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Create a NAS4Free Bootable USB Drive in Windows

NAS4Free is a continuation of the FreeNAS 7 project, while FreeNAS 8 is based on nanoBSD NAS4Free is based on FreeBSD 9. You will notice that NAS4Free retains the FreeNAS 7 web interface and general feel.


Take Note:

  • USB boot can be slight slower, compared to a hard drive
  • You will need at least a 512MB USB drive
  • NAS4Free is available in x86 and x64 architectures, pick according to what is supported by your hardware

Download NAS4Free

Download the .img version if you want to boot NAS4Free from a USB drive or any other flash media. NAS4Free-x86-embedded-, as the name suggest this is the embedded version.

Visit and browse until you find the latest version.


Now that we have the file we first need to decompress it, otherwise we won’t be able to create a bootable drive.

To decompress the file you will need a third party utility like 7-Zip.


This is the resulting file, now rename the file by adding the .img extension.


Start Win32 Disk Imager and click on the folder icon, now browse to the location where the file we just renamed resides.


From the device list select the USB drive you wish to write the image to and click on the Write button to start the operation.


Make sure you selected the right drive since this operation will overwrite the contents of the selected drive. Click on Yes to continue.




The operation encountered no problems, this means the USB drive is now bootable.


You can now exit the application.


Now you have to make sure the BIOS supports booting from removable media


The installation will be loaded into RAM.


This the NAS4Free console and the default IP address for the web interface is


From a web browser try to access, you should see an interface similar to the one in the picture below. Congratulations on your NAS4Free installation.



There could not be a better continuation of the FreeNAS 7 project, I am sure NAS4Free will find its place.

Home page:


  1. Commented on
    Comment by Ryan

    When you use 7zip to uncompress the .iso image I end up with a file folder full of the files necessary to boot not another compressed img file without extension, that just needs to be renamed. Maybe you could fill in the missing steps here

    1. Commented on
      Comment by Mark Shearar

      You need to download the .img file, not the .iso file.

  2. Commented on
    Comment by Jérémy

    Hi !
    Thank you very much for this very interesting tutorial.

    There is something I can’t understand. What is the difference between classic version (ISO file) and embedded version (IMG file)?
    Is it just the size? This link makes me think the embedded version is some kind of an upgrading tool =>

    Thank you for your help!

  3. Commented on
    Comment by luisventura

    Jérémy, I am sorry for not answering your comment earlier Disqus marked your comment as spam for some reason.

    Yes, you can upgrade an existing embedded installation by using a newer .IMG release of NAS4Free, however you can’t use the .IMG file to upgrade a full installation(at least that I know off).

  4. Commented on
    Comment by Samuel Tunis

    ISO and LiveUSB are “live media”. They boot to a temporary system, whose primary purpose is to install to a permanent boot media. The .img is generally intended to be used to upgrade a running system. It CAN be used to create a boot media, but that’s kind of the long way around, and won’t give you access to the “left over” space on the boot media.

  5. Commented on

    […] updated embedded NAS4Free image on it; (2) write the updated embedded image file directly to USB (following some good instructions) and save loads of waiting […]

  6. Commented on
    Comment by J Rodney Rollins

    I am getting a “CPU doesn’t support long mode” error and it kicks me back to the command prompt. What is the problem?

Comments are closed.