Create an USB Drive for Windows Server 2022 Installation

Written by 7:10 am PowerShell, Windows Server • 2 Comments

Create an USB Drive for Windows Server 2022 Installation

This blog post covers how you can create a bootable USB media drive to install Windows Server 2022 on a physical server. This guide will only use built-in tools that you can find on Windows 10, Windows 11, or Windows Server. Depending on your system you can install it on a BIOS system or a UEFI-based system, which is slightly different since UEFI will use GPT disks and BIOS will use an MBR disk. Here is how you create a USB Drive for a Windows Server 2022 installation.

Getting ready to create a USB Drive for a Windows Server 2022 Installation

First, you will need to have all the prerequisites in place.

  • Download the Windows Server 2022 ISO file, you can get it from various places. If you don’t have a license but you want to try out Windows Server 2022, you can download it from the evaluation center.
  • An USB drive with at least 8GB size

Windows Server 2022 USB Thumb Drive for UEFI (GPT) systems

To create the USB drive to install Windows Server 2022 on a UEFI (GPT system, you do the following steps:

  • The at least an 8GB USB drive has to be formatted in FAT32
  • The USB needs to be GPT and not MBR
  • You will need to split the wim file using dism since it is larger than 4GB
  • Copy all files from the ISO to the USB drive

This is it, and here is how you do it. First, plug in your USB drive to your computer.

Open a PowerShell using the Run as Administrator option. You will need to change the path of the Windows Server 2022 ISO, and you will need to replace the disk number in the script before running the third command and make sure C:\Temp exists. From previous experiences with users, run the script line by line.

REMINDER: The following commands will wipe the USB Drive completely. So, backup everything before you run through the PowerShell.

# Define Path to the Windows Server 2022 ISO
$ISOFile = "C:\Temp\WindowsServer2022.iso"

# Create temp diectroy for new image
$newImageDir = New-Item -Path 'C:\Temp\newimage' -ItemType Directory

# Mount iso
$ISOMounted = Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISOFile -StorageType ISO -PassThru

# Driver letter
$ISODriveLetter = ($ISOMounted | Get-Volume).DriveLetter

# Copy Files to temporary new image folder 
Copy-Item -Path ($ISODriveLetter +":\*") -Destination C:\Temp\newimage -Recurse

# Split and copy install.wim (because of the filesize)
dism /Split-Image /ImageFile:C:\Temp\newimage\sources\install.wim /SWMFile:C:\Temp\newimage\sources\install.swm /FileSize:4096

 
# Get the USB Drive you want to use, copy the disk number
Get-Disk | Where BusType -eq "USB"
 
# Get the right USB Drive (You will need to change the number)
$USBDrive = Get-Disk | Where Number -eq 2
 
# Replace the Friendly Name to clean the USB Drive (THIS WILL REMOVE EVERYTHING)
$USBDrive | Clear-Disk -RemoveData -Confirm:$true -PassThru
 
# Convert Disk to GPT
$USBDrive | Set-Disk -PartitionStyle GPT
 
# Create partition primary and format to FAT32
$Volume = $USBDrive | New-Partition -Size 8GB -AssignDriveLetter | Format-Volume -FileSystem FAT32 -NewFileSystemLabel WS2022
 
# Copy Files to USB (Ignore install.wim)
Copy-Item -Path C:\Temp\newimage\* -Destination ($Volume.DriveLetter + ":\") -Recurse -Exclude install.wim

# Dismount ISO
Dismount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISOFile

After that, you can safely remove the USB drive and use it to boot your server from.

Create an USB Drive for Windows Server 2022 Installation
Create an USB Drive for Windows Server 2022 Installation

Windows Server 2022 USB Thumb Drive for BIOS (MBR) systems

To create the USB drive to install Windows Server 2022 on BIOS (MBR) systems, you can follow these steps:

  • The at least an 8GB USB drive has to be formatted in NTFS
  • USB drive needs to us MBR
  • The partition needs to be set active
  • Copy all files from the ISO to the USB Drive

This is it, and here is how you do it. First, plug in your USB drive to your computer.

Open a PowerShell using the Run as Administrator option. You will need to change the path of the Windows Server 2022 ISO, and you will need to replace the disk number in the script before running the third command and make sure C:\Temp exists. From previous experiences with users, run the script line by line.

REMINDER: The following commands will wipe the USB Drive completely. Backup everything before you run through the PowerShell.

# Define Path to the Windows Server 2022 ISO
$ISOFile = "C:\Temp\WindowsServer2022.iso"
 
# Get the USB Drive you want to use, copy the friendly name
Get-Disk | Where BusType -eq "USB"
 
# Get the right USB Drive (You will need to change the FriendlyName)
$USBDrive = Get-Disk | Where FriendlyName -eq "Kingston DT Workspace"
 
# Replace the Friendly Name to clean the USB Drive (THIS WILL REMOVE EVERYTHING)
$USBDrive | Clear-Disk -RemoveData -Confirm:$true -PassThru
 
# Convert Disk to MBR
$USBDrive | Set-Disk -PartitionStyle MBR
 
# Create partition primary and format to NTFS
$Volume = $USBDrive | New-Partition -UseMaximumSize -AssignDriveLetter | Format-Volume -FileSystem NTFS -NewFileSystemLabel WS2022
 
# Set Partiton to Active
$Volume | Get-Partition | Set-Partition -IsActive $true
 
# Mount ISO
$ISOMounted = Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISOFile -StorageType ISO -PassThru
 
# Driver letter
$ISODriveLetter = ($ISOMounted | Get-Volume).DriveLetter
 
# Copy Files to USB
Copy-Item -Path ($ISODriveLetter +":\*") -Destination ($Volume.DriveLetter + ":\") -Recurse
 
# Dismount ISO
Dismount-DiskImage -ImagePath $ISOFile

After that, you can safely remove the USB drive and use it to boot your server from to install Windows Server 2022.

Conclusion

I hope this post was helpful, and if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Last modified: November 22, 2021
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