Alternative software (and perhaps some hardware juggling) can often resolve problems that interfere with making a USB device bootable.
Plus: Interpreting the results of a deep malware scan, a free tool for alphabetical-order file copying, and another noncompressing backup tool.
When ISO-to-USB drive conversion fails
Reader Bud Lewin ran into an all-too-common snag when trying to create a bootable, USB flash drive. Bud had trouble installing the .iso file for the free Windows Defender Offline (WDO; site) malware tool, but you can have similar difficulties when trying to create any bootable flash device.
- “The offline version of Defender sounds like an elegant solution to malware infestations. However, I encountered the same problem on two different Windows 7 computers and three good, working thumb drives: the software tries to format the thumb drive prior to installing the downloaded software. I then get an error indicating the thumb drive can’t be formatted. At that point, the process halts.
What do you think is the problem? (The thumb drives format fine when using Windows File Manager.)”
In theory, you can create a bootable USB flash drive from almost any .iso file designed for bootable floppies, CDs, or DVDs.
But in practice, USB ports, cables, drives, and software are highly variable in build quality — and in how well they adhere to standards. This can lead to unexpected outcomes and lots of frustration.