All About Creating – Bootable CD, DVD & Blu-Ray

We’ve seen the advantages of Boot Discs in our previous article. Without getting into it all over again, suffice to say that a boot disc, also known as start-up disc, can be used to boot up your Operating System if the one installed in your PC has become corrupted or damaged somehow, preventing you from using your computer.

Boot Discs Are Most Commonly Used For A Few Different Applications:

  1. To make a bootable utility disc, as we discussed in some of our earlier articles. >> DISK WIPE (Boot) << / >> RAM TEST (Boot) <<
  2. To fix the broken operating system so the PC will go back to normal, like to do Startup Repair.
  3. To use a Live Operating System in order to access, recover and backup any files in the computer’s internal drives, and finally,
  4. To reinstall the operating system in case the old installation has become damaged/corrupted beyond repair.

Suggested Link: How To Install Windows?

If you don’t have one now, you might want to reconsider that. Even if you don’t need it right away, there may come a time when you want the above-mentioned tasks done for some reason or the other on your PC, and when that happens and you don’t have an essential part of the process on hand…well, that would be frustrating now, wouldn’t it?

So, Let’s Get Right To The Process On How You Can Create One Of These Things;

What you need:

  1. An external storage device to turn into a bootable environment. This can be a CD, DVD, USB stick or even an external drive. CDs are actually no longer a viable option for the latest operating systems, so stick to DVDs or USB sticks. What’s the difference? Simple, a USB is a much more suitable option if you want to use the boot disc as a Live Operating System, whereas a DVD is a go-to choice for a simple reinstallation disc which can be stored away for years. You can use other devices – for example, if you have a really old internal drive (like my Samsung) lying around, convert it into an external drive with a USB interface and use that instead to get some use out of an old part.
  1. An ISO file of the operating system that you want to make a bootable disc of. It is possible to create a bootable disc from other file formats, but ISO is the simplest, easiest, and most time-proven. An ISO file is exact “image” of the CD or DVD from which it was created, folder for folder and file for file, all the way down to sectors of the disc. This perfect duplicate contains the boot and setup files of your operating system, and this is what we are going to put in the disc. Windows 8 and above users can download these from Microsoft, but Win 7 users will need to purchase on from any of Microsoft’s official e-commerce providers or get it from their Recovery Page. Or otherwise, you can use any ISO which can make your Optical Disc Bootable.
  2. Finally, you need a Bootable Disc/Drive Creator to combine the above two seamlessly to create the boot environment safely and without errors. Of course, latest Windows Updates will let you create the bootable disc simply by burning the ISO file into the DVD, but bear in mind that not every ISO of your OS has the necessary boot information. Running a bootable disc creator will let you check whether or not this is the case, and use whatever procedure accordingly. Remember this guide covers the procedure for Windows and assumes you know how to burn a disc. If you are using another Operating System, you’ll need a disc burner software as well – free ones such as DISCO For Mac or K3b For Linux will do.

Now that you are armed with what you need, let’s put them to use…

You’ll have to make sure that you select your CD or DVD according to the size of the ISO file in question;

And once all of that is said and done and you’re good to go, if you already have the bootable ISO file and Windows 10 then here it’s a simple matter of popping in the disc, selecting the file to be burned into it, and then sitting back to relax while it gets done in a few minutes.

If you are not certain that you have the right ISO, it takes a little bit more work, but is still simple. You need a bootable disc creator.

These are different things for bootable disc and bootable USB sticks. For a disc, you can use “Free ISO Burner” which is free windows support software and can work for you and for USB, I actually prefer “Rufus (Also Free)”.

Or otherwise, if you have windows then for this task, Windows 7 offers a small tool named Windows Disc Image Burner, while Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 offer this function directly from File Explorer.

Now the only thing what you’ll need to is to, double click on the .ISO file of yours and just click on the “Burn” button to write that whole bootable .ISO file into it.

For USB drives, the simplest, easiest to use tool I have ever seen is Rufus, whose latest version is less than 1 MB in size and yet manages to do everything you need it to do. I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a big fan of the “no-fuss, no-hassle, no-showboating” type stuff when it comes to tech, and Rufus is exactly this. It also happens to be a portable executable file with no installation necessary – just run it and go. Admin-level access is necessary on the computer you are using in order to run Rufus.

The Rufus interface is similar to the window that appears when you right-click on a USB drive and select Format. You can even use Rufus to format a drive and do nothing else. Choose your device at the top selector, make sure that the three checkboxes Quick Format, Create Bootable Disk Using and Create Extended Label and Icon files have all been checked. Next to the Create Bootable Disk option you should see a file selector, use it to pick out the ISO image.

When you’re ready, hit Start. Wait for it to finish, and you’re done.

Suggested Link: How To Use “Rufus” To Make USB Pendrive Bootable?


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