5 Best Applications to Create Bootable Disks

Optical disks

If you're tech-savvy, you may often look to either create standalone bootable disks or memory sticks to try out different operating systems or you may look to create these bootable disks for creating a dual-boot system on your machine. Whatever the case, creating these bootable disks can be a headache if done independently on a manual basis. Fortunately, there are several applications built for this very purpose. We'll look at some of these applications to ease the process of creating bootable disks. Almost all of them are available for free and are easy to use, even for newbies. Let's create bootable disks!

Optical disks

I've tried each of these applications. Each one of them has some unique features which make them fit for creating a specific type of disk. So, I'll recommend trying each one of them before taking a decision.

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Though I'm saying bootable disks, these applications work well with memory sticks too. So, you can use either type of storage media to create bootable instances of your favorite software. Let's get started!

Rufus utility interface

Rufus - This one is perhaps the most popular application to create bootable disks and memory sticks. It's packed with loads of features to create customized bootable media that meets your requirements. It's available both as a portable binary as well as a regular installer package. Both 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows are supported provided you're running an instance of Windows 7 or later. It can be used to easily install Windows 11 on machines that do not fulfill the hardware requirements. It can also be used to create bootable testing and repair tools. One can also use it to flash BIOS or other types of firmware. The application itself is lean, fast, and secure.

UNetbootin application

UNetbootin - This bootable media creation tool is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It can be used to create Linux bootable drives and several types of system repair and testing tools. Linux image can be used both from a physical disk or a .iso file downloaded from the internet. It is advisable to format the boot disk with the FAT32 filesystem before starting the process of creating a bootable Linux drive. For power users, command line options are also available. If your Linux distribution is not supported by this application—out of the box—still, there is a high chance that it will be successfully converted into a bootable media without any hiccups. Do try it!

RMPrepUSB utility software

RMPrepUSB - It's a versatile application that is also capable of creating bootable drives apart from performing various types of disk or drive operations. One can use it to install and repair corrupted boot code. For laymen, the graphical user interface can be a bit overwhelming due to the number of options. This one too has a portable version which I prefer over the regular installer packages. For savvy users, a command line utility is available too. It can also remove write-protected flags on hard drives. Power users can also use it to repair corrupted disk sectors. If you're looking for a multi-use boot-disk creation tool, this is the one to go for.

YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator

YUMI – Multiboot USB Creator - As the name suggests, this powerful tool is capable of creating different types of bootable USB memory sticks. You can use its different versions to create bootable sticks both for BIOS booting machines and UEFI booting machines. You can simply drag and drop .iso files in this application. This application comes in 3 different flavors (versions) for different needs and requirements. You can use it to create bootable sticks of different operating systems as well as to create system diagnostics, system repair, and similar kinds of tools. It also has a collection of useful help articles and tutorials to get started—easily.

Ventoy bootable usb stick creation tool

Ventoy - And last but not least, this flexible bootable media creation software is packed with all the features needed to meet your custom needs. It's a free and open-source application one must try to create different types of bootable media. Multiple OS files can be configured at once such that the boot menu presents you with all the available options to work with. Almost all of the legacy and modern boot systems are supported. It has been tested with over 1000 OS image files giving you ample options to try out different desktop experiences. Both Windows and Linux auto-installation is supported out of the box. Customized themes can be used for the interface.