Copy or Write Bootable IMG Files to USB Drives Using Win32 Disk Imager

Many times we download bootable images of operating systems or rescue CDs and we need to burn them on a CD/DVD to be able to use them. But sometimes we don't have access to CD/DVD drive and we want to write the bootable image to a USB drive, in such cases following free utility might come very handy.

"Win32 Disk Imager" aka "Win32 Image Writer" is a free utility available for Windows which can be used for writing and restoring images from removable drives (USB drives, SD Memory cards, etc). It can be used to write bootable IMG image files to a usb drive, making it bootable. It currently doesn't support writing ISO image files to USB drives.

With the help of this little utility, you can not only write boot images (such as IMG files) to USB drives but also take a backup of USB drive to a raw image file.

This program can be downloaded from following link:

Download Link

Thanks to our reader "mp3c" for sharing it...

You can also take a look at some other similar free tools to create bootable USB drives to install Windows using following link:

Ultimate Collection of Best Freeware to Create Bootable USB Drive to Install Windows and Linux


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  • i try imaging Chroium which created lots of partition which is lock and i can not reformat or reimage. help :/

  • VG

    ^^ Did you try to format the USB drive manually using My Computer?

  • As the project lead, I would like to update you on a few things, namely that I have pushed several updates since your post (based on the unversioned screenshot). Also, the project has moved to with bug tracking still kept on (for now).

    Thanks for the article and support!


  • Hi, is there a way to undo burning a disc image? I inadvertently burned an image to one disk (that had files on it I want) thinking it was a blank SD. Yes, I neglected to check which drive I burned the image to. Any help appreciated.

  • hi erick try ISObuster for Windows..i think i did the samee thing once and that sorted it out,

  • Is there a way to rollback the pendrive format size? I burned a dvd image and it's total size changed and windows just recognize the new size if I format.

  • Hi Georges,

    You can resize your pendrive/flashdisk from a Linux box. Use "disk utility" found under "'accessories". You should see your pendrive listed with the smaller size, and an unallocated unpartioned amount. Lets say it was 8GB, and imagewriter made it 2.8GB, you should see 5.2GB unallocated. First you unmount the 2.8GB, then delete that partition. This will allow you to allocated the entire 8GB into one partition. Once it is done you can format that disk to use the full 8GB in a single partition. By default Linux will want to format the disk Ext4, change that to FAT32 or NTFS - if you primarily use Windows.

    Hope that helps.

  • I've used this to try to boot chromium os too, and got the same parttions, I used Gparted to resize my flash. Hope it help you guys ;)

  • guy ran the win32DisKImager with ISO of Ubuntu 4.14 and I can not but view the USB flash drive in windows 7 has something for the whole process reverses?

  • I have tried to write an img file to a 8gb flashdrive. Win32DiskImager. After 30 minutes or so, it indicates "Write OK" but nothing appears on the flashdrive. I'm trying to create a bootable Chrome OS flashdrive and have downloaded and unzipped the img file for that.

  • I am facing a problem, while browse for the file it shows its a read only. I tried many files.

  • Facing problem after successful write. Not able to open drive on windows, it is asking to format it.

  • To format your pen drive use this - Download 'RUFUS' (<1MB) open and UNTICK 3rd option which says 'create a bootable USB. And Click on START. DONE

  • All my questions refer to using an SD card

    Does the card need to be formatted prior to being written?
    If I read and store an image file from a 16 gig SD card can I write that image to an 8 gig SD card? I know it works the other way.

  • VG

    ^^ I cant confirm but it'll not work. The image is created of full size.

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