The Benefits of USB Flash Drive Installation Media
There are several situations where USB flash drive installation media is better than a DVD or CD:
- You can easily create backup installation media.
- Significantly faster installation rate versus regular installation media.
- Keep your original installation media in pristine condition.
- Easy to carry multiple operating systems on a single USB drive.
Our relationship with Windows CD and DVD is also different. For example, you can buy an official Windows 10 USB flash drive instead of a DVD or CD. Disks are still available, but they are far from the only installation method.
In addition, if you buy new hardware with Windows preinstalled, you may never have the installation media unless you do it yourself.
Read on to learn how to create a bootable Windows 10 USB flash drive from a Windows 10 DVD.
Copy Your Windows Installation Disc Using WinToFlash
If you have a Windows installation CD that you want to upgrade to a USB flash drive, WinToFlash can easily create a CD on a bootable USB drive. WinToFlash Lite will create a bootable USB flash drive directly from your existing Windows installation CD.
- First, head to the WinToFlash site, then download and install the WinToFlash Lite edition. After installation, WinToFlash will open automatically.
- Accept the EULA, and view the non-intrusive advert before continuing.
- Make sure your Windows installation disc is your optical drive, as well as the USB flash drive you want to copy your installation to.
- Now, select Windows Setup Bootable USB Wizard, then I have CD inserted into my computer, followed by Next.
- On the next page, specify the location of your Windows installation disc in the first box and the destination USB flash drive in the second. Select Next to confirm your settings, agree to the terms of the license agreement, and Continue.
Please note that this process will format your USB flash drive and you will permanently lose all existing data.
The process of copying the Windows CD to the bootable USB flash drive may take a while to complete, so please continue to turn on the kettle.
WinToFlash also has multiboot support. You can create a custom bootable USB drive with a Linux distribution, recovery disc, and other convenient tools. The only limitation is the size of your USB drive.
Please note that WinToFlash Lite will only allow two ISOs on your multiboot.
- Head back to the Wizard mode tab and select Multiboot USB Drive Creation Menu.
- On the next screen, select Add. This opens the Add new item panel. Like other multiboot USB drive tools, WinToFlash has a long list of potential tools. Scroll down the list and select a tool.
- The option to Download selected ISO now will appear. Choose this option to download the latest version of the selected tool or OS. Alternatively, you can select and add ISOs already stored on your computer.
- Complete your selection and select Run.
While WinToFlash is restrictive, you can use it if you only two ISOs and it’s already installed on your system.
Create Windows ISO From Original Installation Media Using ImgBurn
If you prefer to copy the Windows installation media manually, you can use ImgBurn. ImgBurn is an excellent free tool that can be used to write image files to discs or create image files from existing discs.
- Head to the ImgBurn website. Download and install ImgBurn.
- After installing, open ImgBurn. Make sure your original Windows installation media is in your optical drive.
- Select Create image file from disc.
- Select the Windows installation media drive source, then set the Destination
- Hit the Read button to begin the process.
The process of creating a disk image depends on the writing speed of the disk drive, so this may take some time.
After the Windows Installation Media (ISO) image has been copied, you can proceed to the next section, where you will use Rufus to create a bootable USB flash drive.
Burn Windows Installation ISO to USB Flash Drive Using Rufus
Now you can burn the Windows installation ISO extracted from the original installation disc to a bootable USB flash drive. Rufus is a convenient tool suitable for various bootable USB recording tasks. It’s simple and it can get the job done – a great combination!
- Head to the Rufus website, then download and install the latest version of the tool.
- Open Rufus. Under Device, select the USB flash drive you want to use.
- Under Boot Selection, hit Select, then browse to the location of the Windows installation ISO created in the last section.
- Set a new volume label so you know what’s on the USB flash drive in the future.
- Select Start.
Wait for Rufus to complete the burning process. Upon completion, you will successfully manually move the Windows installation disc to a bootable USB flash drive. Even better, you backed up the Windows installation media (ISO in the previous section) during this process.
Use the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool
WinToFlash is great for automating the Windows 10 DVD process to a USB flash drive. If you want to manually convert Windows 10 installation media to a bootable USB flash drive, ImgBurn and Rufus are great.
But you do not need to use any of the methods. At least, if you don’t want it and you’re using Windows 10, you won’t.
Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool makes the Windows ISO download process easy. Therefore, the media creation tool will automatically download an ISO that meets your specifications, without the need to copy the physical media to your computer and then to your USB flash drive.
- Download and run the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Accepting the licensing agreement.
- Select Create installation media for another PC.
- Select the language, edition, and architecture of your operating system. The Media Creation Tool offers recommended settings. However, if you are downloading for a different system, you may need to change these.
- Next, choose either USB flash drive or ISO file. The latter creates an ISO file with the details you entered on the previous page, which you can install using a USB burning tool like Rufus.
- In this case, choose USB flash drive and continue.
- Select the USB flash drive, then create the installation media. The Media Creation Tool will download the latest Windows 10 version, so it will take a moment.
Can I Boot From USB?
This is a very common problem. It is mainly system specific, but the user can modify it through the BIOS. The boot sequence controls this.
Your system will usually seek to boot from the location where the operating system is installed. The drive containing the main operating system will be the first choice in the boot sequence. You can manually override these settings instead of booting from the USB drive that contains the new installation media.
BIOS settings vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. I suggest searching for “BIOS [Hardware Manufacturer] Tutorial / Boot Sequence” on the internet.
Create a Bootable USB from a CD or DVD
Now you are ready to create a bootable USB flash drive from the Windows installation CD or DVD. This installation process should speed up your next clean installation and give you a chance to get rid of some annoying old drives. Remember to write down your license codes and keep them in a safe place!