How to create a bootable USB drive for a Windows 10 Insider Preview installation

Create bootable USB media with Rufus using the Windows 10 Insider Preview ISO to clean install the system and prevent potential issues when upgrading to new builds.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to use a bootable USB stick with a clean Windows 10 image to install the system from scratch. This measure will be useful when restoring your system due to a damaged build, to prevent potential problems, or even to connect a new PC to the Windows Insider program.

Note: There are several third-party applications that allow you to convert your USB stick to a “bootable” format. In this example, the free and not demanding system resources program Rufus is used. You can use any other utility with similar functionality. The program should do two things correctly: convert the USB stick to the “bootable” format and convert the ISO image to installation files.

Creating a bootable USB drive using Rufus

1. Download the required Windows 10 Insider Preview ISO according to this instruction or use the latest official ISOs from the Microsoft website.

    • Save the file and remember the location.
  • Plugin the USB drive that you want to convert to a bootable USB stick.
    • IMPORTANT: All data on the drive will be deleted. Please back up important data before proceeding.
    • The USB drive must be at least 8 GB in size.

2. Start the Rufus program (or similar program).

3. Configure Rufus settings as shown as a demo in the screenshot below.

Pay attention to the following nuances:

  • If several media are connected via USB (external hard drive, flash drive, etc.), make sure you select the correct drive in the drop-down list
  • The flash drive must use the NTFS file system. If NTFS on a USB stick doesn't work on your computer for some reason, you can format it to FAT32.
  • Specify a volume label of your choice.
  • Next to the item "Create bootable disc" you need to select the option "ISO-image". Click on the button with the disk icon and specify the location of the ISO image downloaded in step 1.

4. Click the “Start” button - Rufus will start formatting the USB stick and decompiling the ISO image.

5. After completing the USB drive creation process, you can use it to complete the Windows installation.

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