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Quickly check a bootable USB key or ISO with Bootable USB Test

11 May 2017, Mike Williams

Bootable USB TestYou’ve downloaded an ISO recovery disc, maybe used it to create a bootable USB key– but does it work? Finding out can be a hassle as you close down applications, reboot, maybe tweak your BIOS, boot into the key and reboot again back to Windows.

Bootable USB Test is a portable tool which provides a quick and easy alternative.

Launch the program and its tabbed interface enables choosing the drive or the ISO image you’d like to boot. We choose the ISO option and pointed the program at an image of the AVG Rescue Disc.

Clicking Start launches the emulator QEMU to create a basic VM and a temporary virtual hard drive for the session. That all happens almost instantly, and within a couple of seconds we saw a window appear with the initial AVG boot menu.

QEMU doesn’t have the power to go much further, at least not with these settings, and the chances are you won’t be able to explore your bootable system much further. Its only real use is to check whether the image or key boots at all: if you need to do more, use VirtualBox.

Bootable USB Test

Check that a LiveCD (or anything else) boots, right from your Windows desktop

We spotted one or two issues with the program, too. In particular, some bootable ISOs wouldn’t start in the QEMU environment, and the program crashed a few times.

Still, Bootable USB Test worked well for us in most situations, and it’s so quick and easy to use that there’s no penalty in trying it first. Take a look.

Bootable USB Test is available for Windows XP and later.

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