How to create a Windows bootable USB from an ISO/WIM/ESD/SWM/VHD/VHDX file?

If you have a Windows 10/8.x/7 installation ISO/WIM/ESD/SWM or a VHD/VHDX file which have Windows 10/8.x/7 installed, you can use WinToUSB to install it onto an external hard drive or USB flash drive as a bootable Windows USB, then you can carry this bootable Windows USB drive to anywhere and use it on any computer.

 

Using WinToUSB to install Windows:
  1. Click to open the WinToUSB installation file. Follow the steps in the setup dialogs. You'll have the option to specify where to install WinToUSB.
  2. Connect the destination USB hard drive or flash drive to the computer with an installed copy of WinToUSB.
  3. Please use the following guidelines to prepare the partitions on the destination USB hard drive. You do not need to perform this step if you are using a USB flash drive to create Windows To Go, because WinToUSB will automatically format this USB flash drive in setp 7.
    • Booting both BIOS-based and UEFI-based computers (Recommended, need version 2.2 or later): Covert the USB drive to MBR partition scheme then create the system and boot partitions. The system partition must be FAT32 format and the boot partition must be NTFS format.
    • Booting BIOS-based computers: Covert the USB drive to MBR partition scheme and create the system and boot partitions. The system partition can be FAT32 or NTFS format and the boot partition must be NTFS format. The system partition and boot partition can be the same partition.
    • Booting UEFI-based computers: Covert the USB drive to GPT partition scheme and create the EFI system partition (ESP) and boot partition. The EFI system partition must be FAT32 format and the boot partition must be NTFS format.
    Tips:
    1. The destination boot partition must be 20% larger than the used space on source boot partition.
    2. If the destination system partition is FAT32 format, then it must be greater than or equal to 40 MB and less than or equal to 32 GB.
  4. Run WinToUSB as administrator.
  5. Click the ISO Icon button, then click the Browse Icon button and select the Windows installation ISO/WIM/ESD/SWM or VHD/VHDX file from the open dialog box.
  6. WinToUSB scans for and lists installable operating systems. If you see the edition of Windows you want to install, select it, then click "Next".

    Main Window icon

  7. Select the destination disk in the drop-down list. If your USB drive is not correctly recognized by WinToUSB, you need to click the Refresh Icon button for the program to recognize the USB drive. WinToUSB will automatically format the destination drive if it is a USB flash drive.
  8. Select the boot partition and system partition from the partition list, the selected partitions will be marked as red.

    Select target partition icon

  9. Click "Next". After clicking "Next", WinToUSB begins installing Windows.

    Installing Windows icon

  10. It takes some time to install. After installation restart the computer and change BIOS to boot from your USB drive.
  11. Windows installation starts up and you have to complete all the installation steps. You will have to boot from your USB drive if the Windows Installation restarts the computer.

 

Follow these simple steps, you can create a Windows bootable USB drive with WinToUSB easily.

 

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