Create Ubuntu Live USB in Windows

If you’ve ever had trouble installing Ubuntu because you couldn’t use a CD (because of a bad CD, a thoroughly malicious drive or, as in my case, a small-form CD stuck in your slot-load mechanism), you might want to read this. This mini-tutorial (slash how-to) is going to show you a clean and concise, no-BS mechanism for installing Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron without the need for a CD or a working Linux installation. I didn’t discover this method. Just came across it somewhere and can’t find the link in Google. So, here it goes. (I’m assuming your USB is F: drive)

  1. Get syslinux (this will allow you to make your USB active and install a bootloader on it — I used version 3.81).
  2. Format your (700M+) USB drive with a FAT32 filesystem.
  3. Extract syslinux, go to the win32 folder in the extracted files and execute (from ‘cmd’): syslinux.exe -ma f:  … ‘m’ installs the bootloader and ‘a’ makes it active.
  4. Get Ubuntu 8.04 iso image and use an un-archiver to extract it. Winrar works for me.
  5. Copy all extracted files to f:
  6. Copy f:/isolinux/* to f:/*
  7. Rename isolinux.cfg to syslinux.cfg
  8. Reboot and boot from your USB drive (you may need to change BIOS settings for this).

Voila! You have Ubuntu working.

Note: Ubuntu 9.10 didn’t work for me. I got to the X part but only a “working” cursor showed with no progress. So, let me know if you get it working with this method.

One thought on “Create Ubuntu Live USB in Windows

  1. Dear Recluze,

    Ubuntu 9.10 did work for me, simply by following the steps provided by you.

    Thanks for sharing this info & I am pleased to have a working Ubuntu 9.10 USB with me 🙂

Comments are closed.