Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10  

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  1. Posts : 1,874
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 20H1
       #600

    You can boot a UEFI formatted USB flash drive using NTFS, by using the UEFI:NTFS bootloader, which is how Rufus does it.

    GitHub - pbatard/uefi-ntfs: UEFI:NTFS - Boot NTFS partitions from UEFI

    Rufus is not required to use it.

    rufus/res/uefi at master . pbatard/rufus . GitHub

    The caveat is that Secure Boot needs to be turned off to use it.
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  2. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,515
    Windows 10 Pro
       #601

    OldNavyGuy said:
    You can boot a UEFI formatted USB flash drive using NTFS, by using the UEFI:NTFS bootloader, which is how Rufus does it.

    GitHub - pbatard/uefi-ntfs: UEFI:NTFS - Boot NTFS partitions from UEFI

    Rufus is not required to use it.

    rufus/res/uefi at master . pbatard/rufus . GitHub

    The caveat is that Secure Boot needs to be turned off to use it.
    And what does UEFI:NTFS do exactly? It creates a small FAT partition for the UEFI firmware to boot from:

    The way UEFI:NTFS works, in conjunction with Rufus, is as follows:

    Rufus creates 2 partitions on the target USB disk (these can be MBR or GPT partitions). The first one is an NTFS partition occupying almost all the drive, that contains the Windows files (for Windows To Go, or for regular installation), and the second is a very small FAT partition, located at the very end, that contains an NTFS UEFI driver (see Free Software EFI Drivers) as well as the UEFI:NTFS bootloader.
    When the USB drive boots in UEFI mode, the first NTFS partition gets ignored by the UEFI firmware (unless that firmware already includes an NTFS driver, in which case 2 boot options will be available, that perform the same thing) and the UEFI:NTFS bootloader from the bootable FAT partition is executed.
    UEFI:NTFS then loads the relevant NTFS UEFI driver, locates the existing NTFS partition on the same media, and executes the /efi/boot/bootia32.efi, /efi/boot/bootx64.efi, /efi/boot/bootarm.efi or /efi/boot/bootaa64.efi that resides there. This achieves the exact same outcome as if the UEFI firmware had native support for NTFS and could boot straight from it.
    Why does the second FAT partition need to be created? Because most UEFI computers will not boot in UEFI mode from an NTFS partition and need a FAT partition to boot from.
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  3. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,014
    Windows10
       #602

    NavyLCDR said:
    And what does UEFI:NTFS do exactly? It creates a small FAT partition for the UEFI firmware to boot from:



    Why does the second FAT partition need to be created? Because most UEFI computers will not boot in UEFI mode from an NTFS partition and need a FAT partition to boot from.
    Yep - despite fact we have told others several times in this post, that most UEFI pcs require a fat partition, people keep persisting in talking about NTFS only solutions, referring to Rufus.

    Rufus is now a PITA for creating bootable flash drives for UEFI, as you have to (temporarily) disable secure boot. Not only that it no longer creates a universal usb drive suitable for legacy bios or UEFI.

    Its legend is the only real thing keeping it going.

    You do not even need to use 3rd party software.

    As per the tutorial on tutorial section (not a pc to find link at the moment), steps are easy and can be done on macs or Linux even.

    1) download iso

    2) create usb drive with 2GB Fat32 partition followed by 6+GB exFat partition.

    3) copy all files from iso to exFat partition

    4) copy all files from iso to Fat32 excluding install.wim

    Usb drive will now boot on UEFI pcs WITHOUT need to temporarily disable secure boot.

    5) optionally, you can mark Fat32 partition active to boot it in legacy bios using diskpart.

    Takes about 10 minutes or less to do.
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  4. Posts : 1,874
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 20H1
       #603

    LOL...changing the argument doesn't change the facts.

    The point is not whether UEFI:NTFS uses a small FAT partition...it's that you can use the full extent of NTFS for the ISO, without concern for what size the file is.

    From the Github link above -

    This is primarily intended for use with Rufus, but can also be used independently.

    In other words, UEFI:NTFS is designed to remove the restriction, which most UEFI systems have, of only providing boot support from a FAT32 partition, and enable the ability to also boot from NTFS partitions.

    This can be used, for instance, to UEFI-boot a Windows NTFS installation media, containing an install.wim that is larger than 4 GB (something FAT32 cannot support) or to allow dual BIOS + UEFI boot of 'Windows To Go' drives.


    And...Secure Boot is not exactly the pinnacle of security.

    There’s a Hole in the Boot - Eclypsium

    I've heard people whine about Rufus.

    For some reason, I've used Rufus for years with no issues, on both UEFI and Legacy systems.

    Still works well for both.
    Last edited by OldNavyGuy; 26 Nov 2020 at 00:36. Reason: Added Secure Boot article and add'l info
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  5. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 10,484
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #604

    Hi folks
    The 100% sure , easiest and incredibly simplest way of making a bootable USB which will work either on UEFI or MBR systems - provided you have a proper iso image is to start a linux live distro and simply type : sudo dd if=<iso file name> of=</dev/sdx where x is the device nr of usb stick> bs=64M status=progress

    if you don't know what the device nr is simply type : lsblk then you'll see a list like this where my external device is dev/sdf. You don't even have to mount the USB device - simply just plug it into a usb port.

    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10-screenshot_20201126_084300.png

    I know this is a Windows Forum but so many people have problems one way or another making bootable USB devices that this Linux method is so simple and it covers everything - and you don't need to do any formatting, converting to GPT, disk part clean or anything like that.

    Now no formatting or anything needed -- at the end of the job -- takes probably around 7 mins for a windows full iso to complete depending on speed of computer and the usb stick and now - you've got a proper "hybrid" bootable USB .

    Sometimes using tools from other systems is perfectly OK -- I'm sure plenty of plumbers for example use tools more associated with electrical engineering from time to time !!!!

    (BTW method will also work if using a Linux VM).


    Cheers
    jimbo
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  6. Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Posts : 5,085
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #605

    Try3 said:
    Windows 10 ISO contains WIM file that is big for FAT32 file system - Dell
    When the install.wim file is bigger than 4GB and you cannot copy ISO contents onto a Fat32 drive using normal methods, Dell suggest
    1 Extracting a single-Edition version of Install.wim, or
    2 Splitting Install.wim into bite-sized chunks.
    I extracted the Home edition from "Win10_20H2_English_x64.iso".
    The extracted "install.wim" is still larger than 4 GB. See below:
    Code:
    Details for image : C:\Users\Matthew_Wai\Documents\install.wim
    
    Index : 1
    Name : Windows 10 Home
    Description : Windows 10 Home
    Size : 15,422,422,478 bytes
    
    The operation completed successfully.
    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10-larger-than-4-gb.jpg
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  7. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,333
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #606

    Media Creation Tool (MCT) has now been updated.

    The ISO file or USB created by MCT will now install Windows 10 version 20H2 build 19042.631.

    Create Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 10-19042.631.png
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  8. Posts : 151
    Windows 10
       #607

    Hi. I'm reading Option 2 on page 1 of this thread (Use "Rufus" to create Bootable Window 10 USB for Legacy BIOS and UEFI). It says to set the partition scheme to MBR which, I assume, is to allow the stick to handle Legacy BIOS or UEFI. But if I know that I'll be using UEFI at all times would I not be better setting the partition scheme to GPT?

    Also, I'm interested in post #602 above (making a bootable drive that doesn't require you to disable secure boot). Windows Disk Management doesn't give me the option of using exFAT. Apparently it can be done via command prompt but I can only find examples of 'single formatting' whereas I need an exFAT and a FAT if I'm to follow post #602. Can anyone point me to a tutorial for this? Thank you.
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  9. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 56,333
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro for Workstations build 21359
    Thread Starter
       #608

    dortmunder said:
    Hi. I'm reading Option 2 on page 1 of this thread (Use "Rufus" to create Bootable Window 10 USB for Legacy BIOS and UEFI). It says to set the partition scheme to MBR which, I assume, is to allow the stick to handle Legacy BIOS or UEFI. But if I know that I'll be using UEFI at all times would I not be better setting the partition scheme to GPT?

    Thank you.
    You could use step 7 in option 1 to make the USB for UEFI only.
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  10. Posts : 151
    Windows 10
       #609

    Thanks but I already have an ISO and don't want to download another. So, if using rufus and sticking with UEFI, is my suggestion to set the partition scheme to GPT a good one?

    I still haven't worked out how to us cmd to make two partitions on a stick...
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