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How to Create Bootable USB from an IMG File
First Make Sure You’re Using a USB 3.0 Drive
USB 2.0 has been around forever, and everything supports it, but it’s notoriously slow. You’ll be much better off making the upgrade to USB 3.0 since the prices have dropped dramatically, and the speed increases are enormous… you can get 10x the speed.
And speed really matters when you’re making a boot drive.
Editor’s Note: We use this Silicon Power USB 3.0 drive here at How-To Geek, and at $15 for a 32 GB version, it’s well worth the upgrade. You can even get it in sizes up to 128 GB if you want.
Don’t worry about compatibility, these faster drives are fully compatible with an old USB 2.0 system, you just won’t get the speed boosts. And if your desktop computer doesn’t support USB 3.0 you can always upgrade it to add support.
From an IMG File
Some operating system projects provide an IMG file instead of an ISO file. An IMG file is a raw disk image that needs to be written directly to a USB drive.
Use Win32 Disk Imager to write an IMG file to a USB drive or SD card. Provide a downloaded IMG file and the tool will write it directly to your drive, erasing its current contents. You can also use this tool to create IMG files from USB drives and SD cards.
Linux users can use the dd command to directly write an IMG file’s contents to a removable media device. Insert the removable media and run the following command on Ubuntu:
sudo dd if=/home/user/file.img of=/dev/sdX bs=1M
Replace /home/user/file.img with the path to the IMG file on your file system and /dev/sdX with the path to your USB or SD card device. Be very careful to specify the correct disk path here — if you specify the path to your system drive instead, you’ll write the contents of the image to your operating system drive and corrupt it