Installing Windows 10/8/7 from a USB drive is the same as installing it from a DVD. Creating a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows has become much easier thanks to the tens of free tools out there. The main benefit of installing Windows from a USB is that you can quickly install the OS even on devices that don’t ship with an optical drive to boot from CD/DVD.
A question often asked is, “Why I am not able to boot and install Windows 10/7 from a USB drive?” Many PC users, especially beginners, aren’t aware of the fact that one needs to enable booting from USB in BIOS and change the boot order to boot from a bootable USB drive.
In short, once the bootable Windows 10/7 USB drive is ready, you need to prepare your PC to boot from USB drive by altering boot order settings in BIOS. If for some reason, your PC isn’t booting from a bootable Windows USB drive, you can try out the following solutions to boot from USB and begin installing Windows.
Can’t boot or install Windows 10/8/7 from USB drive?
Check if your USB drive is bootable
Before you enter into the BIOS to alter boot order settings, make sure that your newly prepared bootable USB drive is really bootable. To test if your USB drive is bootable, you can go through our how to test if your USB is bootable tutorial.
Check if your PC supports booting from USB
As you likely know, one can’t boot from a USB drive on a machine that doesn’t support booting from USB. In order to check if your PC’s motherboard support USB booting, you can either check your PC’s manual or enter the BIOS to see if USB boot option is present.
And if your PC doesn’t ship with USB booting feature, don’t feel bad. There is an easy workaround to boot from USB on machines that don’t support booting from a USB drive. Follow the instructions mentioned in our how to boot from a USB drive even if your PC doesn’t support guide to boot from a USB drive and install Windows.
Configure your PC to boot from USB
If your USB drive is bootable and your PC supports booting from USB, then you need to walk into the BIOS and configure it to boot from USB. To enter the BIOS, you need to reboot your PC and press a specific key as soon as you see your PC reboots. Most OEMs use either Delete, F2 or F12 key to enter into BIOS but we advise you check your PC’s manual or PC manufacturer website for the right key to enter the BIOS and to know how to configure your PC to boot from USB.
Check the file system of your USB drive
If your PC supports UEFI and you’re trying to install Windows in UEFI mode, you should make sure that the bootable USB drive is formatted in the FAT32 file system. In short, you can’t use an NTFS formatted USB drive to boot and install Windows in UEFI mode. To check the file system of your USB drive, connect to a bootable PC, right-click on the USB drive, and then click Properties to see the current file system.