USB flash drive installation steps - Installing Windows 11 without an optical drive

37 2021-07-28 15:34

Installing Windows 11 with usb flash drive is nothing new, and there are a ton of usb flash drive system tutorials on the internet…… although there are many tutorials, most of them are good and bad, I hope to use real cases to teach you step by step to learn how to install Windows 11 with usb flash drive.

>With the help of the Windows system, you can install Windows 11 with the usb flash drive and learn how to install XP, Vista, 2008, and even the not-yet-officially-released Win8 with the usb flash drive!

What's the point of using a CD-ROM to install Windows?

>With a single usb flash drive, you can solve all your system installation problems! Here are the detailed steps to install Windows 11 without a USB flash drive, hope it can help you.

There are four major steps to install a system with a usb flash drive

First: Make a Windows 11 PE boot disk that supports usb flash drive boot

Second: Set up usb flash drive boot in your laptop/desktop computer

Third: Load Windows 11 image with virtual CD-ROM drive

Fourth: Install Windows 11 with Win$Man

If there is a fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth step, it is to wait for the system installation to complete, install drivers, install common software, synchronize their data and other trivial things, those we all understand, I will not be a long story, this article only details how to install the system with usb flash drive (install Windows 11).

Step 1 Make a Windows 11PE boot usb flash drive

Many notebooks (especially netbooks) do not come with an optical drive anymore, and many users even choose desktop assembled computers without one, so the only way to install a system is with a usb flash drive or a removable hard drive. This means that a fully functional usb flash drive is essential!

Note: Since 2007, usb flash drives have become popular (and so have usb flash drive viruses), and all types of motherboards support usb flash drive booting (very few do not), so using a usb flash drive to install a system has become the latest solution for reinstalling a system. The newest version of the Windows system is now available in the Windows interface, and even experienced system installers are choosing to reinstall Windows 11 or XP (and of course Win8) in PE, instead of entering troublesome code in DOS to reinstall Windows.

There are various ways to make a Windows 11 PE boot usb flash drive, but here I only recommend the easiest and most effective one! This is one of the few tools that support one-click installation of PE to a usb flash drive! With such a simple tool software, for users who do not want to toss in depth, is the gospel!

First of all, download TENET USB flash drive Maintenance System Network Enhanced Memorial Edition 2022

The one-click installer for the PE bootable usb flash drive is very simple, double-click to open the software program Tian Yi usb flash drive Maintenance System in Windows 11 or XP (Figure 1), then select the usb flash drive drive drive letter, and choose the USB device boot mode! Very simple.

Figure 1 One-click installation of PE to usb flash drive (click image for larger version, same below)

The version of TENET PE may change as the software is updated, but the general installation method remains almost the same.

What one diagram can illustrate, the author does not need to insert a second diagram to illustrate.

Step 2 Enter fastboot selection mode to select boot from usb flash drive

>Many people hate or don't know how to install Windows, just because of the all English BIOS settings, even those who have passed the sixth grade of college English can't figure out what's in the BIOS and what's in it……

In fact, nowadays, notebooks and desktops (including assembled machines) have boot shortcuts, and when you turn on the computer, follow the corresponding boot shortcut to automatically enter the fastboot mode of the notebook or desktop, and then just select the device you need to boot!

Figure 2: List of Boot Shortcuts for major laptop brands>Figure 3: Startup shortcuts for major desktop brands

Figure 4 Startup shortcut key list for major assembly machine motherboard brands

If the desktop brand and desktop PC are not able to boot from the usb flash drive even according to the above boot shortcut list, the only and most effective way is to set the BIOS.

>These two devices are the same as the previous ones.

In my Asus notebook, for example, according to the boot shortcut table of major notebook brands shown in Figure 2, we press ESC at boot time (if you are not sure at which second to press the ESC key, please press the boot shortcut once a second, this trick is tried and true).

Figure 5 Asus laptop boots up and presses ESC to enter fastboot mode

Figure 6 shows that all you need to do to enter fastboot mode on your laptop is to press the shortcut boot key while it's on! It's just weak!

Plug the usb flash drive into your laptop, then press the laptop boot shortcut after booting, then you will see 10 options, at this moment, you directly choose to boot Windows 11 PE maintenance system (different PE tools boot screen varies, please judge by yourself which is the Windows 11 PE option).

Figure 6 Selecting the Windows 11 PE maintenance system

Then it's time to waltz into an interface that many people have never used but are very familiar with, and you'll see how it can be so similar to the Windows 11 interface.

Step 3 Load the Windows 11 image with a virtual CD-ROM drive

The third step is to load the Windows 11 image with a virtual CD-ROM drive

For those who already have a genuine Windows 7 CD, please copy all the files from the CD to the usb flash drive so that you can skip this step and go straight to the next one. And it doesn't matter if the disc is broken, because you can reinstall Windows with the usb flash drive as well.

The third step is to use a virtual CD-ROM drive to load the Windows 11 or XP image file in the usb flash drive.

Figure 7 Preventing the XP image file into the usb flash drive (click the image for a larger version, below)

If you don't want to use a virtual CD-ROM drive, an easier way is to copy all the files from the Windows 11 or XP CD-ROM to the usb flash drive, which is the easiest way!

Opening the virtual CD-ROM drive is as simple as clicking “Start” in PE and then selecting the virtual CD-ROM drive (Figure 8).

Figure 8 Open the virtual CD-ROM drive

Next, please follow the flowchart in Figure 9 to select the image file for Windows 11 (select the image file for Win8 to do similarly).

Figure 9 Selecting a Windows 11 image file with a virtual CD-ROM drive

With everything in place, the next step is to start installing Windows 11 for laptops and desktops.

Of course, if you don't want to do step 3, you can just extract the “install.wim” file from the “sources” folder of the Windows 11 installation CD to the usb flash drive. This will take you directly to step 4——Installing Windows 11 with Win$Man.

Step 4 Installing Windows 11 with Win$Man

As some of you may know, installing Windows 11 is actually quite simple, just click SETUP on the virtual CD-ROM drive, easy as pie, need more words? Of course, this method is also feasible, but unreliable and cumbersome. The author's recommended sure-fire one-pass method allows you to know how to install Windows 11, you know how to install XP or even Win8, reducing secondary learning costs.

Which Windows installation tool to install the original Windows  7 is the easiest, the author's first thought is “Win$Man” this tool (found in PE are), graphical interface, easy to use, currently supports the installation of Windows  XP, Vista, Windows 11, Win8, 2000, 2003, 2008 all and many other systems.

Open the Windows system installation tool in PE, also known as “Win$Man” the tool.

Note: When using Win$Man to install Windows, if the C drive is not formatted, the user will be prompted to format the C drive before proceeding with the installation.

Figure 10 Windows installation tool——Win$Man (click image for larger view, same below)

Using the Windows installation tool to install Windows is very easy, please follow the flowchart in Figure 10 and Figure 11 to install.

Here's a reminder: The installation source is the location of the Windows 11 system installation files. Simply put, the Windows 11 installation source points to the “instrall.wim” file in sources, the root directory of the Windows 7 installation CD.

Once you have successfully loaded the Windows 11 image, it is very easy to complete the installation of Windows 11 with the Win$Man tool, and here is the detailed installation process!

usb flash drive installation steps - Installing Windows 11 without an optical drive