Custom boot drive

How to create a bootable USB to install Windows 10 using Command Prompt

You can use Diskpart to create a USB bootable flash drive to install Windows 10 on any computer, and this guide, you'll learn how to do it.

Using Diskpart to create Windows 10 USB bootable flash drive

Although you can create a bootable USB to install Windows 10 using a variety of tools, including with Media Creation Tool and Rufus, it’s also possible to use the Diskpart command line tool to create a flash drive to clean install Windows 10 to any computer.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to use Command Prompt to create a USB bootable media to install Windows 10.

How to create a USB bootable media to install Windows 10

To create a USB flash drive with the Windows 10 installation files, connect a USB flash drive of at least 4GB of space, download and mount ISO with the installation files, and then use these steps:

  1. Open Start on Windows 10.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result and select the Run as Administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to open Diskpart and press Enter:

    diskpart
  4. Type the following command to determine the USB flash drive and press Enter:

    list disk
  5. Type the following command to select the storage and press Enter:

    select disk 1
    Quick tip: The select disk 1 command as an example, but you have to replace 1 with the number of the flash drive you want to use.
  6. Type the following commands to delete everything from the USB thumb drive and press Enter:

    clean
  7. Type the following command to create a primary partition and press Enter:

    create partition primary
  8. Type the following command to select the new partition and press Enter:

    select partition 1
  9. Type the following command to make the selected partition active and press Enter:

    active
  10. Type the following command to make USB flash drive bootable and press Enter:

    format FS=NTFS quick
    Quick tip: If you’re creating a bootable media for a device that uses UEFI, you’ll need to format the drive using the FAT32 file system, instead of NTFS with this command: format fs=FAT32 quick.
  11. Type the following command to assign a volume and a drive letter for the USB flash drive and press Enter:

    assign letter=X

    In the command, change X for any available letter you want to use.

    Diskpart commands to create bootable USB on Windows 10
    Diskpart commands to create bootable USB on Windows 10
  12. Type the following command to quit the tool and press Enter:

    exit
  13. Type the following command to mount the ISO file and press Enter:

    PowerShell Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath "C:\path\to\Windows10.iso"

    In the command, make sure to update the path with the location where you have stored the ISO file.

  14. Type the following command to launch Diskpart again and press Enter:

    diskpart
  15. Type the following command to determine the drive letter for the mounted ISO file and press Enter:

    list volume
  16. Type the following command to exit Diskpart and press Enter:

    exit
  17. Type the following command to access the Windows 10 ISO file and press Enter:

    G:
  18. Type the following command to the boot folder and press Enter:

    cd boot
  19. Type the following command to update the volume boot code for the USB flash drive and press Enter:

    bootsect /nt60 X:
  20. Type the following command to copy all the Windows 10 files to the USB flash drive and press Enter:

    xcopy G:\*.* X:\ /E /F /H

    In the command, change the G and X drive letters with the correct drive letters for the Windows 10 ISO image and the USB flash drive respectively.

    Boosect command on Windows 10
    Boosect command on Windows 10

Once you complete the steps, you can use the bootable flash drive to install Windows 10 on computers using BIOS or UEFI.

If you’re having issues creating a USB bootable media, you can submit your questions in the Pureinfotech forums.

Update September 9, 2019: This guide was originally published in August 2018, and it’s been updated in September 2019.