By Lily / Last Updated February 4, 2021

When is bootable USB needed?

A bootable USB stick is a USB drive that contains instructions for your computer's boot loader to load up various assets to run an operating system. There are two main functions of a bootable USB drive: one is for OS installation, and the other is for system recovery. You may need a bootable USB in the following occasions:

  • Overwrite the existing OS or install the OS from scratch.

  • Run backup or clone operations without loading your computer OS.

  • Recover a failed system or lost data when the OS on the internal drive can’t load up.

If you want to create an installation USB for Windows, get USB boot software free download here. However, you may need different USB drives for different Windows systems. Is there a kind of USB bootable software for all Windows systems? Please read on.

All-in-one bootable USB software for all Windows

AOMEI Backupper Standard is the best free USB bootable software that is designed for all Windows editions. Following are its main features:

The bootable USB created by AOMEI Backupper can be used on all Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, both 32 bit and 64 bit.
You are allowed to create not only a bootable USB stick but also a bootable CD or DVD.
You can choose to create bootable media based on Linux kernel or Windows PE. After booting into a Linux boot disc, you are able to perform restore and clone operations only whereas a Windows PE boot disc allows you to start backup, restore and clone processes.
You can only use the troubleshooting and repair utilities offered by AOMEI Backupper after booting into AOMEI bootable media. It can’t help you reinstall Windows but restore system when the computer won’t boot.

Wanna have a try? Get all-in-one bootable USB software free download below.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

How to use USB bootable software to create a recovery USB?

Please note your USB drive will be formatted during the bootable media creation process, so backup files on USB flash drive if you still need them.

Step 1. Connect a USB drive to your computer. Launch AOMEI Backupper, click Tools and select Create Bootable Media.

Create Bootable Media

Step 2. In the pop-up window, choose bootable disc type and click Next. It is recommended to choose Windows PE bootable disc so that you can access full functions of AOMEI Backupper.

Windows PE Bootable Disc

Step 3. Choose Create legacy bootable disc or Create UEFI bootable disc, and then click Next. The two options enable the bootable media to boot from legacy MBR mode or GPT/UEFI mode. Please see your motherboard user manual for information on choosing boot options at PC startup.

Windows UEFI Boot

Step 4. Select USB Boot Device and click Next. You will receive a prompt to format your USB drive. Click Yes to start creating bootable media if you have already backed up important files.

USB Boot Device

Tip: You may click Add Drives in the lower-left corner to add custom drivers to the bootable media. This option is only available if you select Windows PE bootable disc in Step 2.

Create a system image for system recovery

A bootable USB can only help to boot your computer in case of boot failure. To restore your computer to a normal state when serious problems happen, you need to create a system image beforehand.

Just click Backup and select System Backup. Then follow the wizard to complete the process. It is recommended to save the system image on an external hard drive or a network location, so it won’t be damaged by any computer errors.

System Backup

How to boot into recovery environment without bootable media?

If you don’t want to sacrifice a USB drive to be used as bootable media or you are worried about forgetting where you put the USB bootable stick, AOMEI Backupper allows you to create a recovery environment that can be accessed without bootable media.

Click Tools and select Recovery Environment to create a recovery environment with AOMEI Backupper. It will add the "AOMEI Backupper Recovery Environment" option to the system boot menu.

Recovery Environment Settings

Summary

This page offers you the best USB bootable software free download for all Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP. With a bootable USB at hand, you can repair your computer easily in case of system crash. What’s more pleasing, AOMEI Backupper enables you to boot into recovery environment without bootable media, so you don’t need to sacrifice a USB flash drive.

If you want to create a USB boot drive for all Windows Server operating systems like Windows Server 2019/2016/2012, you may choose AOMEI Backupper Server. Don’t hesitate to give it a shot!