By Delia / Last update March 8, 2023

Introduction of Bootable Disc

A bootable CD/DVD contains a bootable operating system,which is generally a compact version of Linux or Windows PE. If the Windows operating system (such as Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10/11) installed on a hard disk suffers an error or even fail to start, we can restore it through a Windows bootable disk so as to make the operating system work normally again. The same is true for Linux OS.

Besides relying on the original installation disk and the repair disk/bootable USB creater comes with Windows system, it's always recommended to backup Windows drivers so as to restore them and insure a working computer afterward. Or you may download the magic tool Driver Talent for Network Card which is able to download and install network drivers without internet connection in case of no internet after system recovery.

Here I would introduce a more comprehensive tool for creating bootable disc and start computer successfully - the bootable CD maker AOMEI Backupper supports creating either Windows or Linux bootable CD/USB Flash Drive. The former one can be created straightway, while the latter one may require installing Windows AIK kit in your operating system in advance.

Linux boot disc has several drawbacks: some hardware does not support it, such as hardware RAID; some functions of the software can not be used. Therefore, we strongly recommend creating Windows PE bootable CD first. The comparison of the available functions between the 2 types of disc is as follows.

Features Windows PE bootable CD Linux bootable CD
File, Folder, Disk and partition backup
System Backup
System Restore
File, Folder, Disk and partition Restore
Disk and partition clone
Explore image file
Support hardware RAID

Making Windows PE Bootable CD

When making a Windows PE bootable CD, the free backup software - AOMEI Backupper will check out whether your operating system meets the corresponding requirements. For instance, is it necessary to install Windows AIK? If it is, this software will provide corresponding notices. If your operating system is Vista or higher version of OS, such as, Windows 7/8/2008 R2/2011/2012, usually you can directly create a bootable CD without installing Windows AIK.

Here comes the steps of how to create bootable disc with AOMEI Backupper.

Tips: Download this software, install and launch it.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Under the "Tools" tab, select "Create Bootable Media" option.

Create Bootable Media

Step 2. In the pop-up window, choose "Windows PE - Create bootable disc based on Windows PE" option, and then click "Next".

Windows PE

Step 3. In the pop-up window, select "Burn To CD/DVD" option, and then click "Next".

Burn to CD/DVD

Note: You need a CD-burning program, and also you need to insert the CD/DVD into the CD-ROM, or the "Burn To CD/DVD" option will not be available.

Step 4. When the operation is done, just click "Finish" to exit the interface.

Here you have already made a bootable CD. Then, you can reboot your computer, and set the CD-ROM as the first boot device in BIOS settings and test if your computer can boot from the disc. Then, when something bad happens, you can restore system image to a different computer, even with dissimilar hardware.

Making Bootable USB Flash Drive or USB Disk

If you do not have a CD/DVD, but a USB flash drive, you can use a USB drive to replace CD/DVD, to create a bootable USB drive. The making way is the same as creating a bootable CD. You just need to see the following screenshot, select "USB Boot Device" and click "Next".

Select USB Drive

Making Linux Bootable CD

The way to create Linux bootable CD is just the same as those steps of creating Windows PE bootable CD/USB Drive. The only difference is that you can create this kind of CD at any time without meeting any requirement, such as a Windows AIK installation. Just like what has been said before, the compatibility of Linux bootable CD might be a little bit poorer.

Refer to the steps above and choose “Linux - Create bootable disc based on Linux kernel” in Step 2 to make Linux bootable disc. Here is a screenshot:

Linux Bootabe Disc

During the process of making Linux CD, if you do not possess a CD, AOMEI Backupper allows you create a bootable USB drive. The only requirement is that, when choosing the bootable media type, select the USB Boot Device. Then you can boot the operating system from the USB disk to do the recovery operations.

Note: Linux bootable media does not support for EFI/UEFI boot, if your computer boot mode is UEFI mode, you need to enter into BOIS to change the BIOS boot mode from UEFI to Legacy Boot Mode like the following snapshot (you may also learn how to change the setting by referring to the manual of your motherboard).

boot mode

Making Bootable ISO File

If you do not have CD or USB disk, or if there is a problem when making the bootable CD, you could create a bootable ISO file first, and then employ some burning software, like Nero to burn ISO file to a CD or USB disk.

Here come the operating steps of creating bootable ISO file.

First, select "Create Bootable Media" option under the "Tools" item. Then, select the bootable disc type (WinPE or Linux) and the "Export ISO File" option. Click "Next" to proceed.

Export ISO File

At last, click "Finish" when the operation has been done.


Now, after creating the ISO file, you can easily burn ISO to CD or USB with burning tool and follow the tutorial how to burn ISO file to CD/USB to burn this ISO file. Also, you can complete this task with the Windows 7 integrates built-in burning utility by right clicking this ISO file > Open With > Windows Disc Image Burner.

Note: If you don't want to create bootable disc, you could enable AOMEI Backupper recovery environment in Windows boot options menu, and then boot from the recovery environment to backup and restore data.