Setup and Run Windows 10 on USB Flash Drive  

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  1. Posts : 1

    Need help please!

    I am up to the last command (bcdboot G:\Windows /s G:\) and getting the following error:
    BFSVC Error: BcdOpenSystemStore failed with unexpected error code, Status = [c000015c]

    Any ideas???
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 1,983
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240

    Here are a couple of tips regarding firstly, obtaining WAIK tools for Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, without a lengthy full download of the whole Windows Automated Installation Kits.

    The second tip regards extracting files from ISO, and many other file images without mounting them as virtual optical drives.

    To get all these versions (no more than about 30MB total) takes no longer than a few minutes, on an average broadband connection.

    Download the free utility: GetWaikTools by JFX, a 7z file of 281KB extracts to an executable file of 293KB:

    83 - Download ImageX, BCDBoot and other WAIK tools - RMPrepUSB

    Secondly, to open Image files Like .ISO, .WIM, .SWM, .CAB, .VHD, .DMG, etc., and compressed executables, .MSI, .EXE, and many more, all you need is 7-Zip, a well established and respected free utility by Igor Pavlov:

    The 9.20 stable version is available for x86 and x64 versions. I have long found that the beta versions are very stable too, now at version 15.05 which can handle many NTFS file features when unpacking
    The current version stands at 15.14, and also handles ESD files!
    .WIM files, like symbolic links, which were not possible before.

    I am just about to try installing Windows 10 10130, from the downloaded .ISO using only 7-Zip to open the .ISO file and then \sources\Install.wim and unpack the image 1 (Pro version of Windows 10) to a clean partition. I will report back in due course. There were unknown problems. 7-zip often warns that it finds irregularities in WIM images, but opens them all the same.
    Last edited by Fafhrd; 06 Mar 2016 at 03:06.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 1
    Windows 7

    Hi There,

    This helped me to get in the right direction of why my brand new USB stick of genuine Windows 10 was not booting on my PC ...
    I found the issue was it wsa a USB 3 stick and my pc is old school. So I basically used this tutorial to create a new bootable usb HDD stick and copied all of my files on the 3 stick onto the 2 stick .... now it loads ... and then gets into the setup phase of the nlack screen and then right as it finished loading the files ... it fails. I have pulled the SSD drive out and completely formatted the drive and removed the 2 partitions that it had created ... tried it in both 32 and 64 bit modes .

    Any ideas ..

    comes up with the following:
    windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.
    To solve the problem:
    1. Insert your windows installation disc and restart your computer.
    2. choose your language settings, and then click "Next"
    3. Click "repair your computer"

    If you do not have this disk .... blah blah,,, blah
    File: \windows\system32\boot\winload.exe
    Status 0xc0000225
    Info: The application of operating system couldn't be loaded because a required file is missing or contains errors
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 7,705
    Windows 11 Pro 64 bit

    What happens about WTG activation if I already have W10 activated on my usual PC?
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 66,533
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations

    Steve C said:
    What happens about WTG activation if I already have W10 activated on my usual PC?
    It would need a new product key. Otherwise, they will both eventually get deactivated.
      My Computers

  6. Posts : 30
    Windows 10

    Hi there,

    First of all no need to download whole AIK kit for just imagex.exe
    Imegex.exe can get from MS web site. Here for x86 and here for x64
    Second thing is; Windows 8 and 10 have allready create virtual driver capability: ISO and IMG File - Mount or Unmount in Windows 10
    An info note can be nice :)

    Best regards
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 22
    Win 10 Pro

    Three quick questions please:

    1. I was so excited by the tutorial that I dove right in without reading all the comments. As a result, the version of imagex.exe that I happened to find in some corner of the Internet (and used) is 6.3.9600.17031. (To contrast: I was using the tutorial to install Win 10, and the "Win 10 version" that I get from GetWaikTools (thanks to JFX and Fafhrd for a previous comment and its contents) is version 10.15063.0). The installation appears to have completed without errors. Do I need to worry that I used an "old" version of imagex? Or can I say that if the imagex step worked, then I don't have worry about it further.

    2. I am amazed that the words "UEFI", "EFI", and "BIOS"(or "legacy") don't appear in this tutorial. Does this mean that if I start with a GPT USB flash drive, then all the pieces will magically alight and I'll get an EFI installation? And if I start with an MBR drive, then I'll get what old people like me used to call "an installation"? In particular, does bcdboot know what to do automagically?

    3. One of the earlier comments ominously asserts that the bcdboot command MIGHT have to change with retail Windows 10. I hope that I can assume that the current tutorial gives the correct command? If not too onerous, perhaps someone could give a brief explanation of what that was about (so that I'll be able to recognize in the future if the command needs to be modified yet again).

    {Edit: Actually, I did need to make a tiny modification to the instructions as given. I needed to add the option "/f BIOS" to the bcdboot command. (So the command i entered was "bcdboot H:\Windows /s H /f BIOS"). I suppose that I hadn't realized that the flash drive was MBR, so I ended up with a BIOS install. The machine boots strict UEFI, so I guess that bcdboot only installed EFI files. So I'll have to change the machine to CSM to boot this installation; assuming it works, I'll change it back and try to migrate the disk to GPT. None of this is interesting, I only mention it in case some user finds that she did all the steps without errors, but the stick doesn't boot. It's a corner case, but perhaps the tutorial should instruct people to do "bcdboot H:\Windows /s H /f ALL" just to be more robust.}

    Thanks so much for this information; I really appreciate the fact that your forums always ACTUALLY ANSWER THE QUESTION ASKED. I was getting really annoyed by the endless number of "tutorials" out there which basically say " is To install Windows onto a USB stick is not a difficult task; just purchase my/our $30 piece of software and you'll be fine...."

    Last edited by sbpetrack; 04 Jul 2018 at 10:13. Reason: to add the information about the need for the /F BIOS flag
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 4
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64


    I am new here, so please forgive me if it is not correct to add to this thread at such a late date, but I am working from the tutorial whs presented in post #1 -- If I need to start my own thread for help, please let me know...

    So, the reason I am here for help is because I am stuck at "Step 6 - Run Windows 10 from your USB stick"

    The first 5 steps worked, though the total time for Step 5 was 1601 minutes 1 sec (nearly 27 hours), but when I rebooted into the USB drive an apparently Windows 10 load screen with a blue Windows logo and a spinning circle of dots is all that materialized...

    I am now at hour 26 of this screen with the spinning circle of dots -- My brother believed it was installing Windows, but I am not so sure, and feel I might be stuck in some sort of loop.

    I am afraid to turn it off, and trying to be patient (step 5 took nearly 27 hours) in case it is installing Windows 10 to the USB drive, but how many hours/days should I wait before I give up and shut it down?

    Tech details : Created on HP Windows 7 Home Premium x64 PC utilizing current imagex.exe from resent WADK kit downloaded against latest Windows ISO release I am installing -- Win10_21H2_English_x64.iso

    Using USB 3 drive, but ports are USB 2 only.

    Also, the system is MBR and Legacy BIOS, so I don't believe I have the same issue that sbpetrack detailed in the post above. I thought the bcdboot was going to be my failure point after 27 hours, but it booted to the USB, so I don't know where the hangup is, or how to identify it -- This is first attempt at a Win10 install...

    This is what I have been staring at for the last 27 hours :
    Setup and Run Windows 10 on USB Flash Drive-black-screen-after-installation.png

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
      My Computer

  9. Posts : 21,421
    19044.1586 - 21H2 Pro x64

    Hello @JrCoderKen,

    "Windows To Go is removed in Windows 10, version 2004 and later operating systems. The feature does not support feature updates and therefore does not enable you to stay current. It also requires a specific type of USB that is no longer supported by many OEMs."

    I'm not sure if this is relevant to your issue and I've never tried using WinToGo. This thread has been inactive for years, so maybe that's why.

    Hopefully someone else who has more knowledge about this will chime in soon.
      My Computer

  10. Posts : 4
    Windows 7 Home Premium x64

    Hey steve108,

    Thank you, for responding. I have actually been at this for over two weeks, and have read all of that, and much of what is available at MS.

    Google led me here, and this tutorial is the first one that "is working" for creating an emulation of Windows10 to Go -- Meaning your own home-grown W-2-Go (Live OS USB system) without using Windows 10 Pro/Enterprise even from old disks before they chucked it out of newer builds.

    Not building from Windows 10 -- Do not have the means -- Only building from Windows 7.

    I've created several USB "Live" operating systems, but this is my first time trying to create one with Windows, and I need it for travel for work to log in to our MS Office 365 cloud that has locked me out of our system due to not being on Windows 10. Using my brothers Win 10 for home base logins for now until I get this sorted, and have a HDD on order to add to my removable drive system to share with my Win7 box.

    Regarding the specific USB, that pertains to the W-2-Go that was included with Win10 Pro/Enterprise, and not outside building sources. I may still have Win10 issues with my hardware, but I can't yet confirm anything until I get any confirmation this build is completing or not.

    Also, I have a fallback to utilize Win10 build 1809 and a third-party builder -- I just wanted to install the latest version in hopes of mitigating days of updates.
      My Computer


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