How to Create a Bootable Windows 10 USB in Linux Mint

How to Create a Bootable Windows 10 USB in Linux Mint

This short guide describes all steps required in order to create bootable USB with the latest Windows 10 in Linux Mint. Several different options are described - as the one which is working best is WoeUSB.

Step #1: Requirements

  • A 8GB or larger USB stick/flash drive
  • Microsoft Windows 10 image
  • Linux Mint/Ubuntu machine with admin rights
  • Writing program:
    • WoeUSB - the only one working fine with the latest November edition of Windows 10
    • Etcher - not able to create bootable USB for Windows 10 November with language pack, but working fine for older images.
    • USB Image Writer - included by default in Linux Mint Cinnamon

Step #2: Download Windows 10

The first steps is to get the latest Windows 10 from the official website (or any other image if you need a custom image. The official download link for Windows 10 is: Download Windows 10 Disc Image (ISO File). You need to

  1. select the edition (in this case) and confirm:
  • Windows 10 November 2019 Update
  1. Select the product language
  • English and confirm
  1. The final selection is to chose:
  • 64-bit Download
  • 32-bit Download

The file will be download for several minutes and it will be something like:

Win10_1909_Bulgarian_x64.iso

Note 1: In most cases - 64-bit Download should be preferred option unless there is special need for 32-bit version.

Note 2: The link will be valid 24 hours as the warning shows:

Links are valid for 24 hours from time of creation.
Links expire: 1/15/2020 12:37:56 PM UTC

Note 3: On this link Windows FAQ you can find more information about the image, edition and versions.

Step #3: Back up and format the USB ( 8 GB or bigger)

At this step you need to have USB which is 8 GB or more. If you have data on the USB you can do a back up. The size of the Windows Bootable USB will differ depending on the edition, version and the language pack. In my case the size is 5.3 GB.

The USB should be formatted and not in use for the next step - creation of the bootable Windows 10 flash - otherwise errors will appear or the USB will not work.

Step #4: Creating a Bootable Windows 10 USB in Linux Mint

At this step 3 options are available. The one which was working best is WoeUSB (even if error was raised during the flashing).

4.1 Create the bootable USB with WoeUSB

WoeUSB is considered as alternative of Rufus for Windows. For Linux Mint and Ubuntu it can be installed by:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install woeusb

The github repo is: WoeUSB and the Ubuntu package is maintained by: WebUpd8

Once the program is installed you can do:

  • Start it from the menu by typing WoeUSB
  • From a disk image(iso) - select the downloaded image
  • Select the file system - FAT or NTFS - I used NTFS due to error related to FAT
  • Select the target device - the USB which you are going to use.
    • The USB should be formatted before the installation and should not be in use - otherwise errors might appear!
  • Install

The process of:

Coping files from the source media...

will take some time(for me 50 minutes+).

The writing process could end with error like:

The command "exit 0" failed with exit status "1", program is prematurely aborted

And there is an open issue for it: The command "exit 0" failed with exit status "1", program is prematurely aborted

It's interesting that despite the error the bootable USB with Windows 10 works fine and Windows is installed without any problems.

4.2 Create the bootable USB with Etcher

The USB created with Etcher will work on some laptops and mostly for older Windows 10 images. If you face problems with Etcher I recommend to try with WoeUSB. Etcher is good option when you need to create SD cards or USB in Ubuntu and Linux Mint - but for the latest versions of Windows is not working well. You can find more information here: etcher. The process of the creation is simple:

  • Select image
  • Select Drive
  • Flash!

You can download the program from the above site. After that you need to unarchive it and execute it. The rest is to follow the steps described above.

It's advertised as: Flash OS images to SD cards & USB drives, safely and easily.

**Note: **You have warning in case of writing Windows image. There is also an issue for such cases like: Warn against flashing Windows images

It looks like you are trying to burn a Windows image,
Unlike other images, Windows images require special processing to be made bootable
We suggest you use a tool specially designed for this purpose, such as Rufus..

4.3 Create the bootable USB with USB Image Writer

The last option for this step is to open the program called USB Image Writer. This can be done by:

  • right click on the downloaded file - Win10_1909_Bulgarian_x64.iso
  • Make bootable USB stick
  • to - select the USB device to be used( from the right side). On the left site - Write Image - you should see the selected image file.
  • Write

The process of writing will take several minutes. And the Windows 10 bootable USB is created in several minutes without additional software or programs.

Bonus Step #1: Test the bootable USB

The last step is to test the bootable USB. This can be done with any laptop or desktop PC. Enter the newly created USB and ensure that USB is part of the boot order. Start or restart the machine. That's all.

If the USB is not loaded then you can check in the BIOS settings for:

  • Ensure Secure Boot is disabled.
  • Ensure Legacy mode is enabled.
  • Save the UEFI/BIOS changes.

Sometimes it's needed to shutdown the computer using the power button.

Note: In order to enter the BIOS you can try(it will depends on the laptop brand and model):

  • Dell - open BIOS menu for Lenovo, Dell, Acer
  • F9 - open boot options for HP
  • F8 - open BIOS menu for HP
  • F10 - open boot options for Lenovo, Dell, Acer
  • F2 - open BIOS menu for Lenovo, Dell, Acer
  • Escape - open BIOS menu for HP

For more information you can try to find information specific for you machine/laptop. For example this is what the documentations say for HP:

Note: If you wonder whether you can use the you can use the USB as live Windows 10 USB then the answer is no. Because Windows ISO is only an installer. Mint ISO is an actual bootable operating system with an installer.

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