Making a Bootable Windows 11 Install Disk

Making a Bootable Windows 11 Install Disk

Unless you’re just installing Windows 11 onto a virtual machine, in which case you can skip to step 19, you will need to create a bootable Windows 11 install disk from the data in your Windows 11 ISO file. For that, you’ll need an empty USB Flash drive that’s at least 8GB.  

 

To solve this problem and create a USB Flash drive that can both hold your files and boot on a Secure Boot-enabled PC, follow these steps.

11. Connect your USB Flash drive. Please note that you will be erasing all the data on it.

12. Open the Disk Management app. You can find it by searching for “partitions” and clicking the top result.

 

open disk management

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13. Delete all partitions on your USB drive by right clicking on each and selecting “Delete Volume.

 

Delete all partitions on the USB drive

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14. Create a new, 1GB partition and format it as FAT32. You initiate this process by right clicking on the unallocated space and selecting New Simple Volume. You can name it anything you want. This will be the partition that contains the files you need for booting.

 

Create a 1GB FAT32 partition

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15. Create a second partition and format it as NTFS. It should take all the remaining disk space.

Create an NTFS Partition

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16. Mount the ISO file by right clicking it and selecting Mount. This will allow you to browse the Windows 11 ISO as if it were a physical disk and copy files from it.

 

Mount the ISO

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17. Copy all the files and folders, except the “sources” folder, from the Windows 11 ISO to the FAT32 partition on the USB drive.

 

Copy all the files and folders but the sources folder

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18. Create an empty folder called “sources” on the USB drive’s FAT32 partition and copy only the boot.wim file into it from the original “sources” folder on the Windows 11 ISO.

copy boot.wim

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19. Copy all the files and folders from the Windows 11 ISO, including those you copied before, onto the NTFS partition of the USB drive. 

 

copy all files onto the NTFS partition

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You should now have a USB Flash drive that can boot on a computer that has Secure Boot enabled.

Installing Windows 11 on the Target PC

20. Boot your target PC off of the USB installation drive. You may need to hit a key or re-arrange the boot order to boot from USB.

21. Select your language (if it’s not already selected) and click Next.

Click Next

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22. Enter a valid product key or click “I don’t have a product key.” Then click Next.

 

Enter your product key or click I don't have a product key

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23. Accept the license agreement and click Next.

 

accept the license agreement

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24. Select Custom Install.

select custom install

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25. Choose the installation drive and click Next.

choose the installation drive and click Next

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The installer will copy some files and may reboot at this point.

26. Select your country or region (if it’s not selected) and click Yes. Also, select your keyboard layout when prompted.

 

Choose location

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27. Name your PC and click Next.

 

Name your PC

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28. Sign in with your Microsoft account.

 

Sign in with your Microsoft acount

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29. Create a PIN for quick logins.

 

Create a PIN

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30. Click “Set up as new device” (or you can restore a previous config).

set up as new device

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31. Enable or disable privacy settings and click Next.

 

Privacy settings

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32. Select your interests to help customize Windows 11’s recommendations or, better yet, click Skip.

Select your interests

33. Set up OneDrive or select Only store files on this device.
 

Set Up OneDrive

Windows will now take a few minutes to complete the install process.

Windows 11 completing the install process.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

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