As a very satisfied VPS customer, the author of this application recommends:
Rufus is a utility that helps format and create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys/pendrives, memory sticks, etc.
It can be be especially useful for cases where:
Despite its small size, Rufus provides you with everything you need!
Oh, and Rufus is fast. For instance it's about twice as fast as UNetbootin, Universal USB Installer or Windows 7 USB download tool, on the creation of a Windows 7 USB installation drive from an ISO (with honorable mention to WiNToBootic for managing to keep up). It is also marginally faster on the creation of Linux bootable USB from ISOs (1).
A non exhaustive list of Rufus supported ISOs is also provided at the bottom of this page (2).
Finally, please remember that once formatted, your drive is still usable as before to transfer data: it doesn't have to be dedicated for DOS or ISO installation only.
From version 1.2.0, a single version of Rufus is provided, that includes FreeDOS support.
If you create a DOS bootable drive and use a non-US keyboard, Rufus will attempt to select a keyboard layout according to the locale of the system Rufus runs on. In that case, FreeDOS, which is the default selection, is recommended over MS-DOS as it supports more keyboard layouts.
Once downloaded, the application is ready to use — no installation or other files are necessary.
Download the executable and run it - no installation is necessary.
The current version of Rufus allows the creation of a bootable USB from an ISO image (.iso). In a futture version, we may add the ability to read files directly from a CD/DVD drive for from a folder, but the time being you have to provide a .iso.
However, creating an ISO image from either a CD or DVD or from a set of files is very easy to do using a CD burning application. The one we recommend, because of its ease of use, is the freely available CDBurnerXP.
GNU General Public License (GPL) version 3 or later.
You are free to distribute, modify or even sell the software, insofar as you respect the GPLv3 license.
$ git clone git://github.com/pbatard/rufus
The following tests carried out on a Windows 7 x64 Core 2 duo/4 GB RAM platform, with an USB 3.0 controller and a 16 GB USB 3.0 ADATA S102 flash drive.
• Windows 7 x64: en_windows_7_ultimate_with_sp1_x64_dvd_618240.iso
|Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool v1.0.30||8 mins 10s|
|Universal USB Installer v220.127.116.11||7 mins 10s|
|UNetbootin v18.104.22.168||6 mins 20s|
|RMPrepUSB v2.1.638||4 mins 10s|
|WiNToBootic v1.2||3 mins 35s|
|Rufus v1.1.1||3 mins 25s|
• Ubuntu 11.10 x86: ubuntu-11.10-desktop-i386.iso
|UNetbootin v22.214.171.124||1 min 45s|
|RMPrepUSB v2.1.638||1 min 35s|
|Universal USB Installer v126.96.36.199||1 min 20s|
|Rufus v1.1.1||1 min 15s|
• Slackware 13.37 x86: slackware-13.37-install-dvd.iso
|UNetbootin v188.8.131.52||>60 mins|
|Universal USB Installer v184.108.40.206||24 mins 35s|
|RMPrepUSB v2.1.638||22 mins 45s|
|Rufus v1.1.1||20 mins 15s|
Arch Linux, Archbang, BartPE/pebuilder, CentOS, Damn Small Linux, Fedora, FreeDOS, Gentoo, gNewSense, Hiren's Boot CD, LiveXP, Knoppix, Kubuntu, Linux Mint, NT Password Registry Editor, OpenSUSE, Parted Magic, Slackware, Tails, Trinity Rescue Kit, Ubuntu, Ultimate Boot CD, Windows XP (SP2 or later), Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 Release Preview, etc.