In this guide, we’ll show you how to create a Windows 10 bootable USB drive to help you install Windows without an optical drive.
Optical drives have really become limited in their use due to the fact that most software and games can now be directly downloaded from the internet. So, one of the easiest ways to save money on your new gaming computer is to simply cut out the ~$20 or so that an optical drive costs and just install Windows from a spare USB drive.
Of course, if you have a large budget for your PC, an extra $20 on an optical drive won’t be too big of a deal. But, if you are working with a really tight budget to build an affordable gaming PC, evert cent counts.
Fortunately, installing Windows 10 from a USB is incredibly simple. This post will walk you through the process step-by-step.
Preparation and Requirements
In order to install Windows from a USB flash drive, you will need the following:
- An internet connection
- Enough storage on the device you will download Windows onto
- A blank USB with at least 4GB of storage
- Your Windows 10 product key
It’s important to note that if you use a USB flash drive that has files on it and you don’t move or delete those files before hand, they will be deleted during the process of using the Windows 10 download tool.
Step 1 – Get the Windows 10 Download Tool
- Click the Download tool now button.
- Save the MediaCreationTool.exe file and run it.
Step 2 – Go through Windows 10 setup prompts
- Accept the user terms.
- Since we are downloading Windows 10 onto a USB for our new computer build, hit the radio button for Create installation media for another PC.
- Hit Next.
4. From the Select language, architecture, and edition menu, uncheck Use the recommended options for this PC, because if you leave it checked, the Media Creation Tool will copy the language, edition, and architecture of the current PC… which if they won’t be the same as the new PC, will cause a problem.
5. Click Next.
6. From the Choose which media to use menu, click the radio button for USB flash drive.
7. Click Next.
8. Connect your USB flash drive and click on Refresh drive list (if your flash drive isn’t already connected.)
9. Once the Media Creation Tool has identified your flash drive, click Next.
10. Windows 10 will now begin to download.
11. Once the download is finished, click on Finish.
Step 3 – Installing Windows 10 on New PC from USB Flash Drive
- Once your new computer build is ready for the Windows 10 install, insert your USB flash drive and reboot the system.
- During the startup process hit the Boot Menu option
- From there, choose to boot from USB
- Go through the Windows 10 prompts, enter in your Windows key, and sit back as Windows installs
As you can see, the process for installing Windows 10 from a USB flash drive is incredibly simple. And, as such, it can really help those of you on a tight budget allocate a little bit more money to other components.