How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

Preparing a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10

You can create bootable media with Window 10 using half a dozen third-party programs, but it is most logical to do this using the standard tool available for downloading from the Microsoft website, Windows 10 Installation Media Creation Tool. Before using the utility, make sure that the USB flash drive has a capacity of 8 GB or more, and that there is at least 10 GB of free space on the system partition of the hard disk. Also find out the processor capacity on the computer for which bootable media is being created. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Download the Windows 10 Installation Media Creation Tool from the official Micosoft website.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Do not download the utility for creating media from dubious resources, do it only from the official Microsoft website

  2. Run the utility, read the license agreement and accept its terms.
  3. The program allows you to create installation media, as well as update your computer online. Select media creation.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Choose to create installation media if you don’t just want to update the system

  4. In the next step, uncheck the box next to “Use recommended parameters” and select the necessary edition of the operating system, interface language and bit depth. You should not choose the 64-bit version of the system for computers that have less than 4 GB of RAM.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Be sure to disable the use of recommended settings if you plan to use bootable media on other computers.

  5. The program will prompt you to create a USB-drive or record an ISO-file for subsequent recording of an optical disc. Select create flash drive.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    If you do not plan to record the media with third-party programs, select a USB device to unpack the distribution

  6. From the list of connected removable media, select the one to be recorded. To eliminate the possibility of error and destruction of important data, before recording a bootable USB flash drive, disconnect any other removable drives (disks) from the USB ports.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    If several flash drives are connected to the computer, select the one to which you want to write the boot image

  7. The program will start downloading the Windows 10 installation files and writing them to the USB flash drive. When the progress indicator reaches 100%, you will have in your hands the installer of the system on a flash drive, with which you can install Windows 10 on any computer.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    When the progress indicator reaches 100%, the bootable media will be ready for use

In the process, the utility downloads a significant amount of data from the Internet (more than 8 GB). To ensure that the process of creating the media does not stretch for a whole day, make sure that the computer on which the manipulations are performed is connected to a fast Internet channel.

Preparing the computer for system installation

In order for a computer or laptop to successfully boot the system from a USB flash drive, it needs to make a number of settings related to the order of loading and the choice of media. On computers with a classic BIOS and with a newer UEFI, these settings are different.

BIOS Setup

On computers running the classic BIOS, you can activate boot from a USB flash drive in two ways. All manipulations must be performed with the drive connected to the USB port.

In the first case, you can simply use the boot menu selection key by pressing it immediately after turning on the computer. In most BIOS editions, this is the F12 key. Follow these steps:

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  1. Turn on the computer and wait for the start screen to appear on the monitor.
  2. Press the F12 key and hold it until the menu for selecting the media to load appears on the screen.
  3. Select USB-HDD, and from it. your flash drive, then press Enter.
  4. The computer will boot from the USB flash drive and begin the installation process of Windows 10.

In the second case, you can change the boot order from the media through the corresponding BIOS menu item. Consider the BIOS settings of the AWARD family:

  1. Turn on the computer and wait for the start screen to appear on the monitor.
  2. Press the Del or F1 key to enter the BIOS setup menu.
  3. Go to Advanced BIOS Features.
  4. Open the First Boot Device item and select any device with the USB prefix (USB-ZIP, USB-HDD, etc.) from the list.
  5. Return to the main menu with the Esc key and save the configuration with the Save command & Exit Setup
  6. The computer will boot from the USB flash drive and begin the installation process of Windows 10.

Setting up a computer with UEFI

The BIOS and UEFI versions are very different from each other in design, tab locations, settings and a set of features. For a computer with UEFI to boot from a USB flash drive, it must be formatted in the FAT32 file system. Keep this in mind when creating bootable media. To configure UEFI, follow the steps:

  1. Turn on the computer. When the start screen appears, press the special key to call UEFI. Depending on the manufacturer, these may be the F2, F10 keys or a special button on the keyboard (Lenovo ThinkVantage, Sony Sony Assist).
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    To further configure the computer, call the UEFI parameters with the corresponding button

  2. Translate the UEFI interface into Russian by selecting the appropriate item from the drop-down list in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. To boot from a flash drive that is incompatible with UEFI (with a 90% probability this will be so), you need to disable the Secure Boot system. a protective option that prevents the execution of boot code without a digital signature from Microsoft.
  4. Activate BIOS compatibility mode (Launch CSM, Legasy BIOS). After that, the menu in which you can disable Secure Boot will become available.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Activate CSM to access the boot menu.

  5. Disable Secure Boot with the corresponding menu item.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    If CSM is activated, all removable media are available in the boot menu.

  6. Open the Boot menu with the F8 key and select your bootable flash drive in it.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Select your flash drive and press Enter

  7. To save the settings, click Exit. Save Changes. Unlike systems with BIOS, the computer does not restart, but starts immediately from the selected medium. bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10 distribution kit.

Video: How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive


The process of installing Windows 10 from a flash drive

Plug the USB flash drive with the Windows 10 distribution into the USB port and turn on the computer. After the start screen, the installer will load, which will help you install the operating system using step-by-step instructions. Just follow its points:

  1. Basic regional settings (language, date and time format, as well as the initial keyboard layout) are the first things to choose in the installer. After that, go to the following settings by clicking the “Next” button.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Choose your language and regional standards to continue installing Windows 10

  2. The installer allows not only to install the operating system, but also to fix errors in an existing copy. To do this, there is a button-link “System Restore” in the lower left corner of the window. And to continue the installation, click the “Install” button in the center of the screen.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Click the Install button to continue the process.

  3. For the installed copy of Windows 10 to be successfully activated, you need to enter the correct product code. It can be specified as part of a boxed distribution, on a sticker on a system unit or laptop, and even sewn into UEFI. In the latter case, its value will be automatically inserted into the input field. If you do not have a key, refer to the Microsoft Reference Guide in the ” Information” section.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Specify a product key if it has not been entered automatically

  4. If you are installing without a product key (this is valid), the installation program will ask you to select the edition of the operating system. Depending on the type of distribution and the actual bit depth of your computer, different installation options may be offered.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Select the assembly and bit depth of the system you want to install

  5. Be sure to read the license agreement from beginning to end and accept it, otherwise further installation of the operating system will be impossible.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Read and accept the terms of the license agreement

  6. The next step is to choose the type of installation for Windows 10. Although the system allows updating over an existing copy of Windows while preserving the installed programs, the best solution would still be a clean installation with preliminary formatting of the system partition. The time spent on reinstalling applications is more than compensated by the stability of the work and the absence of “glitches” that inevitably arise when updating an already installed system.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Upgrading or a clean install of Windows 10. the choice is yours

  7. If you move on to custom installation, you will see a window for selecting a disk partition for installation. What to do with this. read the paragraph below.

Selecting a partition to install the system

The ideal system installation option is to install on a new clean hard drive. Unfortunately, such an opportunity is not always there. When updating the system, the window for selecting the partition for installation will not even open: the installer will find where the previous version of the operating system is installed. With a clean installation, you will definitely be presented with a window for selecting a partition for installation. To make the right choice, follow these principles:

  1. In the partition selection window that opens, you will see much more options than the logical drives that are displayed in Explorer. A laptop will necessarily have a hidden partition with an OS distribution that uses the automatic recovery system, and a stationary PC may have service partitions left over from previous versions of Windows. The most correct algorithm of actions is to delete the system and all service partitions and install the OS in the unallocated area. If there is a separate user partition on the disk (with working files, documents, etc.), you should not delete it.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    If the system is not installed on a new disk, select the partition carefully

  2. If a 32-bit OS Windows XP, Vista or 7 was previously installed on the hard disk, then with a 99% probability it is formatted with the MBR partition system. On modern computers with UEFI, installing Windows 10 on such a disk is impossible without completely deleting the partition table and losing all the information on the disk. If you need to save data, before starting the Windows 10 installer, convert the disk from MBR to GPT with saving data. This can be done using one of the many partition manipulation programs, for example, Paragon Partition Manager or Partition Magic.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    On computers with UEFI, installation to MBR partitions is not possible, formatting is required for this

  3. If the previous system is installed on a partition or drive C, and to install Windows 10 you select a different partition or drive, then as a result you will have two operating systems installed on your computer at the same time with the choice of which you need when you boot the computer.

Video: Converting a Disc Using Paragon Partition Manager

Copying files and completing OS installation

To complete the installation of the system, follow these steps:

  1. When you provide all the necessary information and make the necessary settings, the installation program will begin the process of copying and unpacking files on your hard drive. The duration of this stage depends entirely on the speed of the flash drive with the distribution kit and the characteristics of the system hard drive.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    File copying process takes considerable time

  2. A setup process with an hour or more, with a dozen reboots, should not scare you, since this is normal. A large number of file operations are faster if an SSD is installed on the computer. The installation and configuration process of the system may take more than one hour
  3. Upon completion of these processes, you will see a proposal to connect to the network, which will be detected automatically. However, a connection request may not appear if Windows 10 does not find the necessary hardware.

Windows 10 settings after installation

After the installation process is completed, the operating system will automatically make all the necessary initial settings. You only need to go through a few simple steps to set up personalization of your computer:

  1. The choice of region (country). Affects the initial layout of the keyboard, the format of the date, time and national currency.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Country. initial selection of regional settings

  2. Checking the correct choice of the primary (main) keyboard layout.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    Choose primary keyboard layout

  3. If you need an additional keyboard layout (in addition to English and Russian), the system will offer to add it.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    If you need a second keyboard layout, add it in the keyboard selection step

  4. If the computer is connected to the Internet, the system will offer to create a Microsoft account or enter the previously created one.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    If you do not have a Microsoft account yet, you can create it by clicking on the corresponding button

  5. Home Line. Configure privacy settings. If you are a cautious person, disable all items in this dialog box.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    The more points you turn off, the better: the system will deactivate the collection of information about you

  6. The system will spend some more time for the settings to finally take effect.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    The system will spend some time finishing the settings for the settings to finally take effect

  7. The appearance of the desktop interface indicates that the system is fully operational.
    How to Install Windows 10 Without a USB Flash Drive

    After the desktop appears, Windows 10 is fully operational

A bootable USB flash drive with the Windows 10 distribution kit is the optimal medium for deploying an operating system. Unlike optical media with write-once on a USB flash drive, you can keep the latest version of the operating system. It is enough to track updates on the official Microsoft website and periodically rewrite the image to the current one.

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