To install Windows Operating System on a computer, a bootable media of Windows OS is required. The media could be a bootable flash drive or a bootable DVD. This article explains the process for how to create bootable media for latest version of Windows 10 from existing Ubuntu Linux operating system. The same procedure could be used for creating the bootable flash drive on other Linux system as well.
To create bootable media for latest version of Windows 10 from existing Linux system, a flash drive of capacity 6 GB or more would be required as the size of the ISO file which is downloaded on a Linux system is greater than 5 GB. (Just for information: the file created by Windows media creation tool on windows system is less than 4 GB.)
Thus, a single layer DVD with capacity of 4.7 GB will not suffice to make it windows bootable DVD on Linux system due to large size of Windows setup files or ISO image file downloaded on Linux system. In this case, a dual layer DVD and a dual layer DVD writer would be required for the purpose, however, since DVD burning is error prone and also life of DVD is not reliable due to mishandled surface layer, thus, a Flash Drive (or a Pen drive or a USB drive as sometimes called) would be the most appropriate choice for making it windows bootable and install latest version of Windows Operating System from an existing Linux Operating System.
To create a windows bootable flash drive from existing Linux system, follow the following steps:
a. Download Windows ISO file
Login to the system with Linux Operating System and open a web browser. Search for Windows 10 ISO File and navigate to Microsoft’s official ISO image download page (Just for information: on windows system, this link will navigate to windows media creation tool download page, on Linux system it will navigate to ISO file download page). Select the latest version of Windows Operating System from ‘Select Edition’ Drop Down Box and click on ‘Confirm’ button to proceed. Next, select the product language for Windows Operating System setup from Drop Down Box and click on ‘Confirm’ button to continue. Further, select the Architecture according to the computer’s configuration on which Windows 10 is required to be installed. Nowadays, mostly it is 64-bit in modern machines, however, some older machine may have 32-bit architecture. If you are not sure you can download 32-bit as it works on both architecture or you may also try with 64-bit if you have a modern machine with latest configuration.
Upon clicking the “Download” button, the web browser will prompt to save the ISO file on computer. Select location of your choice where disk space of greater than 5 GB is available. The download will begin, wait for the download to complete and close the browser upon successful download of Windows 10 ISO File. After closing the browser, go to Download location and check whether the Windows 10 Operating System ISO image file has been successfully downloaded. If no, then repeat the step, if yes, then close the File explorer. The ISO image will be approximately greater than 5 GB in size.
b. Install WoeUSB tool
Open terminal and maximize it for better user experience. Change your directory to the download location where the ISO file was downloaded. Type the following command to add WebUpd8 package to package repository:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
Enter root password to proceed. Also, press ‘ENTER’ when prompted during the package addition process. Once, the WebUpd8 repository is successfully added, update the package list using the following command:
sudo apt update
Once the list is successfully updated, run the following command to install WoeUSB tool:
Sudo apt install woeusb
Press ‘y’ when prompted during installation. Wait for installation to complete.
c. Prepare Flash Drive
Minimize the terminal when WoeUSB application is successfully installed and insert the Flash Drive of capacity 6 GB or more which would be used to make it bootable for installing window operating system. Ensure that there is no useful data on the flash drive as it will be lost. Open ‘Disks’ application, un-mount the flash drive, delete all partitions on the flash drive and note the path of Flash Drive for use during flashing operation in next step.
d. Make Flash Drive Bootable with WoeUSB
Execute the following WoeUSB command with ‘−−target-filesystem’ and ‘−−device’ parameters to flash the drive:
sudo woeusb −−target-filesystem NTFS −−device <path to ISO File> <path to flash drive>
In the above command, ‘−−target-filesystem’ parameter takes one argument ‘NTFS’ for creating a NTFS file system on the flash drive.
The ‘−−device’ parameter takes two arguments, first is the ‘path to ISO file’, if you have changed your current directory to the download location then the argument would need only ISO file name, for example “Win10_1809Oct_English_x64.iso”. If you have not changed current directory to download location then the complete path to the download location would be required for example “/home/techsolveprac/Downloads/Win10_1809Oct_English_x64.iso”.
The second argument to the ‘−−device’ parameter is the path to the flash drive. The path to the flash drive would have been noted during use of ‘Disks’ application in step ‘c’ above. The path would be something like ‘/dev/sdb’.
If we consider that the ISO file with above mentioned name was saved to Downloads folder and flash drive is mounted to the path mentioned above, the complete woeusb command would be as following:
sudo woeusb −−target-filesystem NTFS −−device /home/techsolveprac/Downloads/Win10_1809Oct_English_x64.iso /dev/sdb
After executing the above command wait for flashing process to complete. Please have patience at this stage, as the process will take a long time due to large size of ISO file and do not remove or turn off your computer during this process. This process may take any time between 10 minutes to half an hour depending on the system configuration. On successful completion of the process WoeUSB will un-mount the flash drive to detach it safely from the computer. You can remove and re-insert the flash drive to check whether it has been flashed successfully. A successful flashed Windows 10 bootable flash drive will have two partitions, one consisting of bootable files and another consisting of Windows setup files.
The created Windows Operating System Bootable Flash Drive could be used to install Windows 10 Operating System on any computer by booting from the flash drive if it has none or Linux operating. In case it has an older version of Windows Operating system it could be used to update to latest version Windows 10 operating system by executing setup.exe file from the flash drive.
Watch the practical demonstration of the above process in following video:
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