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Full Version: Windows10 install to USB device: is it possible?
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I need to install Windows10 to a USB device so I may update my BIOS. (I also have an external HDD to try but I've heard it doesn't work when you try it)

I don't have any current Windows installs on HDD or SSD to run the BIOS update from, and my internal HDD doesn't work anymore, just throws up I/O errors. I've tried swapping HDDs but they all fail with I/O errors, too.

I tried (without Ventoy) to use both Win7 and Vista official install media but it would not allow me to install to a USB device. I don't understand why Microsoft has to be so retarded with this.

I cannot perform the BIOS update from my Linux installs, my system is unsupported for this. Nor am I going to try booting from FreeDOS which is suggested on some websites as a possible alternative for a BIOS update.

The only workaround I've tried is booting a Windows Vista 32 bit installation CD (not with Ventoy) and going into repair mode and getting access to a terminal prompt. From there, I received an error message, "oledlg.dll not found" when I typed in the name of the BIOS updater program and pressed Enter. Trying this with 64bit media such as Vista/7 throws up the following error, "The subsystem needed to support the image type is not present." But at least I see a quick extraction animation when I use 32 bit media, prior to the dll not found message.

My BIOS is very limited and does not offer a boot to BIOS update section like some motherboards do, so I'm screwed there. It is legacy bios from several years ago, prior to the UEFI.

I have separate rescue media DVDs but they will not install to a HDD which does not work. I haven't tried running the 1st recovery media to try and install to USB, I imagine that it won't.

So, my only option, I suppose, is trying to install Win10 to USB or external HDD using Ventoy. The only reason I haven't tried it yet is because I wanted feedback from the community prior to downloading several gigs of data.

Any advice?
Without knowing what's the used Hardware, it's hard to give you advice!

That said, please provide your Hardware Spec (Desktop/Laptop) include (for Laptop) Brand, Model, and BIOS (make and version)!

Overall, regarding your explanation, it seems to be that you face some Hardware problems.
I suggest you to deploy windows on SSD with the software windows_to_go_assist_5590.
You can try booting to a HBCD PE ISO from Ventoy.
or make an Easy2Boot USB drive and then copy on the DOS flash program and BIOS files to a folder named \FLASH on the root of the first partition NTFS drive.
Then Legacy-boot to E2B - go to DOS menu and select 'FreeDOS (from a floppy image)). Now you can navigate to the FLASH folder and run the DOS flash program
You could also check the following thread (, where detailed instructions for creating a Windows To Go setup from Linux with the help of VirtualBox are available.