Writing an Installation Image to Flash Media¶
Creating bootable installation media varies by operating system and involves writing the installation image to flash media such as a USB flash drive, sometimes referred to as a “thumb drive”.
This document assumes that the installation image is already downloaded onto the client computer which will create the installation media. Refer to the platform and/or software documentation for information on how to obtain an installation image file.
The easiest way to create bootable installation media is to use Etcher. Etcher is available on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux so the procedure to write an image is the same across each supported platform. Etcher is simple to use, supports compressed image files, and has several features which help prevent users from making unintentional mistakes in the process such as selecting the wrong target drive. Additionally, unlike other methods there is no need to perform other steps before writing the image to prepare the image file or disk.
Insert a USB flash drive into the client computer
Etcher will display its main screen as shown in the following image:
Click Flash from file
Locate and select the installation image file
Etcher can use compressed images directly, there is no need to manually decompress the image file first.
Click Select target
Click the USB flash drive to which Etcher should write the image
Etcher attempts to hide and/or visibly mark potentially dangerous selections such as system drives, the drive containing the source image, and large drives. This makes it easier to identify the correct selection.
Click Select (1) to continue
Click Flash! to write the image to the target USB flash drive
At this point there may be an authentication or UAC prompt to continue.
Wait for the flash process to complete
If there is an error, try another USB flash drive or follow the advice given within Etcher to resolve the problem.
Close Etcher when complete
Remove the USB flash drive from the client system
The installation media is now ready to use. Proceed to the installation instructions for the operating system.
If Etcher is not viable, there are other more involved methods to create installation media.
Decompress the Image¶
Some software used to create installation media does not support compressed image files. Before proceeding, decompress the image file to ensure compatibility.
The most common indication that a file is compressed is its extension. If the
filename ends in
.zip, or similar then it is likely
compressed. If so, decompress it using an appropriate utility:
Connect the Flash Drive to the Workstation¶
Next, connect the flash drive to the client computer containing the downloaded image file.
Locate the device name that the client computer designates for the drive:
Cleaning The Target Disk¶
Cleaning the target disk removes all of the partitions and data on the device. This step is optional, but a best practice as it gives the disk a blank slate with less chance that previous disk contents will cause a conflict. For example, Win32 Disk Imager on Windows has issues when writing disk images to flash drives if they contain multiple partitions.
The process to clean the disk varies by operating system:
Write the Image¶
Now it is time to write the image to the flash drive. The exact procedure varies by operating system.