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Create a bootable Windows installation USB drive using Linux

Submitted by Druss on Sat, 2019-01-19 02:32

I needed to install Windows and downloaded the 4.7GB Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft's website. Since I only had Linux machines at my disposal (and no DVD drives), I had to look to install the ISO on a pen drive. While the purists advocated that I use dd to accomplish this, I found that getting the USB to be bootable was something of a chore. So I looked for a friendlier solution and this is what I found for Kubuntu:

  1. Install the WoeUSB package. On Ubuntu flavours this can be done via the Web Upd8 PPA:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install woeusb

    For other distros, see this page.

  2. If your system automounts your pen drive, turn that feature off. If need be unmount the drive in question using something along the lines of umount -l /media/mypendrive.
  3. Use the following command to do the job:
    woeusb --target-filesystem NTFS --device Win10_1809Oct_EnglishInternational_x64.iso /dev/sdc

    This formats the pen drive (identified as /dev/sdc on my system) as an NTFS partition and writes the ISO file on it.

For files smaller than 4GB you can do away with the --target-filesystem parameter and stick to the FAT32 default.

Hope this helps!