Create a Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive
In this tutorial, there are 4 ways to create a bootable Windows 10 USB drive for OS clean install or system recovery. First two method doesn’t require any third-party software to make bootable USB stick, others utilize free products that help you copy Windows 10 files onto USB stick and make it bootable.
How to create a Windows 10 bootable UEFI USB without any software
For the first method you don’t need any additional software to be installed, the only requirements are:
- At least 4Gb USB Drive
- Windows 10 ISO image
- UEFI (all modern motherboards and laptops support UEFI today)
Well, if you’re using Windows 7 on the PC, you should also have some program to mount ISO with your Operating System.
There are just few steps for creating bootable USB this way:
- Format your USB drive with FAT32 File System. To do so you may right-click on your flash drive in Windows Explorer, open “Properties” and then format it.
- Mount Windows 10 ISO file (Just double-click it in Windows 8.1)
- Copy all the contents from mounted ISO to your USB Flash Drive.
That’s it! Now you have fully functional bootable Windows 10 USB drive and you can boot from it on any PC or laptop with UEFI support (just check if UEFI boot enabled in Motherboard settings) and clean-install Windows 10.
Make Windows 10 Bootable USB with command prompt
It’s almost the same method as the above mentioned but this time we will use command prompt to make all the necessary actions. And when using this way, we make sure there are no extra partitions on USB, that might cause problems when booting from it.
First, connect your USB drive then open elevated command prompt (in Windows 8.1 simply right-click on start button and select it from context menu), then enter the following commands:
- List disk
Once the connected drives are listed, note the number (let it be N) corresponding with your USB flash drive. Then use the commands:
- select disk N
- create partition primary
- format fs=fat32 quick
Then just copy contents of Windows 10 ISO to your prepared USB drive. Ready (the USB drive is for UEFI boot only).
Windows USB/DVD Download Tool
Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool is the official Microsoft’s utility for making bootable USB or DVD and one can use it for Windows 10 as well.
Download Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool from the official website and install it on your computer. Then run the program.
- First step is to locate your Windows 10 ISO file
- Then choose media type. Our goal is USB device
- Select the right connected USB drive and click “Begin copying”
After the process is over you’re ready to boot from newly created bootable Windows 10 USB.
Using WinSetupFromUSB to create Windows 10 bootable drive
WinSetupFromUSB is one of the best free programs I know for creating bootable USB drives and yes, you can make Windows 10 flash drive with it. (Download software from winsetupfromusb.com)
In WinSetupFromUSB, select USB Drive, then check “Auto format it with FBinst”, check “Windows Vista /7 /8 based ISO” and locate your Windows 10 image. Click “Go” and wait for a while for files to be copied.
There are plenty of other free software you can use for this purpose Rufus 2 is one of the best examples: it can create bootable USB drives for MBR and GPT HDD installation, for both UEFI and BIOS computers and even Windows 10 To Go USB may be created with this utility.