Monday, 18 April 2016

How To Create A Linux Mint USB Drive Using Windows 10

Posted by Gary Newell  |  at  21:03 12 comments


A number of people have requested a guide showing how to dual boot Linux Mint and Windows 10 along the same lines as my other guide which shows how to dual boot Ubuntu and Windows 10.

Part of that process is creating the Linux Mint USB drive. In this guide I will show you how to create the Linux Mint USB drive using Windows 10 and how to boot into it so that you can have a look around prior to the main dual boot guide being written.

Why Linux Mint Over Ubuntu?

Linux Mint provides all of the multimedia codecs installed by default which means you are up and running slightly quicker than with Ubuntu.

Linux Mint also provides a more Windows like interface whether you use the lightweight XFCE and MATE versions or the more sophisticated Cinnamon desktop.

I have written two guides which may help you make your decision:

Download Linux Mint

You can download Linux Mint from

At the bottom of the page you will see a list of available versions.

This page has been streamlined for the latest release with just an option for Cinnamon and Mate. The versions with no codecs and all that nonsense is gone.

The one you will probably want to go for is the standard Cinnamon version.

There is also the MATE desktop. The MATE desktop is a lightweight desktop aimed at people with older hardware.

It is up to you which version you go for but you must choose the correct architecture.

To find out your computer's architecture type "PC INFO" into the search bar in the bottom left corner.

An option will appear called "About Your PC". Click on this option.

Look for the "System Type". If it says 64-bit click the 64-bit link next to the version of Mint you wish to try otherwise click the 32-bit link.

An information page will appear describing the version you have chosen including the download size and the MD5 checksum.

Click on the mirror link closest to where you live.

The file will download.

Download And Install Win32 Disk Imager

You can download Win32 Disk Imager from

The Win32 Disk Imager software is used to install the downloaded Linux ISO to the USB drive.

Click the download link. 

A "Save As" dialogue box will appear. Save the file to your Downloads folder.

To install Win32 Disk Imager double click on the downloaded file.

A welcome screen will appear. Click "Next" to continue.

Accept the license agreement and click "Next".

Unless you have a reason to change it leave the installation location as the default and click "Next".

Click "Next" to skip past the start menu folder.

If you want a desktop shortcut leave the box ticked otherwise uncheck the box. I recommend keeping it checked for reasons which will be discussed later on.

Click "Next" to continue.

Click the "Install" button.

Uncheck the "README.txt" box and click "Finish" to launch the software. At this point you may received the following error:

Click OK to close the errror.

Remember that desktop icon on the desktop that you created during the install? Right click on the Win32 Disk Imager icon on the desktop and choose "Run As Administrator".

Format A USB Drive

If you have a blank USB drive already you can skip this section.

Insert a USB drive into a spare port and open Windows Explorer. (ALT and E on the keyboard or click the folder icon in the task bar).

Find the USB drive icon and right click with the mouse. Click on the "Format" option.

When the box above appears choose "FAT32" as the file system and make sure the "Quick Format" box is checked and click "Start".

Make sure you have chosen the correct USB drive. Check the capacity box to make sure it is around the right size for the USB drive.

Create A Linux Mint USB Drive

Launch the Win32 Disk Imager from the desktop by right clicking on the icon and choosing "Run As Administrator"

Make sure the device dropdown points to the letter represented by your USB drive. You can check in Windows Explorer to make sure this is the case.

Click on the folder icon next to the drive letter and navigate to your downloads folder.

Choose the Linux Mint ISO that you downloaded earlier.

Click "Write".

The Linux Mint files will be copied to your USB drive.

Turn Off Fast Boot

On some computers you need to turn off fast boot in order to be able to boot from USB drives.

Right click on the start button and choose the "Power Options" item on the menu.

Click on the "Choose what the power button does" menu item on the left hand side of the "Power Options" settings window.

Click on the link that reads "Change settings that are currently unavailable".

Now scroll down the page and untick the "Turn On Fast Start-up" option.

Click "Save Changes".

Boot Into Linux Mint (non UEFI)

Reboot your computer with the USB drive still plugged in.

If your computer has a standard BIOS a menu should appear with an option to "Try Linux Mint". Choose this option.

Boot Into Linux Mint (UEFI)

Hold down the shift key and reboot your computer with the shift key held down.

The screen that appears will differ from make to make and even model to model.

What you are looking for is the "Use a device" option.

A list of possible boot options will appear. Choose the EFI USB Device

Your computer should now display a menu with an option to "Try Linux Mint".

Choose this option.

About the Author

Gary Newell started the Everyday Linux User blog in 2010 and has written reviews on dozens of different Linux based operating systems. He has also written a number of tutorials.

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  1. Complete guide! It's what i've done at the first time, exept the part Win32 ImageWriter.
    I've preferred UNetBootin, allow persistence for ubuntu and derivates like Mint: persistence it's a storage memory on the pendrive (less than 4 GB, due to file system FAT32) that saves changes and some added software.

  2. It wouldn't work, when I opened Win32 it didn't show linux mint in the downloads folder so I wasn't able to move it over to my USB drive. If someone could help me it would be greatly appreciated.

    1. When you run Win32DiskImager it sets the file types dropdown to *.IMG. The Linux Mint file is .ISO. That is why it doesn't show up. Change the dropdown to show all files (*.*).

  3. Hey thanks for this write up.

    I am however facing an issue when I get to the Installation Type screen - all I see is '/dev/sda' with no sign of my partition I creates earlier. Tried to google a fix but no luck :-(

  4. I followed everything exactly, I got the menu and selected EFI USB Device.
    Afterwards I recieve a menu with options:
    -Start Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon 64-bit
    -(same option in compatibility mode)
    -OEM install
    -Check intergity of the medium

    I've tryed the first two options, but it just shows a black screen. :(

  5. Is this also working in Standard BIOS/Legacy, non-UEFI with unsupported "Secure Boot State"? Please Help!

    1. Lerena Jones UEFI is must for installation of linux.
      u can change from legacy to UEFI.........follow the link

  6. Wow man, it can't be more complete. It worked perfectly. Thanks a lot!!

  7. You can boot both linux and windows with this or only linux?

  8. Thank you very much. I followed the procedure from My question is will the same procedure work for an external SSD?


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