Need help installing balenaEtcher

BalenaEtcher is new to me. I haven’t been able to find clear instructions on putting it on a usb flash drive.

I recently bought an old Dell Latitude 630 running Windows XP. Everything works on the tablet, but it won’t download anything. I have decided to install a new os - Linux Lite. I have never done anything like this before. So, you could call me a total newbie.

I need some help. If I haven’t described my project clearly, please ask!!!

Thanks - George

So, BalenaEtcher is just a flashing tool. You wouldn’t put Etcher on a flash drive, you would install it on your computer. Then you use Etcher to write the disk image to the USB drive.

From the download instructions, you need to

Then, use Etcher to flash the lite-5.6-64bit.iso file to the USB drive, which should be pretty straight forward

OMG!! I am not any type of computer techie. I don’t understand your instructions. I don’t know how to get from my computer to the flash drive. What disk image am I going to write to the usb? Wait a minute, I thought Etcher had written the disc image to a usb drive. Where will I get the disc image to download thru bit torrent? Crap, I’m confused.

Thanks for the instructions, but they are way over my head. Did you leave some steps out or assume I knew how to do something?

Hi @gbono2, that’s okay! Let’s try again, and if you don’t understand part or whole of the following instructions, please don’t hesitate to ask. So, you’re running Windows XP on a Dell Latitude 630, which is a fairly old laptop, however you want to run Linux Lite on it. Since the Windows XP laptop won’t download anything, it won’t be able to get a copy of the balenaEtcher application easily. I’m assuming you have access to another computer which has a USB port. Then, the steps to follow would be the following:

  1. Download Etcher at the following link: balenaEtcher - Flash OS images to SD cards & USB drives. Make sure you choose the download that corresponds to the OS for your computer that will be running Etcher, among Windows, Mac, or Linux. Make sure Etcher starts up without issue.

  2. In order to maximize the chances of installing Linux Lite OS successfully, the Lite website recommends disabling Secure Boot for your Windows XP laptop. Follow the instructions here: Help Manual - Start

  3. The “Download” section of the Linux Lite OS website (Linux Download | Download Linux Lite Free Linux Operating System) includes links for how to download Bittorrent, which my colleague referred to above. This is a peer-to-peer file sharing software for download various files and programs, and it’s not the only method of downloading LiteOS. On the website I also see links to download the iso file manually. Here is the link to online file hosts for Linux Lite OS, for downloading the ISO directly: I recommend choosing the mirror that’s closest to your country. For example, if you’re in the US, the download link will take you to Index of /linuxlite/isos. Click the latest version (6.0 at time of writing this), and click the link that says linux-lite-6.0-64bit.iso. This will initialize the ISO file download.

An ISO is a file that is meant to emulate a disk image. To install software in the old days, you used to insert a CD into the computer and install from there. The CD contains the files that install the program or OS. An ISO file is a modern version of that; It’s in essence a digitized disk image meant to installing software or OSes.

  1. Now you have the Linux Lite OS ISO file and balena Etcher. Now, you want to flash the ISO file onto a USB stick. This makes the ISO portable, so the program within becomes accessible and install-able even when a computer is starting up and you don’t have access to your PC files directly. This is what balena Etcher does - flash files onto portable media like USBs and SD cards. Start up balenaEtcher and plug in your USB. For the first leftmost option, select the ISO file you just downloaded. For the second option, select your USB stick. Make sure it’s your USB. If you are not sure, please paste a screenshot here before continuing and ask for help. For the third step, click flash.

  2. After the flash finishes completely, the USB drive will become safe to remove. Now you’re ready to flash Linux Lite OS onto your laptop. Note that this will overwrite Windows XP and all your existing files on the laptop will be gone. You’ll need to reboot the laptop, making sure the USB is plugged in while the laptop is offline. Keep this USB plugged in. You’ll need to access the laptop boot menu to install the OS from your USB. On Dell laptops this is probably the F12 key, which you’ll need to either hold down or press repeatedly in order to access the boot menu. Once on the boot menu, choose the USB device. This will start up with Linux Lite OS in trial mode, and you can proceed with its installation instructions from there.

Hope this helps! As a side note, you mention that Windows XP doesn’t download anything. You could try reaching out to Dell support. They may be able to help you resolve this issue. For non-techies as you say you are, Windows is one of the more friendly OS’s, and XP is one of the easiest to use among them (although I can’t speak to its security, as it’s a very old OS).


Hello @gbono2 did you follow the detailed instructions from my colleague to install Etcher and flash Linux Lite? Let us know if you need further assistance.

Let us know how we can help you more :slight_smile:

I did finally get everything onto a flashdrive, but it locked. I wasn’t able to open or unlock it. This seemed to happen after I did the FAT format. Prior to formatting it was a usable jump drive.

I put that project aside temporarily. I really would like to resurrect these old laptops. I plan on trying again soon, but I will not format the usb drive. I’ll simply load the linux lite.

BTW, Christina did a great instructional writeup. It was easy to follow. My thanks to her for taking the time!!

Thanks - George

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  1. Step 1: Open Command Terminal. …
  2. Step 2: Add Etcher repository on Debian or Ubuntu. …
  3. Step 3: Run the system update command. …
  4. Step 4: Install balenaEtcher on Ubuntu 20.04. …
  5. Step 5: How to use it on a system to create a bootable drive.