To create a bootable USB drive manually, we will use the Command Prompt as a Windows default program. Here are step by step to create a bootable USB drive as the Windows installation media. To create a bootable USB drive as a Windows installation media, we require at least 4 GB for minimum capacity, larger capacity is better. If you want to install windows in PC or Laptop, you may be wondering how to do it without a clunky external DVD drive. You can install windows from a USB flash drive (Pen Drive). You must have the following utilities to make USB drive bootable.

1. Atleast 4 GB flash drive.
2. Windows iso image or Windows DVD.
3. Application to make bootable USB Drive

Also See : Best free Apps to Create Bootable USB

First of all, format you pen drive in this manner. Select NTFS file system and click on box quick format to start formatting.

Create a USB Drive with the Windows Installer
1. Download Windows USB/DVD Download tool and install it.
2. Open windows installer > choose ISO file > Click Next.
3. Choose Media type > USB Device and insert USB device.
4. If your device is not displayed click “Refresh” and click on Begin Copying.
5. Now wait for the process to complete. The drive will be formatted and files copied to the flash drive.
6. Its done. Now you can boot from flash drive and install window in any PC or laptop.

Create a USB Drive with WintoFlash

1. Download WintoFlash Lite Edition and install it.
2. Open WintoFlash > Task > Task Type > Transfer Windows Vista/2008/7 setup to USB drive.
3. Choose windows files path and click on select.
4. Choose USB Drive by click on select > Next.
5. Windows Licence Agreement > Continue.
5. Now wait for the process to complete. The drive will be formatted and files copied to the flash drive.
6. Its done. Now you can boot from flash drive and install window in any PC or laptop.

 Create a USB Drive without any Software

Please Note: during this procedure you’ll lose any data on your USB flash drive. Please be extra careful during formatting, choosing the wrong drive will erase it completely. This guide provided as-is, at your own risk. 
Step 1: Using DISKPART command
  • Insert your USB flash drive to your running computer. As the first step, we need to run Command Prompt as administrator. To do this, we need to find cmd by typing ‘cmd’ in the search box on Windows Start Menu. After search result for ‘cmd’ appears, right click on it and select “Run as administrator”.
  • Type ‘diskpart’ on Command Prompt (without quotes) and hit Enter. Wait for a while until the DISKPART program run.
  • Type ‘list disk’ to view active disks on your computer and hit Enter. There would be seen that the active disks shown as Disk 0 for hard drive and Disk 1 for your USB flashdrive with its total capacity.
  •  Type ‘select disk 1’ to determine that disk 1 would be processed in the next step then hit Enter.
  • Type ‘clean’ and hit Enter to remove all of data in the drive.
  • Type ‘create partition primary’ and hit Enter. Creating a primary partition and further recognized by Windows as ‘partition 1’.
  • Type ‘select partition 1’ an hit Enter. Choosing the ‘partition 1’ for setting up it as an active partition.
  • Type ‘active’ and hit Enter. Activating current partition.
  • Type ‘format fs=ntfs quick’ and hit Enter. Formatting current partition as NTFS file system quickly.
  • Type ‘exit’ and hit Enter. Leaving DISKPART program but don’t close the Command Prompt instead. We would still need it for next process.

Step 2: Creating Boot Sector

  • Let us assume that the flash / USB drive is the D: drive and the DVD installer located on drive F :. The first step, we will navigate Command Prompt to set installation DVD as its active directory.
  • By default, Command Prompt’s active directory for Administrator permission is on C:WindowsSystem32>. We will navigate Command Prompt to set on DVD (F:) as its active directory. Just type ‘f:’ then hit Enter, and the active directory changed to F:.
  • Type ‘cd boot’ and hit Enter. Active directory changed to F:boot>.
  • Type ‘bootsect /nt60 d:’ and hit Enter. Creating boot sector on D: drive (USB flash drive).
  • Type ‘exit’ and hit Enter to close the Command Prompt. Until this step we have made a bootable USB drive sucessfully, and the flash drive is ready to be used as a boot media.

Step 3: Copying Installation Files 

To install Windows from a bootable USB drive, we just need to copy the whole installation files contained on the DVD installer to flash drive. To do this, open the Command Prompt as in previous steps. Once it opens, type ‘xcopy f: *. * d: / E / H / F’ and then press Enter. Wait until all the files in the DVD installer copied to the flash drive. Now bootable USB drive is ready to be used for installing Windows from flash drive and you’re done !


Watch Video : How to Create Bootable USB flash drive

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About the author

Rajender is a Tech Lover and founder of Digital Adda, a popular how-to tech guides and software tutorials. Sign-up for the email newsletter for your daily dose of tech tips & tutorials.

6 Comments

  1. Colombo says:

    i used many Software to make bootable usb before. Many error occurred during work. I think cmd program is best to make boosatble usb for installing windows.

  2. SLS says:

    I do not have a DVD installer media. Can I create a bootable flash drive from C:\system\32?

  3. yhel says:

    is it really long to copy install.wim in cmd? cause its taken an hour to copy and still not yet finish

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