Bootable USB Drive

Working with a new test server, I wanted to save myself some time and hassle of burning a DVD and just boot off of USB. This being a test server I logged in to Microsoft MSDN and downloaded the latest greatest version of Windows Server with all the R2’s and Updates already applied to the image to save me later when the server applies the 100+ updates an image that is 1 or 2 years old would require.

The process of creating a bootable USB stick is not too hard and is something I’ve done before with my old friend Bart PE for XP and 2003 back in the day and more recently even Microsoft has finally put something out though you would have to use a mirror to get it as the official link is down/dead.

What was the challenge this time? Windows Server 2012 R2 with Update ISO is a UDF ISO that for some reason was not recognized as being a valid image. This is what the Readme on the ISO said: This disc contains a “UDF” file system and requires an operating system that supports the ISO-13346 “UDF” file system specification. Funny though VM Ware could boot from it just fine but getting other tools to “see” it was a challenge. I tried various newer tools such as Rufus and Wintobootic in addition to lots of forums and Easy How To’s. Even tried to mount the ISO as a file with no luck at least in Windows 7. Microsoft finally figured out (a million years too late) that in Windows 8 being able to mount ISO’s would be handy.

So what was the magical solution? Unfortunately time was against me and I ended up just going back and using an older Server 2012 R2 ISO that was not in UDF format. Failure sucks but spending 10x the time over just burning the DVD was counter productive even when the challenge such as this was fun. The server is up…let the patching begin!

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