I need to put a bootable image of a usb stick on a website so that our users can download it and burn it to USB themselves.

They aren't especially technical, so I don't want them to have to download any other software (e.g. Rufus / MagicISO etc).

My ideal is for something like the Windows 10 Media Creator (https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10).

I've seen some posts suggesting WinToFlash's Boot Replicator (https://wintoflash.com/home/en/) but the site flags up as malicious.

Is there a tool I can use that is safe and will create an exe which users can run to download and burn to a bootable USB?

OK - a bit more information to confirm this is on topic...

I am an IT professional and we have just rolled out 250 or so laptops to our offices around the world. The laptops were shipped by the manufacturer with an incorrect BIOS setting (SATA operations set to Raid rather than AHCI) which means that some recent driver updates from the manufacturer has rendered them unstable. (They are bluescreening regularly with an error with the iAstorA.sys driver.)

The fix for this is to switch them to AHCI, but this means we need to redeploy the image to our users (who may or may not be based in offices, and are spread all over the world).

Our best fix option is to get USB flash drives to them, as we have streamlined our rollout process to be basically self configuring for the users. The logistics of getting the physical USB drives around the world is a nightmare though - much better if we can provide somewhere the users (employees) can download them.

However, having to use a tool like Rufus will freak them out. I need a way that they can download a single file from the web which when run will prompt them to insert a USB stick, and then burn the bootable USB image to it.

How can I achieve this?

  • This is a great addition to the question putting it into a whole different context then before. I wouldn't rule out others site though, as some (few) developers might have more experience with creating this kind of media. But please don't crosspost. – Sven Sep 27 '16 at 20:20
  • You know that if the user X as added a disk and created a raid volume, removing the raid setting will render the disk usable, and indirectly if your user got a install disk, they would reinstall at new over the disk partition detected in the setup ? You put yourself in a dangerous position to lost customer data. – yagmoth555 Sep 29 '16 at 3:37
  • I told it, as I'am a HP/Dell revendor, and I see that error often, in raid I see the windows volume, when switched back to AHCI, the user freak out as the volume is not shown. Did you asked your revendor for a correct fix ? – yagmoth555 Sep 29 '16 at 3:39
  • Yes - It is Dell, and the fix they have given us is a full reload. You're quite correct that the volume will initially disappear, hence the need for the bootable USB with the new image on it. In terms of lost data, luckily we have a tool that will back up the users data before they do this process. – Ben Sep 29 '16 at 6:17
  • If it's Dell then I would send a notice to not upgrade the driver until furter notice. That would allow you to wait for a new driver release. Usually the end user will not upgrade the driver unless they got problem with the computer. As it's surelly a know problem on Dell side, and I have hard time to imagine that they would do nothing to fix it. – yagmoth555 Sep 29 '16 at 12:32

This may not be the best answer, but you could always write a script/program that does this yourself. (Which in this case would prompt a Stack Overflow question.)

(The following would of course have to be run as an administrator because it involves disk imaging)

For example, you might write a script or program that downloads this imaging tool or some similar program:

https://github.com/davidferguson/CommandLineDiskImager (Just an example)

then downloads your image,

then asks the user to select a drive,

then executes the imaging program with the supplied image and drive

After confirming success, you can delete the original files you downloaded, and maybe even restart for them.

  • dd is available for Windows and is sweet and simple. – Ryan Babchishin Sep 29 '16 at 4:55

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