Universal USB Installer – Easy as 1 2 3

Universal USB Installer aka UUI is a Live Linux Bootable USB Creator. It allows users to make a USB Boot from a Linux distribution, Windows Installer, Windows To Go, Antivirus Scanner, Disk Cloning Software or any other System Tool that can be put on a flash drive. The software is easy to use; Simply choose your distribution from the list, browse to the ISO file, select your target flash drive, and then click Create. Once finished, you should have a ready to run Bootable USB Flash Drive containing the operating system or tool you selected.

Another key feature includes Persistence if available. Ubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu Casper Persistence feature works with both FAT32 or NTFS formatted drives. Larger than 4GB casper-rw is also possible when the USB drive is formatted with an NTFS filesystem.

NOTE: If you prefer to add multiple Live Linux Distributions, System Diagnostic Tools, Antivirus Utilities, and Windows Installers to your bootable USB, you should instead use the YUMI Multiboot USB Software.

Universal USB Installer (UUI)

Universal USB Installer Steps
Universal USB Installer - Progress Window

Universal-USB-Installer-2.0.0.4.exe – May 4, 2021 – Changes
Re-enable the ability to run from earlier versions of Windows. Prevent NTFS format option from appearing on systems prior to Windows 8.

SHA-256: 080CAC1DA5D91B423A87AF6E599CC06CDED0EDB09F19A6012FB4DD9997BA27CA

Requirements to Create a Live Bootable USB Flash Drive

IMPORTANT: UUI only shows USB drives detected by Windows as removable media. See the best recommended Fast Flash Drives.

Your flash drive must be Fat32/NTFS formatted, otherwise Syslinux will fail to install an MBR (Master Boot Record), and as a result the device will NOT Boot.

Additionally, the Windows to Go option requires an NTFS formatted device with 20GB free disk space to hold the virtual disk. See FAQ for more info.

  • Universal-USB-Installer-2.0.0.4.exe
  • Windows to create the bootable USB
  • Greater than 2GB *Fat32 or NTFS Formatted Flash Drive. MBR partition table
  • Computer with a BIOS that can boot from USB
  • Your Favorite Linux ISO

Feel free to inform me of unlisted Live Linux distributions or version revisions, and I will do my best to update the tool to support them.

Universal USB Installer Changelog

The following Changelog outlines any recent changes made to the software. Only the latest revisions are listed.

)5/04/21 – Version 2.0.4: Re-enable the ability to run from earlier versions of Windows. Moved checkpoint to simply prevent NTFS format option from appearing on systems prior to Windows 8.

04/26/21 – Version 2.0.0.3a: quick revision to disallow (Disk 0) from being displayed.

04/26/21 – Version 2.0.0.3: Set to show Local Drives in addition to USB Drives. Included a confirmation prompt before proceeding to format a drive. Implemented a checkpoint to prevent running from Operating Systems prior to Windows 8.

04/16/21 – Version 2.0.0.2: Performed general cleanup of unused code. Fixed the broken Debian Live entry. Removed the Wipe option. Also switched to list only removable USB media. Note that devices listed as local (fixed) disks will no longer be detected.

03/19/21 – Version 2.0.0.1: Fixed Zorin persistence feature. Updated to support newer Clonezilla and OpenSUSE. Also removed old distros that are no longer in development.

12/03/20 – Version 2.0.0.0: Recompiled the tool using the newer Nullsoft Scriptable Install System Version 3.06.1.

USB Bootable Distributions

The Universal USB Installer (UUI) might be used to create a USB Bootable distribution from the following Live Linux Operating Systems, Windows Installers, System Tools, and Antivirus Utilities.

— Ubuntu 32/64 Bit —

  • Ubuntu Desktop
  • Xubuntu Desktop
  • Kubuntu Desktop
  • Lubuntu Desktop
  • Edubuntu Desktop
  • *Ubuntu Server Installer
  • Blackbuntu

— Linux Mint 32/64 Bit —

  • Linux Mint

— Debian Live/Netinst 32/64 Bit —

  • Debian Netinst
  • *Debian Live

— Backtrack/Kali Versions —

  • Kali Linux
  • Backtrack

— Fedora 32/64 Bit —

  • Fedora Desktop

— OpenSUSE 32/64 Bit —

  • OpenSUSE 32bit
  • *OpenSUSE 64bit

— Puppy Linux Based —

  • Fatdog64
  • Lighthouse Puppy
  • Lucid Puppy
  • Precise Puppy
  • Puppy Arcade
  • Puppy 4.3.1
  • Racy Puppy
  • Slacko Puppy
  • Wary Puppy

— Linux Distros for Kids —

  • DouDouLinux
  • Qimo 4 Kids 2.0
  • Sugar on a Stick

— Other Distros Alphabetical —

  • AOMEI (Disk Cloning and Backup Tool)
  • Acronis Rescue CD
  • Android
  • AntiX
  • Antergos
  • ArchBang
  • ArchLinux
  • ArtistX
  • Aurora
  • BackBox
  • Baltix Linux
  • BCCD
  • BlehOS
  • Bodhi
  • Boot Repair Disk
  • Carmedia
  • CentOS
  • Chakra
  • Clonezilla
  • Crunchbang
  • DBAN 2.2.X
  • Deft Linux
  • Deepin Linux
  • DRBL
  • DSL 4.4.10
  • Dreamlinux
  • Dynebolic
  • EASUS Disk Copy
  • EasyPeasy
  • Elementary OS
  • Elementary Unleashed
  • Feather Linux
  • Finnix
  • Fuduntu
  • Fusion Linux
  • Gamedrift
  • Gentoo
  • GEEXBOX
  • gNewSense
  • GRML
  • gOS gadgets
  • GParted
  • Jolicloud
  • Kiwi
  • KNOPPIX
  • Kororaa
  • KXStudio
  • Leeenux
  • Liberte
  • LinHES
  • Linux XP Like
  • LPS
  • Macbuntu
  • Mandriva One 2011
  • Matriux
  • MCNLive Toronto
  • Meego
  • MicroCore
  • Netrunner
  • Ophcrack
  • OSGeo Live
  • Pardus
  • PartedMagic
  • PCLinuxOS
  • Pear OS
  • Peppermint
  • PING
  • Pinguy OS
  • Plasma active
  • PLoP Linux
  • Porteus
  • Redo Backup
  • Rescatux
  • RIP Linux
  • Runt Linux
  • Sabayon Linux
  • SalineOS
  • Satux
  • Simply MEPIS
  • SLAX
  • SliTaZ
  • Sn0wL1nuX
  • SolusOS
  • System Rescue CD
  • Tails
  • Terralinux
  • TinyCore
  • Trisquel
  • Uberstudent
  • Ultimate Boot CD
  • Ultimate Edition
  • WifiWay
  • WifiSlax
  • xPUD
  • XBMC
  • XBMCbuntu
  • StartOS
  • wattOS R5
  • Zenwalk Live
  • Zorin OS

— Live Antivirus Rescue CDs —

  • AOSS (Malware Scanner)
  • AVG Rescue CD
  • Avira Antivir Rescue Disk
  • Bitdefender Rescue CD
  • Comodo Rescue Disk
  • DrWeb LiveCD
  • F-Secure Rescue CD
  • G DATA Antivirus
  • Kaspersky Rescue Disk
  • Panda Safe CD
  • Trinity Rescue Kit

— Other Software —

  • Falcon 4 Boot CD
  • Hiren’s Boot CD
  • Kon-Boot
  • Sergei Strelec

— Windows to Go + Windows Installers —

  • Windows to Go (on VHD)
  • **Windows 7/8/10 Installer

— Try to use an Unsupported ISO —

  • Try Unlisted Linux ISO

More Live Linux Distributions will be added as time permits. Feel free to contact me to submit recommendations.

Universal USB Installer Troubleshooting, Issues, Bugs

The Windows to Go option does require the USB drive be NTFS formatted and have 20GB+ free space to hold the virtual disk. Many flash drives you might find at local department stores won’t be fast enough. You’ll need a very fast solid state flash drive. When Windows boots from the USB for the first time, it’ll go through the setup process and then reboot. You’ll need to boot using your Windows to Go flash drive a second time to finalize the setup process and finally boot into your full Portable Windows.

The tool expects the Volume Label of your USB drive to be UUI in order for OpenSUSE, CentOS and several other distributions to boot. The tool attempts to automatically create this Volume Label, however it can sometimes fail. Please ensure that the Volume Label of your USB remains UUI if you expect distributions to boot!

Persistence feature is currently broken with Newer Debian and Debian based distributions due to significant changes upstream. Debian now requires a rename of the persistent block file and label from live-rw to persistence and must hold a persistence.conf file containing / Union. I plan to make the necessary changes and then provide a fix as time allows.

If you’re using Universal-USB-Installer-2.0.0.4.exe and you still receive Insane primary (MBR) partition notices,

Insane primary (MBR) partition. Can’t find myself on the drive I booted from

Your USB drive may be improperly formatted, contains more than one partition or MBR, or your BIOS is not properly detecting the USB drive and its firmware needs to be updated. You can try to Format and Restore a USB Drive.

An Error (1) occurred while executing syslinux.

If you encounter a message stating

An error (1) occurred while executing syslinux. Your USB drive won’t be bootable.

An error (1) occurred executing syslinux

The most likely cause is that your USB drive is formatted as exFAT or some other unsupported format. You’ll need to reformat as fat32 (currently preferred) or NTFS.

My PC wont Boot from my Flash Drive, but supports USB boot!

Some Flash Drives ship USB-FDD formatted and some systems will not detect or even boot USB-FDD. However, I have found that most systems can boot USB-ZIP, and or USB-HDD. If you are having a hard time getting your BIOS to detect your flash drive, you can always try to format it as USB-HDD or USB-ZIP using BOOTICE (GET IT HERE), and then proceed to use Universal USB Installer to put your chosen Distro on USB.

OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • If you’re running a Windows Vista or 7 Installer from your USB, after the first reboot, remove the flash drive and let the pc complete from the hard disk.
  • When browsing for an ISO, UUI will only display ISO Files that match what the tool is asking for. For example, if you chose to install Ubuntu 20.10 Desktop-i386, you should not expect the tool to display your ubuntu-20.10-Server-i386.iso because you have not selected the Server variant.

Auto Detection: If you run Universal USB Installer from the same directory containing an installable ISO, the script should also Auto Detect the ISO and bypass step 2.

Universal USB Installer auto detection of ISO in same folder

* Although you can use an NTFS formatted USB, Ubuntu based “persistence” features will only work with a Fat16 or Fat32 formatted drive. Additionally some Linux Distributions will not boot from an NTFS formatted USB.

This tool does not support booting from multiple Linux distributions. Only one distribution can be installed per USB drive. However the YUMI Multiboot USB Creator can be used to create a Multi System USB Boot Device.

To try an ISO that isn’t listed, simply choose one of the the last three options in Step 1. I recommend “Try Unlisted Linux ISO (GRUB)” because it seems to be the most successful. Feel free to inform me of unlisted “Linux ISOs” you get to work via these options, so I can add them to the supported list.

OpenSUSE DVD and other ISOs with a single file that exceed 4GB will not work due to the Fat32 file size limitation.

The Universal USB Installer will NOT currently work from within Linux using WINE due to drive detection and user privilege issues. This issue will be revisited at a later point.

Universal USB Installer – Easy as 1 2 3 published under Bootable USB Creator Software