Build a USB Stick for Windows Installation

After the ISO file of Windows installation disc downloaded, it’s possible to build a USB stick instead of burning a DVD disc.

To do that, you need a USB stick not less than 8GB as well as a working Windows. During the process, all data on this USB stick will be removed.

 

Phase 1: Preparing the USB stick

  1. From Windows client, run DiskPart as administrator. A console will be shown with the prompt “DISKPART> ” (without quotes, the same below).
  2. Enter “list disk” and press Enter. All disks will be shown with a number.
  3. Enter “select disk x” and press Enter. Replacing x with the number of disk shown in the step 2. If you run the step 2 again, you can see a star before the disk you selected.
  4. Enter “clean” and press Enter to clean the drive.
  5. Enter “create partition primary” and press Enter to create a partition filled this drive.
  6. Enter “format fs=fat32 quick” and press Enter to format this partition quickly with FAT32.
  7. Enter “active” and press Enter to mark this partition as active.
  8. Enter “assign” and press Enter to assign a letter to this drive.
  9. Enter “exit” and press Enter to quit DiskPart.

 

Phase 2: Copy files into this drive.

You just need to copy all files within the ISO file into this drive, making the root of this drive the same as the ISO file system. Do not put these files into any sub folder.

 

Phase 3: Optional, only if the Install.wim larger than 4GB.

If Install.wim is larger than 4GB, you cannot put it into this drive because no file larger than 4GB can be put into a FAT32 based partition beyond the limitation. You have to split it into smaller files. All other files should be copied as described in Phase 2.

To do that, you need to run this command:

DISM /Split-Image /ImageFile:d:\sources\install.wim /SWMFile:e:\sources\install.swm /FileSize:4096

It will split the install.wim from drive D into the USB stick drive E. Change these paths in your case.

 

Now you can use this USB stick to boot your computer and start the installation process like from the disc.

The sad thing is if you had to prepared this stick through Phase 3, the installation will be slower due to merging process, but nothing will be different in your installed system.

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