The Easiest Way To Create A ZorinOS USB Drive

Zorin OS Desktop
Zorin OS Desktop.

This guide shows how to use Windows to create a Zorin OS USB drive.

What Is Zorin OS?

Zorin OS is a stylish Linux based OS which allows you to choose the look and feel. For instance if you like the look and feel of Windows 7 choose the Windows 7 theme, if you prefer OSX then chose the OSX theme. 

What You Will Need?

You will need:

How To Format A USB Drive

Format your USB drive to FAT 32.

  1. Insert the USB drive
  2. Open Windows Explorer
  3. Right click on the USB drive and select "Format" from the menu
  4. In the box that appears choose "FAT32" as the file system and check the "Quick Format" box.
  5. Click "Start"

How To Download Zorin OS

There are two versions available on the download page. Version 9 is based on Ubuntu 14.04 which is supported until 2019 whereas version 10 has more up to date packages but only has 9 months worth of support.

It is up to you which one you go with. The process for creating a USB drive is the same.

How To Download And Install Win32 Disk Imager

To install Win32 Disk Imager

  1. At the welcome screen click "Next".
  2. Accept the license agreement and click "Next".
  3. Choose where to install Win32 Disk Imager by clicking browse and choosing a location and click "Next". 
  4. Choose where to create the start menu folder and click "Next".
  5. If you wish to create a desktop icon (recommended) leave the box checked and click "Next".
  6. Click "Install".

Create The Zorin USB Drive

To create the Zorin USB drive:

  1. Insert the USB drive.
  2. Start Win32 Disk Imager by clicking the desktop icon.
  3. Make sure the drive letter is the same as the one for your USB drive.
  4. Click the folder icon and navigate to the downloads folder
  5. Change the file type to show all files
  6. Choose the Zorin OS ISO downloaded previously
  7. Click Write

Turn Off Fast Boot

You only need to do this if you are using a computer with the UEFI boot loader. Windows 7 users are unlikely to need to do this.

To be able to boot Zorin on a machine running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 you will need to turn off fast boot.

  1. Right click the start button.
  2. Choose power options.
  3. Click "Choose what the power button does".
  4. Scroll down and make sure "Turn on fast startup" is unchecked.

How To Boot From The USB Drive

To boot if you are running Windows 8 or a Windows 10 PC upgraded from Windows 8 or a brand new Windows 10 computer:

  1. Hold down the shift key
  2. Reboot the computer whilst keeping the shift key held down
  3. Choose to boot from EFI USB Drive

if you are running Windows 7 simply leave the USB drive plugged in and reboot the computer.

Step 3a - Open The ISO Image Using Ubuntu

To open the ISO image with Ubuntu right click on the file and choose "open with" and then "archive manager"

Step 3b - Open The ISO Image Using Windows

To open the ISO image with Windows right click on the file and choose "open with" and then "Windows Explorer". 

If you are using older versions of Windows the ISO image might not open with Windows Explorer. You will need to use a tool such as 7Zip to open the ISO image.

This guide provides links to 15 free file extractors.

Step 4a - Extract The ISO Using Ubuntu

To extract the files to the USB drive with Ubuntu:

  1. Click on the "Extract" button within Archive Manager.
  2. Click on the USB drive in the file browser
  3. Click "Extract"

Step 4b - Extract The ISO Using Windows

To extract the files to the USB drive with Windows:

  1. Click the "Select All" button within Windows Explorer
  2. Choose "Copy To"
  3. Select "Choose Location"
  4. Select your USB drive
  5. Click "Copy"


That is it. Just keep the USB drive in your computer and reboot.

The Ubuntu based distribution should now boot.

There was a time when I used to swear by UNetbootin for creating Linux USB drives but I have found this tool hit and miss of late and it isn't really necessary anymore.