETCH, DMG, BIN, and what alike. The probability of using an image that Etcher does not support is relatively small. Having opened Etcher, click ‘Select image’ and choose the image for making the bootable USB drive.
Step 4: Select the USB flash drive that is connected to Etcher
It’s on this step that Etcher gives you the option to choose the USB flash drive you intend to make bootable. In the case where only one USB device is connected, an automatic selection is made. For a scenario with multiple connections, you will click ‘Change‘ and, after that, choose a different USB drive amongst the ones connected. After making your desirable choice, you will then click ‘Continue.’
Step 5: Flash
By clicking ‘Flash,’ you will make the bootable USB. The created bootable USB is set in default. The flashing process takes a reasonable amount of time, based on the bootable image’s size and the speed the USB drive in use supports.
Step 6: Validation
After flashing is completed, a validation process follows. Validation is the process that allows you to boot the USB drive. As the validation is in progress, Etcher may temporarily eject the drive. It will, however, be taken in automatically once the validation process is completed as long as you don’t switch the default settings.
Step 7: Eject the drive
A message indicating ‘flash complete‘ gives you the go-ahead to eject the drive as it’s an indication of your success in making a bootable USB for windows using Etcher. Additionally, you are posed with the option of flashing another drive.
The making of a bootable USB for Windows using Etcher follows a simplified procedure. The procedure is self-direct as every user interface you interact with can quickly be followed. To avoid confusion, Etcher displays only the necessary information required for a user to execute their current step. Furthermore, every step leads to the other making it easy to use. This clarity is contrary to other programs that offer relatively misleading procedures, especially to newbies, thus requiring a prior acquisition of skills.
With an image file and a drive supporting the required USB 3.0 standard, you can create a bootable USB for Windows at the comfort of your home (no boring tutorial videos needed). Settling for Etcher as your program of use is arguably the best choice you can make. It’s portable, relatively fast, assures your data’s security, etc. this software uses a framework composed of electrons for its development. This framework contributes to its large size – 75MB- upon downloading. A program like Rufus is only as big as 2MB. Perhaps, this size is Etcher’s most significant shortcoming.
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