Every computer user should be able to know the big warning on having bootable devices that will start up the PC in the event that the operating system malfunctions or would not make the PC start. Yes, the computer starts with an operating system which could unluckily fail anytime. When this happens, you still have a chance to make your PC functional. You can do so with a bootable USB that has an OS stored in it.
When the use of the computer was first recognized by the now-tech savvy people, their first lesson was to have a bootable OS ready in the event that the computer fails to boot. This OS is saved in a fluffy disk. Then, during the era of the compact disks (CDs) the fluffy disks were displaced and the bootable OS used to be stored in a CD. But the CD is cumbersome to carry along with the laptop or netbook as some of these compact computing devices do not have a CD drive. The flash drive was invented and today, computer users have these for data back-up storage. The bootable CDs soon were displaced by the bootable USB flash stick or key.
With the features of USB, the compactness, the bigger storage capacity and the cheaper price, it became more convenient to use a USB flash drive in lieu of the CD or DVD. Here is how you can have an ever ready bootable USB operating system.
Booting from a bootable USB
How do you start your PC with a bootable USB flash stick or key? You will have to insert your bootable USB in the USB drive of your computer. You can start or restart your computing device; you are required to goto the booting menu. From the menu, click the USB option.
Actually this process is almost similar if you were to use the old bootable optical device, hard drive or CD. Your storage device will have a boot sector from which the BIOS will generate the data to be used for the booting. The difference when using the bootable device is that this tool installs the open source bootloader known as SYSLINUX.
Using bootable USB – advantages
Our computer geeks have never stopped improvising and innovating technologies. And the USB flash drives, sticks or keys were invented to replace the old CDs that were normally used for data back-up storage, including the bootable OS. The new bootable USB demonstrated ultra-convenience when used. It is so small and more portable than the CD. You can just place it in your pocket without being too concerned that it may get damaged. There is no danger of scratches as there would be in the CD. What could be even more advantageous is that it is faster to load data when you are using flash drives such that if becomes faster to boot your PC with a bootable USB stick. Majority of computer users opt for the netbooks for convenience. However, most of the models of these PCs do not have a CD drive such that the bootable CD would not be of any use for a non-booting netbook. In as much that all netbooks have USB ports, then it is possible to install your OS through the use of bootable USB sticks or keys.
Disadvantages in the use of bootable USB
Despite the practicality and convenience of using the bootable USB stick or key, it is never free from any drawback. The USB is too hardware dependent. This negative aspect shows the dependent on the BIOS, motherboard and model of flash drive. This will have to match with your bootable USB stick. There are known instances when the bootable USB drive works in one PC but does not do well with another laptop. The bootable USB then is sometimes selective so you have to be sure that your USB is compatible with your computer hardware. This gives the advantage to bootable CDs which can be used in almost any PC that has a CD drive.
Any computer user should always have a back-up for his data. These are now stored in USB drives. Choosing a USB stick with larger storage capacity will enable you to make room for a bootable USB that will rescue you when the OS in your hard drive malfunctions. The non-booting of the hard drive seldom happens, but it may so it is still paramount to keep a bootable USB device handy at all times.