Here’s how to create a bootable Windows installation USB drive, starting with a Windows setup DVD or a Windows .iso file.
- Windows 10 DVD or Windows 10 .iso file. You can read this article to know how to download Windows 10 .iso file: https://getproductkey.net/download-windows-10-iso-microsoft-2019/
- USB flash drive with at least 6GB of free space. This drive will be formatted, so you make sure there are no important files on it.
- Technician PC – Windows PC you will use to format USB flash drive
- Destination PC – A PC that you will install on Windows
Step 1 – You format the drive and set the primary partition as active
You connect the USB flash drive to your technician PC.
You open Disk Management: Right-click on Start and you choose Disk Management.
You format the partition: You right-click the USB drive partition and you choose the format. You select the FAT32 file system that is capable of booting a BIOS-based or UEFI-based PC.
You set the partition as active: Right-click the USB drive partition and click Mark Partition as Active.
Step 2 – You Copy Windows Setup to USB Flash Drive
You use File Explorer to copy and paste the entire contents of a Windows product DVD or ISO into a USB flash drive.
Step 3 – Install Windows into your new PC
You connect a USB flash drive to a new PC.
You turn on the PC and press the key that opens the boot-device selection menu for the computer, such as the Esc / F10 / F12 keys. Select the option to boot the PC from the USB flash drive. Windows setup begins. Follow the instructions to install Windows.
You remove the USB flash drive.
Troubleshooting: File copying fails when you install Windows 10 over USB
This can happen when the Windows image file exceeds the FAT32 file size limit of 4 GB. when it happens:
Step 1: You copy everything except the Windows image file (source \ install.wim) to the USB drive (either drag and drop, or use this command, where D: is the mounted ISO and E: is the USB flash drive). Do it
robocopy D: E: /s /max:3800000000
Step 2: You divided the Windows image file into smaller files, and placed the smaller files on a USB drive:
Dism /Split-Image /ImageFile:D:\sources\install.wim
Note, Windows Setup automatically installs from this file, so long as you name it install.swm.
After you install Windows 10, you can use Windows 10 Product Key to activate it.