Universal USB Installer is a free and portable program that lets you create a bootable USB installer of any Linux and Windows distribution. Actually I had downloaded the latest Windows 8 distribution and wanted to install it on my testing computer. The problem was that I wanted to install the 64-bit version of Windows 8 but it was about 4.83GB and I had a DVD of 4.7GB. So I decided to make a bootable USB installer by which I can boot my computer and then install Windows 8 from USB drive.
I have found Universal USB Installer very useful in this regard. Universal USB installer can be used to install almost any kind of bootable software. You can install almost any Linux distro on the USB using Universal USB Installer.
The interface of the program is very easy to use and provides a step by step approach. When you start it for the first time, you will need to agree with the license agreement and after that you will be taken to the main configuration window. In the first step you will need to select the software which you want to install on the USB drive.
There is a huge list of software already pre-configured in the Universal USB Installer. For example, I select Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop, it will give you an option to browse the ISO image from your hard drive (if you have already downloaded it). If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can check the check box “Download the iso (Optional). This will automatically download the software and install it on your USB drive.
One thing to be noted here is that if you have selected Ubuntu 12.04 and then browse for the ISO image, it will only show the images for Ubuntu 12.04. All other ISO images will not be shown. So if you want to install a software which is not in the list, you should select “Try unlisted Linux ISO”. But if you are installing Windows 8, you can select Windows 7 installer because it works fine for Windows 8.
After you have completed the first step and selected the ISO image, the second step will be enabled where you will need to select the USB drive which you want to make bootable. You will need to insert the USB drive before opening Universal USB Installer otherwise it will not detect the USB drive letter. You can also format the USB drive by checking the check box “Format H: Drive (Erases Content)” where H: is the USB drive letter.
Clicking on next will popup another window which shows you all the actions that will be performed on the USB drive to make it bootable:
- Create Syslinux MBR on (H:) – Existing MBR will be Overwritten!
- Create Pendrive Label on (H:) – Existing Lable will be Overwritten!
- Install (Windows 7 Installer) on (H:)
You should click on the Yes button if everything is according to what you want to configure.
The process of making the bootable USB drive will take some time according to the size of the ISO image. After the process finishes, you can take your USB drive on any system and boot with it. Which software do you use for making Bootable USB drive? What are your comments about Universal USB Installer?