The use of DVDs to install an operating system is now dead and buried. It is in fact much easier and faster to install Windows 11 from USB using an external drive. The most immediate solution to install Windows 11 operating system from USB is to use the Media Creation Tool, a utility prepared and constantly updated by Microsoft. If you want to create a bootable Windows 11 USB drive, you can use Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool: it is a free program from Microsoft that allows you to download Windows 11 ISO and then create DVDs or USB drives to install the operating system.
To install Windows 11 from USB starting from an ISO file, you will then have to turn to other utilities. The best way to proceed is to use Rufus, an application that makes any USB drive bootable and allows you to insert a Windows 11 ISO image already stored on the system. The advantage of Rufus over other similar tools is that the configured drive, containing the Windows 11 installation files, will be compatible with UEFI BIOS.
Before starting, to create a bootable USB drive to install Windows 11 via USB you will need:
- The Rufus software
- A Windows 11 ISO image
- A USB Pendrive of at least 8GB
Steps to Create Windows 11 Bootable USB Drive Using Rufus
Step 1: You need to download the portable version of Rufus.
Step 2: Start the program and select the USB storage device on which you want to store the Windows 11 installation files from the Drive device (Note: If the drive does not appear, check the USB disk drive list box).
Step 3: Download the Windows 11 ISO from the official website.
Step 4: Click Select to choose the Windows 11 ISO file downloaded in the previous point.
Step 5: In Image Options leave Standard Windows Installation selected.
Step 6: Now from the Partition Scheme menu select MBR.
Step 7: Press the ALT + E key combination and choose BIOS or UEFI from Target System.
Step 8: Enter a label in Volume Label, and Choose FAT or NTFS as the file system.
Step 9: Now click on the “Start” option to create Windows 11 bootable USB drive.
Rufus Alternative: Create Windows 11 Bootable USB using SYSGeeker WonderISO
In some cases, Rufus doesn’t work as well as expected when trying to burn a larger ISO file (>4GB) to a USB flash drive, because it doesn’t have the ability to split the large ISO file, that’s the reason why the USB you made doesn’t boot properly. What’s more, Rufus is not available for macOS.
Compare to Rufus, SYSGeeker WonderISO software is certainly worth a try especially if you’re a novice. WonderISO program is capable of creating a bootable USB from Windows 11, 10 ISO image file without bugs, and it also can automatically split large ISO files into two small pieces. If you’re a Mac user, it also provides a Mac version that supports macOS big sur, macOS Monterey.
Let’s see how WonderISO works:
Step 1: Download and install WonderISO tool on your Windows or macOS computer, then launch it.
Step 2: Select the Burn button and browse your Windows 11 ISO image file. Then plug your USB flash into the computer. It provides two partition styles: MBR or GPT (UEFI), select one based on your ISO image file. Then select the system file or leave it default.
Step 3: Click the BURN button to start to create a windows 11 bootable USB now. It will take some time based on your USB writing speed and ISO image file.
Once the burning is finished, eject your USB drive and insert it into your computer, and set the boot order in the BIOS so that Windows boots from the USB drive, then start to install Windows 11 system.