This tutorial on how to create a bootable USB flash drive or memory card (which, by connecting it to a computer using a card reader, can be used as a bootable drive) directly on an Android device from a Windows 10 ISO image (and other versions), Linux, images from Antivirus utilities and tools, all without root access. This feature will be useful if a single computer or laptop does not load and requires urgent measures to restore its working capacity.
What you need to create a bootable flash drive or memory card on your phone
Before you begin, I recommend to attend to the following points:
- Charge your phone, especially if its battery is not very capacious. The process can take a long time and is quite energy-intensive.
- Make sure that you have a flash drive of the desired volume without important data (it will be formatted) and you can connect it to your smartphone (see How to connect a flash drive to Android ). You can also use a memory card (data from it will also be deleted), provided that it is possible to connect it to a computer for downloading later.
- Download the desired image to your phone. For example, you can download an ISO image of Windows 10 or Linux directly from official sites. Most images with antivirus tools are also Linux-based and will work successfully. For Android, there are full-fledged torrent clients that you can use to download.
In fact, this is all that is required. You can start writing ISO on a USB flash drive.
Note: when creating a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10, 8.1 or Windows 7, keep in mind that it will only boot successfully in UEFI mode (not Legacy). If a 7-ki image is used, an EFI loader must be present on it.
The process of writing a bootable ISO image to a USB flash drive on Android
There are several applications available in the Play Store that allow you to decompress and burn an ISO image to a USB flash drive or memory card:
- ISO 2 USB is a simple, free, root-free application. There is no clear indication in the description of which images are supported. Reviews speak about successful work with Ubuntu and other Linux distributions, I recorded Windows 10 in my experiment (what more) and loaded it in EFI mode (no boot in Legacy). It does not seem to support writing to a memory card.
- EtchDroid is another free application that works without root, which allows you to record both ISO and DMG images. The description claims support for Linux-based images.
- Bootable SDCard – in the free and paid version, requires root. Of the features: available download images of various Linux distributions directly in the application. Declared support for Windows images.
Many when they have problems with the computer forget that most of them have an almost full-fledged Android computer in their pocket. Hence, sometimes disgruntled comments on articles on the topic: how can I download drivers for Wi-Fi, a utility for cleaning viruses or something else, if I just solve the problem with the Internet on a computer. Easy download and USB transfer to the problem device, if you have a smartphone. Moreover, Android can also be used to create a bootable flash drive, which we will proceed to.
As far as I can tell, applications are very similar to each other and work almost equally. In my experiment, I used ISO 2 USB, the application can be downloaded from the Play Store here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mixapplications.iso2usb
The steps to write a bootable USB will be as follows:
- Connect the USB flash drive to your Android device, run the ISO 2 USB application.
- In the application, next to the Pick USB Pen Drive item, click the “Pick” button and select the USB flash drive. To do this, open the menu with a list of devices, click on the desired drive, and then click “Select”.
- In the Pick ISO File item, click the button and specify the path to the ISO image that will be written to the drive. I used the original Windows 10 x64 image.
- Leave the “Format USB Pen Drive” option turned on.
- Click the “Start” button and wait until the creation of a bootable USB drive is completed.
Some nuances that I encountered when creating a bootable flash drive in this application:
- After the first press of “Start”, the application hung on unpacking the first file. Subsequent pressing (without closing the application) launched the process, and it successfully passed to the end.
- If you connect a USB drive recorded in ISO 2 to a running Windows system, it will report that the drive is not all right and will suggest correcting it. Do not correct. In fact, the flash drive is working and downloading / installing it successfully, just Android formats it “unusual” for Windows, although it uses the supported FAT file system. The same situation can occur when using other similar applications.
That’s all. The main purpose of the material is not so much to consider ISO 2 USB or other applications that allow you to make a bootable USB flash drive on Android, but to pay attention to the very existence of such a possibility: it is possible that one day it will be useful.