Nowadays, no one would think of installing Windows 10 from a DVD. The Microsoft operating system is designed to be recorded on a USB memory and installed from it, being the process much faster and more comfortable.
Download the Windows 10 ISO
If we are thinking of installing Windows 10 on any computer, the first thing to do is download the latest version of the operating system. Microsoft provides us with several ways to download the latest Windows 10 ISO for free so that we can easily install the operating system as we want.
The recommended way to get this ISO image is to do it from the link that we leave you later. Here we must click on « Download the tool now » to download the latest version of the media creation tool, which will allow us to either force an update of our system, or download the latest ISO available.
Another way to download an ISO of Windows 10, especially if we are looking for an old version to install on our PC, is to do it with the Rufus software . Later we will explain how to lower the ISO with this program and, incidentally, record it directly to a USB.
Once we have the image on our PC, we can use it as we need. For example, we can use this ISO image directly to install the operating system on a virtual machine, or create an installation media to install it on a normal computer.
Next, we are going to see several different ways to create a Windows installation USB depending on whether we have another PC at hand with the Microsoft operating system or not.
Use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool
If we have another computer with Windows 10 installed at our fingertips, we can use it to create an installation USB easily. And the best way to do that is to go directly to the media creation tool itself to do it.
This tool, developed by Microsoft, allows us to directly download the latest version of Windows 10 to our computer and create the installation USB in a few steps. It also allows us to save the ISO directly on the PC and even burn a DVD in case we want to use an optical medium.
This tool can be downloaded for free from the following link, by clicking on “Download the tool now”. When running the tool, and after accepting the license terms, it will ask us what we want to do.
We choose the option “Create installation media” and continue with the program. We will choose the edition of Windows that we want to copy to our PC, we will also choose that we want to create the USB to install Windows 10 (not the DVD option) and finally we will select the USB memory (that we will have connected to the PC) where we will copy the operating system.
We continue with the wizard and that’s it. The wizard itself will begin to create our own Windows 10 installation USB. This process will take a few minutes, depending on our Internet speed (since the ISO will be downloaded from Microsoft’s servers) and the speed of the USB memory.
When the process is finished, we will have a USB ready to install Windows 10 on any computer. We only have to connect it to the computer we want, choose it as the boot medium and start installing the operating system.
Use tools to burn an ISO to USB
If we do not like Microsoft’s media creation tool, or it is giving us problems (something that is quite common), then we must turn to other alternatives to create USB drives.
Rufus is a free program designed to easily prepare installation USBs to install almost any operating system. This program also has a function that allows us to directly download the ISO of the operating system, saving us from having to download it ourselves.
We can download the latest version of Rufus from the following link. We can install the program on the PC, or download the portable version.
The program is very easy to use. What we must do is select the USB memory that we are going to use (which we must have connected to the PC), choose the option to download and fill in the Windows 10 options of the version that we are going to download and wait for it to download. If we already have the ISO on our PC we can load it directly without having to download it again.
We can choose the type of installation we want. Also if we want a UEFI or MBR unit and the properties of the memory, such as file system and unit name.
With everything ready, we will click on the “Start” button and the program will begin to create the installation USB. The process will take a few minutes and, when it is finished, we will have the USB memory ready to use it to install Windows 10 on any PC.
This program will allow us to create a Windows 10 from an ISO image. It will also allow us to clone our local Windows 10 installation to the USB memory or hard disk and prepare it so that it can work in a portable way. The program has 3 operating modes and we can download it from here.
Using this application is very simple since we will only have to look for a Windows 10 ISO image on our hard drive and load it. When performing the operation, all the editions of Windows appear, including that same image.
Next we must select the external device where we are going to install Windows 10 portable. When selecting it from the list, the program will show us a warning, as the drive will be formatted and the data will be erased. Therefore, we will have to choose the type of partitions.
In the next step, the program will create the necessary partitions to be able to create our Windows Portable drive. We will also have to choose the installation mode and the size of the virtual hard disk.
Once the process begins, we will not only have to wait. Once finished we can use our external device with portable Windows 10. To do this, we restart the PC and configure the BIOS so that it can boot directly from the unit where we have our Windows 10 device and can begin its installation.
Create Windows 10 USB without using Windows
What happens if we have a new computer, without an operating system, and we cannot access another Windows PC? If this is the case, what we must do is resort to a Linux distro from which we can create the operating system installation USB.
To do this, the first thing we must do is download the distro that we want. We recommend you download Ubuntu, which we can do for free from the following link, or use another Ubuntu-based distro, such as Linux Mint. We do not have to worry, since the whole process can be done in Live Mode, that is, without installing this system on our PC, running everything from RAM.
Once we have downloaded this distro, the next step will be to create our Linux Live-USB to create a boot memory for the operating system, and start the PC from it.
Once we are on the desktop of the Linux distro that we have chosen, the next step will be to install the program that will allow us to create the Windows 10 installation USB. We have chosen WoeUSB.
To do this, the first thing we will have to do is install a series of proprietary packages and dependencies by executing the following command:
sudo apt install software-properties-common
And, once installed, we will execute the following commands that will allow us to add the repository, update it and install WoeUSB.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update && sudo apt install woeusb
When the installation of the program is finished, we will have it ready to use. Of course, before continuing with the process we must make sure of two things:
- We have the Windows 10 ISO downloaded (on another USB, for example) and ready to use.
- We have connected the USB where we are going to create the Windows 10 installation media, and we have unmounted it so that the program can use it. To unmount it, we simply have to click on the “Eject” or “Unmount” button that appears to the right of it when opening the file explorer.
With these two concepts clear, we can now find your installer in the list of programs. We can also open it directly from the application launcher with the following command:
woeusbgui & disown
We will select the Windows 10 ISO in the “Source” section, the USB memory that we want to prepare in the “Target” section, and that’s it. The program will take care of preparing the USB memory and leaving it ready to install Windows 10 on any PC.
In this way, we will have been able to create our own Windows 10 installation USB without depending on Windows at all.
Do you need a UEFI compliant USB to install Windows 10? This is what you should know
If we have a UEFI computer , and especially if we have Secure Boot enabled, the simple installation of an operating system such as Windows may cause us all kinds of headaches. These systems are usually very exquisite when it comes to validating digital signatures and, if something is not correct, they will directly block the installation of the operating system, for security reasons. After all, this is their role.
Therefore, if we want to be able to install Windows 10 on any of these systems, it is necessary to follow the correct steps. If we use the media creation tool to create the USB, we will have no problems. When it creates the bootable USB, it makes it directly compatible with UEFI systems. We can use this USB on any PC, regardless of its security settings.
If we prefer to do it with Rufus, we will also be able to create our own USB compatible with UEFI and Secure Boot. But the process is somewhat more complex. Basically what we need to do is make sure that the “Partition Scheme” option is in GPT, and the “Target System” is UEFI not CSM, as shown in the image.
If we have the program configured, we can create a USB to install Windows 10 compatible with UEFI and Secure Boot systems. Even the same configuration will be valid for any other operating system, such as Windows 7, and even Linux.