Question Can i create a USB flash drive of my current OS ?

HOLDMYPC

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Aug 1, 2020
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I want to make an USB installer from the Windows 10 i have installed, and not use the media creation tool , please help me, is this possible?
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
I don't think you can. You can make a rescue disk from the installed copy but not an installer from what I can tell

Almost all methods require the ISO and while there are a few ways to get it, you can't create it from the installed version.
 
You can't.

This is like taking a scrambled egg, and wanting to make a new chicken from it.

As asked above, what are you actually trying to do?
Not really, windows is just a list of files, if you put a lot of other files on the same drive you can still take the list of files that make up windows and copy them.

Microsoft has imagex, which is the imaging tool that is also used to do the "install" (it is just applying an image of a clean windows environment that hasn't gone through the initialization) from the default generic windows image that is on any windows install medium.
If you run sysprep you can do several things like rip out drivers or other thing you don't want and create a clean windows image to "install" in the same manner that windows does a normal "install" .
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/sysprep--generalize--a-windows-installation
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Not really, windows is just a list of files, if you put a lot of other files on the same drive you can still take the list of files that make up windows and copy them.

Microsoft has imagex, which is the imaging tool that is also used to do the "install" (it is just applying an image of a clean windows environment that hasn't gone through the initialization) from the default generic windows image that is on any windows install medium.
If you run sysprep you can do several things like rip out drivers or other thing you don't want and create a clean windows image to "install" in the same manner that windows does a normal "install" .
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/sysprep--generalize--a-windows-installation
The install ISO is a lot of compressed files.
These get uncompressed during the installation. It is not a simple 'copy' from a USB to the HDD/SSD.

In addition, a lot of info from the hardware is gathered from the system, and things are configured correctly. Like the Registry.

Knowing what the OP is trying to do would probably lead to an actual solution.
 
The install ISO is a lot of compressed files.
These get uncompressed during the installation. It is not a simple 'copy' from a USB to the HDD/SSD.

In addition, a lot of info from the hardware is gathered from the system, and things are configured correctly. Like the Registry.

Knowing what the OP is trying to do would probably lead to an actual solution.
That's how xp and earlier worked...
From windows 7 and beyond you get one install.wim or now install.esd since the .wim format doesn't have enough compression to fit a simple DVD anymore, it's a simple image in the sources folder of your install media.

The media also contains a second image for the recovery partition called boot.wim

(wim= windows image)
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Unattended still needs to download an ISO

To complete your unattended Windows 10 installation media, follow the Make Windows 10 Installation Media section covered earlier in the article. When you finish burning the Windows 10 installation to your USB flash drive or disc, you must copy the Autounattend.xml file into the root directory, alongside the installation files.
see number 3 here for instructions

how to install without usb or DVD, still needs ISO - https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/94479-clean-install-windows-10-without-dvd-usb-flash-drive.html

Clone is simplest way provided you have more than 1 drive.

So i have a copy of 20H2 ISO on pc and I opened folder and now PC thinks its a DVD drive


which is different. I assume its a trick used by the updater to run a USB image off a hdd to update Win 10.
weird thing is before it did that I could see all the folders in there, now it just shows as a Windows Image File.
 
which is different. I assume its a trick used by the updater to run a USB image off a hdd to update Win 10.
Opening iso files as virtual drives has ben a part of windows for several versions.
Opening disk management you can also attach a .vhd file and it will appear like a normal disk.
The same tech allows windows to boot into a vhd file as well.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/boot-to-vhd--native-boot--add-a-virtual-hard-disk-to-the-boot-menu
 
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