Custom boot drive

How to create Windows 10 bootable USB with 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.

Command Prompt create Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive

Although you can create a bootable USB to install Windows 10 using a variety of tools, including the Media Creation Tool and Rufus, it is 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 will learn the steps to use Command Prompt to create a USB bootable media to install Windows 10.

Create a USB bootable media to install Windows 10

Before proceeding, you will need to connect a USB flash drive with at least 8GB of space to your computer and the ISO file of Windows 10, which you can download with these steps.

To create a USB flash drive to install Windows 10, 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

    dislpart clean USB flash drive
    dislpart clean USB flash drive
  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 the 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 prepare USB flash drive
    diskpart prepare USB flash drive
  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"
    Windows 10 ISO mount command
    Windows 10 ISO mount command

    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

    diskpart check mounted ISO drive letter
    diskpart check mounted ISO drive letter
  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:

    E:
  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 E:\*.* X:\ /E /F /H
    Create Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive
    Create Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive

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

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

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

Update March 10, 2021: This guide was originally published in August 2018, and it’s been updated in March 2021.