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Install Windows 10 with USB stick (ISO) - solution

Windows 10 ISO file is too big for a DVD

Until recently, you could download your Windows 10 version from the Internet and burn it to a DVD. The 4.7 GB (or the equivalent of 4.33 GB) fit exactly to burn the ISO file and install the operating system accordingly from the DVD. The prerequisites were very simple: you only have to create the corresponding DVD, e.g. with Nero, CD-BurnerXP or the in-house, integrated burning program and then change the boot sequences. To do this, navigate to the BIOS and start your computer via DVD. The system is usually installed automatically. This process takes about 45 minutes and you were able to use Windows 10 directly. Unfortunately, it hasn't been that easy since one of the last updates.

Problem: Windows ISO file is too big

The ISO file of the current Windows 10 version has a memory size of almost 5 GB. Unfortunately, this file can no longer be burned to a DVD. Even if you download the latest version from the Internet using the Microsoft MediaCreation Tool, the file is still too big for a DVD.

First solution ideas

You could buy a double-layer DVD that has 8.5 GB of storage. However, this procedure only works if your burner is capable of recording such DVDs. Another option is to split the content: You could use two DVDs, technically cut the ISO file in half, and install it piece by piece. Unfortunately, this did not work in our attempts, so Windows 10 could not be installed properly.

Execute ISO file directly

Another starting point is to run the ISO file downloaded from Microsoft directly on the computer. If your computer cannot do this automatically, you could, for example, download Virtual Clone Drive and open the ISO file using a virtual drive. Microsoft now runs its own setup, searches for updates and finally downloads the operating system. Unfortunately nothing changes after the installation. During this installation you have no option of formatting the hard disks or reallocating the storage space. Hardly anything has changed on your system after this installation, so we also discard this variant and do not recommend it.

Solution: Windows ISO file is too big for a DVD

The condition for the following steps there is initially a valid one License key. You must have a license key to activate a Windows version on your computer. You can of course carry out the installation without a key. After a while at the latest, however, you will be asked to activate your system.

The method

How do you proceed if the Microsoft ISO of Windows 10 does not fit on a DVD, or you do not have a drive on your PC from which Windows 10 can be installed? There are countless opinions on this on the Internet, but most of them are written in such a complicated way that laypeople can hardly understand the path or simply do not work. In no way should you believe various keys that are published on the Internet. Only a valid, purchased license key can help. We will now show you that the way to the Windows 10 installation with ISO file and without DVD is basically not that difficult.

Installation via USB stick

First, use a USB stick with at least 8 GB of storage capacity. We have chosen the SanDisk Ultra Flair 32GB USB 3.0 flash drive with up to 150 MB / sec in black.

Plug it into the USB port on your computer and go to the Microsoft download page:

Now download the appropriate tool.

The download starts completely automatically and after the end the system copies all necessary files to the stick. But it's not that simple: it doesn't quite work the way Microsoft describes it at this point.

After the download: restart and change BIOS settings

When the stick has been set up, you will receive a corresponding message. Now the finished stick is plugged into a USB port in the new PC in order to install Windows 10 there. In the BIOS (accessed via F2, F12, F11 or Del - depending on the system), you should set the start options to "USB" so that the computer does not start with its hard drive but with the inserted USB stick.

Automatic installation of Windows 10

The system now installs itself completely independently. A question about the Windows variant or bit version does not appear. You need a Microsoft account to complete the installation. You can generally create this very quickly and then authenticate yourself with your access data. Unfortunately, you cannot complete the installation without a Microsoft account.

Conclusion of the installation

A Windows Home operating system will now be installed on the new computer. This even worked on our test device without a key. The system can then be upgraded to Windows 10 Professional with the appropriate key as required. Admittedly, this route is generally a bit cumbersome. The simplest solution would be to still provide an ISO file with a memory size of approx. 4 GB so that a DVD can be burned without further ado. It would also have been nice if the installation would work while the system was running via the setup file.

Categories Windows Tips, All Posts, Computers, Tips & Tricks