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How to Create Windows 10 Bootable USB with Command Prompt (Support Uefi GPT and Legacy MBR)

Written by John

Your PC laptop or PC with older Windows Version has been slow for a long time and you want to upgrade or reinstall your windows 10. The very first thing you need to do is to Create Windows 10 Bootable USB. Of course, there are many ways to create a Create Windows 10 Bootable USB. For starters, you can use Rufus or Media Creation Tool to help create the installer. But the issue is you don't want to use any software like Rufus or Media Creation Tool or you don't trust other software to create your Windows USB Installer. Don’t worry, in this article, we will explain how you can Create Windows 10 Bootable USB using Command Prompt (CMD) and explain related issues like UEFI and Legacy Boot.

What is Command Prompt (CMD) and How to Open it?

Command Prompt is also known as CMD, this is a default command-line interpreter for Microsoft Windows (Windows NT family and Windows CE family), and some other operating systems. Command Prompt gives a direct line of communication with the operating system. CMD allows you to do some things quicker than you can do them in the graphic interface and it also offers some tools that you just can’t find in the graphic interface at all. With the right commands, you can do more with Command Prompt than you can with a regular app.

Open Command Prompt (cmd)

To Open this CMD, just type “CMD” in your Windows Search. Right Click and Open It with Run as Admin. You can as well open CMD by pressing “Windows key + X” to open the Power Users menu, and then click “Command Prompt” or “Command Prompt (Admin). Also, you can Open File Explorer, and then navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Double-click the “cmd.exe” file or right-click the file and choose “Run as administrator.”

UEFI Boot Mode and Legacy Boot Mode?

Legacy Boot Mode: Legacy Boot Mode is mostly used for old computers. The regular way of booting into software and operating systems is called “Legacy Boot”. The legacy boot is the process of booting the computer using BIOS firmware and sometimes it must be explicitly enabled/allowed in the BIOS settings. Legacy boot mode does not normally support partitions greater than 2TB in size and can cause data loss or other problems if you try to use it normally.

UEFI Boot Mode: This is the boot mode for the new generation of computers. It is important to say that Windows 8 and Windows 10 use the UEFI Boot Mode. In general, we will advise you to install Windows using the newer UEFI mode, as it includes more security features, and it support partitions more than 2TB.

How to check your PC’s boot mode: Before we dive into the process of creating a windows installer, you need to verify if your PC’s boot mode is UEFI or BIOS through the following steps: Boot the PC, and press the manufacturer’s key to open the menus. Common keys used: Esc, Delete, F1, F2, F10, F11, or F12 and find Boot Mode Option.

Note: If your computer uses the new UEFI Mode, you need to Create Windows 10 Bootable USB in GPT and if your PC’s Boot Mode is the legacy boot mode/BIOS, you need to create the Create Windows 10 Bootable USB in the MBR format.

GPT Format and MBR Format?

GPT is working with the new UEFI boot mode and MBR Format is working with older Legacy mode. GPT stands for GUID Partition Table. It’s a new standard that’s gradually replacing MBR. Most PCs use the GUID Partition Table (GPT) disk type for hard drives and SSDs. The GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a standard for the layout of partition tables of a physical computer storage device, such as a hard disk drive or solid-state drive, using universally unique identifiers, which are also known as globally unique identifiers (GUIDs). GPT is more robust and allows for volumes bigger than 2 TB. The older Master Boot Record (MBR) disk type is used by 32-bit PCs, older PCs, and removable drives such as memory cards

Windows 10 ISO Download and USB Drive

You will need a Windows 10 ISO image; you can download it from the Microsoft page here. Next, you need a USB Drive, we suggest a 16GB- 32GB for Windows USB Installer.

How to Create Windows 10 Bootable USB for UEFI Boot Mode

UEFI Boot Mode only supports GPT format with type is FAT32, because of this we need to convert the USB Drive to GPT and FAT32 partitions using CMD. First of all, search “CMD” and Run it as admin. Then type these commands below to format and convert USB Drive to GPT /FAT32 Format.

Step 1: Open Disk Part in CMD and Clean your USB Drive with this commands:

>Diskpart
>List Disk
>Select Disk 2 (Disk 2 is USB Drive)
>Clean

Open Disk Part and Clean USB Drive

Step 2: Convert USB Drive to GPT and Create a new FAT32 Partition

>Convert GPT
>Create Partition Primary
>Select Partition 1
>Format fs=fat32 quick

Convert USB to GPT and Create Partition with FAT32

Step 3: Add Install.wim file to exclude list and copy windows installer file

>List Volume (Volume D: is Windows ISO Image, Volume G: is USB Drive Installer)
>Exit (close Diskpart)
>G: (go to G: USB Drive)
>echo install.wim > excfile.txt
>Xcopy D:\* G: /Exclude:G:\excfile.txt /e

Create Exclude List for Install.wim File

Split Install.wim file into 2 files less than 3GB, and move it to Windows 10 Bootable USB:
>Dism /Split-image /ImageFile:"D:\Sources\install.wim" /SWMFile:"G:\Sources\install.swm" /FileSize:3000

Split Install.wim and copy it to USB Drive

Done! now, you have a Windows 10 Bootable USB for uEFI with GPT Partition.

How to Create Windows 10 Bootable USB for Legacy Boot Mode

If you want install Windows 10 boot with Legacy Boot Mode, you need to convert USB Drive to MBR format and use NTFS Partition. Type these commands below to format and convert USB Drive to MBR/NTFS format.

Step 1: Open Diskpart in CMD and Clean your USB Drive:

>Diskpart
>List Disk
>Select Disk 2 (Disk 2 is USB Drive)
>Clean

Open Disk Part and Clean USB Drive

Step 2: Convert USB Drive to MBR and create a new NTFS Partition

>Convert MBR
>Create Partition Primary
>Select Partition 1
>Active
>Format fs=ntfs quick

Convert to MBR and Create Partiton with NTFS

Step 3: Copy Windows Installer File to USB Drive

>List Volume (D: is Windows ISO Image, G: is USB Drive)
>Exit (Close Diskpart)
>Xcopy D:\* G: /e

Copy All File to USB Drive

Done! After doing this, you can restart your PC and boot it with this Bootable USB to install a new Windows 10.

In this article, we have talked extensively on how to Create Windows 10 Bootable USB Without Any Software. Also, we talked about CMD and how to open it, UEFI and Legacy Boot Mode, and how tow to create a Windows 10 Bootable for the two boot modes. If you followed the above steps correctly, you should be able to create Windows 10 Bootable USB with CMD. If you have any questions, please comment down below. Thanks.

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Ashley
Ashley
October 22, 2020 1:08 pm

Pretty sure that “C” in “>Xcopy D:\* C: /Exclude:C:\excfile.txt /e” is supposed to be “G”