Install Windows from a USB Flash Drive

Making a Windows 10 USB flash drive is easy right? I have done it many times but I seem to forget the requirements so here they are:

Minimum requirements

  • Minimum 5GB USB flash Drive
  • Flash drive formated FAT32
  • Active partition
  • UEFI
  • GPT

Download Windows

You can get Windows in different ways: Download using Windows Media Creation Tool. Using this method will not provide you with a WIM file (if you don’t know what the heck that is, just ignore that). For most home users this method is the best. To download the ISO you will have to use the Chrome extension “User-agent switcher” to fake that you are using a Windows Phone to access the webpage. That way you will be allowed to download the ISO instead of Windows Media Creation Tool. Use Rufus to make the flash drive.

Trouble?

File sizes too big for FAT32? FAT32 can only have files less than 4 GB…

Check image for Windows version

If the ISO or flash disk has a WIM file you can run the command:

dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:"source_to_your_wim" /index:1

This will give something like:

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool
Version: 6.3.9600.17031

Details for image : D:\_Source\OS Deployment\OS Images\Windows 10\001_11-17-2017.wim

Index : 1
Name : 001DDrive
Description : <undefined>
Size : 21 204 189 841 bytes
WIM Bootable : No
Architecture : x64
Hal : acpiapic
Version : 10.0.16299
ServicePack Build : 15
ServicePack Level : 0
Edition : Enterprise
Installation : Client
ProductType : WinNT
ProductSuite : Terminal Server
System Root : WINDOWS
Directories : 24006
Files : 111893
Created : 18.11.2017 - 02:01:32
Modified : 18.11.2017 - 02:01:34
Languages :
        en-US (Default)

The operation completed successfully.

You can check the version number. For example `10.0.16299``is Windows 10, version 1709. And the edition states an Enterprise version.