The bootable disc also known as startup disc or boot disc is generally a removable media like a Compact Disc (CD) that contains files that are capable of boot and has ability to run from null in a system.
Why and where are they useful?
- They are used when a user needs to install a fresh Operating system.
- They are also used when there is need to recover important data being lost due to OS files corruption or due to bad sectors in the hard drive.
- Data purging could also be performed using a boot disc. Purging here refers to permanently erasing the data from a hard drive and it is possible by various techniques like low-level formatting (Well, it takes hours to do so).
REMEMBER: Deletion is temporary but purging is permanent.
- Hardware or software troubleshooting is also an important task that could be performed using a boot disc.
- BIOS flashing is similar to updating an OS but is a totally different thing. (BIOS files are stored in MotherBoard rather than on hard drive)
- Running a temporary operating environment, such as when using a Live USB drive.
- Boot Disc can also be used for Software demonstration. There are many software that run on BIOS. Such software do not need any OS to run over. Also, a bootable live OS can be used to run softwares that need an OS environment to run.
- A boot disc is quite useful when a user needs Administrative access in case of lost password and also in some cases, passwords can be recovered.
- Great Gaming consoles like Play Stations run on Disc that are bootable.
How to make a bootable Disc/USB?
To make a bootable disc, we need a so called an ISO image file. Great if it is a bootable image and no problem if it’s not bootable and all we need to do is just to set a boot file before burning it to disc or writing it to an USB drive.
To create a bootable Disc/USB:
A. For Windows
For bootable CD
- Right-click on an ISO image and choose “Burn disc image”.
- Select a disk burner (drive) and press “Burn”.
For Bootable USB
- Select your device which you want to make bootable.
- Select your partition scheme or leave it as such.
- Select File System as FAT32.
- Then type in the name for your device
- Then select your bootable ISO image.
- Then press the Start button.
B. For Linux
For bootable CD
- Insert a blank CD into your burner.
- Browse to the downloaded ISO image in the file browser.
- Right click on the ISO image file and choose “Write to Disc”.
- Where it says “Select a disc to write to”, select the blank CD.
- Start the burning process.
For Bootable USB
- Download unetbootin
( To download, type in the following commands in the terminal
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gezakovacs/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unetbootin extlinux )
- Select DiskImage as option and then select iso from drop-down menu.
- Now Browse for the iso file on your system.
- Make sure you select USB Drive in the type box.
- THen select your drive in the adjacent box.
- Now click on OK button to start writing.
To make a bootable iso file
- Run PowerISO.
- Click on the “New” button on toolbar ( or choose “File > New > Data CD/DVD Image” menu ).
- Click on the “Add” button on toolbar to add files and folders. ( or You can also directly drag files and folders from Windows Explorer to the PowerISO window.)
- Choose the menu “Action > Change Label” to change the default label.
- Choose the menu “File > Properties” to set the iso file properties.
- Click on the “Save” button on the toolbar ( or click on the “File > Save As…” menu).
- Choose the menu “Action > Boot > Add Boot Information” to load a bootable image file.
- Save the iso file to “Standard ISO Images (*.iso)” format.
Hope it helps
Feel free to ask