We have written on tools. e.g. ISO Image Writer, Fedora Media Writer, and Etcher, with which you can make flash drives bootable. But even they have issues making flash drives and memory cards bootable with Windows in my experience.
The tool we introduce to you today is capable of achieving this feat without stress; it’s called WoeUSB.
WoeUSB is a free and open-source software tool that allows you to create bootable Windows USB drives from Windows ISO files or DVD discs.
It is specifically designed for Linux-based operating systems and provides a graphical interface to simplify the process of creating bootable USB drives for installing Windows.
With WoeUSB, Linux users can easily create a bootable USB drive containing Windows installation files, which can be used to install or repair Windows on a computer.
This is particularly useful when you don’t have access to a Windows machine but need to install Windows on a new computer or reinstall it on an existing one.
WoeUSB supports various versions of Windows, including Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. It uses the NTFS file system for compatibility with Windows installation files and ensures that the USB drive is properly formatted and configured to be bootable.
Install WoeUSB on Linux
WoeUSB is a program that can be run without installation as shown, but first, install some required dependencies.
$ sudo apt install bash dosfstools findutils grep gawk grub-common grub-pc-bin ntfs-3g p7zip-full parted util-linux wget wimtools
Next, download the program (woeusb-N.N.N.bash) from the releases page and set the missing executable file permission.
$ chmod +x woeusb-N.N.N.bash
Finally, launch a terminal application and run the program via the appropriate path.
$ sudo ./woeusb-N.N.N.bash
Create Bootable Windows USB Device
Here are a few examples of using WoeUSB from the command line:
1. To create a bootable Windows USB device from a Windows ISO file:
$ sudo ./woeusb-N.N.N.bash --device /path/to/windows.iso /dev/sdX
Replace /path/to/windows.iso with the actual path to your Windows ISO file, and /dev/sdX with the target USB device (e.g., /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc). Make sure to specify the correct device to avoid overwriting data on other drives.
2. To create a bootable Windows USB device from a Windows DVD disc:
$ sudo ./woeusb-N.N.N.bash --device /dev/sr0 /dev/sdX
3. To format the USB drive as NTFS:
$ sudo ./woeusb-N.N.N.bash --format /dev/sdX
4. To specify the partition scheme explicitly (e.g., GPT):
$ sudo ./woeusb-N.N.N.bash --partition-type=gpt --device /path/to/windows.iso /dev/sdX
Remember to replace /dev/sdX with the appropriate device identifier for your system. It’s essential to double-check the device name to avoid accidentally overwriting data on other drives.
Are you familiar with WoeUSB? Share your experience and/or questions with us in the comments section below.