How to Create a ZorinOS USB Drive

Zorin OS Desktop screenshot
Zorin OS Desktop.

Clayton Kroh

Zorin OS is a stylish Linux-based operating system that allows you to choose the look and feel of your desktop and background. For instance, if you like the look and feel of Windows 7, then you can choose the Windows 7 theme. If you prefer OSX, then you can go with the standard OSX theme. 

You'll need the following to create a bootable Zorin OS USB drive:

Download the ISO File for Zorin OS

Download the latest version of Zorin OS. You will be asked to select either the 64-bit or 32-bit version. Most likely you will want to download the 64-bit version; however, if your computer is older and has less than 2GB of RAM, you may need to use the 32-bit version. The process for creating a USB drive is the same for each version.

Format the USB Drive

  1. Insert the USB drive into an available USB slot on your computer.

  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.

Install Win32 Disk Imager

Download the Win32 Disk Imager. Double-click the downloaded file and follow these steps for installation:

  1. At the welcome screen, click Next.

  2. Read and accept the license agreement and click Next.

  3. Choose where to install Win32 Disk Imager by clicking Browse and selecting a location. 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

  1. Insert the USB drive into an available USB slot on your computer.

  2. Double-click the Win32 Disk Imager 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 turn off fast boot if you are using a computer with the UEFI boot loader. Windows 7 users are unlikely to need to take this step.

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

  1. Right-click the Start button.

  2. Click Power Options.

  3. Click Choose what the power button does.

  4. Scroll down and uncheck Turn on fast startup.

Windows: Open and Extract the ISO Image

Open the ISO image with Windows by right-clicking the file and selecting Open With, and then Windows Explorer

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

Extract the files to the USB drive in Windows by following these steps:

  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.

How to Boot From the USB Drive

If you are running Windows 8, a Windows 10 PC upgraded from Windows 8, or a brand-new Windows 10 computer, hold down the Shift key and reboot the computer — continue holding down the Shift key. Then, choose to boot from the EFI USB drive.

To boot from the USB drive if you're running Windows 7, simply leave the USB drive plugged in and reboot the computer.

Ubuntu: Open and Extract the ISO Image

Open the ISO image with Ubuntu by right-clicking the file and selecting Open With and then Archive Manager.

Follow these steps to extract the files to the USB drive with Ubuntu:

  1. Click on the Extract button within the Archive Manager.

  2. Click on the USB drive in the file browser.

  3. Click Extract.