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How to install windows 10 without Optical Drive?

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Old 27-09-2018, 08:01 PM   #1
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Exclamation How to install windows 10 without Optical Drive?

I have a Windows 10 Installation Disc but my new computer (yet to be built) has no optical drive nor the optical drive bay.

Am I able to download the 'Windows 10 installation media' unto my external 2TB Toshiba HDD? (The article from Microsoft said to put the 'Windows 10 installation media' into a Flash Drive) Would an external HDD be good enough to install Windows 10 on the new computer?

Other than this method, are there any other methods out there other than using an external Optical Drive?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 27-09-2018, 08:22 PM   #2
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I have a Windows 10 Installation Disc but my new computer (yet to be built) has no optical drive nor the optical drive bay.

Am I able to download the 'Windows 10 installation media' unto my external 2TB Toshiba HDD? (The article from Microsoft said to put the 'Windows 10 installation media' into a Flash Drive) Would an external HDD be good enough to install Windows 10 on the new computer?

Other than this method, are there any other methods out there other than using an external Optical Drive?

Thanks in advance.
In the 1st place how do you start the computer without any OS installed in the HDD.

That's copy &or download the 'Windows 10 installation media' do not necessary it is installed OS to start the computer.

If the computer can be started on any OS then you can use the external HDD with the necessary Windows 10 installation files to install the Windows 10 system, over existing OS as upgrade.


The Windows 10 Installation Disc itself is an bootable Disc to run & install the OS.


However you can copy the 'Windows 10 Installation Disc' as ISO image (via software) and create a bootable flash drive via Rufus, example.

Alternately you can download the Windows 10 via Microsoft directly to flash drive.

The Windows 10 version should be determine by the correct product key version.
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Old 27-09-2018, 08:35 PM   #3
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In the 1st place how do you start the computer without any OS installed in the HDD.
"Alternately you can download the Windows 10 via Microsoft directly to flash drive." Am I able to download the Windows 10 directly to my external Hard Drive? Sorry if I sound totally wrong.

Can the flash drive be substituted for a external hard drive?

If the computer can be started on any OS then you can use the external HDD with the necessary Windows 10 installation files to install the Windows 10 system, over existing OS as upgrade.
Am I able to use my current computer Windows 7 to download the Windows 10 files then transfer it to my external Hard Drive then use that to connect to the new computer and use the BIOS to get the Windows 10 file from my external HDD to install it?

However you can copy the 'Windows 10 Installation Disc' as ISO image (via software) and create a bootable flash drive via Rufus, example.
And do I transfer the ISO file to my external HDD?


That's copy &or download the 'Windows 10 installation media' do not necessary it is installed OS to start the computer.
What do you meant by this? Sorry, I'm new to all this.
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Old 27-09-2018, 09:00 PM   #4
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"Alternately you can download the Windows 10 via Microsoft directly to flash drive." Am I able to download the Windows 10 directly to my external Hard Drive? Sorry if I sound totally wrong.

Can the flash drive be substituted for a external hard drive?



Am I able to use my current computer Windows 7 to download the Windows 10 files then transfer it to my external Hard Drive then use that to connect to the new computer and use the BIOS to get the Windows 10 file from my external HDD to install it?



And do I transfer the ISO file to my external HDD?




What do you meant by this? Sorry, I'm new to all this.

You can use the current computer Windows 7 to download the Windows 10 via > Create Windows 10 installation media

Once download run the file.

There are 2 options, use the 2nd option to save to either USB or ISO file.

Avoid the 1st option Upgrade which mean it direct upgrade on the existing OS Windows 7 (or 8).

In the 2nd option there are 2 sub-options;
1. For USB option you need to insert a USB flash drive at least 8GB size, which it will detect.
It will save and make the USB drive as bootable Windows 10 Home installation setup, in 1 step process.
2. Whereas ISO file you need to save and later make/create image Windows 10 installation to DVD disc, a couple of steps.

Keep this flash drive with Windows 10 installation files as backup for future re-install if necessary.


It is no point to use & waste external HDD to have an ISO image of Windows 10 installation files.. unless as backup copy if you really want to.

As any USB external HDD may not be easy to boot from without the necessary steps & procedure to install other related drivers/software.

Hence it is not advisable to store ISO image unless it is Windows 10 installation files itself which is not bootable but able to install directly.
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Old 28-09-2018, 09:58 PM   #5
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You can use the current computer Windows 7 to download the Windows 10 via > Create Windows 10 installation media

Once download run the file.

There are 2 options, use the 2nd option to save to either USB or ISO file.

Avoid the 1st option Upgrade which mean it direct upgrade on the existing OS Windows 7 (or 8).

In the 2nd option there are 2 sub-options;
1. For USB option you need to insert a USB flash drive at least 8GB size, which it will detect.
It will save and make the USB drive as bootable Windows 10 Home installation setup, in 1 step process.
2. Whereas ISO file you need to save and later make/create image Windows 10 installation to DVD disc, a couple of steps.

Keep this flash drive with Windows 10 installation files as backup for future re-install if necessary.


It is no point to use & waste external HDD to have an ISO image of Windows 10 installation files.. unless as backup copy if you really want to.

As any USB external HDD may not be easy to boot from without the necessary steps & procedure to install other related drivers/software.

Hence it is not advisable to store ISO image unless it is Windows 10 installation files itself which is not bootable but able to install directly.

Hi Eric, what if I really have to use the external HDD? I already spent $99 on the external HDD. Really tight on budget right now.

Is it possible to use an external HDD? I don't mind Windows 10 Installation files on my external HDD. Just want to get Windows 10 installed on my new PC
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Old 28-09-2018, 10:33 PM   #6
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Hi Eric, what if I really have to use the external HDD? I already spent $99 on the external HDD. Really tight on budget right now.

Is it possible to use an external HDD? I don't mind Windows 10 Installation files on my external HDD. Just want to get Windows 10 installed on my new PC
As i have mentioned before.. how would you start the computer without any OS installed.
If you can start the computer with any OS and able to detect the USB external HDD with the Windows 10 installation files then there is no issue to initiate the setup.


It is quite troublesome to create a bootable external USB HDD as there are several requirements and steps/procedures to do so.
There is no way to just copy the Windows 10 installation files from Disc to expect the external USB HDD to be able to boot.


A flash drive of 8GB would be more than enough to have the Windows 10 installation files and cost about $10 and flash drive is easy to be bootable.

It can be done using any Windows computer, the existing Windows 7, to create the Windows 10 bootable flash drive in 1 step.
Or create a bootable flash drive based on the 'Windows 10 installation Disc'.
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Old 28-09-2018, 11:15 PM   #7
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As i have mentioned before.. how would you start the computer without any OS installed.
If you can start the computer with any OS and able to detect the USB external HDD with the Windows 10 installation files then there is no issue to initiate the setup.


It is quite troublesome to create a bootable external USB HDD as there are several requirements and steps/procedures to do so.
There is no way to just copy the Windows 10 installation files from Disc to expect the external USB HDD to be able to boot.


A flash drive of 8GB would be more than enough to have the Windows 10 installation files and cost about $10 and flash drive is easy to be bootable.

It can be done using any Windows computer, the existing Windows 7, to create the Windows 10 bootable flash drive in 1 step.
Or create a bootable flash drive based on the 'Windows 10 installation Disc'.

Thanks for the explanation.

Just to clarify, you meant that a external HDD is really troublesome to set it to be able to install Windows 10 as compared to a flash drive?

And, what should I look out for when buying a flash drive? Does it need USB 3.0 or 3.1? (Not sure which is the most current version)
Does the write/write speed matters?
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Old 28-09-2018, 11:39 PM   #8
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Thanks for the explanation.

Just to clarify, you meant that a external HDD is really troublesome to set it to be able to install Windows 10 as compared to a flash drive?

And, what should I look out for when buying a flash drive? Does it need USB 3.0 or 3.1? (Not sure which is the most current version)
Does the write/write speed matters?
USB 2.0 and 8GB storage will do..

Recommend: Sandisk Cruzer Force/Blade 8GB/16GB versions.

No need any latest or new version.. as even old model would still work fine.
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Old 30-09-2018, 08:16 PM   #9
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Thanks for the explanation.

Just to clarify, you meant that a external HDD is really troublesome to set it to be able to install Windows 10 as compared to a flash drive?

And, what should I look out for when buying a flash drive? Does it need USB 3.0 or 3.1? (Not sure which is the most current version)
Does the write/write speed matters?



You CAN use your external HDD. LOL. A lot of people don't know this trick, but the hardcore power users do this all the time...


Don't need to waste anymore money buying another thumbdrive.


I am not sure if this will work on UEFI systems, because all my computers are still in BIOS, but it's worth a try:
  1. Plug your $99 HDD into another Windows computer.
  2. You don't need to format the drive.
  3. Open up Disk Management, right click the partition corresponding to the external HDD and mark as active. Make sure the partition is a primary partition.
  4. Download a copy of the Windows 10 ISO image, extract it
  5. Locate the bootsect command in the image.
  6. Run the command on the external HDD: bootsect <drive letter> /nt60
  7. Copy ALL the files from the extracted image to the root of the drive.
  8. Take the drive to the new computer. Configure your BIOS settings to boot from the external HDD if necessary.
  9. Your computer should be able to boot from the external HDD and you can get Windows 10 running fine.
  10. You can continue to use the external HDD like any other HDD. Store your docs, movies, photos (and prawn, JKJK). No caveats.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:13 PM   #10
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You CAN use your external HDD. LOL. A lot of people don't know this trick, but the hardcore power users do this all the time...


Don't need to waste anymore money buying another thumbdrive.


I am not sure if this will work on UEFI systems, because all my computers are still in BIOS, but it's worth a try:
  1. Plug your $99 HDD into another Windows computer.
  2. You don't need to format the drive.
  3. Open up Disk Management, right click the partition corresponding to the external HDD and mark as active. Make sure the partition is a primary partition.
  4. Download a copy of the Windows 10 ISO image, extract it
  5. Locate the bootsect command in the image.
  6. Run the command on the external HDD: bootsect <drive letter> /nt60
  7. Copy ALL the files from the extracted image to the root of the drive.
  8. Take the drive to the new computer. Configure your BIOS settings to boot from the external HDD if necessary.
  9. Your computer should be able to boot from the external HDD and you can get Windows 10 running fine.
  10. You can continue to use the external HDD like any other HDD. Store your docs, movies, photos (and prawn, JKJK). No caveats.
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Aiyo. I went and buy a USB 3.1 flasb drive liao 😅

If the flash drive doesn't work and I do the external HDD method, will all 300gb of my files on the external HDD be gone?
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:26 AM   #11
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Aiyo. I went and buy a USB 3.1 flasb drive liao 😅

If the flash drive doesn't work and I do the external HDD method, will all 300gb of my files on the external HDD be gone?

as long as you don't format, everything will still be there.


you are just flashing the boot sector... by default that part is always left empty by the OS when you do partitioning... that's what the magic 8KB is for.
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