4

I have already read How to write bootable iso to a partition? and How do I place a bootable ISO on a USB drive?, but here it's a bit different:

I'd like to put the Windows 10 (or 7) bootable ISO installation disk into an external disk partition (and not into a USB flash drive). How to do this?

More generally, how to write a bootable ISO to a disk partition with Windows?

Notes:

  • The latter is important because the main solutions of How do I place a bootable ISO on a USB drive? don't work: Rufus, for example, doesn't offer the possibility to do it on a hard drive partition (I just tried now, the "Device" list is empty ; when I insert a USB flash drive, here it works)

  • If possible, I'd like to install the bootable Windows 10 installer ISO into (bootable) Partition 2 of a disk. Partition 1 of the same disk is where Windows will be eventually installed ; once it will be installed, I will be able to delete this no-longer needed Partition 2.


Why to do this? Here's the reason: I've installed Windows many many times, but at the end it's always slow from a USB flash drive. A nice solution would be: put the ISO installer on Partition 2 of the actual disk where it's going to be installed, then boot on this Partition 2, and install Windows on Partition 1. Then you can remove Partition 2. It should be very fast, in the case it's a SSD for example.

  • 2
    Is there a reason why you go this insane route? – LPChip Nov 5 '19 at 12:13
  • @LPChip Yes ;) Let me explain: I've installed Windows many many times, but at the end it's always slow from a USB flash drive. A nice solution would be: put the ISO installer on Partition 2 of the actual disk where it's going to be installed, then boot on this Partition 2, and install Windows on Partition 1. Then you can remove Partition 2. Very fast (in the case it's a SSD for example). – Basj Nov 5 '19 at 12:15
  • 1
    A better way to go about this would be to use a WinPE.wim or WinRE.wim and add that to Partition 2, ensuring Partition 2 is large enough to fit the install.wim from the install image. WinPE: Create bootable WinPE media or Create a bootable WinPE 5.0 x64 USB drive. Keep in mind BIOS should have 3 partitions (WinRE, boot, OS) and UEFI should have 4 (WinRE, EFI, MSR, OS) – JW0914 Nov 5 '19 at 12:18
  • @JW0914 This 22-step workflow seems complex! but I'll have a look at it. – Basj Nov 5 '19 at 12:20
  • 2
    An even easier option for this route, is to install windows once, then make an image backup, and store that image backup on your second partition. If you then need to install windows, you simply restore that backup. But keep in mind, USB 3.0 is very fast. Combine this with an SSD for the main drive, and windows installs should take about 15 to 20 minutes. – LPChip Nov 5 '19 at 12:25
6

Rufus developer here.

There's a non publicized cheat mode in Rufus that may allow you to use an external non USB drive like an external USB one, and that's Ctrl-Alt-F. Basically what this does is that it might enable Rufus to list drives that are seen as removable/hot-plug by Windows, regardless of whether they are USB based. Thus, provided that your BIOS/UEFI firmware properly tags them (you may have to fiddle with your BIOS options for that, but be mindful that not all BIOSes allow you to do that), you might be able to use an e-SATA drive.

Now, here comes the BIG DISCLAIMER: The reason why this is a non publicized option is because you will receive absolutely no support regardless of whether the option works or not and also and I make also NO GUARANTEE WHATSOEVER that it'll work for the purpose you want. For instance if Rufus happens to destroy valuable data while using Ctrl-Alt-F, you are 100% on your own. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

I will also point out that this will still result in the whole drive being partitioned and reformatted, so it'll only work if you can dedicate a whole drive. If you want partition preservation then you're on your own.

3

After further tests, here is an (easy) working solution:

  • Get a Windows10 ISO from https://www.microsoft.com/fr-fr/software-download/windows10 (it comes with MediaCreationTool.exe), the one I have is 3.23 GB

  • Use 7zip to extract its content to the disk partition you want (I know it might be strange, but it works!)

  • Run diskmgmt.msc and mark this partition as "Active"

  • Reboot the computer and boot on this disk, it works

  • Do the normal installation as usual.

I just installed a Windows 10 that way a few minutes ago.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.