How To Create A Bootable Windows 10 USB Flash Drive

Microsoft Windows 10

So it’s finally here. Windows 10. As we flock to the new operating system offering from Microsoft, many of you will find yourself needing a bootable USB drive to install the new OS on to a clean hard-drive.

Most experts would strongly recommend you backup all of your personal files and install Windows 10 on a freshly formatted hard-drive. This is a good argument, and many users will decide to follow it rather than upgrade to Windows 10 through the slow Windows Update protocol.

Thankfully, Windows 10 can be downloaded without a license key – so creating a bootable flash drive is easy. But remember, upon installation, you will need to enter a valid product license key if your installation is to be a valid (and legal) one!

How to create a bootable Windows 10 USB flash drive

Microsoft want everyone on Windows 10, so they’re offering the new OS for 32-bit machines too. The first step is important if you’re still on an older 32-bit machine or a portable device.

You will need:

  • A formatted USB drive with at least 4GB of space
  • An internet connection
  • A Windows Vista/7/8/8.1 device to create the bootable USB

Step 1: Download the Windows 10 media creation tool using one of the following links:

Step 2: Once downloaded, run the tool. Note that the .exe file can only be run from within a Windows environment and not Linux or Mac. When asked What do you want to do? select the option to Create installation media for another PC.

Step 3: On the next screen, select your Language, Edition and device architecture. Your selected edition must match the Edition of the product key you plan to use.

Step 4: Insert your USB flash drive in to your PC and ensure it is formatted. On the next screen of the Media Creation tool, select the USB flash drive option.

Step 5: Now select the correct USB device from the tree hierarchy menu and click next.

Step 6: Hit Finish and let the tool do it’s magic. Once progress reaches 100% you’ll see a confirmation message; at which point your USB flash drive is ready to be booted from to install Windows 10.

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