Create a Windows 10 bootable flashdrive using GRUB

Create a Windows 10 bootable flashdrive using GRUB

2022-10-17 update: Just use Ventoy! ūüėČ


If you use Linux and need to create a bootable flashdrive with a Windows 10 installer, this tutorial is for you.

This method doesn’t require any third-party software to be installed (like¬†winusb or¬†unetbootin).
You will need an 8GB flashdrive (or bigger) to continue. Check if there’s anything in the flashdrive that you need to backup, as this procedure will format it.

1)¬†If you don’t already have it, download a copy of Microsoft Windows 10 directly from Microsoft’s website. Have your activation key in hand for the installation itself (not covered in this tutorial);

2)¬†Make sure you have these packages installed. I’m running Debian, so this is the command for that:

3)¬†After that, open gparted¬† to prepare the flashdrive. Follow the steps on this video. Make sure you’re selecting the right device for your flashdrive (in my case it’s /dev/sde¬†):

It’s basically a 500MB ext4 partition with the bootable flag + a NTFS partition using the rest of the space available.
The rest of the steps are done on the terminal, so go ahead and open a terminal.

4) To make our lives easier, create two shell variables pointing to the correct partitions and one pointing to the file we downloaded on step 1.
In my case:

5) You will need to mount both partitions as well as the ISO file you downloaded on step 1. Create them:

6) Mount the flashdrive partitions to those folders, respectively:

7) Mount the ISO file you downloaded on step 1 (point to the correct path on your filesystem):

8) Trigger the copy of the files from the ISO file to the flashdrive. This might take a while, depending on the speed of your flashdrive.

9) Install grub to the MBR pointing the root directory to the boot partition:

10) We need to create the GRUB configuration file. This has to be done as root. This is the easiest way:

11) That’s it! Now just unmount the flashdrive and ISO file, eject the flashdrive and you’re good to go:

12) Plug the flashdrive to your computer, power it on and choose to boot from the USB:

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