boot from USB drive

I have USB drive of 500GB, it has different folders and files.
I would like to put an iso image of Centos and boot to it and install Centos.

Now I am not sure if I have to put the iso image by itself in another USB drive that does not have any files or folder in it, or leaving it with the existing usb drive (500GB) will boot and install the centos system.

Thanks
jskfanAsked:
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comfortjeaniusCommented:
If you are trying to install a virtual image than you do not need to place the ISO on a different drive, you will only have to  navigate the folder location allow VMware or Virtualbox to load the image then install.  If you are creating a bootable USB drive then you will need to place it on a drive by itself in order to make the image bootable.
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
I did not mean virtual.
I meant to install dual boot or linux single boot
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simon3270Commented:
You don't need to empty the 500GB drive, but you do need to follow a well documented process to unpack the iso onto the drive, to make it bootable.
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simon3270Commented:
In fact, as long as the drive is formatted FAT32 (and not NTFS), it may be as simple as mounting the USB drive and the DVD on the same machine, and copying all of the files from the DVD to the root of the USB drive.  e.g. if this is on a Windows machine, view the DVD as a disk drive, Ctrl-A to select all files, Ctrl-C to copy them.  The open up the USB drive (as E:, or F:, or wherever it is mounted) and press Ctrl-V to paste the files.

I don't think you can use some of the utilities available for this (UNetBootIn, for example), as they generally wipe the destination drive before copying the files.

You *may* need to run a utility called syslinux (see http://www.syslinux.org/wiki/index.php/The_Syslinux_Project) to make sure that the disk is bootable.  See that site for details.
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slubekCommented:
A recommended way of setting up USB drive for CentOS installation is using livecd-iso-to-disk from livecd-tools package. You can find it in epel repo.
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
thank you
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