How to Boot from USB Flash Drive in Windows

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A few years ago, floppy disk (CD/DVD) was commonly used to create a boot disk, which was often used to perform system rescues or reinstallation when the computer failed to boot. Currently, most of the computers do not come with floppy drives and CD/DVD is no longer a valid option to make a bootable disk. The solution to this problem is to use USB flash driver, which is the most popular external storage device for now. And each computer has several ports for USB connection, making it an ideal tool to create system rescue disk. This method is really useful especially for those computers that do not have a DVD drive and can only use the USB connectivity for installation. What do we need?


  • A USB flash drive with more than 8G free storage.

  • Windows ISO image.

  • Windows USB Download tool.

  • Part 1: How to Install Windows on a USB Drive

    In order to boot from USB driver, we need to make the USB bootable first. This can be done by installing Windows OS on it. Please follow the steps below to make a bootable USB drive.


    Steps on How to Install Windows on a USB Drive:

    • Step 1: Find and download Windows image. You can do it from Microsoft website or other downloading sites. Make sure the file is ended with .iso..
    • Step 2: Connect a USB drive to a Windows computer and make sure the free storage not less than 8G. Besides, you need to format the drive to increase the success rate.
    • Step 3: Download Windows USB Download tool from here and install it on your computer. Open the program and add the downloaded Windows image to the program. Then select the USB drive name from the list and click Begin copying button to burn the image to USB drive.
    • Step 4: There is a message saying "Bootable USB device created successfully" when it was done correctly. If it failed, you need to start over for the same steps.



    burn windows to USB driver


    Part 2: How to Boot from USB Flash Drive in Windows


    You may know that a computer can be booted from several media types such as CD/DVD, hard drive, USB or network. Unfortunately, USB is not the first boot device in most of the computers. So the last step is to change the first boot device to USB, then we can boot Windows from the USB driver we just created. To change boot order in Windows computer, we need to do the follows: reboot the computer we need to boot from and wait for the first screen to pop up.

    How to Boot from USB Flash Drive in Windows

    Step 1: Reboot the computer we need to boot from and wait for the first screen to pop up.

    Step 2: Press the key shown on the screen (Press F12 to Choose Boot Device). A minute later, there is a small window popping up. In there, you can select USB from the list. Now the computer will boot from USB. Then the windows installation process will be initiated. One major benefit for this method is that the computer will boot from hard drive in next reboot.

    Alternatively, you can press the key into BISO settings. Under boot tab, you can change and set USB as the first bootable device. Save the settings and restart the computer. Then it will boot Windows from USB drive.

    Special Key to Enter into Fast Boot/BIOS Settings

    The key is different from computer brands so you should read the screen carefully. Kindly reboot the computer if you missed in first time. Below are the keys for major computer brands:

    Acer: F12, Esc                Asus: Esc, F8

    Dell: F12, F2                   HP: Esc, F10

    Lenovo: F12, F2            Samsung: Esc, F2

    Sony: F11, F2                Toshiba: F12, F2

    One of the common usages for reinstalling Windows is to reset the login password we just forgot. In such case, the majority of use will prefer this method to regain the access to the locked computer, though it is complicated and takes a lot of time. Actually, there is a very simple way out to reset the forgotten password, which spends hours downloading the Windows ISO file. Instead, you only need to download UUkeys Windows Password Recovery, a tiny and powerful program to create a bootable USB disk. If you were interested, please follow the guide to reset Windows password without reinstall.

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