This article will tell you 3 ways to create Windows 11 installation media for a clean install of Windows 11. Before you start, you need to make sure that the machine using the Windows 11 installation media meets the minimum Windows 11 requirements.
There are various ways to create Windows 11 installation media, such as using third-party software to create a bootable USB drive, using Microsoft’s official media creation tool to create bootable media, and using the command prompt to create a bootable disk.
Next we’ll cover the process of creating bootable media using media creation tools, third-party software, and the command prompt.
Method 1: Use the Media Creation Tool to Create Bootable Media
The most common method is to use a media creation tool to create a bootable disk. This method does not require a Windows 11 ISO to create installation media using the Media Creation Tool.
Open the Windows 11 download page and find Create Windows 11 installation media. Click the “Download Now” button to start downloading the Media Creation Tool.
After the download is complete, double-click the MediaCreationTool.exe file in the default download directory.
A UAC (User Account Control) window will appear on your screen, click the “Yes” button to continue.
In the Windows 11 Settings window, click the Accept button in the lower right corner.
Next, the tool will automatically select the appropriate language and version for the current PC. Uncheck the box in front of “Use this PC’s recommended options” to select other languages and versions.
Click the Next button to continue.
Choose whether you want to create a bootable USB disk or a bootable DVD. Then click the “Next” button.
Note: If you want to create a bootable USB, please make sure your USB has at least 8GB capacity.
If you selected the USB flash drive option, select an external USB disk connected to your system in the next step, or you can insert a USB drive into your device at this step, then click the “Refresh drive List” option. Select the drive and click the “Next” button in the lower right corner.
If you selected the ISO option, click the Browse button in the File Explorer window, select the directory where you downloaded the ISO, and click the Save button to start downloading the file.
The Media Creation Tool will start downloading Windows 11 on your USB disk, or it will create an ISO in the download directory and burn it to disk later.
Once the download or creation of the bootable USB media is complete, the installation media has been successfully created. If you downloaded the ISO file, you will need to burn it to a DVD drive in order to use it.
Method 2: Use a third-party software to make a bootable U disk
Rufus is the best third-party software for creating installation media for Windows 11 installations. Before you start, you will need a Windows 11 ISO and a flash drive of at least 8 GB capacity to create a bootable USB with Rufus.
First, visit rufus.ie, then in the “Downloads” section and click the “Rufus 3.18” option to start the download.
After downloading, double-click the Rufus.exe file you downloaded to run the program.
A UAC (User Account Control) window will appear on your screen. Click the “Yes” button to continue.
Insert the USB drive into one of the Windows PC’s USB ports.
In the Rufus window, click the drop-down menu under the Devices option and select the USB drive from the list. Click the Select button next to the Guided Selection option. Click the File Explorer window browse button to select the Windows ISO file on your PC.
Stand-alone “Image Options” drop-down menu; select the “Standard Windows Installation” option.
Now, you need to know your PC’s BIOS mode. On your PC, press Windows+R keys simultaneously, type msinfo32 and press Enter on your keyboard.
In the window, find and check the BIOS Mode field, it should say “Legacy” or “UEFI”.
Then go back to Rufus and click on the drop-down menu just below the “Partition Scheme” option. If your BIOS mode is “Legacy”, select the “MBR” option from the drop-down list. If it is “UEFI”, select the GPT option.
Rufus uses the name of the autofill volume as the name of the bootable USB, but you can also name it yourself under the ‘Volume label’ field.
Select the drive file system from the drop-down menu under the File System option. You can only choose the FAT32 file system if you use the GPT partition scheme, otherwise, NTFS will be your only option.
Click the “Start” button of the Rufus window and the alarm window will appear.
In the alert window, click the OK button to start creating the Windows 11 installation installation media.
Method 3: Create installation media using the command prompt
In addition to media creation tools and third-party software, you can also opt for the command prompt route. Before you begin, connect a USB drive to your computer.
Open the start menu and search for command prompt. Right-click the Command Prompt tile and click the “Run as administrator” option.
In the Command Prompt window, type or copy and paste the command mentioned below and press Enter to start the Windows Diskpart utility.
After that, execute the command to view the list of all the available storage devices.
Now you can use the size column to identify your USB drive.
Copy and paste the command mentioned below and press Enter on the keyboard to select the drive.
SEL DISK 1
Copy and paste the command mentioned below and press Enter to erase everything from the drive.
Copy and paste the command below and press Enter to create the primary partition on the drive.
Create Partition Primary
Copy and Paste the command mentioned below and press Enter on your keyboard to execute the command.
Copy and paste the command mentioned below and press Enter to execute it to format the drive as NTFS to create a bootable disk.
FORMAT FS=NTFS LABEL=”Bootable_USB” QUICK OVERRIDE
Copy and paste the command mentioned below to assign a letter to the “bootable USB” you just made.
Enter and execute the command: exit to exit the DiskPart utility.
Execute the following command to mount the ISO file on a USB drive.
Note: Replace the placeholder paths in the commands below with the actual file paths.
PowerShell Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath “C:\<Users>\<Username>\<Directory>\<filename.iso>”
After mounting the ISO, execute the command: Diskpart to invoke the DiskPart utility again.
Since you will need the drive letter of the mounted drive. Execute the command: List volume to determine the type. Since the USB is now mounted, it will be listed as DVD-ROM; note the ISO alphabet listed in the Ltr column.
Execute the command: exit to exit the DiskPart utility.
Execute the command: <ISO Volume Letter>:
In our case, the volume letter is F.
Execute the command: cd boot
Next, execute the command: Bootsect /nt60 <placeholder> to make the USB drive master boot code compatible.
Note: Replace the placeholder with the drive letter of the USB flash drive.
Finally, execute the following command to copy the ISO volume file to a USB flash drive.
Note: Replace the corresponding placeholders with the letters of the mounted ISO volume and USB drive on the PC.
xcopy <mounted ISO volume letter>:\*.* <USB drive letter>:\ /E /F /H
If you encounter Command Prompt that seems to get stuck between the two, don’t worry, this is perfectly normal behavior as it’s rare for large files to take time to copy.
The process completed successfully when you see the “Files copied” message in the Command Prompt window. Then you can do a clean install of Windows 11 on any computer using the USB drive.
Hope these 3 methods above will help you create installation media for a clean install of Windows 11 if needed.