Rufus – Apply ISO Image file to USB Flash Media Drive

What is Rufus and how it can help you

Rufus is a very useful free tool that can apply almost any bootable ISO of many operating systems (Linux known distributions, Windows) and most of the known LiveCD distributions. On their official site you can find all the information regarding tested versions and support. Rufus works from Windows 7 (x86 and x64) and up. It includes many features and constant updates. Multiple languages are also present in the last version executable. One of the useful features is the Portable version. On the site they state that Rufus is the fastest software for applying the ISO images to USB Drives and compare with different other application. You can check the comparisons as well if you’re interested.

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How to apply ISO image file to USB Flash Media Drive

. Download Rufus Portable (or the regular version – as you want) from the main page or from All version Rufus Downloads.
. Run the executable (at the same time there will be “rufus.ini” created with all the settings at the same location as “rufus.exe”).
. As of version 3.5 on opening you will see the basic settings, open all the Advanced settings:

     [Show advanced drive properties]
[Show advanced format options]

Advanced Drive Options will give you:
• The option to save the current image of the device in “*.DD” format – the diskette icon next to the “Device” name.
• More specific selections in “Boot selection” menu.
• And all the visual checkboxes under the button itself.
Advanced Format options will give you new visual checkboxes:
• The possibility to choose “Quick Format”.
• Create extended label and icon files.
• Check device for bad blocks with several passes.

 . Device: <Select your USB Device>

If the device is not listed, close Rufus, take the USB out, put it back in and open Rufus.

 . Boot selection: Disk or ISO image

We’re applying ISO of Windows 10 installation media with WinPE (Windows Pre-installation Environment), which is bootable. In the Boot selection menu there are also many other options that you can choose from, like: Non bootable, FreeDOS, Syslinux 4.07, Syslinux 6.03, ReactOS, Grub 2.02, Grub4DOS 0.4.6a, UEFI:NTFS. Off course these settings are available only after choosing to [Show advanced drive options].

 . [SELECT] => navigate to the ISO file

After you choose the ISO file most of the recommended settings for your environment will be set automatically.

 . Partition scheme: GPT

If you want to boot in UEFI Native mode with Security Boot enabled you should have GPT partition. If you choose MBR, then your USB Flash drive will be formatted for Legacy BIOS boot or UEFI with CSM enabled (No Secure Boot).

 . Target system: UEFI (non CSM)

This is the only option for GPT partition. In previous versions you could do combinations of GPT with Legacy boot and MBR with UEFI boot, but it didn’t work well all the time. So apparently these options were disabled. Now you can only set “GPT” with “UEFI (non CSM)” and “MBR” with “BIOS (or UEFI-CSM)”.

*** UEFI-CSM is Compatibility Support Module. It provides Legacy support (for BIOS booting of systems like older versions of Windows 7 and previous) within newer UEFI chipsets. So basically, CSM is Legacy BIOS emulation on UEFI chipsets. CSM is scheduled to phase out by Intel in 2020.

 . [ ] List USB Hard Drives
. [ ] Add fixes for old BIOSes
. [ ] Use Rufus MBR with BIOS ID
. Volume label

Volume label is automatically set to the Volume label of the partition(s) that are inside ISO file.

 . File system: NTFS . Cluster size: 4096 bytes (Default)

This is set by default to NTFS.

 . [V] Quick format
. [V] Create extended label and icon files

After you press [START], the process will begin. Off course you need to check that the size of the ISO file is suitable to the size of you USB Media Drive. Left to the “Start” button you will see more buttons. The first on the left (the earth icon) is to choose the visual GUI language of Rufus (many languages are available). The second icon with “i” sign in the circle is “About” window of Rufus. The third button is the settings window – you can select there update policy (to check for updates or not). The last button is the “Log” window. It will show you every step of the image application process.

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