Create Windows 10 bootable USB drive without using any software
When you download Windows from Microsoft Store, you have two options: You can download a collection of compressed files, or you can download an ISO file. An ISO file combines all the Windows installation files into a single uncompressed file.
If you choose to download an ISO file, you can create a bootable file from a DVD or USB drive by running available tools however if you don’t have the tools available, you can create the bootable installation USB stick manually using command prompt.
So, before we start, we need following:
1: PC running Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
2: Windows 10 ISO file
3: USB drive with at least 8 GB free space
Note: You will lose any data on the USB drive you are going to use.
Let’s start with preparing the USB drive.
1: Open Command Prompt as Administrator.
2: Run DISKPART.
3: Run LIST DISK command to show the list of active disks on computer.
Disk 1 is the USB drive.
Our USB stick is listed under Disk 1 so will select that.
4: Run SELECT DISK 1 command to select the USB stick.
5: Run CLEAN command to remove all the data on USB drive.
6: Enter CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY command to create primary partition so Windows can recognize it as Partition 1.
7: Enter SELECT PARTITION 1 to select Partition 1 as active partition.
8: Enter ACTIVE command for activating the current partition.
9: Format the USB drive by running below command:
FORMAT FS=NTFS QUICK
10: Enter EXIT to quit the DISKPART command line (Do not close the CMD prompt window).
We have prepared the USB drive, let’s make it bootable.
1: In the Command Prompt window, go to the location where you have extracted the Windows 10 files on your computer and go into the BOOT folder.
We have extracted the Windows 10 files from Windows10.ISO under C:\Windows10 folder.
Command: C:\>CD Windows10\BOOT
2: Type BOOTSECT /NT60 <drive letter>: where the drive letter is the USB drive.
Our case, USB drive letter is E: So, the command will be:
Command: BOOTSECT /NT60 E:
Enter EXIT to close the Command Prompt. Until this step we have made a bootable USB drive. Now the flash drive is ready to be used as a boot media.
Final step will be to copy the installation files in USB drive.
1: Open Command Prompt as Administrator and run below command:
XCOPY C:\Windows10\*.* E:\ /E /H /F
Above command will copy the Windows installation files from C:\Windows10 folder to E: drive (USB Drive).
Copy may take few minutes to complete depending upon the Windows Setup size and computer speed.
Once the copy completes, USB drive will be ready to be used for installing Windows 10 from USB drive.
Just change the boot priority to USB on the computer on which Windows 10 needs to be installed and you are done.
Hope this helps.