In such a world as of today where every day is a step forward in the technological field, it has become simple and quick to perform tasks that were time-consuming and difficult in the past.
Initially, operating system ISO images were burned to a disk, but nowadays you do not have to go through such hassle as PCs can now boot simply through a USB flash drive. Windows can be installed and updated through it very easily.
Another plus point of using a USB for this purpose is that the installation speed is faster as compared to a traditional optical drive setup, which consumed a lot of time. At present time, very few devices come with an optical drive.
So if you are looking for a way to install Windows 10 through a bootable USB stick, follow these simple steps that are mentioned below and update your current Windows version to use new and advanced features.
- Download Windows 10 if you do not have it as described here: Windows 10 Technical Preview direct download links.
- Open an elevated command prompt
- Type the following:
Diskpart is a console disk management utility which is shipped with Windows by default. It allows you to perform all disk management operations from the command line.
- Connect your USB stick.
- Type the following in diskpart’s prompt:
It will show a table with all your disks, including the currently connected USB stick. Note the number of the USB stick drive.
In my case, it is Disk 1
- Now, you need to select your USB disk in diskpart. Type the following:
sele disk #
Where # is the number of your USB stick drive. In my case, it is 1, so I have to use the following command:
sele disk 1
- Type the following command:
This will erase all data from your USB drive.
Note: You can skip this step if you are an advanced user and know that your USB stick has a proper filesystem. If you are not sure, it is better to clean the partitions and data.
- Type the following command:
crea part prim
This will create a primary partition which will store your data.
- Now you need to format the partition. Use the following command:
- Next, type the following command:
This is to allow your USB stick to be able to load some bootloader.
- Now your work in diskpart is finished. Type ‘exit’ to leave it. You will return to the elevated command prompt – do not close it.
- Double click the ISO image in Windows 8 to mount it, and copy all files from the Windows 10 ISO image to the USB stick. This will take a few minutes depending on the speed of your USB flash drive. On Windows 7, open the Windows 10 ISO with 7-Zip and extract all the files to the drive letter of your USB stick.
- The final part: you need to write a bootloader to your USB stick. Suppose your mounted ISO image has the drive letter, D: in the This PC/Computer folder, and your USB stick has the drive letter E:
Then you need to type the following command at the elevated command prompt:
D:\Boot\Bootsect /NT60 E: /force /mbr
This will write the NT6 boot sector to your USB stick. Replace the letters in my example with the appropriate letters in your OS.
That’s it! Now you can use this USB stick to boot and install Windows 10 on any computer that supports booting from USB.