Attemp to write a Windows 10 ISO on an empty 16gb USB Drive

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  1. Posts : 139
    Home
       #1

    Attemp to write a Windows 10 ISO on an empty 16gb USB Drive


    Tried to Download Windows 10 ISO to reload Windows. The size of the ISO is ~ 5gb. Using an empty 16gb USB, Three times Windows say "TOO LARGE for destination file system. The USB is a FAT32. Finally, downloaded to my root HD and yes, the ISO's are ~ 5gb. But Windows still refuses to COPY this file to the 16gb USB.

    Anyone know why? Should I try to define the USB as NTFS?
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  2. Posts : 541
    win 10
       #2

    Hi I think you can only put up to 4gb file on a fat32 drive.
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  3. Posts : 2,773
    Windows 11 Pro, 21H2
       #3

    Oscer1 is correct, the size limit of any single file on FAT32 is 4GB. That is the problem. Standby a few minutes. I'll post back a couple of solutions in a few minutes. Just need to dig up the info quick.
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  4. Posts : 17,279
    Windows 11 Pro
       #4

    If you use Microsoft's own Media Creation Tool to download the Windows 10 ISO file you won't have that issue.
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...load/windows10
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  5. Posts : 2,773
    Windows 11 Pro, 21H2
       #5

    Here are two solutins:

    DISM - Split install.wim file

    Create bootable USB installer if install.wim is greater than 4GB

    On a personal note, I really like the 2nd tutorial because a boot disk created using that method works equally well on BIOS and UEFI systems and is extremely easy to script as shown in the tutorial.
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  6. Posts : 1,156
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit v21H2
       #6

    jagman said:
    Tried to Download Windows 10 ISO to reload Windows. The size of the ISO is ~ 5gb. Using an empty 16gb USB, Three times Windows say "TOO LARGE for destination file system. The USB is a FAT32. Finally, downloaded to my root HD and yes, the ISO's are ~ 5gb. But Windows still refuses to COPY this file to the 16gb USB.

    Anyone know why? Should I try to define the USB as NTFS?
    FAT32 file size limit: 4 GB
    You can't just copy the ISO file to a USB anyways because it won't boot that way.
    You can use a program like Rufus to make a bootable Windows 10 installation USB

    Create a Windows 10 USB Bootable Flash Drive (Updated)
    Create a Windows 10 USB Bootable Flash Drive (Updated)

    If you already have a Windows computer that is doing this the hard way. The easiest way is to go to the "Download Windows 10" site and get the Media Creation Tool. You can use it make the Windows 10 USB drive for you.

    Download Windows 10
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/soft...load/windows10
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  7. Posts : 2,773
    Windows 11 Pro, 21H2
       #7

    @MisterEd, Use the 2nd method I noted above and the size of the .WIM won't matter. I have an image with 25 editions of Windows that I made with WIM files WAY bigger than 4GB and it works flawlessly. I agree that downloading via the media creation tool is an easy workaround, but if you customized images (such as a sysprep image), then that method won't apply.
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  8. Posts : 24,647
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #8

    jagman said:
    Finally, downloaded to my root HD and yes, the ISO's are ~ 5gb. But Windows still refuses to COPY this file to the 16gb USB.

    The Fat32 format has a maximum size limit for any file of 4GB.

    You shouldn't normally want to copy the ISO file to the USB. What you should be doing is mounting the ISO and copying all the files and folders it contains to a Fat32 formatted USB. This makes a USB that will boot in UEFI mode and, if the partition is set to Active, on a legacy bios system too.

    You may still run into the Fat32 limit of a 4GB maximum file size though. You'll need to check the size of the install.esd or install.wim file in the Sources folder. If you use the Media Creation Tool to make the ISO, then Microsoft make sure that it will always have an install.esd that's less than 4GB.

    If you really do need to copy the 5GB ISO itself to a USB, then it must be formatted as ntfs or ExFAT.
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  9. Posts : 2,773
    Windows 11 Pro, 21H2
       #9

    Bree, formatting as NTFS won't work on many systems. Many UEFI systems will refuse to boot from NTFS formatted thumb drives even though there is no technical requirement that says it cannot be NTFS.

    I've written a program that can create the thumb drive for you automatically. It actually does WAY more than just that, but if that is all you want to do, choose option # 3 from the menu. If you have extra space on the thumbdrive it can optionally create create up to 2 more partitions that you can use for other purposes and even bitlocker encrypt them for you.

    For example, I have a 256GB drive that has my 25 Windows editions on it, another tiny partition where I can place my answer file to auto install any of those 25 editions, and finally a 220 GB bitlocker encrypted partition that holds my entire software collection.

    The link below takes you to my OneDrive where I have the utility.

    Enjoy!

    Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online.
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  10. Posts : 24,647
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #10

    hsehestedt said:
    Bree, formatting as NTFS won't work on many systems. Many UEFI systems will refuse to boot from NTFS formatted thumb drives ...
    That suggestion was in case if the OP wanted to put a copy of the ISO on a USB to transfer it to another machine, not as a way to make a bootable usb.
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