If you want to install or run Windows from a USB drive, you need a boot driver that can recognize the device and load the operating system. A boot driver is a software component that allows Windows to communicate with the hardware during the boot process. Without a boot driver, Windows may not be able to access the USB drive and display an error message such as \"Inaccessible boot device\" or \"Setup could not find any hard drives in your computer\".
There are two ways to install a USB boot driver for Windows: using an offline image or using Windows Setup. In this article, we will explain both methods and provide some tips on how to choose the best option for your situation.
Using an offline image
An offline image is a file that contains all the files and settings needed to install Windows on a computer. You can create an offline image using tools such as Windows Image (WIM) or Full Flash Update (FFU). You can also download an offline image from the Microsoft website or use an installation media such as a DVD or a USB drive that contains an offline image.
The advantage of using an offline image is that you can add any driver packages that are not included in the default Windows image before deploying it to a system. This way, you can ensure that Windows will have all the necessary drivers to boot from the USB drive. To add a driver package to an offline image, you can use tools such as Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) or Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK). For more information, see Add and remove drivers to an offline Windows image.
The disadvantage of using an offline image is that you need to create or obtain the image beforehand and have enough storage space to store it. You also need to know which driver packages are required for your USB drive and where to find them.
Using Windows Setup
Windows Setup is a program that guides you through the process of installing Windows on a computer. You can run Windows Setup from an installation media such as a DVD or a USB drive that contains a Windows image. You can also download a Windows image from the Microsoft website and use a tool such as Rufus or Windows USB/DVD Download Tool to create a bootable USB drive with the image.
The advantage of using Windows Setup is that you don't need to prepare an offline image in advance and you can use any installation media that has a compatible Windows image. You can also update the installation media with additional driver packages if needed. To do this, you can use tools such as Windows System Image Manager (Windows SIM) or Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK). For more information, see Add device drivers to Windows during Windows Setup.
The disadvantage of using Windows Setup is that you may encounter errors during the installation if Windows does not have the appropriate drivers for your USB drive. In this case, you need to manually select the \"Have Disk\" option and browse for the driver package that contains the USB boot driver. You also need to have access to the driver package either on another media or online. aa16f39245