Bootable Windows USB Drive: Guide for Windows 10, Windows 11, and Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8.

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As time passes, more and more PCs are being built without an optical drive. When the time comes to reinstall or upgrade Windows, an issue can arise: Where does that setup DVD go? The answer: On a flash drive. Find out the different ways to get Windows XP through Windows 10 onto a bootable flash drive — and enjoy the speed benefits that come with it.

Instead, it prefered to stick to old-school DVD media, despite the fact that many notebooks today are too small to even include an optical drive, and many DIYers are building PCs which forego one on purpose. However, things have moved on, and for the first time, Microsoft has begun to sell Windows 10 on pre-configured USB drives.

Previous versions of the OS XP, 7 and 8. Creating a bootable Windows USB drive used to be a chore, but today, one solution can pretty-well suit most people. However, there are times when a flash drive has some quirk that prevents it from working with a particular solution, so for that reason, this article takes a look at five different methods. Even if the target desktop or notebook has an optical drive, there are a couple of reasons to consider first creating a USB-based installer.

Admittedly, the time and effort of creating the drive might make it best-suited for system builders, but for people like us, who juggle test machines, USB is a no-brainer.

To start, USB media is more durable than disc-based media. Discs can be easily scratched, while well-built USB flash drives can generally handle a bit of abuse. Ever walk around with a disc in your pocket? It looks a bit odd. To give an overview of what to expect from each solution, refer to this success table:.

For starters, modern UEFI-equipped machines are not designed to support such an old OS, so chances are that it will not even install, or even be detected in the first place. If the motherboard in question happens to support a legacy BIOS mode, then it might work. Different version of Rufus explained later have better luck with the XP process than others. We strongly suggest you skip to the dedicated part of this article that explains the problems with Windows XP and USB support.

What about Windows Vista? But first…. Some solutions listed on this page require a Windows disc image. ISOs are available from a number of sources, but most people will acquire them after purchasing the OS online through Microsoft, or through some other related Microsoft service.

Only the ISOs directly supplied by Microsoft would have static hashes. How the image was captured as well will have an effect on how the final boot drive turns out, so stick to official sources where possible. Other tools exist that accomplish the same thing, but these are the only ones we can personally recommend.

However, we prefer Rufus because we find it loads a lot quicker, and feels a bit faster, too. For a great many reasons, this is still our preferred method of creating USB boot drives. To load the Windows. NOTE: As the program will state, doing this will erase all data off of the flash drive — so backup first. If you have any issues, be sure to check out our Common Problems section below. NOTE: This method will delete the entire flash drive, so be sure to back up personal data first.

Once selected, it needs to be wiped clean, have a partition created, and then be formatted. The entire command process is summed-up in this block:. At this point, the Windows setup DVD can be inserted into the drive, or the ISO mounted, and its files copied over to the root folder of the flash drive.

While the company no longer promotes the tool, it supports at least 7 and 8 just fine, so some might prefer to use it over the other solutions. Once downloaded and opened, an ISO must be chosen. If you plan to install Windows 10 on a new system, use it to recover an existing system, or upgrade a previous install of Windows 7 or 8, creating a bootable flash drive is the first step.

The whole process for creating a Windows 10 bootable USB drive can be done by using the Media Creation Tool ; most systems these days will use the bit version, so grab that.

The gallery below outlines each step of the process for the basic method. There are a few things you might need to check first. Depending on where you plan to install Windows 10, you need to check which version you require, Home or Pro. This offers the advantage of being able to keep a backup of the ISO image, as well as create multiple boot drives without having to download the image each time. If you run into problems with the Media Creation Tool when it comes to creating the bootable flash drive, you can use the following method.

In general, we found this method more reliable than using the Media Creation Tool to create the Windows 10 bootable flash drive, and ther are a number of other advantages to using Rufus as well.

The tool will only create a single partition up to 32GB and then completely ignore the rest of the drive, and Windows-based operating systems can only handle a single partition on USB flash drives. First off, we strongly recommend using Rufus bit version to setup XP on a USB flash drive over the other methods, as its success rate is much better.

As far as we know, the bit ISO image of XP is the only compatible version that can be put on a bootable flash drive success for XP bit was limited.

We also found that a lot of modern hardware refuses to detect the drive. A number of systems we have tested this with had very mixed results.

The USB media does work on a couple of laptops, but with other systems, it just boots up into a blank screen. You can read below for some more general advice as well. This can be caused by a number of things. The most common is that your system is not setup to detect or boot from USB devices. Try a different ISO image if at all possible. Attempting to install with your flash drive plugged into a USB 3. You may still use a USB 3. If no USB 2. This was mentioned previously in the Windows 10 section, but if you are creating a USB boot drive for Windows 10 and your 64GB drive is only showing 32GB available, then you need to recreate your boot drive with Rufus.

The Media Creation Tool MCT only supports drives up to 32GB, and anything larger will have a second partition made, which Windows can not detect normally but is still available if you plug it into a Linux machine for example. Generic and oh-so-helpful error. Failing that, try to download from a different machine if possible. Originally published December Support our efforts! With ad revenue at an all-time low for written websites, we’re relying more than ever on reader support to help us continue putting so much effort into this type of content.

You can support us by becoming a Patron , or by using our Amazon shopping affiliate links listed through our articles. Thanks for your support! My Tweets. Select ‘Create installation media for another PC’ to begin the process. We’ll be creating the bootable USB flash drive with the tool, so select the first option. Select the version of Windows 10 that you require, in this case, we went with Home bit.

Choose the USB drive that you wish to turn into the bootable media. Only Flash media will show on the list. The drive will need at least 4GB of free space. NOTE : The flash drive will be formatted, so make backups first. Wait for the tool to finish downloading. Depending on your Internet connection, this could be from a few minutes to a few hours.

Once the Windows 10 image has downloaded, it will automatically begin creating the boot media on the drive you selected.

This can take a few minutes. If everything when according to plan, the Media Creation Tool will declare success and you are ready to use your new Windows 10 bootable USB drive.

 
 

 

Free Download Windows XP ISO: Home & Professional (32 & 64 Bit).How to create Windows XP bootable USB Drive – H2S Media

 
These are the Windows XP Professional Edition boot disk images available from AllBootDisks. Download the diskette image you need, and if you need assistance. This guide explains how to create a Windows bootable USB drive for the XP Professional installation CD, you can use the CD to create a bootable USB. Then, I’ll show you how to download and use the free software to create a bootable UFD running Windows XP Professional.

 
 

How to Setup Windows XP from USB drive? – System Requirements for Windows XP Installation

 
 

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