Creating bootable USB flash drive.

There was a time when Microsoft Operating System installer used to come in DVDs. In order to reduce cost and avoid delay in shipment, Microsoft has changed their policy and started providing iso images for download. We burn the iso image to DVD and then boot the system with the disc to start installation of Operating System. But now, since USB flash drives become very cheap, it literally started replacing DVD discs. Compared to DVD discs, USB disks are more reliable, easy to carry and can be easily reused.

This blog post is to help you to create a bootable USB flash drive for installing any Windows Operating Systems.

Pre-requisites:

  • USB flash drive with 4GB or higher storage capacity
  • .iso image of the Windows Operating System
  • A system running Windows Operating System (recommended Windows 8 so that you can use the built-in Disk Image Tools to Mount the .iso image as CD drive)
  • WinRar or any similar application to extract .iso image content.

Steps to create bootable USB disk

  • Run Command.exe with administrator privilege

USB1

  • Run Diskpart utility to partition the USB disk
  • Type List Disk to list all the disks attached to the system. Note down the disk# of newly connected USB drive.
  • Type Select Disk # where # represents the newly connected USB drive.
  • Note: the following steps will wipe the selected disk so make sure that you selected the correct disk # representing your USB drive.
  • Type Clean to delete data including partition on the disk.
  • Type Create Partition Primary to make a new partition.
  • Type Active to mark the newly created partition as active.
  • Type Format FS=NTFS Quick to format the USB drive.
  • Type Exit to close the Diskpart.

USB2

  • Use Windows 8 to mount the .iso image, the image content will be mounted on CD Drive.

USB3

  • If you are running any other operating system, use any iso image extractor application to copy the content to USB drive

USB4

  • Copy all the content and paste them to the newly formatted USB drive.

USB5

Congratulations! You have a bootable USB disk now.

Connect the USB drive to new system, change boot option to boot with USB and follow the Operating System installation steps.

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About Jayachandran PK
My passion is for Microsoft technologies and how if properly implemented, they can provide actual value for an organization especially in the field of infrastructure, virtualization and system monitoring. I work for the biggest Microsoft partner in Kuwait, specialized in project consultation and implementation services for enterprise clients. When I'm not at work, I try to contribute back through a charitable organization dedicated to prompting cultural values of Kerala. In my free time, I dabble in gardening and am also an avid solar power aficionado.

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