How to create bootable USB media to install Windows 10

Here are the steps to use the Media Creation Tool to make a Windows 10 installation media. And we go through the steps to create a USB bootable drive with GPT partition support.

Creating a USB installation media for Windows 10

When Microsoft releases a new major update of Windows 10, no everyone gets the new bits at the same day. Instead the company upgrades computers gradually and it takes some time until the operating system reaches every PC.

However, if you really want to upgrade, the software giant lets people download the Windows 10 installation files using the Media Creator Tool. The tool helps to perform an in-place upgrade or to create your own installation media to either on a USB flash drive or DVD disc to do a clean install.

In this guide, we’ll go through the steps to create a USB bootable media with the Windows 10 installation files. This will allow you to install the new operating system skipping the waiting line. Also, you’ll be also able to use the same USB flash drive and upgrade other computers.

How to create bootable USB media to install Windows 10 using ‘Media Creation Tool’

  1. Download the Windows 10 Media Creator Tool to start the process from the Microsoft Support website

    Quick Tip: If you don’t know which version of Windows you have, open the Run command, type cmd press Enter; then type control system command, and hit Enter. Under System type, you’ll see your software architecture: 32- or 64-bit.
  2. Open the Media Create Tool, click Create installation media for another PC, and click Next.

    Create an installation media for Windows 10

  3. It’s very important that you choose your correct language, architecture, and edition. In my case, I’m selecting the English language, Windows 10 Home edition, and both architecture, because it will allow me to upgrade 32- and 64-bit machines with a single bootable media.

    Choosing language, architecture, and edition of Windows 10

  4. Select either to create a USB flash drive, which should be at least 6GB on size or ISO file that you can use to create a bootable USB or DVD at a later time. Here you can pick USB flash drive, and click Next.

  5. Select the drive, and then you’re done.

    Windows 10 Media Creator Tool

How to create bootable USB media to install Windows 10 using ‘Rufus’

If you have a computer using an Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), which is a new type of firmware designed to put to rest the old BIOS standard, you may run into problems trying to install Windows 10.

In case this is your scenario, on the last step mentioned above, you may want to create an ISO file using the Media Creator Tool instead and use a third-party software to create a bootable USB flash drive.

You can use Rufus, which is a free tool designed to help users to create bootable USB flash drive for computer using MBR or GPT partitions.

  1. Download and install Rufus.

  2. Open Rufus.

  3. Connect your USB drive to your computer and select it under Device.

  4. On “Partition scheme and target system type,” select GPT partition scheme for UEFI.

  5. On “File system,” use NTFS.

  6. On “Cluster size,” use the default settings.

  7. On “Create a bootable disk using,” select ISO Image, and click the drive icon to browse the ISO image you just created.

    Rufus tool to crate UEFI bootable drive of Windows 10

  8. Click the Start button to complete the process.

Once the process completes, you can boot and install Windows 10 on computers running on UEFI BIOS.

If you’re planning to use the Media Creator Tool to install Windows 10 manually on different computers, make sure you also have your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 product key, as you may be prompted to enter the product key. You can use the Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder free tool.

In the case after the upgrade Windows 10 is not activated, go to Settings > Update & security > Activation, click the Troubleshoot button to start the Activation troubleshooter utility.

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