Creating a Bootable USB Drive to Install Windows 10, 8 or 7

Read this article and find out how to create a bootable USB drive for installing Windows 10, 8 or 7. There are many ways of doing it (and even dedicated apps), but we are going to cover only the methods which are both the easiest and officially approved.

Creating a Bootable USB Drive to Install Windows 10, 8 or 7

Contents:

This procedure is necessary when your PC, laptop or netbook lacks a DVD drive or it doesn’t work properly, if you have no system installation disk, or you just don’t like working with DVDs.

Method One: for a UEFI Computer.

All you need to create a bootable flash drive is a computer with UEFI instead of BIOS and the system image itself. It should be noted that almost all modern computers support UEFI.

UEFI

So,

  • Format the flash drive you want to make bootable. Make sure you select the necessary file system – FAT32. Choose Quick format and click Start.

    Format disk
  • You will see a warning that all data will be deleted. Click Ok and wait for the process to finish.

    Quick format
  • After that, use the File Explorer to open the disk or .ISO image containing the installation package, copy image files to the flash drive and wait until it is over.

    .ISO image

When the copying process is complete, your bootable flash drive is ready.

Then restart your PC, go to UEFI, set the computer to boot from the flash drive and install the operating system you need.

Method Two: Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool.

The second method will be relevant if your computer has BIOS instead of UEFI.

BIOS

In that case, creating a bootable flash drive requires official software by Microsoft – Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. It is free of charge and you can download it from the Microsoft official website.

Don’t let the words Windows 7 worry you. This app is also good for Windows 8 and 10.

Now,

  • Download and install it.

    Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

    Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
  • Select a suitable system image file and click Next.

    Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
  • Now choose the media type, in this case USB-device.

    Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
  • Select the necessary flash drive from the list of all devices in your computer (in my case, it is disk I) and click Begin copying.

    Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
  • You will see a warning that all data in this flash drive will be deleted. If you don’t have any important files on this drive, click Erase USB Device.

    Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
  • Confirm your decision to delete all files and wait until the files are copied to your USB drive.

    Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

    Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool
  • When it is over, you will see a message Backup completed, which means the bootable flash drive is ready to use.

    Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Method Three: Command Prompt.

The third method is to create a bootable drive with the Command Prompt started by administrator. The advantage of this method is that you don’t have to download and use any additional software – for example, if you can’t access the Internet, and your device will work with both BIOS and UEFI.

For starters, launch the Command Prompt as Administrator.

Launch the Command Prompt as Administrator.

Then enter the command Diskpart and then List disk.

Diskpart / List disk

Check the list of all disks installed in the computer to find the flash drive (in my case, that is Disk 2) and enter the command select disk 2. Now all actions will affect this particular disk. At this stage, you have to be very careful, because all data will be deleted from the disk you have selected.

select disk 2

Then enter the command clean, which cleans the flash drive’s partition table. You can see a report saying that disk cleanup was successful.

clean

Now create a partition on this flash drive with the command create partition primary and enter select partition 1 (that is, select this partition).

select partition 1

Make it active with the command active and format the flash drive in NTFS format with the command format fs=ntfs quick, and wait until the formatting process is 100% complete.

format fs=ntfs quick

Assign a drive letter (for example, Х) using the command assign letter=X and finish the work of Diskpart with the command exit.

assign letter=X

Now close the Command Prompt and copy files from the image onto the flash drive as in the first method. When the copying process is over, your bootable flash drive is ready.

Method Four: Windows Media Creation Tool.

The fourth method is to use the utility called Windows Media Creation Tool to create a bootable flash drive for Windows 8 or Windows 10.

Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

All you need is a properly working operating system, Windows 8 or 10, a 4 Gb flash drive, and this utility. I will use a computer with Windows 10.

To begin with, insert the flash drive into one of the computer’s ports and start the utility.

Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Accept the license agreement and select Create installation media….

Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Use the specific settings you need or The recommended options for this PC.

Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Choose USB flash drive.

Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Click on the USB drive you need (in my case, that is Disk X) and click Next.

Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

It starts the process of creating a bootable drive. When it is over, your bootable flash drive is ready to use.

Microsoft - Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

Of course, these are only a few ways you can use to create a bootable flash drive. However, they use official software tools only and you don’t need to register any other programs.

How to Recover Data After Reinstalling or Resetting Windows

If you reinstalled Windows and discovered that some important files are gone, don’t give way to despair. They can be recovered with specialized software tools, And you can learn more about it if you check another article in our blog or watch a video on our official YouTube channel.


Author: Maxim Cherniga

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