How to reload Windows using usb media

How to reload Windows using usb media


Using the tool to create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) to install Windows 10 on a different PC (click to show more or less information)

Follow these steps to create installation media (USB flash drive or DVD) you can use to install a new copy of Windows 10, perform a clean installation, or reinstall Windows 10.

Before you download the tool make sure you have:

  • An internet connection (internet service provider fees may apply).
  • Sufficient data storage available on a computer, USB or external drive for the download.
  • blank USB flash drive with at least 8GB of space or blank DVD (and DVD burner) if you want to create media. We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD, because any content on it will be deleted.
  • When burning a DVD from an ISO file, if you are told the disc image file is too large you will need to use Dual Layer (DL) DVD Media.

Check a few things on the PC where you want to install Windows 10:

  • 64-bit or 32-bit processor (CPU). You’ll create either a 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows 10. To check this on your PC, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for System type.
  • System requirements. Make sure the PC meets the system requirements for Windows 10. We also recommend going to the PC manufacturer's website for additional info about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.
  • Language in Windows. You'll need to choose the same language when you install Windows 10. To see what language you're currently using, go to Time and language in PC settings or Region in Control Panel.
  • Edition of Windows. You should also choose the same edition of Windows. To check what edition you're currently running, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for Windows edition. Windows 10 Enterprise isn’t available in the media creation tool. For more info, go to the Volume Licensing Service Center.
  • Microsoft Office products. If you just purchased a new device that includes Office 365, we recommend redeeming (installing) Office before upgrading to Windows 10. To redeem your copy of Office, please see Download and install Office 365 Home, Personal, or University on your PC. For more information, check How to upgrade to Windows 10 on new devices that include Office 365.

If you have Office 2010 or earlier and choose to perform a clean install of Windows 10, you will need to locate your Office product key. For tips on locating your product key, check Find your Office 2010 product key or Enter the product key for your Office 2007 program.

Using the tool to create installation media:

  1. Select Download tool now, and select Run. You need to be an administrator to run this tool.
  2. If you agree to the license terms, select Accept.
  3. On the What do you want to do? page, select Create installation media for another PC, and then select Next.
  4. Select the language, edition, and architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for Windows 10. This table will help you decide which edition of Windows 10 you’ll choose:

    Your current edition of WindowsWindows 10 edition
    Windows 7 Starter
    Windows 7 Home Basic
    Windows 7 Home Premium
    Windows 7 Professional
    Windows 7 Ultimate
    Windows 8/8.1
    Windows 8.1 with Bing
    Windows 8 Pro
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Windows 8/8.1 Professional with Media Center
    Windows 8/8.1 Single Language
    Windows 8 Single Language with Bing
    Windows 10 Home
    Windows 10 Pro
    Windows 10
    Windows 8/8.1 Chinese Language Edition
    Windows 8 Chinese Language Edition with Bing
    Windows 10 Home China
  5. Select which media you want to use:
    • USB flash drive. Attach a blank USB flash drive with at least 8GB of space. Any content on the flash drive will be deleted.
    • ISO file. Save an ISO file to your PC, which you can use to create a DVD. After the file is downloaded, you can go to location where the file is saved, or select Open DVD burner, and follow the instructions to burn the file to a DVD. For more info about using an ISO file, see Additional methods for using the ISO file to install Windows 10 section below.
  6. After the installation media is created, follow the steps below to use it.
  7. After completing the steps to install Windows 10, please check that you have all the necessary device drivers installed. To check for updates now, select the Start button, and then go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and select Check for updates. You may also wish to visit your device manufacturer’s support site for any additional drivers that may be needed.

    Note: Drivers for Surface devices may be found on the Download drivers and firmware for Surface page.

    Using the installation media you created Before you install Windows 10, it’s a good idea to save any work and back up your PC before you start. If you used the media creation tool to download an ISO file for Windows 10, you’ll need to burn it to a DVD before following these steps. Attach the USB flash drive or insert the DVD on the PC where you want to install Windows 10.

    1. Restart your PC.

      If your PC does not automatically boot to the USB or DVD media, you might have to open a boot menu or change the boot order in your PC's BIOS or UEFI settings. To open a boot menu or change the boot order, you'll typically need to press a key (such as F2, F12, Delete, or Esc) immediately after you turn on your PC. For instructions on accessing the boot menu or changing the boot order for your PC, check the documentation that came with your PC or go to the manufacturer's website. If you do not see the USB or DVD media device listed within the boot options, you may need to reach out to the PC manufacturer for instructions for temporarily disabling Secure Boot in your BIOS settings.

      If changing the boot menu or order doesn't work, and your PC immediately boots into the OS you want to replace, it is possible the PC had not fully shut down. To ensure the PC fully shuts down, select the power button on the sign-in screen or on the Start menu and select Shut down.

    2. On the Install Windows page, select your language, time, and keyboard preferences, and then select Next.
    3. Select Install Windows.

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