Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive Windows 10 Rufus 3

Good day!

Recently, when creating bootable flash drives for installing Windows, there has been a real confusion (with these UEFI, BIOS.) But if the flash drive is incorrectly written, either the installation will not start at all (the PC / laptop just will not see it), or during the installation of Windows an error will occur (for example, the OS will report that installing the system on this drive is not possible.)

To avoid this, I decided to sketch out a note in the form of a few simple steps (a kind of mini-instruction).

I also note that in the process I will use the Rufus 3.x utility version (one of the best utilities for preparing installation drives) In the 3rd version, her design has changed slightly compared to 2.x (a number of articles on my blog also now need a little adjustment, which I will use with this note).

And so, closer to the topic.

Creating a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10

STEP 1: determine the configuration of the PC for which we create the USB flash drive (UEFI or BIOS)

The first thing I recommend starting with is not to boot the system image (as in many other guides), but to decide: your computer is running BIOS or UEFI (note: an extended version of BIOS that supports larger disks, is faster and safer)

To do this, it is enough to press the key several times when loading the PC / laptop (immediately after turning it on) F2 (or Esc, or Del. depending on the device model). When the settings menu appears. the difference between the BIOS and UEFI is visible to the naked eye (in UEFI you can use the mouse, by the way)

To help! You can find out how to enter the BIOS / UEFI, which keys are used for this here:

BIOS. UEFI. clear difference

If you already have Windows installed on your computer (and you want to create a bootable USB flash drive to reinstall it), you can find out about the BIOS in an alternative way:

  1. press the WinR button combination (a window will appear "Run"), and enter the msinfo32 command, click OK;
  2. a window should appear "System Information" : look at the line "BIOS mode" (see example below).

Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive Windows 10 Rufus 3


STEP 2: Download the required Windows 10 image

Where and how to download the image with the system. everyone chooses himself сам. But I still recommend paying attention to a few important points (they will help you save a lot of time!).

1) I highly recommend choosing something specific. Those. in one image. only one system. Example below:

  • "Windows 10 x64 home". a good option;
  • "Windows 10 home / Pro / Ent x32 x64, 5 in 1". unsuccessful.

A similar image can be downloaded from the official Microsoft website (for how to do this.

2) Try not to mess with various builds from "folk" craftsmen. It is not known what is configured there, and what tricks await in the future‍. ‍

3) If you have 4 or more GB of RAM (RAM). then choose a 64-bit system (in its designation there will be an abbreviation "x64") The fact is that 32-bit systems will not see RAM larger than 3 GB.

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4) If you will create a flash drive for UEFI. choose a 64-bit OS (64 bit).

To help!

How to find out how many bits 32 or 64 my Windows has, which one to install [their difference].

STEP 3: Download the latest version of Rufus

To record the downloaded image (ISO file with Windows). we need special. program (you can, of course, use the tool from Microsoft, but in my opinion. this is not the best option). For these purposes, I prefer to use the utility Rufus.

To install the latest version of the program. just go to its officer. website and click on the link under the heading "Download" (see screen below, currently it is 3.4).

Video: Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive Windows 10 Rufus 3

Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive Windows 10 Rufus 3

Screen of the official page of Rufus

I note that Rufus does not need to be installed, and after the first launch. you can immediately start using it. Which we will do in the next step.

STEP 4: insert the USB flash drive and record the image

A flash drive needs a volume of at least 8 GB (although in some cases the image can be burned to a 4 GB drive, it’s better not to rush once again) I’ll also add that in the process of working with a flash drive, all data will be deleted on it! Therefore, in advance, save from it everything that you need.

And so, after you plug in the USB flash drive and run Rufus, you need to:

  1. specify the device (1). note that if you have several flash drives connected to your PC, the one you need is not always selected by default (double-check!);
  2. specify the location of the ISO installation image (2). we downloaded it in step 2;
  3. choose a partition scheme (GPT or MBR) and a system (BIOS or UEFI). I mentioned this in step 1: if you have UEFI, choose "UEFI" and "GPT" (if BIOS. then, respectively "BIOS", "MBR") See screenshots below;
  4. press the button "Start"

Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive Windows 10 Rufus 3

Rufus. creating a flash drive for UEFI (GPT) / Note that the FAT32 file system

Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive Windows 10 Rufus 3

Rufus. creating a flash drive under the BIOS (MBR)

Next, before recording the image, Rufus will warn you that in the process, all data on the drive will be destroyed. If you made a backup in advance. just click OK.

Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive Windows 10 Rufus 3

Warning from Rufus

When the flash drive is ready, in the program status (at the bottom of the window). you will see the status "Ready" (the green bar will fill the drain 100%).

STEP 5: configure BIOS / UEFI or use the boot menu

To check the USB flash drive (well, or immediately proceed to install the OS from it), you need to restart your computer / laptop and open boot menu In it, you must select our created flash drive and agree to the download.

Boot menu / Boot Menu. used to tell the computer from which drive to boot.

The BIOS / UEFI has a tab with a boot queue, and by default, the computer looks for boot records on the hard drive (and so that it "had seen" our flash drive. you need to indicate this to him through the boot menu (messy, but I think the meaning is clear )).

Each PC / laptop can have its own buttons to call the boot menu (usually F1, Esc, F12). I have a separate article on the blog with buttons for different devices:

Note! You need to press the Boot Menu call button (in my ESC example) immediately after turning it on (and it is better to do this not once). Usually, one click is enough when the first logo of the manufacturer appears.

Press the Boot Menu button a few times (before and during the appearance of the first logo)

The boot menu is a regular list, from which you need to select one of the drives and press Enter. An example is below.

Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive Windows 10 Rufus 3

Boot Menu Example

You can do without the boot menu (everything is done through the BIOS / UEFI settings). To do this, you must enter the BIOS (how to do it), and open the tab "BOOT" ( "Loading" )

The screenshot below shows an example of how to open the Advanced Mode, in which the treasured tab is located "Boot".

Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive Windows 10 Rufus 3

Advanced Mode (UEFI)

In the Boot tab, you need to change the boot queue: move the hard drive (with Windows, as in the example below) to the second line, and put the flash drive on the first (if you have a new version of UEFI, as in the example below, you can do this with the mouse; if "the old" BIOS. using the function keys F5, F6, and others. see the menu on the right).

Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive Windows 10 Rufus 3

Boot section. note the sequence

After changing the settings (see the example below), save them (F10 key in most cases) and reboot the device. If everything is done correctly, the computer will boot from the USB flash drive.

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