How To Make A Bootable USB Using Rufus | Dual Boot

Do you need to set up a dual boot in order to use more than one operating system? I’ve been using Virtual Box for months but it’s been giving me consistent trouble. It’s time – I thought I’d make a live bootable USB flash disk so I can program with Manjaro OS, while keeping my Windows 10 undisturbed.

Yes, the background image in the screenshots you’re about to see is a picture of Lux Interior and Poison Ivy from my favorite band, The Cramps. I’m not going to change it just for this tutorial.

You’ll need to have a USB flash drive with sufficient space. I’d recommend a minimum of 8 GB.

Step 1: Getting the goods

We’ll start by downloading the OS of our choice in a .iso format. I’ve been using Debian for some time now and really enjoyed it but I’m going to use Manjaro Gnome because I’ve been hearing a lot of good things and I’m curious. You can download it here.  It’s around 2.7 GB.

Then download Rufus. This program helps you to easily format and create bootable USB flash drives. It’s a tiny program, about 1.1 MB in size and comes in a .exe.

Step 2: Run Rufus.exe

Open rufus.exe and plug in your USB drive. Under ‘Device’, your drive should have been recognized. Under ‘Boot Selection’ make sure “Disk or ISO image” is selected. Click the ‘Select’ button to the right to select your ISO file.

Rufus settings

Under ‘Partition scheme’, if your USB is a GPT type, select GPT and if it’s a MBI type, use MBI. I didn’t know which Partition type my flash drive was so I checked by searching “disk management” on my Windows 10 search bar and clicked on “Create and format hard disk partitions”. Select your disk, right click and select “Properties”. Go into “Volumes” and your Partition type should be there.

Check the Partition type for your flash disk to ensure you use the right settings in Rufus

‘Target system’ will automatically change to the right one. ‘Volume label’ is the name of your USB drive. You don’t have to change it and you’re done putting the settings in.

Click ‘Start’!

Step 3: BIOS Settings

Now that we’ve made a bootable USB, we need to be able to boot from it. Usually your computer boots from it’s main hard drive, which contains your operating system. We need to configure our computer’s BIOS to load the operating system from our USB. Every computer is different so don’t be afraid to search for a tutorial specific to your setup. Personally I’m using the ASUS TUF Gaming laptop.

Let’s access the boot menu on startup. I restarted my laptop and held in F2 upon boot. I opened the boot menu by pressing F8 and selected the flash drive.

And that’s that. I can now open a different OS, stored on a flash drive, on my computer.

And enjoy!

I hope this tutorial was informative and you walked away with the dual boot setup you needed. If you encounter problems, feel free to contact me. Best of luck.

© Christie Eveleigh Marx 2020

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