Create Bootable ISO USB with RUFUS

I have been quite busy ever since the recent job change; therefore, I couldn’t update my blog as often as before…and I know today’s topic is a bit effortless…but simple and useful J

There are occasions that we need to install operating system (e.g. Win server) or hypervisor (e.g. ESXi) on a bare metal server. It can be done either by an installation DVD or bootable USB. RUFUS is a convenient tool I used for years to make bootable ISO USB. It is free and even better comes with portable version .

RUFUS downloaded from:

Step 1: Open RUFUS and USB device is identified (Diagram section 1)

It will automatically detect USB device plugged in, no manual input is required (Diagram section 1). However, if you are using company laptop with endpoint control, Rufus access to USB will be defined (my situation, that’s why Diagram section 1 is blank). Please check ‘log’ (Diagram section 4) for troubleshooting.


Step 2 Create a bootable disk using ‘ISO Image’ and select ISO image (Diagram section 2)

Step 3 Click ‘Start’ and wait till finish (Diagram section 3)

The USB stick will be formatted first and made bootable by Rufus. It is ready to use then!


Build a bare metal server:

  1. Configure iLO (CIMC in Cisco world) IP
  2. RAID hard disk – make sure RAID controller is available
  3. Make sure hardware acceleration (Intel(R) VT, VT-d etc.) for hypervisor is enabled if bare metal hypervisor is to be installed
  4. Make sure USB port is enabled on server
  5. KVM including monitor, keyboard and mouse are ready
  6. Change boot order to boot from USB stick
  7. Plug in bootable USB and boot from it

Note: Check OS’s RAM support etc. before installation. For example, Windows 2008R2 Standard and Web edition only supports max 32G RAM; Windows 2008R2 Enterprise supports much higher RAM.


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