Install Windows 11 from the USB stick

»» 18.JUL.2021 / updated: 20.DEC.2022 ---

Install Windows 11 from the USB stick

Microsoft in Redmond officially announced for the first time on June 24. 2021 that the successor to Windows 10, after many name changes, will be released as Windows 11. As a final version appears in the fall of 2021.

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download Windows 10 ISO and updates

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download Windows 11 ISO and updates

Windows 11 updates

Also, the requirements for Windows 11 have changed. Compared to Windows 10, you now need a 1GHz dual-core 64-bit processor, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB for storage requirements. Other new requirements include TPM 2.0, DirectX 12, Touchpad Precision and more.

Creating a boot system:

Let's start installing Windows 11, assuming we install instead of the old Windows 10, or older Windows 8. Of course, in this case, the old one will be deleted.

What you will need:

Quick tip: You'll first need the remaining product key from your old Windows 10 (or 7-8) system, which can also be used on Windows 11. Otherwise, you must purchase a valid license from the Microsoft Store, or from another distributor.

  1. Windows 11 ISO file. Download here ...
  2. On the page, select the settings as shown in the image below, then click the Download link.

    select the settings as shown below
  3. At least 8 GB of flashdrive or pendrive, as the ISO file is larger than 4 GB (flashdrive is faster than the pendrive).
  4. Need the Rufus.exe program. (Rufus 3.21 (1.3 MB) 23.dec.2022). Downloading here ...

You will need an external hard drive, or a flash drive to save the stored data, video, image, or documents to the disk where Windows 11 will be installed. This must be done first, because if you forget, all the data will be deleted during installation.

Create Windows 11 bootable with Rufus:

1.) Connect the prepared flash memory (or pendrive if you only have one) to a free USB port on your computer. Caution: Save all data on the flash drive (or pendrive) if necessary, as everything will be deleted.

Connect a flash drive of at least 4 GB

2.) Start the downloaded Rufus program (can be used without installation) to write the created ISO file to the connected USB device.

Select the following settings:

3.) Change the settings in Rufus as shown in the image below:

The USB device is automatically detected, and immediately listed at the top of the Drive Properties entry. In the main window, click the SELECT button and in the file manager (explorer), locate the existing Windows ISO file on the computer where you prepared. In the file manager window, click the Open button at the bottom right. The Rufus program loads the ISO file. Set the NTFS file system instead of FAT, and then click START.

do not disable secure boot

It takes 4-5 minutes to write to flashdrive, and the end result is an automatically bootable Windows 11 system.

4.) When finished, the Rufus program will remind you in a message window to disable "SECURE BOOT" in the BIOS. Ignore it, because in Windows 11, unlike Windows 10, you NEED TO ENABLE secure boot for installation. Simply click the Close.

you must enable secure boot for installation

Clean Windows 11 installation consists of two parts:

You must first complete the installation process, which allows you to wipe the drive to make sure it is clean, remove any spyware, viruses, configure partitions, and install a clean copy of Windows 11.

The second part is OOBE (out-of-box), which is the process that allows you to configure personal settings, language setting, account, privacy and more.

Quick tip: Warning: This is a reminder that the process deletes everything on the partition on which you install the system. Tip: If you haven't saved your important data, do it now and then continue the installation.

Finally, a very good tip:

Open the Devices and Drives window in This PC (MyComputer), and record on a piece of paper the number and size of partitions that are given in GB, so that you can choose correctly between drives during installation, when you will need to delete them, and when to select at installation. Wrong choice can lead to unpleasant data loss.

record the size of the units on a piece of paper

Quick tip: For example: C=121 GB, the other D=119 GB. If there is only one drive, for example only C:\, it should not be noted, as it will be deleted anyway.

To perform a clean install of Windows 11, follow these steps:

1.) Turn on or restart the computer with the connected USB storage device created with Rufus as described above. The next window will accept after restart where you are prompted to press any key on the keyboard to get started.

press any key on the keyboard

2.) If the language, currency, and keyboard settings in the "Install" window are correct, click the Next button.

language, currency, and keyboard settings

3.) In the next window, click the Install now button.

click the install button

4.) Enter the Windows 11 product key using the keyboard, then click the Next button.

Enter the Windows 11 product key

5.) To continue, select the I accept the license terms check box and click the Next button.

select the I accept the license terms

6.) In the next window, click Custom Installation (the Upgrade option above can be used if you are upgrading your old Windows 10 (or 8) to Windows 11).

click Custom Installation

7.) After you have noted the size of the drive, according to the good tips above, let's look now the paper to identify the drive you want to delete, which in this example is C:\ 121 GB. You can also delete the smaller units, that belong to it, as it automatically creates new ones.

8.) Click the drive that you want to delete to select it, and then click Delete. Then click the next drive and click Delete. Delete all the same. Notice how the partition deletion is combined. The size is growing.

Do not delete the drive where you store personal data

Quick tip: DO NOT delete the drive on which you store your data, as all data will be lost (drive D:\ in this example, 119 GB).

9.) After deleting, only two partitions remain on the drive (hard disk). An old one, in this example D:\, 119 GB, which contains the data saved on this partition, and a new one which is now still "raw", ie 121 GB unformatted, which will be the main partition on the hard disk after installation, that is, C:\.

First, click the drive that you want to install on Windows 11, showing the installer that you want to work with, then click the New link below.

after deletion, only two units remain

10.) The system automatically calculates the size. In this example, do NOT resize, but simply click Apply and then click the Next button.

The system automatically calculates the size

11.) As shown in the image, several folders (only a few MB) have been created for the protected system files and the system recovery folder. Formatting will be required. Click the unformatted drive, and then click the Format, link, and when the formatting is complete, click Next button. Warning: Only this unit will be formatted. DO NOT format other smaller or larger units!

click the unformatted drive and then the Format link

12.) That's it. The actual installation of Windows 11 will start automatically. Patience. At the end of the list, in the Finish section, the system restarts.

Quick tip: Caution: DO NOT press any key after rebooting even if prompted, as the installation will restart again! Good idea if you disconnect the USB installation drive immediately after rebooting. It is no longer needed.

in the Finish section, the system restarts

13.) After starting, the first window will appear where you configure the installed files (lasts 3-4 minutes).

configure the installed files

14.) Sets the keyboard in the next window. If it is correct, click the Yes Yes button.

you can adjust the keyboard

15.) The configuration of the installation performed so far follows.

16.) Click the Set up for personal use link to select it. Then click the Next button. (Configuring Use at work or school, means joining a Windows server-based domain, which is rarely configured, even on corporate machines). Click the Next button.

Set up for personal use

17.) To complete the installation smoothly, sign in to your Microsoft account with your email, phone, or Skype address. You can also log in with a security key, so click the Connect with Security Key link and create a security key in the next window. In this example, I logged in with my Skype username. Click the Next button.

enter your email address and then enter your password

18.) You also need to enter a Windows Hello PIN to log in. Click the Create Pin button.

We need to enter a Windows Hello PIN

19.) Enter a PIN of your choice and click the button OK.

Enter a PIN of your choice

20.) In the newer window, previously used files are synced so we can restore our old apps from cloud-based OneDrive storage. In this example, the Set as new device option is selected. Click on Next button.

you can restore applications from cloud-based OneDrive storage

21.) Windows 11 gives you the ability to determine your location, which can help you more accurately use the map or navigation or even the weather. Click on Accept button.

Windows 11 allows you to specify the location

22.) In addition to the above settings, 4 - 5 windows will appear where comfort and security options can be set.

23.) Another window with other endless options. Patience, all of a sudden these windows will end. Here you can check all the radio buttons. Click on Accept button.

Here you can check all the radio buttons

24.) In this window, Windows 11 offers to store files in the OneDrive cloud-based service, however, in this example, the Store files on this device option is selected. Click on Next button.

Files can only be stored on this device

25.) Starts syncing and finalizing the selected Windows system settings so far.

Windows settings start

26.) After the installation is complete, it has launched the new Windows 11 desktop, where you can perform additional configuration operations.

27.) Turn on these settings by displaying the desktop icons. Display the This PC (MyComputer) icon and the User Files folder on the desktop so that they are always at hand.

Click the Windows-Logo symbol (bottom) on the Taskbar. Then click the gear symbol, which is also the Settings icon.

Launch of the new Windows 11 desktop

28.) In the new window, click the Personalisation button.

click the Customize button

29.) Then click on the Themes link in the right menu.

click the Themes link

30.) In the new window that appears, click the Desktop icon settings. link.

Desktop icon settings

31.) A new window appears, where by checking the radio button This PC and User Files at the top, these icons will appear on the desktop, from where you will have easier access to the most frequently used options. Finally, click Apply and OK.

complete the installation tasks

32.) Ready. The installation is complete.