By udisk, I mean a 2.5 inch HDD placed in a plastic box with a SATA-to-USB3.0 cable

I'm quite familiar (not professional, daily use only) with Linux (Arch&Ubuntu) but newbie to Windows. Sometimes my Windows is dead after some stupid yet unrecoverable operation by me. I have to:

  1. download Windows 10 iso image file
  2. Borrow Windows computer from others.
  3. Install Ultraiso on that computer.
  4. Create Windows 10 installation udisk with Ultraiso and iso file.
  5. Boot into udisk.
  6. Repair/Reinstall my Windows 10.

I'm tired of borrowing computers or preparing extra udisks. Is there any way to create a Windows installation udisk with Linux only, without Windows?

Unacceptable solution:

  • dd if=[XXX.iso] of=/dev/sdX - The udisk will be unbootable, tried many times
  • Install Ultraiso on Windows VM, create a virtual disk, use Ultraiso to flash iso to virtual disk, binary dump virtual disk to my udisk - Too much trouble

Possible solution:

  • Manually set up ISOLINUX/GRUB2/etc. on udisk and extract iso (If so,a thorough tutorial is much appreciated)
  • ...

Thank you.

  • 1
    Have you tried Unetbootin yet? – DarkMoon Jan 31 '18 at 6:36
  • @DarkMoon 3 mins ago I tried Unetbootin on my Arch Linux. I'm able to boot from the unetbootin-created udisk into UEFI mode, but fail when trying legace mode (non-UEFI mode). – Darren Ng Feb 9 '18 at 0:56
  • @DarkMoon Yet an ultraiso-created udisk boots into both UEFI and Legacy mode with no problem. – Darren Ng Feb 9 '18 at 1:10

The best way to do that currently is to use woeusb

woeusb  --target-filesystem NTFS --device path/to/windows.iso /dev/sdX

There is also a GUI for those that prefer it.

  • 1
    should be the accepted answer! – Michael M. Jan 29 '19 at 17:45
  • 1
    It is now the accepted answer :). – Mathieu Westphal Mar 8 '19 at 14:47

I wonder what makes you think you have to do that ever? Downloading the iso takes as much time as simply repairing it with an older iso and then redownloading the updates again. Just put an old 4GB USB Stick with a windows installation somewhere and forget about it, it's not like you would save any time creating it again and again. You can update when a big update comes out, unless you destroy your windows installation every day.

  • Yours is a solution and I did "put an old 4GB USB Stick with a windows installation somewhere and forget about it". Unfortunately I'm in mainland China and Windows Update is, though not GFWed, unbearably slooow, whether behind VPN or not. Minor updates are possible, but major (e.g. Fall Creator Update, service packs..) ones should take 100+ hours (download). Actually I reinstalled Windows 10 twice when it's running OK just for "Anniversary Update" and "Creators Update". [:sigh:] – Darren Ng Jan 31 '18 at 11:10
  • Have you tried running one of the various windows tools through wine? Yumi might eventually work, that's what I use for multiboot media. – Finzlbrother Feb 1 '18 at 9:11
  • Wine for a newbie as me, sure? [Laugh&Sigh] – Darren Ng Feb 10 '18 at 2:15

Try the below:


the post presents you with a few different methods, the first one worked for me.

  • It seems worth a try. Give me several days please. Thanks in advance... – Darren Ng Jan 31 '18 at 11:16
  • Thanks. "Legacy/MBR-style/IBM PC compatible bootmode" -- github.com/slacka/WoeUSB#woeusb turns out to be bootable. Now problem solved (unetbootin for UEFI while woeusb for Legacy) – Darren Ng Feb 10 '18 at 2:13
  • As of August 2018, woeusb is capable of creating both UEFI mode udisk and CSM ("Legacy") udisks (of cource not hybrid). Many a thanks to your post. – Darren Ng Sep 1 '18 at 3:06
  • Please read how to recommend software in answers, particularly the bits in bold; then edit your answer to follow the guidelines there. Thanks! – bertieb Dec 27 '18 at 11:52

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