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How To Install Windows 11 From USB

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Microsoft’s latest Windows release, called Windows 11 is turning a lot of heads right now. Wondering why? It’s because the update comes with a complete visual overhaul compared to its successor, Windows 10. Even more so, it comes with many new handy features that are set to give your productivity a massive boost.


So, how does one get their hands on Windows 11? Well, Microsoft hasn’t actually released the update for billions of Windows users throughout the globe as it’s still in its testing phase and is set to roll out to users sometime in early 2022.


Then why the buzz now? It’s because Microsoft just rolled out their first test build, known as an Insider Preview for the masses. And boy are people excited to take Windows 11 out for a spin!


Required


Before proceeding with this guide, you should probably check if your PC supports Windows 11 builds. Here’s a page by Microsoft explaining the Windows 11 system requirements.


Also, be sure to enable TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot on your PC too. You can check if TPM is already enabled or not on your PC — use this guide.


Step 1: Get the ISO files for Windows 11


If you are looking to install Windows 11 yourself — without using the Windows Insider program menu under Settings — then you will need an ISO first and foremost. Click the link below to learn how to download the ISO file of the Windows 11 Insider build. 



  • How to download Windows 11 ISO


As of June 30, 2021, only the Dev channel build of Windows 11 has been released. So, that’s all you can download and install at the moment.


For a better, more reliable build that is easy to update too later on, including updating to Windows 11 stable release later on as you can’t update from Dev to Stable build, wait for the Windows 11 beta build which will be out in July 2021.


However, if the tool doesn’t work for you — as it does from time to time — then you will have to look on the web to grab a Windows 11 Insider build ISO (avoid leaked ISO). Yes, reddit.com can be of help.


Step 2: Create a bootable USB drive with Windows 11 ISO


Grab a Pen Drive (minimum 8 GB storage) and use Rufus software to create a bootable USB drive that will allow you to install Windows 11 from the BIOS/UEFI. Yes, click the link below to find a guide for this.


The above will take you only some time, 15-30 minutes likely. Come back to this page to learn how to install Windows 11 using your bootable pen drive from above.


Okay, so you got your copy and set up your USB drive with Rufus, but what next? Don’t worry, we have you covered.


This guide below will cover all of the steps required to get your PC up and running with the latest Windows Insider Preview build.


Let’s get to it.


Step 3: Install Windows 11 using bootable USB


Here’s how you can do a clean install of Windows 11 Insider Preview with the USB drive you prepared with Rufus.


The first step is to plug in the USB drive with Windows 11 into your PC.


Assuming that your PC is currently powered on, what you need to do is click on the “Start” button at the bottom left.


Then click on the “Power” icon.



There, you’ll find the options for “Sleep”, “Shutdown” and “Restart”.



Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click on “Restart”. If done correctly, your PC should boot into a blue screen with a bunch of options, instead of your desktop. Click on “Troubleshoot” here.



The next set of options should look like this. Click on “Advanced Options”.



Then click “UEFI Firmware Settings”.



And then click on “Restart”.



Your PC should now reboot into its BIOS. On our Asus PC, we got an option called “Boot Priority” on the Dashboard/EZ Mode of BIOS.


Yours might be a little different, so look for something that says “Boot Menu/Priority”. Here’s what our Boot Priority section looks like with the USB drive plugged in.



Now, all you have to do is drag your USB drive (ours is a Kingston Data Traveler G3) by holding those 3 horizontal lines to the top.


Again, you need to bring the USB drive entry to the top of the list. The correct boot priority order should now look like below.



After that, all that’s left is to save the changes that we just made to the BIOS boot priority menu by pressing the “F10” key.


Your PC should now restart automatically, and you should be able to see the Windows 11 Insider Preview setup loading up.



With just a couple of clicks, your Windows 11 build should be up and running.


How to install Windows 11 from the powered-off state


Well, if your PC is powered off, there’s no need to power it up. Simply plug in the USB drive, press your PC’s power button to start it, and then start tapping the Esc key to get into the BIOS/UEFI mode. If the Esc key doesn’t work, use either of these keys: Esc/F2/F12/F8/Del.


Once you’re inside the BIOS/UEFI, the rest of the steps are similar to the ones mentioned above.


Why is my pen drive not detected?


TIP: A PC with UEFI BIOS will refuse to boot from a USB stick that contains either Windows or Linux in the MBR partition scheme as it simply won’t show up in the Boot Menu. You’d have to first manually switch to MBR/Legacy/SATA mode (depending on your PC) in BIOS to proceed with the install.


Also, make sure that you made it a bootable drive in the correct manner and that it’s working alright. You can write Windows 11 on to pen drive again if you think the data might have got corrupted or some other issue could have come into play when you were creating the bootable pen drive. Use Step 2 above again for this.


Installing Windows 11 without USB Drive


Yes, if you have the ISO file, it’s simply to do too. But you may not be able to dual boot Windows 11 with any other OS using this method as you can do that using a bootable drive only.


Let’s take a look at an easier way to install Windows 11.


Right-click the Windows 11 ISO and click “Mount” or just double-click if you’re on Windows.



As soon as you do that, Windows will mount the ISO on a virtual drive and open the ISO in the same window. In the now opened ISO folder, there’ll be a file called “setup”. Double-click on it.



Wait for a few seconds and you’ll see the Windows 11 setup starting up.



Once the setup has done its initial processing, you’ll be greeted with a window similar to the image below. Click on “Next”.



And from this point onwards, the setup will take over and upgrade a few things as needed.


After maybe some 15 minutes later, your own Windows 11 experience should be ready to roll.


Let us know how the installation process go for you.


You can get in touch with us anytime using the comments box below if you need any help in this regard.

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