Problem: I have a messy old Windows installation, and I want to reinstall it from scratch. However, I own Windows 8, applied the Windows 8.1 upgrade, and then got the free upgrade to Windows 10. I don't have a Windows 10 installation disk.
I don't want a new disk, I want a USB stick.
I don't want Windows itself booting from a USB stick, just the installer on it.
Steps I followed ∞
1. Download the media creation tool:
2. Free up 8GB of space on
The instructions claim 4GB on any media you'll be putting the Windows ISO on (DVD or USB stick)
3. Use the media creator tool:
It allows me to choose a USB stick, but it ought to remind me that it'll delete its contents.
Could not boot ∞
Trying Rufus with the ISO that the media creation tool downloaded for DVD-burning/booting. Doing a 1-pass USB test as well.
This works. I was able to boot from the USB stick and install Windows.
Had this not worked, I might have researched other solutions like https://www.intowindows.com/create-uefi-bootable-usb-of-windows-10/
Alternate ISO ∞
I also got another ISO from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO/.. which will presumably give a fresh install that will ask for my Windows key. I don't know, and that page doesn't say.
Rufus explicitly states it works with this particular Windows 10 link.
I did no testing with this ISO.
Things I read through while on this misadventure..
- How to use Microsoft's Download web site to download an official Windows 10 ISO file, create installation media and activate Windows 10
- Clean Install Windows 10
- How to Download Official Windows 10 ISO files Using Media Creation Tool
- Create a recovery drive. Win 10
Other notes ∞
Just here to clear out bookmarks.