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If you are using a PC with an old copy of Windows but you want a more modern operating system, you can run Windows 10 or 11 directly from a USB drive.
Create Bootable Usb Flash Drive To Install Windows 10
You need a USB drive with at least 16GB of free space, preferably 32GB. You also need a license to activate Windows 10 or Windows 11 on a USB stick, which means you have to buy one or use an existing one associated with your ID number. Then you can use the Windows USB utility to mount the USB drive from any OS. After that, you can boot from your Windows startup disk.
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The main disadvantage is that booting from a USB drive will make Windows run slower than booting from a hard drive. But if you have a pin, you can work with the OS and get different programs that way.
Microsoft offered its own tool called Windows to Go(Opens in a new window) that can create a Windows USB drive installed with the development and training of Windows 10. However, the company has discontinued the program and is no longer updated. Instead, you can turn to two utilities, WinToUSB and Rufus, which will create a bootable disk from any operating system and on any type of USB drive.
If you want to run Windows 10 from a USB drive, the first step is to log into your Windows 10 computer and create a Windows 10 ISO file that will be used to install the operating system on the drive.
To do this, go to the Windows 10 Download website (Opens in a new window), which offers the latest version of Windows 10; as of this writing, the Windows 10 November 2021 Update, or Windows 10 21H2. Click “Download Tool Now” to save the MediaCreationTool.exe file to your PC.
How To Create A Bootable Usb Flash Drive
Double-click this file to install the program. On the first screen, click the Access button. Then click Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC and click Next. Make sure the language, structure and translation are correct and click Next.
You will then be asked to choose which media you would like to use. Although you want to install Windows from the USB drive, click the ISO file (not the USB drive) and then click Next.
Select a location on your hard drive to save the Windows ISO file and click Save. Windows 10 will then create the appropriate ISO file. When the process is complete, click Finish.
To run Windows 11 from a USB drive, you need to obtain the Windows 11 ISO file to install the operating system on the disk. Go to the Windows 11 download website (opens in a new window) and scroll down to the Windows 11 disc image (ISO) download section.
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Click the “Select Download” drop-down menu and select the Windows 11 (Multiple ISO) option. Then click the Download button. Select the product language and click “Confirm”. Then click the download 64-bit version button and save the ISO file to your hard drive.
To put the ISO file on your USB drive, it’s time to use the help of a third-party program like WinToUSB(Opens in a new window). This tool comes in three versions – free, professional, and enterprise. Start with the free scale, but remember that there are limits. You are free to create a home use of Windows 10 or Windows 11, but not a professional or development one. If you need one of these versions, the Professional version of WinToUSB is $29.95 and the Enterprise version is $199.95. Download and install the WinToUSB program from its official website (opens in a new window).
Then connect a clean USB drive to your computer and launch WinToUSB from the Start menu. On the welcome screen, click the search button next to the image file and select the ISO file you created for Windows 10 or 11.
Select the version of Windows you want to install to the USB drive, then click Next. If you are using the free copy, your only choice is Windows 10 Home or Windows 11 Home.
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Then you need to select the target vehicle. Open the drop-down menu and select your USB drive. A message will appear asking you to select a partitioning method. For older computers with standard BIOS, click the MBR option for BIOS.
For newer computers using UEFI, click GPT for UEFI. You can also choose MBR for BIOS and UEFI if you purchase one of the paid versions of WinToUSB. Click yes to continue.
On the next screen, select the Legacy option for the installation method. Click Next and your Windows USB drive will be created. When the configuration reaches 100%, which means it is finished, close WinToUSB and remove the USB drive.
Another good utility is Rufus (opens in a new window). Download, install and run the program. In the Drive Properties window, select your USB drive as a device if it is not already selected. Click the “Select” button next to the “Select boot” field and select the Windows ISO file.
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Click the icon box and switch to Windows to Go. For older computers with legacy BIOS, change the partition system to MBR. For newer computers using UEFI mode, switch to GPT. You can leave the other settings at their defaults. Optionally, change the volume name to Windows 10 or Windows 11. Then click the Start button.
On the next screen, select the version of Windows you want to run on the USB drive, then click OK. A flashing warning that all data on your USB drive will be destroyed. Click OK to continue. Rufus will copy the required files to the disk. After the process, close the Rufus window.
If you want to run Windows on another computer, insert your USB drive into that PC. Press the appropriate key for your computer as an example to go to the boot menu and select the boot from the USB drive option.
The first time you start Windows from a USB drive, you must go through the usual Windows setup process. You also need to activate Windows (Opens in a new window). Then you can install Windows applications on the USB drive and access any files and documents stored online, so the experience is close to working on one of your Windows PCs.
How To Create A Windows 10 Bootable Usb: It’s Easier Than You Think
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This article was co-authored by staff writer Travis Boyles. Travis Boyles is a technology writer and editor for . Travis has extensive experience writing articles related to technology, software, and graphic design. It is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux platforms. Studied photography at Pikes Peak Community College.
Create Bootable Usb Flash Drive To Install Windows 10
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Do you need to install Windows 7? Maybe you have an old PC that doesn’t support the latest versions of Windows, or your work still uses an outdated operating system. Although Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7 or offers it for download, you can still install Windows 7 using an ISO burning tool and a program called Rufus. This article will teach you how to install Windows 7 using a USB flash drive.
This article was co-authored by staff writer Travis Boyles. Travis Boyles is a technology writer and editor for . Travis has extensive experience writing articles related to technology, software, and graphic design. It is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux platforms. Studied photography at Pikes Peak Community College. This article has been viewed 1,448,524 times. Microsoft Windows was installed on a disc, CD, DVD or floppy disk – and media is also gradually disappearing from the scene. Instead, the system uses or
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