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How to Install Windows 10 via a USB Drive

By Garth Jones

Recently my Panasonic projector died, so I purchased a new LG 4K LED screen. I needed to install it in place of the projector screen. Originally, when I setup my projector screen, I installed extra wires for extra speakers and even put in a 2-inch PVC pipe in case I needed to run additional wires.

Boy am I glad that I added the PVC pipe because with the new screen I needed to run a 50-foot HDMI cable, along with an extra Ethernet cable, from the home theater receiver area to the screen! Fishing the 50-foot cable was challenging even with the PVC pipe.

When I finally plugged in Apple TV it looked good but, my media center PC left ~3-inch black bars around the screen. I knew immediately that this meant that I would have to upgrade my media center PC to 4K. I also knew that my receiver didn’t handle 4K video, so I would also need to upgrade the receiver too.

Understandably, my wife was not happy when I told her that I had to replace our entire home theater, so the subtitle of this blog post could be, “Why my wife is upset that the Panasonic projector died!”

Before buying new equipment, however, I did more research and determined that it didn’t make a lot of sense to replace the video card with a 4K video card because the motherboard had PCI Express 2.0 and all of the 4K video cards seemed to need PCI Express 3.0.

In the end, I decided to purchase a Zotac MI522 Nano to replace my media center PC. Since the Nano is a base model, I then added RAM and a hard drive.

The Zotac doesn’t have a DVD, so in order to install Windows 10 I needed to use a USB drive.

Here are the steps on how to install Windows 10 via a USB:

1. Download Windows 10 ISO.

2. Locate a 4+ GB USB and plug it into a working computer.

3. Open an elevated CMD prompt and start diskpart.

4. Type list disk.

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 4

5. Locate your USB in the list; in my case it is Disk 1. Next, type: select disk 1

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 5

6. Type clean to clean the USB drive.

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 6

7. Type: create partition primary

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 7

8. Type: Select Partition 1

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 8

9. Type: active

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 9

10. Type: format FS=NTFS quick

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 10

11. Type: assign

Note: once the USB drive is assigned, a window in File Explorer will likely open.

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 11

Make note of the USB drive letter.

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 11-Drive Tools

12. Type exit to close the diskpart.

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 12

13. Mount the Windows 10 ISO.

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 13

14. Make note of the ISO drive letter. In my case it is E:\.

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 14

15. Back at the CMD prompt, change to the E:\boot folder.

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 15

16. Type: bootsect /NT60 F:

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 16

17. Last step! Copy all of the files from the ISO drive to the newly created bootable USB drive.

How to Install Windows 10 via a USB-Step 17

Now you can use this USB drive on any computer to install Windows 10.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me @GarthMJ.