Back in March, I wrote about making a MacOS installer on a USB stick. But you may not be aware that it is entirely possible to do the same with Windows 10 (or whatever the current version of Windows is).
Creating The Windows Installation USB Stick
Windows comes pre-installed with every PC but there are times when a USB version becomes invaluable.
- One is when you have trouble installing operating system updates the normal way (which happened to me last year).
- The second is if you make a living wiping and refurbishing used computers.
- Having a USB version of the latest Windows version makes reinstalling the system absurdly easy.
- Obviously Windows isnot free, so along with the USB installer, you will also need a valid legal licensekey.
Note: Any USB storage device larger than eight gigabytes will work, including external hard drives, external solid-state drives, and any kind of SD card that will plug into your computer.
Obviously we can’t help you with that.
Wipe The USB Stick
But the installer? Before we start, it isworth pointing out that whatever version of Windows you put on your USB stickwill be the current version that Microsoft is offering.
This means that anysubsequent patches and updates will not be included as the USB stick willobviously not auto-update. So once you haveinstalled Windows using the USB method, you will need to check regularly to seeif Windows has been updated.
If so, you will have to delete the version on thestick and replace it with the new version.
The whole process which I am aboutto describe doesn’t take very long so it’s not a big deal.
If you have just bought it, itwill already be blank. But if it is a used stick, you need to format it. Doingso will wipe all of the contents.
The stick needs at least 8GB of space for theinstaller to be built properly.
Warning: The Media Creation Tool will completely wipe any USB drive you choose to use. Back up any files you want to save before proceeding.
To format the stick,right-click on it in Windows Explorer and click “Format”. In the box that comesup, click “Start” to begin the formatting process. How long it takesdepends on how used the stick is and how much data is already on it.
Next, head to the Microsoft website and download the “Media Creation Tool”.
This is a portable app so no installation is necessary. Just download the file then double-click to get started.
After scanning yourcomputer to see what’s needed and asking you to pretend to have read the Terms& Conditions, the installer will now ask you what you want to do. It has seen that Ihaven’t installed the latest patch yet so it has offered me that.
But I want tomake an installer USB so the second option is the one I want.