I've taken a disk snapshot of my Ubuntu VM from Amazon EC2. The snapshot is a ZIP archive of the whole disk. I've downloaded and then extracted the snapshot. Now I would like to create a bootable ISO image from it.

I've already tried to use ImgBurn but it did not work. When trying to run a new VM from the ISO I get a "not bootable" error.

Did anyone of you guys ever deal with something like that?

  • I'm relatively sure the disk layout of an existing system wont work the same way bootable ISOs work (I'm sure with enough time and hacking it could work). You may have better luck with imaging the snapshot to an actual HD or USB device. Nov 6, 2014 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


I recently had issues with a Debian installation ISO I had modified (i.e. copied out the contents, added some firmware, and generated a new ISO from) suddenly no longer being bootable from a USB stick. I ended up having to postprocess the ISO using isohybrid, available from the syslinux package. It added a boot sector to the beginning of the ISO.

There may have been other steps in the preparation of the snapshot, or the creation of the ISO, or the medium by which you're trying to boot the ISO that are the culprit -- plus I was dealing with an installation ISO, not an EC2 snapshot, so you may have to do way more hacking than what I'm suggesting. But at least the boot sector is easy to add:

cp /path/to/your_image.iso /path/to/your_image_with_boot_sector.iso
isohybrid /path/to/your_image_with_boot_sector.iso

Some servers will treat the hybrid ISO more like a hard disk, which would require tweaking BIOS settings as well. Good luck.

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