I think I can use newfs_msdos to format it. and dd to copy the contents of the iso to the usb. I can't get it to boot. I've tried to do it before but it didn't work. Has anyone successfully done this?
Just to cover the basic questions: What motherboard do you have? Have you changed the boot order in your BIOS?
I recently had to do this for a netbook laptop. The method I followed was probably very similar to what you've tried, but I'll give it anyway:
Unfortunately it seems there are different methods that work for different people, and not just one universal solution. I've seen other instructions where it was said to dd the ISO contents to the device (/dev/sdc) instead of a mounted FAT32 partition, but this never worked for me.
The only other method that worked for me was doing it in Windows using the DISK PART command. I will try some other methods on Linux to see if I can come up with alternatives for you.