How to Install Windows From USB

steve How to , , , ,

You’re probably going to have to install Windows at some time. We all have to do every once in a while. If you’ve never had to do it before, it can be a bit daunting.

It’s not hard, but it is really just more hassle than what it ought to be. There are a few different ways that we can install Windows. There is always the option of paying someone, but that’s an unnecessary expense. Just follow along below to learn how to install Windows from a USB.

DISCLOSURE: While I did not get a free copy of Windows, but I will get some compensation if you purchase something after clicking on my links. My goal to provide support and assistance with you computer issues is the main reason why I do this, but running a website does have a cost involved. I appreciate your support.

Installing Windows on a Pre-Built Computer

The first thing that we can do to install Windows is for those of you who have purchased a pre-assembled computer. Back in the 90s the manufacturer would include an installation disk that you had to keep track of.

The industry changed this standard and started to put a partition on the hard drive that was reserved for the installation files for windows. This

is called a recovery partition. There are times when this partition could become corrupted, but it will be the easiest place to start if you have one.

If you are reinstalling Windows, you need to save any important documents, pictures, or whatever else you want to keep. These will need to be stored in an external hard drive. If you only keep a copy in your computer, you run the risk of losing data.

On Windows 8 and Windows 10 they have changed the name. It’s a factory reset, but it will reinstall Windows in the back ground.

  1. Click the start button and then hit the settings button (looks like a gear
  2. In the find a setting option type in reset
  3. Click the get started button
  4. follow the on screen prompts.

On Windows 7 you’ll need to access the boot menu of your computer. When you turn on your computer, right at the very beginning of startup, you’ll see an option for the boot menu at the bottom of the screen.

It will say something like F2 = boot menu the button you need to push is different for every motherboard. In the boot menu you’ll need to select the option for the recovery drive.

The boot menu will look a lot different from the normal Windows screen. If you see the normal Windows screen then you’ve gone too far and will need to turn your computer if and in again.

The boot menu controls where your computer boots from. If you have a recovery drive, you’ll see an option to boot from the recovery drive. Once you select it, you can follow the on screen prompts to finish your Windows installation.

Either the reset to factory default on Windows 8 andcan10 or the recovery drive on Windows 7,zero will restore all the bloat ware that comes with the computer. You’ll end up having to spend time to uninstall that garbage.

Installing Windows From a USB

If you had a virus on your computer, there is a possibility that the visit will be in The recovery files. This happened to my brother-in-law. When he got a virus on his computer and tried to reinstall Windows from the recovery drive, he just reinstalled the virus.

He thought he had to get rid of the computer, but there was still hope. I helped him to wipe his hard drive then reinstall Windows from a USB. The problem was fixed.

If you want to get a clean install of Windows on your computer (without all the bloat ware) then you’ll need to first get a copy of Windows (with an activation key).Whether you’re building a new computer, upgrading your operating system, or trying to get rid of a virus you need a legal copy of Windows.

If you go shopping around you can find OEM versions of Windows, but your technically only suppose to use that if you build a computer then sell it to someone else. If you chose an OEM OS I won’t tell anyone. You can pick one up at Newegg. If you want to do everything the fully legal way, you can pick up a copy on the Microsoft website.

Once you have a copy you can get it installed. These days buying software online means that you can download a copy.

  1. Download a copy of Windows. You’ll need to go to Microsoft’s website
  2. After it finishes downloading run the MediaCreationTool.exe
  3. You’ll need to accept the terms and conditions. Reading them is optional though.
  4. Choose Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC and tap or click Next.
  5. You’ll need to pick your language
  6. For the edition, You’ll need to pick the edition you have purchased. If one came on your computer and you still have the key. It’s probably Windows 10 Home
  7. For architecture, the best option is to select Both
  8. After you hit next, You’ll need to select USB Flash drive.

NOTE: Make sure this is a USB drive that has nothing on it or it won’t have anything on when your done.
You can now plug this USB stick into the computer you need to install windows on again.

You have to access the boot menu. To get there, you’ll need to turn the computer off. When you turn it on you’ll have to press the button your computer says to get to the boot menu. In the boot menu you’ll need to select USB to get your computer to boot from the USB. From here you just follow the on screen prompts to get windows installed.


Only download software from a legitimate website that you know is good. Like Microsoft’s website. Installing from random places can and will lead to virus and other malicious code. If you have any issues getting Windows installed or have any other advice for installing Windows, leave a comment below.

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  1. Hi Taylor,
    I am so pleased to read this really informative post. Am such a ditz when it comes to computers but if I keep reading your posts will become really knowledgeable and able to do things that will surprise my poor family that usually come to my aid.
    Thank you so much.

  2. Hi Steve,

    This is a really helpful article. I’ve had to install Windows from USB a few different times, now, and I always have to look it up. One scenario was because of a machine wipe, like you mentioned, but I’ve had a couple of other scenarios come up as well.

    For instance, at my company, we run a lot off of VMs that run on Macs, so being able to install Windows from a USB has been really helpful in getting those VMs up and running. Another scenario I’ve run into is in-place upgrades. Being able to install your new version of Windows from a USB can be easier than mounting or burning ISOs, especially if you’re having to do it for a relative’s computer!

    Thanks for the article.

    1. I know what you mean about having to look up something like this. I usually keep a USB drive, of CD with the Windows ISO on it so that I don’t have to go through the process of downloading it again.

      I hadn’t thought about setting up virtual machines. I’m not the biggest fan of Apple and prefer to avoid them as much as I can. I can understand that at work you do what you have to do though. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Excellent read my Friend. You make it all sound so simple.
    I am looking forward to reading more of your articles. Every time the least little thing goes wrong with my computer, I basically just freak out. It’s nice to know that now I have a Go To Site. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

    1. Knowing the ins and outs of computers isn’t something that everyone likes doing, but that’s why you need to have a good IT guy. I try to make things as simple as I can so that others can learn how to do a little bit more. If you ever have something go wrong with your computer, feel free to send me a message and I’ll see what I can do to help you out.

      You normally won’t have to re-install windows, but it’s always the last resort. If it doesn’t work then your problem was probably hardware related the whole time.

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