How to Create Windows 10 Installation Media - MakeUseOf
Here’s a look at using the utility called Rufus to create a bootable USB flash drive for Windows 10 which is actually much faster than Microsoft’s tool.
Usually, when we cover creating bootable USB drives for Windows, we recommend the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (time to update that name Microsoft), but I’ve had some problems creating one and started looking for a different option.
So this time around, I thought I would try the free utility called Rufus. Here’s a look at using it, and in the end, I had a faster experience using it than the older Microsoft tool.
Update 7/29/2015 (Windows 10 Day): To get the ISO for the official release of Windows 10, head to this Microsoft page and download the 64 or 32-bit version of the media creation tool. It will allow you to upgrade your Windows 7 SP 1 or Windows 8.1 PC, or download the ISO to use later for a clean install.
For more on that, read our article: How To Download Windows 10 ISO for a Clean Install
Create Windows 10 Technical Preview USB Drive
First of all, make sure you download the Windows 10 Technical Preview by joining the Windows Insider Program as explained in this article. Also, make sure you’re using a USB drive that is at least 4 GB for the 32-bit version and 8 GB for the 64-bit version.
One of the first cool things about Rufus is that no installation is necessary, which means you can stick it on a network location, or another external drive to run it. When you run it, setting it up is simple. Select the USB drive you want to use, select your partition scheme – it’s worth noting that Rufus also supports a bootable UEFI drive.
Then select the disc icon next to the ISO drop-down and navigate to the location of your official Windows 10 ISO.
After that click Start and you should be good to go, within minutes. If you want to be extra careful, check the option to check device for bad blocks. I didn’t do that, and my bootable drive turned out fine.
In my experience, using the older USB 2.0 port and drive, it took less than five minutes to create the drive. If you use a USB 3.0 set up, I would love to know how fast that works!
Anyway, after it’s created, you can go ahead and install the Windows 10 Technical Preview on a spare computer.
Let us know what you think of this tool over Microsoft’s Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool, for me; I am going to continue to use Rufus – at least until Microsoft updates or recreates a new utility – if it does at all.
And yes, of course, you can use this to create other versions of Windows or Linux distros from an ISO if you wish windows 8 loader 2013Featured, microsoft, Windows 10
If you have a USB hard disk (classed as a 'Fixed Disk' by Windows), you will find that Windows can format that disk with multiple primary and logical partitions.
However, most USB Flash drives are set as 'Removable Drives' when shipped by the USB drive manufacturer which means that Windows will only access one partition on the drive.
The first sector of a partitioned disk is called the Master Boot Record (MBR). Near the end of this sector is the partition table which can contain up to four primary partition entries. One (and only one) of these table entries can be an Extended Partition entry. An Extended Partition entry points to another Extended Partition table which contains one or two entries (a logical partition entry and optionally another Extended Partition entry). In this way it is possible to have much more than four partitions on a drive.
So an MBR partition table can have:
Up to four Primary Partition entries
- OR -
Up to three Primary Partitions and one Extended partition entry
On a 'removable' drive (like most USB Flash drives), Windows will only recognise the first raw or Windows-formatted primary partition in the partition table.
Actually, it will mount the first primary partition it finds that has a non-zero partition type and that is formatted with a format recognised by Windows, starting from the first entry in the partition table.
: Recent versions (2017) of Windows 10 Creator can mount multiple partitions on Removable USB drives!
This means that even if you create a multi-partitioned USB Flash Drive (most of which are set as 'Removable Drives' when shipped by the manufacturer), Windows will not mount the other volumes or assign drive letters to them.
- One common solution to this problem is to set the USB Flash Drive (UFD) to be a 'Fixed Disk' by 'flipping the RMB bit' in the UFD controller using the Lexar BootIt.exe utility. However, this only works on certain UFD controllers (e.g. some models of Lexar, HP, Verbatim, Netac).
- Another common solution is to install either the Hitachi Microdrive Filter cfadisk.sys or the dummydisk.sys driver by Anton Bassov. To see how this works, see Agni's YouTube video. Note that cfadisk.inf can be dynamically added using drvload.exe, but all drive file handles must be closed or you will get a 'a reboot is required' message. You can instead just unplug and re-connect the USB driver immediately after installing the driver. For WinPE Setup scenarios, see reboot.pro here. WARNING: I do not recommend that you use this driver on Windows 64-bit systems - it can seriously mess up your OS and make it unbootable and unrepairable!
These two methods have the advantage that you can create and access any number of primary and logical volumes on your UFD under Windows at any time.
In this Tutorial, I am going to discuss two other methods:
1. EaseUS Home Partition Master RMPrepUSB
2. BootIce. This is a disk partitioning, formatting and editing tool, however the English button labels are sometimes confusing or misleading although it is a very useful and powerful utility.
A useful feature in both BootIce and RMPrepUSB is that they can re-arrange the Master Boot Record partition table entries so that you can place any one of the four partition tables at the beginning of the MBR partition table. This is very useful as it means you can have up to four Primary Partitions on a UFD and access them one at a time by getting BootIce to re-order the partition table so that the first partition table entry is accessible by Windows.
New: The latest versions of RMPrepUSB (2.1.650 and later) include an option to choose which partition to make visible to Windows using the 'Drive - Set Windows accessible partition' (Ctrl-O) function which will read the existing partition table and ask which partition you want to make the first one.This means you don't need to use BootIce to swap accessible partitions once you have created a multi-partition UFD. See the RMPrepUSB YouTube video for a quick demonstration. You can accomplish most of the following using the partitioning, formatting and partition swapping menus in BootIce (see here).
Method1. First, use EaseUs Partition Master to create up to 4 Primary (not Logical) partitions on your target UFD. If you intend to run DOS, I would suggest you first create a small (2GB maximum) FAT32 partition for it at the beginning of the UFD. If you intend to run a version of Linux that does not support NTFS, then also create a larger FAT32 partition. If you intend to run Windows XP, Vista, Win7/Win8, then I would suggest a large NTFS or FAT32 partition. Don't forget to click on the Apply button at the top or changes will not take place!
You can also use BootIce to do this if you prefer.
2. Once you have the partitions created, use the latest version of RMPrepUSB to install grub4dos to the MBR and copy over the grldr file. I suggest you also install it to the PBR for best 'bootability' on a wider range of systems.
Note: If you wish, you can use BootIce to do this, but it does not copy over the grldr file and the grub4dos version it uses may be out of date and so may not work with some of the menus used in my tutorials. It also may not be as 'bootable' as the special RMPrepUSB version.
3. Now place your files on the first partition which should be visible in Windows Explorer and your menu.lst file (use RMPrepUSB F4 to create and edit the menu.lst). Test that it boots using QEMU (press F11).
4. You can use RMPrepUSB or BootIce to swap partitions:
4a. Use RMPrepUSB
To add files to the other partitions, you can just use the RMPrepUSB Ctrl-O (O=Order) feature (versions 2.1.650 and later only).
Note: RMPrepUSB can also reset the partitions so that they are in standard ascending order (which BootIce does not do).
RMPrepUSB's - Ctrl-O dialogue box
However, if you want to use BootIce instead, run BootIce and select the USB Flash drive (UFD) in the drop-down list, then click 'Parts Manage' (i.e Manage Partitions):
You will see the partition table of your UFD, now suppose you want to make the 251MB NTFS partition accessible by windows, click on the ReFormat USB Disk button (don't worry, we are not going to reformat the UFD!).
Here you can see the three partitions that I created. To change the order, click on ReFormat USB disk.
You should now see the form as shown below. Use the drop-down list to select the partition you want to access and then click on the Set Accessible button. After a few seconds, you should be able to use Windows Explorer to access the partition and copy or edit files on it.
Finally hit the Cancel button of the Repartition and Format USB Device form and then hit the Close button on the Partitions Management form.
Now click the Refresh button in BootIce (or Exit) and if you still have EaSeus Partition Master open, click on the Refresh button of that too - otherwise they will not show the new partition arrangement.
5. You can now copy files to the new volume. If you have more partitions, simply use RMPrepUSB - Ctrl-O or BootIce to make a different partition visible to Windows and then copy your files to that partition.
Here you can see that the third FAT16 partition is now first in the partition table and thus accessible to Windows.
Tip: remember to set the first partition back so that it is in first place in the table before you test it!
grub4dos will always reference the first entry in the partition table as (hd0,0) - therefore it is important that when you test your grub4dos multiboot UFD (for instance in QEMU) and you have a menu.lst file that references the other partitions using (hd0,x), you must always use BootIce to set back the first partition to be the first entry in the partition table. Note that RMPrepUSB has a 're-order partitions' option which will re-arrange the four partition entries into ascending order (the same order used by Diskpart).
grub4dos will try to find the grld file on all the partitions in turn, and when it find the grldr file, it will set the current device to be the volume that it find the grldr file on. It will then try to find a menu.lst and set the current partition that has the menu.lst file in it, to be the default partition. Therefore, if you do not always set the same partition table entry back to be the first table entry, a path in the menu of /xxx.iso may not work correctly because the default root device will be different. It is therefore best practise to use find --set-root in all your menu.lst entries to ensure the correct partition has been selected as the default current volume by grub4dos.
e.g. do not use a menu like this because (hd0,1) may get moved around when you re-order the partitions...
title Boot YlmF (Windows Like OS) Non-Persistent
map (hd0,1)/Ylmf_OS_3.0.iso (0xff)
kernel /casper/vmlinuz file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper iso-scan/filename=/ylmf_OS_3.0.iso floppy.allowed_drive_mask=0 splash
Instead use a menu like this...
You can make a multipartition USB Flash boot drive using the free EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition. You can make a drive with the following partitions:
title Boot YlmF (Windows Like OS) Non-Persistent
find --set-root /Ylmf_OS_3.0.iso
map /Ylmf_OS_3.0.iso (0xff)
kernel /casper/vmlinuz file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper iso-scan/filename=/ylmf_OS_3.0.iso floppy.allowed_drive_mask=0 splash
1. Primary FAT32 (0ch) - Active boot partition (maybe contains MS-DOS or FreeDOS boot files or both) - Use RMPrepUSB to create this so it will be FAT32 Type 0C (do not use Easeus Home Partition manager to make this as it makes a Type 0Bh FAT32 partition)
2. Primary NTFS (07h) - to hold large ISO files - e.g. Windows All In One ISO files (see Tutorial 43) - Easeus Home Partition manager can create this
3. Primary EXT3 - can be used as a swap partition by a linux OS
4. (unused) - can be used to map a linux ISO - so keep it free - see Tutorial 96 for details
As DOS uses the BIOS for disk access and some BIOSes are not able to access sectors past 8GB (due to bugs in the USB int 13h code), it is always best to make the FAT32 partition start at the beginning of the USB disk.
As Windows Explorer will only see the first partition on a flash drive, you can use the RMPrepUSB Ctrl-O function to swap ptn 1 with ptn 2 and then copy or edit the files on each partition.
You can then install grub4dos to the FAT32 ptn using RMPrepUSB make sure that the FAT32 ptn is the first one and is visible in Explorer.
Now, if you try to boot Windows XP, PE, Vista, 7, 8, Server 2008, etc from the NTFS partition - when Windows boots, it will not be able to access any files on the NTFS partition if it is the 2nd partition on the flash drive. One way to fix this is to ensure that the NTFS partition appears first in the partition table - this means you must remember to always leave the USB stick partition arrangement with the NTFS ptn set to the first position.
To get around this, you can add some some grub4dos commands to swap over the partition entries. So the command at the start of the menu.lst on the FAT32 partition will set the FAT32 partition entry in the table as the first partition, and the commands at the start of the NTFS menu.lst will set the NTFS partition entry as the first entry in the partition table.You might like to use the SetPtn1.g4b grub4dos batch file (which also requires wenv). This displays a table of the current MBR partitions to the user and asks him which partition he wants to make the first one. You can automate the batch file with no user prompts and add it to your menu.lst files if you wish. Type SetPtn1.g4b with no parameters in the grub4dos console, to see how to use the program.
The multiboot solution Easy2Boot contains a sample .mnu file that adds a menu entry which allows you to swap over partition 1 with partition 2. This means you can 'hide' all the files on the Easy2Boot partition KJ Activator
Boot Windows 7 System Repair Disc from USB Using Grub4Dos .
Creating bootable USB drives are no sweat jobs if you have the right tools in hand. Today let us quickly see how to create a Windows 10 USB boot disk using the Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO.
There are two options available for you to create a windows 10 USB boot disk, pick the one that suits your choice.
What you need
Before we proceed further let’s see what you need to create the windows 10 bootable device:
- Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO
- USB Device with minimum 8 GB
- Either Rufus or Windows USB/DVD Download Tool
Create a Windows 10 USB boot disk using Rufus
Rufus is the best tool that is available for you to create a Windows 10 USB device or any other windows operating system for that matter. Rufus is smaller in size (just 625 KB), portable (no installation), fast and best of all free
- Go to the official Rufus website and get the latest version from downloads section.
- When you run Rufus for the very first time it will ask you whether you want it to check for updates, just choose your preference.
- Since Rufus requires no installation you will directly presented with the below screen. Just follow the steps and you should have your Windows 10 USB boot disk in minutes.
- Click on the drive icon beside the “Create a bootable disk using ISO Image” option and select the Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO image.
- Provide a New volume label.
- Click on the Start button.
- You will see a warning message that states all data in your target USB device will be lost, click OK button.
That’s it you should see your boot device created in few minutes.
Observations: The size of the tool is less than 1 MB tool and doesn’t have to be installed (click and run) and took more than 10 minutes to create the Windows 10 USB boot disk.
Create a Windows 10 USB boot disk using Windows USB/DVD Download Tool
Go to the WUDT CodePlex site and download the tool and install it.
Once you have installed the Windows7-USB-DVD-Download-Tool-Installer-en-US, launch it from Program Files or from your Desktop.
In Step 1, choose the Windows 10 ISO file and click Next.
In Step 2, you will be asked to choose the media type click on the USB Device button. Ensure you have your USB device plugged in or else you will see “No compatible USB devices detected” message.
In Step 3, you should see the USB device displayed in dropdown. Click on Begin Copying button.
You should finally see a Bootable USB device created successfully and a message displayed to you as shown below,
Observations: The size of the tool is around 2.6 MB tool and needs to be installed and took more than 10 minutes to create the Windows 10 USB boot disk.
Over to You
Which of these options have you tried and how did it go for you Got a better way to create a Windows 10 USB boot disk Share it with us Cucusoft Apple TV Video Converter
Create Bootable USB For Mac On Windows - lifestan.com
Earlier, we have covered some tutorials – 1. How to Install Windows XP from USB Drive, 2. Alternative Way to Install XP from USB Stick, 3. How to Install Windows 7 From USB Drive. All of those procedures work fine and the readers feedback was positive. But there were some drawbacks with those procedures:
- The previous methods of creating the bootable USB drive for Windows XP involve numbers of steps and take a lot of time to complete.
- You’ve to use the similar Operating System to prepare the USB disk i.e if you want to prepare your bootable USB drive for Windows XP, you’ll have to use Windows XP operating system in order to apply the preparation method. The similar condition is applicable when preparing the bootable USB drive for Windows 7.
- Those methods do not have any option to prepare the bootable stick in such a way that it would install both Windows XP and Windows 7 after spending one time effort.
But we’ve found an awesome free utility WinSetupFromUSB which comes across drawbacks and allows you to create a Multiboot USB drive to install Windows XP and Windows 7 from the same USB drive. No need to prepare your USB stick separately. Even the tool works in both Windows XP and Windows 7.
How to Create Multiboot USB Drive for Windows 7 and XP
Creating the multiboot USB drive is so easy and involves four simple steps. Before getting into the process, make sure that the USB drive that you do have, is minimum 4 GB of volume (recommended 8 GB) and formatted with FAT32 file system. Once you are ready, download WinSetupFromUSB and extract at any location of your computer.
Now, follow the steps below.
- Insert the formatted USB drive in the USB post of your computer and run the WinSetupFromUSB_1-0-beta7.exe.
- Make sure that the utility has detected your USB drive.
- Now, enable the option Windows 2000/XP/2003 Setup selecting the check box and browse to the Windows XP installation file location. Next, enable the option Vista/7/Server 2008 Setup/PE/RecoveryISO and browse to the Windows 7 installation files’ location. In both cases, if you have the ISO images, extract them by WinRar or 7-Zip.
- Click the Go button to get started. Wait for some time and your multi-boot USB stick will ready within a while. It may take several minutes.
Though we have discussed the procedure for only Windows XP and Windows 7, you can also add Windows Vista as well as Linux in the same removable drive and use it to install your preferred operating system at your PC Setup
USB Windows 7 Installation Key Drive - Create - Windows 7 .
We need a Windows installation medium to reinstall Windows, install the OS on a new PC, or even hack the Windows administrator password. If we don't have one, it's quick, easy, and free to create a Windows installation disc or bootable Windows USB. We just need to download a Windows ISO, and then use Microsoft programs or free third-party applications.
Download the Windows version of your choice
This guide requires that we already have a Windows ISO. You can get one for the latest versions of Windows through the following guides:
How to create a Windows installation bootable USB flash drive
CDs and DVD aren't dead yet, but they are on their last legs. USB thumb drives have a smaller size, larger capacity, faster read and write speed, and they are impervious to scratches.
So, why bother to create a Windows installation disc, when we can have a Windows USB Provided our motherboard's BIOS can boot from USB, of course.
Rufus: The fastest way to create a Windows USB
There are several programs we can use to create a Windows USB from an ISO.
For Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, we can create a bootable Windows USB straight from Microsoft's Media Creation Tool, no third-party apps required. It even skips over the step to download the ISO; it's a true all-in-one solution.
If, however, we have already downloaded Windows as an ISO, or wish to create a Windows 7 USB, Rufus is one of the best apps to create a Windows USB of any version. We will find the latest version at https://rufus.akeo.ie/downloads/.
The program's interface seems a bit cluttered and somewhat old-fashioned, but it's simple to use.
Rufus also claims to be much faster than its competitors, in comparisons with the same ISO and USB stick.
Creating a bootable Windows USB with Rufus
To create a bootable Windows USB, we just need to make sure that we have selected our USB flash drive in the "Device" field, and that it has a capacity of at least 4GB.
If we use a Windows 10 ISO that has both x86 and x64 versions together, we will need a thumb drive with a capacity of at least 8GB. Most other Windows versions will fit on a 4GB flash drive.
For a Windows 7 installation USB, the MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI is the best option.
If we are installing Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 on a UEFI system with a GPT disk, we must select a "GPT partition scheme for UEFI."
After that, we click on the disc icon and choose the ISO image.
Rufus will automatically change the File system to NTFS, which is a prerequisite for creating a Windows USB. It will also change the volume label to ESD-ISO.
We don't need to do anything special to make the USB bootable, change any settings or check any options. If we use the Microsoft/Digital River ISOs, it will be bootable by default.
Every Way to Download Windows 7 ISOs, Legally and for Free
Finally, we click "Start." Rufus will warn us that it will destroy any data already on the flash drive.
If we have no data on the USB flash, or we don't care about the files, we proceed with "OK."
Depending on the speed of the thumb drive and the USB version, the Windows USB will take a few minutes to prepare.
With an old and slow USB 2.0 drive, the process took more than 23 minutes.
Using a fast USB 3.0 drive, with the same ISO on the same system, it finished in about two and a half minutes.
Remember to safely eject the USB
It's a good idea to remove the USB safely, to minimize any chance of corruption. Corrupted data is never fun, but it's especially bad on a Windows USB.
How to create a Windows installation disc
If we have an older-than-10-years motherboard on our PC, it is possible that it can't boot from a Windows USB. In that case, a Windows installation disc is the most compatible solution.
What's best is that Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 can create a Windows installation disc from an ISO without any third-party programs.
We just need to right-click on the ISO and select the "Burn disc image" option.
Then, it's just a matter of selecting our DVD-R drive - in which we should have an empty DVD-R or DVD-RW - and click on "Burn."
We can optionally check the "Verify disc after burning" checkbox, to make sure the Windows installation disc was created correctly and with no corruptions or any other problems.
As with the USB, we don't need to do anything special for the DVD to be bootable. With the official ISOs, it will be bootable by default.
How to boot our PC with the Windows installation disc or Windows USB
For detailed instructions on how to boot from the Windows installation medium, check out our guide:
Change the Boot Order to Boot from USB or DVD on BIOS / UEFI
Do you prefer other methods of creating Windows installation media
There are many apps we can use to create a bootable Windows USB or burn the Windows ISO to DVD.
If you prefer some other applications, leave us a comment, to help the rest of our readers with their choice.
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