Create Bootable Windows Server 2016 USB Installation Drive Step-by-step

Play Create Bootable Windows Server 2016 USB Installation Drive Step-by-step
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Description

These procedures were written and tested using Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 but should work on any version of Windows Server or Windos Desktop version 8 or above.  They should work on prior versions of Windows 10, Winndows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7 and Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2.  Note: this post DOES NOT use any downloadable .EXE.  This is the long way.  If you want to create a bootable USB with Windows 10 using the executable, see: Download Windows 10 and Create bootable USB Thumb Drive for Booting to Installation PLUS Data Migration.  The USB drive I created with these instructions was used to successfully install Windows Server 2016 TP5 on bare metal with only one internal drive which was wiped during the install.

If you do not have the media, you will need to download.  See https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-technical-preview for the Technical Preview.  You could also download from MSDN.MICROSOFT.COM or other subscription service.

 

1) Double-click the ISO file to mount it  (or mount the ISO) and make note of the drive letter.  In my case it is drive I:

2) Put in the USB Thumb Drive Key in the computer and make note of the drive letter and the size of the disk.  In my case it is D: and 32gb  You will likely need at least an 8gb drive as the bits will require 4.9gb.

Attached Drives

 

3) You need to run an elevated command prompt. Start | type cmd | Right-click cmd (top of menu) | Run as Administrator  (accept the elevation request)

 

URGENT NOTE:  The following commands will completely wipe out your disk without warning so make sure you select the proper disk.  I strongly recommend you have a good backup before running.  I also recommend you disconnect all external drives to limit possible mistakes.

 

4) Next you will run Diskpart to prepare the disk for the OS  {question mark "?" below should be replaced with the disk number of the drive you are using}

See full blog post at Create Bootable Windows Server 2016 USB Thumb Drive for Installing OS http://itproguru.com/expert/2016/05/create-bootable-windows-server-2016-usb-thumb-drive-for-installing-os/ for commands and detailed steps

5) Now we need to copy the boot sector.  You should still be in the command prompt window

See full blog post at Create Bootable Windows Server 2016 USB Thumb Drive for Installing OS http://itproguru.com/expert/2016/05/create-bootable-windows-server-2016-usb-thumb-drive-for-installing-os/ for commands and detailed steps

 

6) Now we just need to copy files... (You should still be in the DOS window)

See full blog post at Create Bootable Windows Server 2016 USB Thumb Drive for Installing OS http://itproguru.com/expert/2016/05/create-bootable-windows-server-2016-usb-thumb-drive-for-installing-os/ for commands and detailed steps

 

7)  Once the copy finishes, you can boot to the USB drive and it will be treated like an attached DVD.  Remember, you may have to tell your computer to boot to the USB device which is often done from <F12> or boot options in your BIOS / UEFI settings.

See full blog post at Create Bootable Windows Server 2016 USB Thumb Drive for Installing OS http://itproguru.com/expert/2016/05/create-bootable-windows-server-2016-usb-thumb-drive-for-installing-os/ for commands and detailed steps

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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    revpixel

    FYI. The old Windows 7 USB/DVD Tool form the Microsoft Store still available on the codeplex site works for this...I used it to create a Tech Preview 5 USB Build on an 8GB USB Stick just this morning. Took about 10 minutes on my Windows 10 Desktop to run the tool and create the USB Key with the old tool. 

    So by pass all the hard work. :)

  • User profile image
    Morgan

    Thank you for the instructions. This is preferable to downloading an .exe for just a one-off build.

  • User profile image
    kegham

    windows

  • User profile image
    bohan

    I did not understand the point of this video. What you showed is how to create a partition, a boot sector on it, format it, copy files on it. I don't see what is has to do Windows server 2016, as it could have been anything else like a linux live image.

  • User profile image
    Casey

    Great video,
    Out of all the stuff i've read this is the one that helped out the most. Great explanations. Much appreciated.

  • User profile image
    danstolts

    @bohan:The disk you are creating is a bootable USB drive (use like a dvd)

  • User profile image
    Greg Pifer

    I just got a win server 2016 standard product key from ODosta Store at: http://products.odosta.com
    Their customer support is offline right now and I want to get software ISO but Microsoft provides evaluation version where my license is not working.
    Please mention, Is your ISO is full version or evaluation copy.
    If I install this ISO, will my license activate it.

  • User profile image
    Helpful

    @gregpifer


    You can convert a evaluation copy to a normal full version. Google/Youtube will be help with this request :)

    It has to be done after you've installed the evaluation copy.

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