A few days ago, I had to take a bunch of online courses for SAT and AP preparation. Problem? The website used something named “Kollus Player,” which only worked on Windows.

Sigh.

Even though I hated it, the only solution was going back to Windows.

(and yes, before you ask, I did try it out in Virtualbox. The player refused to work since I might’ve been recording the screen. Double sigh. Like I don’t have things to do besides recording screens all day long.)

Except, one small problem. When I flashed the iso to a USB and booted my computer to it, not only did it fail to notice the Windows image, but also rebooted the laptop back to its BIOS. Uh-oh.

There’s a few options here.

1. Steal a Windows computer

and make a Windows recovery USB using the Media Creation Tool. But this felt like cheating. And I wanted to show that Linux was superior. So even though I used this method in the past, I decided to skip it for now.

2. Use Unetbootin

The problem with Unetbootin is that it’s old, and pretty unsupported. However, people reported success with Unetbootin. I also decided to skip this method since it required a program install, and I wanted something that could be done entirely inside a terminal.

3. Wiping the bad MBR and cracking the iso on top

Finally! A terminal only solution!

First of all. Huge shoutout to the original poster on the Manjaro forums, @fhdk.

Basically, the solution wipes the MBR bit of the USB to clear out any old partition tables that may reside, then formats the USB as vfat (FAT32), sets the bootable flag and then allows you to extract the iso on top.

sudo umount /dev/sdb* # Unmounts drive, replace /dev/sdb with your drive path
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1M count=10 # Wipes the first 1MB of the drive which houses MBR information
sync # Instructs kernel to flush changes
sudo fdisk /dev/sdb
o # New msdos partition table
n # New partition, go through the steps and keep pressing enter for defaults
t # Select partition type
c # FAT32 type
a # Bootable flag
w # Write changes to disks
sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1 # Format drive as FAT32

Once you’re done, DO NOT dd the iso over the USB drive. Instead, mount the iso, and copy the contents over to the drive. Then it should work.