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The Ron on .NET Software Architecture Ron Garlit's thoughts and informational blogs on Microsoft .NET

(DISCLAIMER: Yes there are lots of more elegant ISO software beside the free Microsoft one I’m about to show. But free is free and it has been tested and works for me for making advance bootable USB drives. That is another story. Look up Windows 8 Developer Preview for that one on BING.)

For those of use that work with new technology all the time we accumulate a lot of ISO files and have to burn them to CD/DVD’s quite often.

But we now have machines without burner in the corporate environment. We have personally Netbooks and light wait highly mobile laptops that do not have DVD burner.

USB ports are all the rage and now we have USB 3.0 which is way faster than the 2.0 we are used to.

Just looking at the technology, space saving and the cost issues alone is a reason to buy these answer to the DVD’s.

So what is special about USB 2.0 and USB 3.0?

USB 2 has a maximum speed of 480 Mbps... (That is Megabits per SECOND!!)

Now look at the storage that we have with USB thumb drives that are now up to 64 GB in size, cell phone and PDAs that have a lots of internal storage built in well above the 16 Gig range.

At the MAX USB 2.0 speed of 480 Mbps a full transfer of data in between devices can take a long time. Time is money right. Every back up a iPhone? Don’t get me started.

So at least the engineers have been planning ahead with USB 3.0 which offers a maximum transfer speed of 4.8 Gbps... (That is Giga bits per SECOND!!)

That speed is almost 10 times faster than USB 2.0 …. We don’t need to do the math on that one do we?

But for now I'm thrilled with USB 2.0 and the fact I can get these little 4 Gig USB drives for $4.00 each at Staples on sale.


Well that is a no brainer don’t you think. But what can you do with them to replace that DVD.

Simply and cheaply put………. THIS!

First let’s get an ISO file like the Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate DVD ISO from MSDN to demonstrate with. I develop on several computers so this is a good choice for me.

So we downloaded the ISO file and put it in a folder somewhere like this.


Next we go download to the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool site and read about the tool.

And click this like to get the tool and install it.


Once it is installed you go to the Start, Programs menu, Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool folder.


And then click the tool to open it up.


As you will see it is a sweet, simple tool that was originally designed to put the ISO for Windows 7 which is designed to be bootable on a USB or DVD for us geeks to play with. It is now being used for the Windows 8 Developer Preview by many developers for that for the same purpose it was built for in the past.


But for now we will use it to put a NON Bootable ISO on a USB. Hey it does the job and I’m reusing a left over program. Why buy the fancy one or a free trial and clutter up my machine.

We will click the BROWSE button and navigate to where we put our ISO file we want to put on the USB drive.


Obviously we are going to click NEXT and continue to select a USB Device (you can guess what the DVD button is for).


Next we select the USB that we have plugged into one of our laptops USB ports.


Then we click the BEGIN COPYING button and the first thing the program does is format our USB drive.


Then it starts copying out files out of the ISO and constructing the USB as if it was a DVD.


So now that the files are copying to the drive I’m going to warn you. We will error out here.

This program was design for bootable ISO’s of which this one is NOT. No problem because what fails it the writing of the bootable data to the drive that isn’t there. No biggie….


Forget the STARTOVER button is even there and click the dialog’s CLOSE button and exit the program.


Now go to Windows Explorer and navigate to the USB Device.


You can now access everything and even add stuff to the drive. But for me I want to keep this drive for one purpose and that is to install VS2010 on various machines. So the only stuff I’ll add to this is a folder of notes on things on visual studio that I might want to put on other machines I’m installing VS2010 on to.

So that is it. Have a nice day!

The Ron

Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 2:08 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: ISO Files to USB – The Cheap and Easy Way

# re: ISO Files to USB – The Cheap and Easy Way
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if you want to skip all of the UI stuff

Try this 1 min USB process
Left by Juistin on Nov 23, 2011 7:46 PM

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