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How to make a Bootable USB Drive for Windows 10

by Felix Omondi
Bootable USB Drive for Windows 10

Chances are high, you don’t have the Windows 10 installer disk with you, especially if you upgraded from Windows 7 or 8. But things happen, your Windows 10 may become corrupted by some virus or accidental tampering with important OS files that it no longer can boot up. In such instances, you may need a fresh install of Windows 10.

Then you realize you don’t have the installer disk and the thought of installing your previous Windows 7/8 sickens you, as Windows 10 got you hooked. The only remaining option is to create a bootable ISO file on either a disk or a USB drive. I’d go for the USB drive given I rarely run any disk in my DVD drive and it has accumulated dusts. Chances of it not working properly are high, and even if it works, getting a USB drive lying around is easier than getting an empty DVD.

The Easy Way of Making a Bootable USB Drive for Windows 10

The one thing I love the most about Windows is that things are always easier. Something Mac lovers hate to admit, but it is nevertheless true.

Ø Step 1: Download Rufus.

Ø Step 2: Run the Rufus.exe

Ø Step 3: Plug in a USB drive in your computer once Rufus interface opens up

Ø Step 4: On Rufus, look for the ‘Create a bootable USB drive’ option.

Ø Step 5: On the drop-down menu on Rufus, select ISO image

Ø Step 6: Click the button next to the drop-down and choose Windows 10 ISO (note you need to have downloaded Windows 10 ISO file from the Microsoft Windows 10 site)

Ø Step 7: Click on ‘Start’ and sit back as you wait for Windows 10 ISO to download on the bootable USB drive.

The above steps are the easy way of creating bootable USB drive for Windows 10. If you are not the type to bother yourself with technical steps, then Rufus has your back. However, if you the type that likes to challenge yourself and taking technical things head on, then continue reading further down.

Making Bootable USB Drive for Windows 10 the Hard Way

Ø Plug in an empty USB drive into your computer. If it is not empty, you can delete its content before proceeding.

Ø Go to Command Prompt (CMD) and open it as an administrator. To find (CMD), go to Search and type in ‘Command Prompt’. Open it when it comes in the search results.

Ø Open disk management utility using the CMD, and type ‘diskpart’ and hit enter.

Ø Next, you will need to display all the connected disks to your computer. To do that, type ‘list disk’ and hit enter

Ø Select the USB drive you want to make bootable. Type ‘select disk #’ the ‘#’ being the number of the USB drive you want to use.

Ø Next, you need to clean the drive; to do so type in ‘clean’ and hit enter.

Ø The next step will be to make a bootable partition on the USB drive, type in ‘create partition’ and hit enter.

Ø At this point, you need to select the partition where the ISO will be created. Type ‘select partition 1’ assuming partition 1 is the designation given to the USB drive.

Ø Next, type in ‘active’ and hit enter.

Ø Format the USB drive by typing in ‘format fs=fat32’ and hit enter.

Ø Next, assign the USB drive a letter. You can do that by typing ‘assign’

Ø Finally, the last step! Copy all the Windows 10 files and paste them into the USB Drive. (If you have the ISO file, extract it first then copy it to the USB drive.)

If you follow all the above steps accurately, you should have a bootable USB drive for Windows 10. It as easy as ABC, but I would recommend using the easy way explained above. The hard way needs an expert who is familiar with CMD.

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