SDB:Create a Live USB stick using Windows

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These instructions explain how to create a bootable USB stick to install openSUSE from the LiveCD isos or from the DVD (which were originally intended for optical media).

Version: 12.2+ This applies to openSUSE 12.2 and above.

Warning: While these instructions might work for others distributions, it's recommended to check the desired distribution's own wiki to avoid any problem.

Using Etcher

The Etcher program almost never fails and is the most straightforward method. It is also an open source software. It is recommended to consider this method before any other one.
The Etcher Logo
  1. Download the current ISO image of openSUSE Leap or Tumbleweed. The filename ends with ".iso".
  2. Download, install and start Etcher
  3. Select the OpenSuse .iso file you just downloaded using the "Select Image" button.
  4. Plug a USB drive into you computer, if it's the only drive connected to your computer, it will be automatically selected. If not, select it.
    Warning: All data on the drive will be destroyed. The drive can be reformatted and used as a normal drive again after the setup is finished.
  5. Click "Flash". The process of burning can last from 1 to up to 30 minutes depending on your drive and on the iso file.
  6. Unplug the USB drive. It now contains a bootable openSUSE installation.

Using Rufus

Warning: These instructions were for versions earlier than Leap 42.x and may not work. To create a bootable USB drive in Windows, you might try this utility, instead: ImageUSB
Prepare USB drive with Rufus
  1. Download the current ISO image of openSUSE Leap or Tumbleweed. The filename ends with ".iso".
  2. Download and start Rufus
  3. Plug a USB drive into you computer and select it in Rufus (see screenshot)
    Warning: All data on the drive will be destroyed. The drive can be reformatted and used as a normal drive again after the setup is finished.
  4. Select the .iso file in Rufus with a click on the CD drive button located on the center right of the window. This should then automatically change some settings. Especially "Create a bootable disk using" should change to "DD Image".
  5. Click "Start". Rufus may ask you to choose one mode from "ISO Image mode" or "DD Image mode". Normally, "DD Image mode" should be used. The copy process takes a couple of minutes. Note: Because of bug #939456, you could try to use "ISO Image mode" for ThinkPad laptop, e.g. ThinkPad T470s, if you cannot boot the laptop with the USB stick made with "DD Image mode".
  6. Unplug the USB drive. It now contains a bootable openSUSE installation.

Using ImageUSB

Download ImageUSB and follow the instructions on their page.

Using SUSE Studio ImageWriter

We used to have SUSE Studio ImageWriter compiled for windows, but this is not maintained anymore. Feel free to fork it and build/maintain the windows version yourself.

Using GRUB4DOS

GRUB4DOS can be installed using RMPrepUSB

This method will keep all current data in your USB medium. Demonstration is provided in this video. Note: These instruction will not work, if your computer boots via UEFI (like most computers made after ~2011-2012 and all computers with preinstalled Windows 8/8.1/10); at first you must go to BIOS, enable Legacy boot (i.e. dissable UEFI/secure boot option)!

  • Copy ISO into "boot" folder of USB flash.
  • Extract "initrd" and "linux" files into "boot" folder of USB medium. These files located in boot\i386\loader or boot\x86_64\loader directory of ISO image. For ISO mounting you can use, for example, Pismo File Mount Audit Package.
  • GRUB4DOS installation into MBR of USB flash:
    1. download RMPrepUSB and install it;
    2. start RMPrepUSB;
    3. select your medium;
    4. click "Install GRUB4DOS";
    5. confirm GRUB installation to MBR;
    6. confirm GRUB installation to selected medium;
    7. confirm GRLDR copying into selected medium.
  • Create "menu.lst" file in root folder of USB key. Content of "menu.lst" should be (in both places – in line 2 and in line 5 – replace openSUSE.iso with real name of your ISO file):
timeout 10

title openSUSE.iso
uuid () > nul
set UUID=%?%
set ISO=openSUSE.iso
kernel /boot/linux isofrom=/dev/disk/by-uuid/%UUID%:/boot/%ISO% isofrom_device=/dev/disk/by-uuid/%UUID% isofrom_system=/boot/%ISO% loader=syslinux splash=silent quiet
initrd /boot/initrd

Reboot your computer from USB stick.

Troubleshooting

Write access problems

If you get write access problems with the USB drive you can try to reformat the drive in Windows prior to writing the image.

Ms Windows Partitioning Tool

This situation would happen very rarely, but in the even that your computer doesn't boot from the LiveUSB/DVD from the steps above, you might try the following procedure.

C:\> diskpart
DISKPART> list disk           «--- print disks
DISKPART> select disk N       «--- select disk number
Warning: Make certain you choose the number that corresponds to your USB device!
DISKPART> list partition      «--- print partition table
DISKPART> select partition 1  «--- select the first partition
DISKPART> active              «--- activate disk/partition (bootable)
DISKPART> exit                «--- exit

Unlike fdisk, diskpart will perform changes as you enter them, therefore, there is no write instruction.