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How To Use A USB Stick To Install An Operating System

Did you know that when installing operating systems, aside from being able to install from CDs and DVDs, operating systems can also be installed using USB flash drives? The main advantage of using a USB drive as the installation media is, you can prepare it more easily than CDs and DVDs. Because most of the new computers don’t have CD and DVD drives. So in this guide, I am going to cover on this topic and I’ll show you how to create a USB drive to install an operating system. Microsoft also has a tool that does this. While the official media creation tool is quite good, they are not as fast as the Rufus software. Rufus Portable is a software that allows you to make bootable USB drives quickly.

Rufus is fast and it has a super-simple interface. Another great thing about Rufus is that it is available in many languages and it gets updated very frequently. It also has the ability to prepare Live USB drives. Normally, you need an ISO file to create a bootable USB drive. The good news is that you don't have to download the ISO files manually because Rufus can do it for you. It has a list of operating systems within the software which allows you to download ISO files. Now let’s see how to do this. For this tutorial, I am going to use Rufus 3.7. Please note that Rufus version 3.8 is in beta. We will update this article when the stable version of Rufus 3.8 is released.

Here's how to use Rufus 3.7 to download Windows 10 ISO file and then prepare a bootable USB drive.

  1. First of all, connect a USB drive that has at least 8GB of storage. 
  2. After that, download and run Rufus 3.7. If you want you can download the beta version. But we don’t recommend that since the beta version is not that stable and therefore it may lead to issues. In addition to the regular installer, the portable version of Rufus is also available for users who do not want to install the program.
  3. Start Rufus. In the “Device” field, select your USB drive, select the disk image or ISO from the drop-down selection box, click the small down arrow next to the select button, then check the “Download” option.
  4. Now, click on “Download” to download the ISO file list, which once downloaded will show a dialog box where you have to select Windows 10 from a list. After selecting your preferred OS, click on the “OK” button to continue.
  5. Finally, select a location to save the ISO file. Then click on the “Save” button to start downloading the Windows 10 ISO file. If you want to use a web browser to download the ISO, you can do so by selecting the “Browser Download” button. 
  6. Once the ISO has been downloaded it will get automatically selected by Rufus. After that you can, click on the “Start” button to format the connected USB drive and make it a bootable USB.

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