How to Burn an ISO Image to a Flash Drive

By Joshua Laud

The .ISO file type is a disc image file. ISO images contain exact replicas of the original disc's files and operating and file structure. ISO files are usually either mounted with disc emulation software or burnt to disc so that you have a physical copy of the original disc. Physical discs may be faulty, scratched or unreadable. Due to the unreliability of burnt discs, it is sometimes useful to use a USB flash drive instead. To copy an .ISO to a USB flash drive, you must first mount the image to a virtual drive on your computer, so that it runs like an inserted physical disc. You need to first mount the image so that the computer command can copy the virtual drive's contents and structure to your USB flash drive.

Things You'll Need

  • Virtual disc emulation software

Mount the .ISO with Alcohol 52%

Step 1

Download, install and open Alcohol 52% from the Alcohol-Soft website (Link provided in Resources, below. Scroll down to “Alcohol 52%” and click the button next to “Download 15-day trial”).

Step 2

Click “Virtual Drive” under Options. In the pop-up window, click the drop-down menu next to “Number of Virtual Drives” and select “1.” Click “OK.”

Step 3

Right click the “Virtual CD/DVD-ROM” drive you have just created in the main Alcohol window, and click “Mount Image.” Locate and select your .ISO image. Click “OK.”

Mount the .ISO with ISODisk

Step 1

Download, install and open ISODisk from the ISODisk website (Link provided in Resources below. Scroll down to “What is ISODisk” and click “Download”).

Step 2

Click the folder icon next to one of the blank Virtual Disks.

Step 3

Locate and select your .ISO Image. Click “OK.”

Mount the .ISO with Magic ISO

Step 1

Download, install and open MagicISO from the MagicISO website (Link provided in Resources below. Click “Download Site 1” or “Download Site 2”).

Step 2

Right-click the MagicISO icon in the system tray (a hand holding a disk). Scroll up to “Virtual CD/DVD-ROM” and then select your empty virtual drive.

Step 3

Click “Mount,” locate and select your .ISO disc image. Click “OK.”

Copying Disc Image to USB Flash Drive

Step 1

Click the Start button on the taskbar and type “cmd” followed by \"Return\" or \"Enter\" to bring up the command prompt. In older versions of Windows, click “Run” and then type “cmd.”

Step 2

Type “xcopy E:\\*.* F: /e” and press \"Return\" or \"Enter.\" Change the “E” depending on what your virtual drive letter is, and change the “F” depending on drive letter for your USB Flash drive.

Step 3

Use your USB Flash drive as you would a virtual drive or a burnt image copy.