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SDB:Create a Live USB stick using Windows

tagline: From openSUSE

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 Do not try to apply procedures found in internet for other distributions "to convert the images into bootable sticks". Doing that will break the images. The openSUSE images are already prepared for being used directly on usb sticks, no further steps are needed.

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.


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.


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 0       «--- select disk number
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.