Im trying to boot from TAILS using my usb flashdrive. I downloaded the TAILS iso. file to the computer, burned the file to dvd, and then copied it over by way of "send to" to the new usb flashdrive, and it copied it there. Both the dvd and usb have the same number of bytes. When I boot my computer from the usb drive, it doesn't read the usb tails disk image file. Thx

I just realized that the dvd won't boot either b/c it is only the iso file. I thought the iso file had been burned, but for some reason it did not burn. Trying now.


3 Answers 3


Your question is quite puzzling, Burning a iso to a dvd would work straight (if your BIOS is configured or you choose a device to boot) Making a USB bootable is not as simple as imaging the DVD to the USB. You have a couple options

  • If you want to easily want to carry a couple ISO's and just copy them whenever you need them, use Easy2Boot.
  • For a dedicated tails iso, If you are using Windows, use Rufus (https://rufus.akeo.ie/ ) It will make the usb drive bootable with your iso
  • UPDATE: you use the program Rufus, load the iso in that program, select your usb stick, click OK and DONE
    – Polarsbear
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 21:49
  • actually, burning the ISO into USB drive won't work all by itself: it's better to make a mini-image that will boot up from usb stick and boot the iso file afterwards, replacing itself in memory - if your goal is to boot an iso file. If you need to do a live stick from ISO - yes, rufus or etcher are the good choices under windows
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 0:02

I got it! Can disregard the bottom. usb installer, a couple of checkmarks, done!


yes, it did not work after copying the files over to the usb.

so i downloaded rufus and installed it on the usb. Can i now burn the iso on the computer to the usb? though isn't "burning" only for cd/dvd? so would i "send to" the iso image to the usb? The goal is to boot TAILS from the usb on my personal computer. I think i am doing this incorrectly)) Am i just putting the iso on the usb drive and that is it? No converting the "iso" to something else for the usb to be able to boot TAILS? thx I just used the following steps and tried to boot from it and got the message bootmgr is missing. To create a bootable USB flash drive

Insert a USB flash drive into a running computer.

Open a Command Prompt window as an administrator.

Type diskpart.

In the new command line window that opens, to determine the USB flash drive number or drive letter, at the command prompt, type list disk, and then click ENTER. The list disk command displays all the disks on the computer. Note the drive number or drive letter of the USB flash drive.

At the command prompt, type select disk <X>, where X is the drive number or drive letter of the USB flash drive, and then click ENTER.

Type clean, and the click ENTER. This command deletes all data from the USB flash drive.

To create a new primary partition on the USB flash drive, type create part pri, and then click ENTER.

To select the partition that you just created, type select part 1, and then click ENTER.

To format the partition, type format fs=ntfs quick, and then click ENTER.

Type active, and then click ENTER.

Type exit, and then click ENTER.

When you finish preparing your custom image, save it to the root of the USB flash drive.


Its better you download balenaEtcher from the official site itself, then use it to flash the image onto the USB drive then use it to boot

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