Windows 10: Format drive before creating a bootable USB flash drive?

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  1.    07 Jun 2017 #1

    Format drive before creating a bootable USB flash drive?


    Hi,
    If your USB flash drive has data on it or maybe an earlier version of the Windows 10 installation media for example. Do you have to format the USB flash drive manually in windows (right click and format) before using the Windows Media Creation Tool to create the Windows 10 Bootable USB flash drive installation media?
    I'm wondering if you guys format the drive to empty it first. I don't know if it is necessary or not. If so what selections do you make? ... FAT32 and default allocation unit size?
    Last edited by sportsfan148; 07 Jun 2017 at 14:14.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    07 Jun 2017 #2

    No need to format twice specially when it's fast format which actually doesn't replace any data on the drive. It's about same as ordinary file deletion if format isn't changed.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 4,475
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint
       07 Jun 2017 #3

    I did a couple of such 8GB drives and was warned all data on them would be lost, automatically reformatted to FAT32. Not a problem since most USB Thumb/Flash drives come formatted as FAT32, allows use on Windows, Linux and MAC OS X [latest known as macOS]. It's a lot like the old bootable floppy disks, the DOS format command with the /s switch creates the bootable part along with the formatting.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    07 Jun 2017 #4

    The reason I ask is Ive seen quite a few people on various sites who say they always format their USB flash drives manually to FAT32 before downloading the Media Creation Tool so I presumed that there might be issues
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    07 Jun 2017 #5

    sportsfan148 said: View Post
    The reason I ask is Ive seen quite a few people on various sites who say they always format their USB flash drives manually to FAT32 before downloading the Media Creation Tool so I presumed that there might be issues
    Only full format may make some sense and if some other OS was on it.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    07 Jun 2017 #6

    CountMike said: View Post
    Only full format may make some sense and if some other OS was on it.
    What if the USB flash drive has a previous version of the Windows 10 media on it?..one of mine has the anniversary update version on it. Is it better to be safe than sorry and format it manually before downloading the Windows Media Creation Tool? By the way Ive never used Full Format. I only ever use the default Quick Format in Windows. I haven't a clue how formatting works, if its necessary or what the Media Creation Tool requires
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    07 Jun 2017 #7

    sportsfan148 said: View Post
    What if the USB flash drive has a previous version of the Windows 10 media on it?..one of mine has the anniversary update version on it. Is it better to be safe than sorry and format it manually before downloading the Windows Media Creation Tool? By the way Ive never used Full Format. I only ever use the default Quick Format in Windows
    No need whatsoever. Just let MCT do its job.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    07 Jun 2017 #8

    The first thing the Media Creation Tool is going to do to the USB flash drive is format it with an up to 32 GB FAT32 Partition marked as active. There is no need to do that ahead of time.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 171
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64
       12 Jun 2017 #9

    cereberus said: View Post
    No need whatsoever. Just let MCT do its job.
    I let Rufus do the job since it can create a bootable usb flash drive for either a machine with a legacy BIOS (or UEFI with CSM option enabled) or for a machine with UEFI.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    12 Jun 2017 #10

    erpster4 said: View Post
    I let Rufus do the job since it can create a bootable usb flash drive for either a machine with a legacy BIOS (or UEFI with CSM option enabled) or for a machine with UEFI.
    And the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft makes a universally bootable USB flash as well that boots in UEFI, legacy BIOS, and UEFI with CSM enabled - and you don't have to get all the settings just right and set them in the correct order.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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