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Install Ubuntu 16.04 on a USB Stick from Windows

This guide gives the exact steps to install Ubuntu on a USB stick from Windows. With these instructions the USB stick will not have any persistent storage.


The instructions have you destroy any existing data on the USB stick.


Note: the file is 1.5 GB

3. Insert your USB stick:

If you get an AutoPlay window, close it by clicking on the 'x':

4. Download Rufus from link.

Note: There's no need to install Rufus. Its just an exe. I saved mine to C:\tools

5. Double click on rufus-2.18.exe to run it

6. Use the following settings and click on the disk icon.

Make sure Device is the USB stick you plugged in. To do this, note the drive letter (D:) Run Windows Explorer by right clicking on Start and clicking Open Windows Explorer.

7. (1) Select the ISO and (2) click Open

8. Click Start

Note: I've selected Check device for bad blocks so that I can make sure the device has no bad blocks before using it. It does take more time to program a USB stick if this is selected.

9. Click OK on the Download required popup

10. Leave Write in ISO Image mode (Recommended) selected and click OK on the ISOHybrid image detected window

11. Click OK on the WARNING: ALL DATA... pop up. It will take a bit since we've selected Check the device for bad blocks.

Note: with Check for bad blocks programming can take time.

11.1. Click on Log to get the log.

Here's the log from my run:

12. Close Rufus.

13. Open Windows Explorer, (1) right-click on the drive and (2) click Eject. Leave the USB stick in.

14. Note how to enter your BIOS or boot from another boot media*, save your work, and reboot your computer (get ready to press F12 when you see the Lenovo screen).

*On the T460 you "Restart the computer. When the Lenovo logo is displayed, press F1 to start the ThinkPad Setup program." (from the T460 User's Guide).

*You can also press F12 to enter the boot menu. The next instructions use this method.

15. At the Lenovo screen press F12.

16. Select USB HDD: SanDisk Cruzer Glide to with the arrow keys and hit Enter.

17. Select Try Ubuntu.

Ubuntu will boot up.

18. When your done, simply power off Ubuntu. Remember, none of your changes will persist.

Specific Hardware and Software Used in this Example

  • Ubuntu 16.04.4

  • USB Stick

  • SanDisk Cruzer Glide 64GB at link

  • Markings

  • SDC260-064G

  • BN170625695B

  • KCC-REM-TAD-SDCZ60 D33724

  • Computer

  • Lenovo T460

  • Marking and Specification Overview at link

  • ​OS

  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Version: 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601



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