How to create a bootable USB drive Windows


To install Windows on a modern computer or laptop, an ordinary USB flash drive is increasingly used, rather than a CD / DVD with an OS. A USB storage device has many advantages over a disk: faster installation, smaller size, and the ability to use even on PCs without a floppy drive.

If you just take a disk with an operating system and copy all the data to a USB flash drive, it won't become an installation one.

I would like to consider several ways to create bootable media with different versions of Windows (by the way, if you are interested in the question of a multiboot drive, you can familiarize yourself with this:

What is required

  1. Utilities for writing a USB flash drive. Which one to use depends on which version of the operating system you decide to use. Popular utilities: ULTRA ISO, Daemon Tools, WinSetupFromUSB.
  2. USB drive, preferably 4 GB or more. For Windows XP, a smaller one is also suitable, but for Windows 7+, less than 4 GB will definitely not be used.
  3. An ISO installation image with the OS version you need. You can make such an image yourself from the installation disk or download it (for example, from the website Microsoft you can download a new one Windows 10 at the link:
  4. Free time – 5-10 minutes.

Creating a bootable USB drive Windows

So let's move on to ways of creating and recording media with an operating system. The methods are very simple, you can master them very quickly.

Universal method for all versions

Why universal? Yes, because it can be used to create a bootable USB drive with any version of Windows (except XP and below). However, you can try to burn the medium in this way and with XP – only it does not work for everyone, the chances are 50/50 …

It is also important to note that when installing the OS from a USB drive, you do not need to use USB 3.0 (this high-speed port is marked in blue).

To burn an ISO image, you need one utility – Ultra ISO (by the way, it is very popular and many probably already have it on a computer).

By the way, for those who want to write down an installation USB flash drive with version 10, this note may be very useful: ___ Windows _ 10 (the article tells about one cool utility Rufus, which creates bootable media several times faster than its counterparts).

Step by step actions

Download the Ultra ISO program from the official website: Let's start the process right away.

  1. Run the utility and open the ISO image file. By the way, the ISO image with Windows must be bootable! opening iso image -UltraISO
  2. Then click on the 'Boot -> Burn Hard Disk Image' tab. iso image recording
  3. Then such a window will appear (see the picture below). Now you need to connect the drive to which you want to record Windows. Then in the Disk Drive item (or disk selection, if you have a Russian version), select the letter of the flash drive (in my case, drive G). Recording method: USB-HDD.
  4. Then just press the button to record. Attention! The operation will delete all data, so copy all the data you need before recording. settings for recording an iso image to a bootable USB flash drive
  5. After about 5-7 minutes. (if everything went well) you should see a window indicating that the recording is complete. Now the flash drive can be removed from the USB port and used to install the operating system.

If you were unable to create bootable media using the ULTRA ISO program, try the following utility from this article (see below).

Creating an image of Windows 7/8

For this method, you can use the recommended Micrisoft utility – Windows 7 USB / DVD download tool (link to the official website:

However, I still prefer to use the first method (via ULTRA ISO) – because there is one drawback with this utility: it cannot always write an image of Windows 7 to a 4 GB USB drive. If you use an 8GB stick, that's even better.

Let's take a look at the steps.

  1. 1. The first thing we do is specify the iso file with Windows 7 / 8 to the utility. selection of iso file with OS WIndows
  2. Next, we indicate to the utility the device to which we want to write the image. In this case, we are interested in a flash drive: USB device. an indication of what to write the iso image to
  3. Now you need to specify the drive letter to which you want to record. Attention! All information from the flash drive will be deleted, save in advance all the documents that are on it. flash drive indication
  4. Then the program will start working. On average, it will take about 5-10 minutes to write one flash drive. At this time, it is better not to disturb the computer with extraneous tasks (games, movies, etc.). work of the program to create a bootable USB flash drive

Bootable media with Windows XP

To create an installation USB-drive with XP, we need two utilities at once: Daemon Tools + WinSetupFromUSB (I gave links to them at the beginning of the article).

Let's take a look at the steps.

  1. Open the ISO installation image in the Daemon Tools virtual drive. 2014-12-28 14_24_21-This computer
  2. We format the USB flash drive to which we will write Windows (Important! All data from it will be deleted!). 2014-12-28 14_28_29-This computer
  3. To format: go to my computer and right click on the media. Then select from the menu: format. Formatting settings: NTFS file system; allocation unit size 4096 bytes; formatting method – fast (clearing the table of contents). 2014-12-28 14_28_40-Formatting _XBOOT (H _) _
  4. Now the last step remains: launch the WinSetupFromUSB utility and enter the following settings:
    • select a drive letter with a USB flash drive (in my case, the letter H);
    • check the box in the Add to USB disk section opposite the item Windows 2000 / XP / 2003 setup;
    • in the same section, specify the letter of the drive in which we have an open ISO installation image with Windows XP (see just above, in my example the letter F);
    • press the GO button (in 10 minutes everything will be ready). 2014-12-28 14_31_42-WinSetupFromUSB 1.4

You can see about testing the media recorded by this utility in this article:

Important! After writing a bootable USB flash drive – do not forget that B IOS must be configured before installing Windows, otherwise the computer simply will not see the media! If the BIOS suddenly does not detect it, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with:

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