Install Windows 10 from a USB Flash Drive
How to install Windows 10 from a bootable usb flash drive using diskpart and the command line. Or any version of Windows, really.
I’m writing this because I can, for some reason, never remember how to use
Diskpart. And who uses DVD’s anymore? Download the Windows 10 preview ISO from here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview
1. Insert a usb drive at least 4gb in size
2. Open a command prompt as administrator
Windows Key, type
cmd and hit
Ctrl+Shift+Enter. This will force it to open as admin.
This will open and run the
Diskpart command line utility, which allows you to manage disks, partitions and volumes.
This will list all disks on your system. You’ll see the something similar to this:
DISKPART> list disk Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt -------- ------------- ------- ------- --- --- Disk 0 Online 238 GB 0 B Disk 1 Online 465 GB 0 B Disk 2 Online 29 GB 0 B
5. Select your flash drive by running
select disk #
Find the item that corresponds with your flash drive and select the disk. In the example above, my flash drive is disk 2 so I’ll run:
DISKPART> select disk 2 Disk 2 is now the selected disk.
WARNING: This deletes all data on your drive
The clean command marks all data on the drive as deleted and therefore removes all partitions and volumes. Make sure you want to do this! If you are sure, run:
7. Create a partition
DISKPART> create partition primary
8. Select the new partition
Since we know there is only one partition, we can just run this:
DISKPART> select partition 1
Without checking the partition number. If you’re really curious, run
list partition to check.
9. Format the partition
To format it, we’ll use the
NTFS file system and run a quick format:
DISKPART> format fs=ntfs quick
10. Set the current partition as Active
11. Exit diskpart
exit. This will exit diskpart, but leave the command window open.
12. Mount your ISO
Use Virtual CloneDrive or similar.
13. Navigate to the mounted image and install a bootsector
My ISO is mounted as
G:\, so I’ll navigate to
G:\boot and run:
C:Windowssystem32> G: G:\> cd boot G:\boot> bootsect.exe /nt60 E:
E:\ in this case is my flash drive’s letter.
14. Copy the entire contents of the ISO to your flash drive
You can either do this from Windows using
Ctrl+V, or from the command line using
G:\> xcopy g:\*.* e:\ /E /H /F
/E copies all subfolders,
/H copies all hidden files and
/F displays all source and destination file names as it’s copying.
Once that’s done, go and install Windows!