In the past, Microsoft Windows was installed by disc, CD- or DVD-ROM, or the floppy disc – and optical data carriers are also gradually disappearing from the scene. Instead, the operating system is either preinstalled on the system partition of a new computer or laptop, or you acquire Windows directly online, complete with a digital license, and download it yourself.
But if you need an external installation medium, many people nowadays use a bootable USB drive. It’s quicker and more compact that an optical data carrier, and so is perfectly suited for setting up (or resetting) a system – there are also many other possible uses.
How can you make a bootable USB drive?
Make a bootable USB drive with the Windows utility program DiskPart
- You want your own vServer?IONOS offers powerful and cost-effective VPS packages. Take advantage of the IONOS free VPS trial now and test your vServer for free for 30 days. There are lots of uses for a bootable USB drive. The most important is, of course, booting the PC if it will no longer start itself because of a virus, serious system failure, defective hard drive, or partition problems.
- In addition to various other tools, Sardu also contains 20 virus scanners that can search the entire hard drive of a defective computer for malware and clean it up.Even if no such PC emergency is present, it’s a good idea to have a Windows image for data backup on a USB-capable storage medium (could also be an external hard drive) on hand. You can also use a bootable USB to upgrade Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 if a previously automatic upgrade doesn’t function correctly. The drive also serves as a “clean” reinstallation of the operating system if it’s become too slow as a result of accumulated garbage. Experienced computer experts and IT professionals also like to use a bootable USB as a “portable operating system” (the concept is known as “Windows2Go” for Microsoft). With this, you can use your preferred Windows version with all your favorite tools and personal data on foreign computers without having to fuss with the operating system already installed (regardless of whether it’s Windows or something else). This way, you can not only navigate in your familiar work environment but also access all your important documents via the cloud. A portable operating system also offers more security in case a keylogger on a foreign computer stores your passwords or your computer is infected with a virus. Here are all possible uses for a bootable USB drive:. Boot after a PC emergency. Use a recovery system to repair your PC. Store an image of the operating system. Upgrade an old operating system to Windows 10. “Clean” reinstallation of the operating system. Use a “portal operating system” on a foreign computer. Hardly any commercial USB drives are suitable from the outset for these diverse tasks. This is because most models are only loaded with a single file system when you first get them, for example, an FAT32 or exFAT file system. They’re missing the “master boot record” (MBR) that’s absolutely necessary for booting most PCs (specifically those with a “basic input/output system” (BIOS)).
Create a bootable USB with external tools
- This starts the storage device manager.Enter the command “list disk” to display all available storage devices. You can recognize your USB by its storage capacity, and it’s usually listed as “disk 1”. In the system partition, “disk 0” is usually your PC, so a hard drive or solid state drive in your computer. Based on the assumption that your USB has the label “disk 1”, enter the command “sel disk 1” to select it (or the corresponding “disk 2”, etc.).
- Enter the command “list par” and select the newly created main partition with “sel par 1”.Activate the partition with the command “active”. Format the USB with the command “format fs=FAT32 label=“WINDOWSUSB” quick override” (in place of “WINDOWS USB” you can also choose another label, so long as it doesn’t contain any spaces or special characters. The drive will later be displayed under this name if you plug into a running Windows computer).
- You can track its progress in the percentage bar.As soon as the process is finished, enter the command “assign” to automatically assign a drive letter (for example “G:”) to your USB. Enter “exit” to close DiskPart, and then “exit” again to close the command prompt. To finish the process, you just have to copy the Windows ISO file to a bootable USB stick. This is done with a basic drag-and-drop. If you’re using an installation disc, you can also drag all setup files from there onto your drive (use the folder options to display all of the hidden files first).
- There are, though, many freeware programs suitable for all operating systems (including Linux) that can take over the tasks of the otherwise manual device management.Some of the most popular are Rufus, WinUSB, and UNetbootin. Each of these tools are made up of a single very small file that you can download directly and start without installation. 3 ways to be present and grow online. Get found with your own domain. Build trust with your own email address. Reach visitors with your own website.
- Rufus is widely considered to be the fastest and most reliable tool for the creation of a bootable USB.It also supports UEFI (“Unified Extensible Firmware Interface”), a new mainboard firmware that replaced the old BIOS and can already be found on almost all newer computers.
- From Windows 8, it’s also possible to install “Windows2Go” as a portable operating system on an external storage device with Rufus.Operation of the tool is simple:. Open the program with a double-click. Select your USB drive in “Device”.
- Select “Create a bootable disk using” and the option “ISO Image”.Right-click on the CD-ROM symbol and select the ISO file. Under “New volume label”, you can enter whatever name you like for your USB drive. You’ll receive the warning “ALL DATA ON THIS DEVICE WILL BE DESTROYED”, which you can confidently confirm with “OK”– at this point, you’ve ideally already saved any important files from the USB drive.
- Click on “Start”.As soon as the green bar is full, click on “Finish”. Eject your bootable USB drive with “Safely eject hardware”. Avoid simply pulling the finished bootable USB drive out of the port without using the “Safely eject hardware” option.This could cause you to lose data, since the computer still has access to the storage device and theoretically could still have writing processes underway.
Why do you need a bootable USB?
- The tool WinUSB essentially functions exactly like Rufus, but with two differences: The first is that the creation of a bootable USB is possible without prior formatting (provided there’s enough storage space), so the USB can also be used to store personal files and documents (though it’s recommended to keep a backup copy of all data).Another special feature: As desired, WinUSB can also write multiple different Windows operating systems onto the same drive. This makes it almost an equivalent to the Linux tool Yumi. With WinUSB, the creation of a bootable USB also takes place in just a few steps:. Select your USB with “Plug and select the USB drive”. Right-click on “ISO” under “Add Windows”, and then on “Next”. Enter whatever label you want for the selected Windows distribution, then click on “OK” and “Next”. Click on “Start”. Like the popular tool Universal USB Installer, UNetbootin (short for “Universal Netboot Installer”) is actually specialized for Linux systems.
- This is also a necessary step to preconfigure BIOS or UEFI for a possible emergency situation.To do this, you have to change the boot order in the boot menu:. Open your computer’s boot menu. Depending on the mainboard manufacturer, this is done by pushing a different key on the keyboard. “Del” is the one most commonly used, but the “F1”, “F2”, “F8”, or “F10” keys can also be used for this function (though rarely any others). Which button you have to push is usually displayed in the margin of the screen as soon as the manufacturer logo appears.
- Instead, proceed as follows: Click on “Update and recovery” under “System settings”.Then click on “Recovery” and under “Extended start” select “Restart now”. The computer will now be restarted.
- On the following screen, click on “Troubleshooting”, then “Extended options” and finally on “UEFI firmware settings” to get to the UEFI.BIOS and UEFI can look different depending on the computer model and have different names for the individual menu items. Don’t be confused by this, though – the structure is basically the same.
- With the arrow keys, navigate through the BIOS/UEFI.Go to the “Boot” tab (this might also be called “Boot menu”, “Boot manager”, or something similar). There, you can select your USB drive so the next system startup will boot from it.
- You can also permanently change the boot order by pushing the [Image↑] or [Image↓] keys to change the order of the boot drives.Set your USB drive on the top of the list to start from it as soon as it’s plugged into your computer.
- Press the [Esc] key to leave BIOS/UEFI.When you start your PC for the first time, the portable Windows will need a bit more time to boot, since the hardware first has to be detected.While it’s being detected, Windows may also restart several times.
How to start Windows with a bootable USB drive
- After a successful boot process, you still have to set up your operating system on the USB drive.This means: Run the Windows setup, establish the internet connection, and download and install all necessary drivers and updates from the internet. $1 Domain Names. Register great TLDs for less than $1 for the first year. Grab your favorite domain name today! SSL certificate. 注意：这些说明仅供高级用户使用。您可能更改了某项可能会导致计算机无法正常启动的设置，并且您可能会遭遇潜在的数据丢失。使用这些说明的风险由您自行承担！ . 用户可能想使用戴尔诊断分发软件包(Dell Diagnostic Distribution Package, DDDP)创建一个超过已创建的2Gb分区的、可引导USB闪存驱动器，请参阅文章如何使用戴尔诊断部署软件包(DDDP)创建可引导USB闪存驱动器。. 请按照下一节中的步骤操作，其中介绍了如何使用Diskpart创建可引导Windows USB闪存驱动器：. 警告：USB 闪存盘上的所有数据都将丢失，请确保先保存所有数据，然后再继续操作。 . DISKPART - 此命令将启动该实用程序. LIST DISK - 此命令将显示USB闪存驱动器的磁盘编号。在下图中，USB闪存驱动器显示为Disk 2（磁盘2）。. SELECT DISK X（用USB闪存驱动器编号替换X，在此示例中，我们使用2）. CLEAN - 此命令将擦除驱动器. CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY - 创建分区. SELECT PARTITION 1- 选择分区1. ACTIVE- 将当前分区标记为活动. FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK - 此命令将格式化分区. ASSIGN - 分配驱动器盘符。. 将Windows DVD放入光驱中。从命令提示符中，输入以下命令：.
- RELATED:Why You Need to Own an External SSD.To make a bootable Windows 10 USB drive, begin by downloading the Media Creation tool from Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 website. Click “Download Tool Now” on the page. Wait for the file to finish downloading in your browser. Then hit Ctrl+j to open your browser’s downloads — a menu listing your downloads should appear. Click “MediaCreationTool21H2.exe” in the list.
- Select “Create Installation Media” and then click “Next.”.You should leave the default settings alone if you don’t have a specific need to install a different version of Windows 10.
- Then, click “Next.”.Select “USB Flash Drive” and click “Next.”. Select the USB drive you want to use, then click “Next.” The Media Creation Tool will download Windows 10 and create a bootable USB drive. The download is several gigabytes in size, so it could take a while if you’ve got slower internet. Once it is done downloading, click “Finish.”. You should safely eject unless you’ve set up your PC so it isn’t necessary. Click the USB drive icon on the taskbar, and then click “Eject.”. Your Windows 10 bootable USB drive is now ready.
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- Applies To: Windows Server 2016 Essentials, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, Windows Server 2012 Essentials.To create a bootable USB flash drive for use in recovering or reinstalling Windows on a PC instead of a server, see Create a recovery drive. Insert a USB flash drive into a running computer. Open a Command Prompt window as an administrator. In the new command line window that opens, to determine the USB flash drive number or drive letter, at the command prompt, type list disk, and then click ENTER.The list disk command displays all the disks on the computer.
How to Make a Bootable Windows 10 USB Drive
What You’ll Need
1. Download or create an ISO.
2. Download Rufus and run it.
3. Insert your USB flash drive.
4. Select the drive from the "Device" menu in Rufus.
5. Select Disk or ISO image from the "Boot selection" menu.
6. Select the image file.
7. Click Start.
Bootable USB with Rufus
- "I had used the 1st method before reading this. I wish I knew this blog was here before. It would have saved me days of poking and trying. It works great."..." more