I'm trying to make bootable usb from win10 iso (should be legal, I got in PC magazine). The iso is OK, it works boots in virtual box.

I tried fedora "media writer", ubuntu "disks" and good old "dd"

sudo dd bs=4M if=/tmp/win10.iso of=/dev/sda conv=fdatasync

and while that thing says it's bootable:

/dev/sda: ISO 9660 CD-ROM filesystem data 'CHIPSPEC_WIN10_II' (bootable)

it cannot be booted on none of mine computers, all linux based(meaning I cannot use any windows app to write image or do any investigation there). I did not use windows for years and did not install them even longer. Does newest windows require something special from bios? Is uefi mandatory? Is secureboot mandatory? Or what can be the issue?


It says the ISO-9660 CD image is bootable. However, that uses a different mechanism from "regular" disks (HDDs/USBs) – the BIOS-compatible boot code isn't located in sector 0, nor is the UEFI-compatible partition table.

The Linux ISOs that you've used in the past have been specially prepared using isohybrid to be bootable both as CD images and as fixed disk images. Windows ISOs are not – they're meant purely for CDs/DVDs, so you'll need additional tools.

For UEFI, this in theory should be simple (just extract all files onto a FAT32-formatted disk, using DISM to split install.wim if necessary). For BIOS, you'll additionally need ms-sys to write Windows-compatible bootsectors.

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  • sadly I can mark only one answer as valid, and I'm marking this one which was first and explains the true reasoning what was happening to me. Based on it I used woeusb which worked for me and I have working USB now. Thanks! – Martin Mucha Jul 25 '19 at 15:28

There is a tool that will create the correct bootable disk from the ISO : WoeUSB.

If you don't find it in your repository, you may get it via:

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

You will need to format the target disk as follows:

In the Disks application, select the USB on the left, click the hamburger icon, click the Format disk option, select Don’t overwrite existing data (Quick) and Compatible with all systems and devices (MBR/DOS), and then click the Format button.

Launch WoeUSB, and it will automatically detect and select the connected USB drive. Browse to the Windows 10 ISO image and select it. Click on the Install button to begin preparing the bootable Windows 10 USB drive.

If you get the error "Target device is currently busy, unmount all mounted partitions", open Disks, select the USB drive, and then unmount it by clicking the Unmount selected partition icon, and launch WoeUSB again.

More information with screenshots can be found in the article
How To Prepare Windows 10 Bootable USB On Linux.

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  • I did not use this walkthrough exactly, but I used woeusb which worked for me. I did not test this specifically (I formatted the drive in more oldfashioned way to laid groundwork for woeusb), but I think this will work. Thanks for comment, sorry I canot mark 2 answers as valid, however it will surely will help someone else. Thanks! – Martin Mucha Jul 25 '19 at 15:30

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