Stop Burning ISO & Our USB Storage Drive’s Lifespan, Use Ventoy – The Rufus Ultimate Alternative Instead

USB flash laptop

Ventoy is the new (relatively) technology (oh yeah!) for turning Operating System (OS) images like iso, img, etc., into a bootable media directly from a USB storage drive. Yes, directly from a USB storage drive means no burning and format USB storage anymore everytime we want to boot an OS image file!

Licosha — Burn! Burn! Burn! That’s what we do when we want to try or install an OS, we must burn the OS image file (iso, img, etc.) first into a storage drive (USB is the most common these days) to make it as a bootable media. But not anymore since I known Ventoy 1 year ago.

Rufus, is the de-facto app, the number one choice on people’s mind if asked what software/app to use to burn an OS image file. The thing is, burning isos, imgs, can be a pain in the ass especially if we have hobby or job trying out or installing different OSes because of these points:

  • Time consuming. Except we are willing to buy different storage dedicated for the OS bootable media.
  • Reducing the storage’s life. It is most common now to use USB storage drive for making an OS bootable media. And everytime we burn an OS image file into the USB storage drive, it is going to reformat and there will be large write process happening.
  • Wasted storage. Many times probably when we burn an OS image to a USB storage drive for example, there will be GigaBytes of empty space most users left unused.

But using Ventoy, we only need to format the USB storage drive one time, it is when we installing Ventoy a.k.a. making the USB storage drive as Ventoy bootable media.

After the USB storage drive have been formatted using Ventoy, we just need to place the OS image files like iso, img, etc., on the USB storage drive, then boot our PC (usually from the BIOS settings) from the USB storage drive.

So, the next time we want to try and install another OS, we don’t need to format and rewrite the USB storage for that specific OS image anymore, but we just need to simply copy the OS image file, then choose it when we boot the Ventoy-bootable USB storage.

The existence of Ventoy is like one of seven the wonders especially for me, because I was one of Linux distro hopper back there. It’s just because some circumstances I am not distro hopping anymore, but there is a big chance I will become a distro hopper again in the future.

Ventoy compatibility with various Operating System image files

If I remember correctly, Ventoy claimed that >90% OS image files is working fine when booted using Ventoy ranging to common Windows isos, Linux distros, even unmainstream OSes that uses img as the OS image format.

And per my experience, Ventoy’s claim seems to be true. I tried different Linux distros versions, FydeOS (ChromeOS), Android PCs like POSROG & BlissOS, and Windows isos from Windows 8.1 to 11 with no problem. Even I could boot Windows’s wimboot using Ventoy (tutorial below).

Ventoy application info

system requirementsOperating system:
  • Windows
  • Linux

Steps installing Ventoy to a USB storage drive


  • A USB storage drive with at least 8 GB capacity.
  • Backup the content of the USB drive if any, because it will be formatted.

Note: The step by step example below is when using Windows PC.

  1. Download latest release of Ventoy (download link is at the end of this post) and extract/unpack from the zip it to get the Ventoy2Disk.exe executable.

    Ventoy Windows extract from zip

  2. Plug in the USB drive we intend to turn it into Ventoy bootable USB drive to our PC.
  3. Run Ventoy Ventoy2Disk.exe, e.g. by double clicking it. It is a portable app so we can run it without installation.

    Ventoy Windows launch exe

  4. Now Ventoy main UI will appears, on the “Device” section, choose the USB storage drive we will use. Note: It is a good idea to unplug other USB storage drives except the one we will be using to make things easier, especially if we are careless to avoid formatting wrong USB storage drive.

    Ventoy Windows select USB storage

  5. Now select the “Option” tab on the top navigation tabs to configure how Ventoy will format the USB storage drive according to our PC needs:
  • On the “Partition Style” menu item, choose “GPT” or “MBR” according to our PC BIOS boot methods. If our PC has UEFI boot capability (GPT partition style), it usually can also using legacy boot (MBR partition style) by adjusting the boot mode setting on the BIOS configuration menu. Meanwhile, older PCs (like from 2012 and older) will use legacy boot, which is using MBR partition style.

    Ventoy Windows select partition style

  • On the previous menu item, “Secure Boot Support” can also be enabled if we wish the Ventoy bootable installation to support Secure Boot configuration if our PC is using it, which is if our PC has UEFI boot capability (again, Secure Boot usually can also be adjusted from the PC’s BIOS configuration to be turned off or on).
  1. After everything is correctly configured to our needs, click the “Install” button at the bottom to start formatting the USB storage drive as a Ventoy bootable media. Wait until the process in “Status” section done, which usually happens in a moment.

    Ventoy Windows installing progress
  2. After Ventoy finished the installation process of formatting the USB storage drive as Ventoy bootable media, Windows’s File Explorer may will open the USB storage drive automatically. We can start copying/moving ISOs, IMGs, etc., to the USB storage drive to be able to boot them from the USB storage drive’s Ventoy bootable media menu. Goodbye the time consuming and USB storage lifespan shortening of burning process.

    Ventoy Windows OS isos in Ventoy installed USB storage
Ventoy installation process to a USB storage drive using Windows 8.1 PC

Add support for Window’s wimboot to a Ventoy bootable USB storage drive

Wimboot is a specialized image boot consisted of a .wim used by Windows as an image format. Maybe most of people who used Windows 10 as their primary OS never touch or even heard of a .wim image file.

I personally, the only thing I can think of a .wim file and where it is used is on Windows 8.1. On my old tablet PC, it is using Wimboot method to compress Windows files in Wimboot .wim, and our PC will make a pointer to that Wimboot file and read that file instead the traditional Windows folder.

I think I have once used Ventoy’s Wimboot plugin to access the recovery environment of my PC’s Windows 8.1 because once the PC won’t boot after messing it with Linux dual boot-things.

So, other than ISOs and IMGs, Ventoy has also capability to boot Wimboot WIM file by adding the feature as a Ventoy plugin. The steps is very easy shown below:

  1. Download latest release of Ventoy’s wimiso ventoy_wimboot.img (Download link is at the end of this post).
  2. On our Ventoy-installed USB storage drive main partition (not the small EFI partition, if we use GPT partition when installed Ventoy on it), create a folder named ventoy if it not exists.
  3. Copy the ventoy_wimboot.img to the ventoy folder of our Ventoy-installed USB storage drive main partition.
  4. Done! Ventoy should be able to boot .wim image file now.

Saving files together inside Ventoy-installed USB storage drive

Now here is another beauty of Ventoy other than no burning ISOs & images anymore that shorten our USB storage drive age, it is we can still use the USB storage drive just like a normal storage.

However, there are some reports from users that Ventoy menu is slowing down when there are lots of files inside it. So, how is the solution? It is by creating a readonly .ventoyignore file inside a folder we don’t want Ventoy to read.

For example on my Ventoy-installed USB storage drive, other than various operating system images of ISOs (mostly are Linux distros) stored at the root of the storage, I created a folder named Files and use it to store some of my other files.

And Just like I told earlier, according to Ventoy’s documentation, I created an empty file named .ventoyignore inside the Files folder to prevent Ventoy read the contents of it and prevent slowing down of Ventoy’s menu because there are lots of other files I stored inside it.

Hint: To create a file named started with a . in Windows, we must create a file that also ended with . to make it works. So when typing the file name, rather than we type .ventoyignore, instead we should type it .ventoyignore. and hit Enter.

Ventoy application update changelogs

v. 1.0.89 (March 8, 2023
  • Fix the issue that VTOY_LINUX_REMOUNT can not work in new linux kernel.
  • Fix the issue that Ventoy2Disk_X64.exe can not run under altexe directory.
  • Fix the issue that VentoyPlugson_X64.exe exit silently.
  • Add missing /FS option for Ventoy2Disk.exe in Windows command line mode.
  • Ventoy2Disk.exe automatically change current directory when started from other directory.
  • Add tip message when theme file contains non-enclosed literal values. (#2166)
  • Ignore reserved space when do non-destructive installation via GUI. (#2168)
  • Fix the menu missing issue when there exist an invalid vlnk file. (#2228) languages.json update
v. 1.0.88 (January 13, 2023)
  1. Fix the VHD(x) boot issue introduced in 1.0.87.
  2. Add more options for Windows command line mode, Notes.
  3. VentoyPlguson: Fix VTOY_WIN11_BYPASS_CHECK option web page display issue.
  4. Fix that workaround #2 not working for Legacy BIOS access limit.
  5. Fix a syntax error in F4 localboot.
  6. Show file checksum menu title according to the existence of checksum value.
  7. Automatically switch to en_US when use text mode.
  8. Add unsupported tip message for 4k native disk.
  9. languages.json update
Ventoy v. 1.0.89 Ventoy wimiso v. 1.0
ventoy_wimboot.img (2.79 MB)

Older versions:

Ventoy v. 1.0.88

That is all I can say about one of great app/software today, Ventoy. So I think, using Ventoy today as the to-go method to turn an OS image into a bootable media is a no-brainer instead the traditional burn-and-rewrite method like using Rufus. Using Ventoy we can save time, save planet, and money in the end.

Note: If you see how I compared a lot Ventoy & Rufus, it’s not like I disrespect Rufus. Rufus is a great app and it always will be, it helped me a lot on the past to make bootable media of OS images. But let’s make it like this: It’s more like how people will compare how good a smartphone if it is compared to latest iPhone.

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