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How To Make a Bootable Windows 10 UEFI USB Using CMD and Diskpart

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Diskpart

Introduction

Creating a bootable USB device is a common task for both home users and IT Pros.

Although the need to create a bootable USB has been reduced in previous years, with the possibility of using the option Reset this PC in Windows 10, we still need to do this when running a clean installation of Windows 10.

The main reason for creating a bootable USB is for reinstalling Windows 10, either via an image or creating a bootable ISO for SCCM.

It is possible to use a tool such as Rufus, but I will also go through some other alternatives.

In this blog post, I cover how to create a bootable USB flash drive using Diskpart. It does not mean you have to have Windows 10 installed. The below advice works for all versions of Windows, including Windows Server.

What is Diskpart?

Diskpart is a command-line disk management tool that is included with Windows 10.

How to create a Windows 10 bootable USB using Diskpart

In this section, I will describe how to create a Windows 10 bootable USB.

Diskpart as it is part of Windows, and for me, it’s faster than using a GUI and is included in Windows 10.

Before you start, you need a USB flash drive with a minimum of 8 GB storage capability.

Prerequisites

  • Download the Windows 10 ISO from VLSC, MSDN, or a trial version.
  • Provide a USB flash drive with a minimum of 8 GB storage capability

Step-by-step guide for creating a bootable USB using Diskpart

Here’s how you do it:

1. Press the Windows button and type CMD

2. Right-click on Command Prompt, and at the bottom of the screen, select Run as Administrator. If you don’t do this, you will get an Access Denied error when running Diskpart.

3. You will receive a question from the Windows UAC if you want to allow Command Prompt to run. Press Yes

4. Type Diskpart and press ENTER

5. Type the below command to find the different disks available:

list disk

6. Now, you have to select the disk you want to use as a bootable USB. You must select the USB you wish to use and not, for example, the system disk. In my case, I want to select Disk 1, but not Disk 0, as it’s my system disk! Use the disk size list to verify this.

select disk <number>

7. The next step is to remove the partitions on the drive. As I mentioned before, make sure you have selected the correct disk! Enter the command below:

clean

8. Now, you need to create the primary partition by typing create partition primary. and press ENTER

create partition primary

9. Select the partition you just created by typing:

select partition 1

10. The next step is to format the USB with a filesystem. You should format the USB using FAT32 if you are booting with a UEFI-supported device. If not, use the NTFS filesystem. Type the following in the cmd and press ENTER.

format fs=fat32 quick

10. To make the Windows 10 USB bootable, you need to make the partition active. Do so by entering the command in the CMD.

Type active and press ENTER,

11. Type assign and press ENTER  to assign the drive to the first available drive letter. The drive should now be available in Windows Explorer.

12. Now go to your Windows 10 media, select all files and copy them to your USB drive.

How to create a bootable Windows 10 USB
Copy files in Windows Explorer

13. Insert your new bootable Windows 10 USB to the system you want to install it on. Don’t forget to change the startup order in BIOS, so the USB drive is first in the order.

Now you’re done, and you should be able to install Windows 10 from a USB!

Here are all the commands that you needed to type in earlier:

Using Diskpart in Windows 10

Alternative ways of creating a bootable USB

If you prefer to use a graphical interface to create your bootable USB, I suggest using Rufus’s media creation tool. Using this tool, you can select an ISO file and create a Windows 10 operating system installation media using a few clicks.

Conclusion

In this blog post, I covered how to create a bootable USB using Diskpart and mentioned that you could use the Rufus tool. Let me know if you want me to cover any other methods.

I hope this blog post was informative for you!

References

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12 COMMENTS

  1. in step 6 by mistake instead of disk 1 unfortunately i have selected disk 0 and i have fired clean command too…
    that clean command was not properly performed is was interrupted.
    result is that except c drive no other drive is visible into my computer..
    plz help me to recover my data..

  2. Clear instructions thank you. Use the disk size to help avoid formatting the wrong drive! Typically the USB drive is the smallest in the list…

  3. hi, it is very useful post. I need to create usb bootable drive using command prompt from win10 bootable disk.

  4. These steps no longer work for windows 10 as the install.wim file is now too large to be copied onto a partition formatted fat32

  5. All steps are right but I have some doubts about step no.10. format fs=fat32 not worked to boot for UEFI.

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