Robin's Blog

How to create a Windows USB boot stick using Ventoy

I ran into a situation recently where I needed to create a Windows 10 bootable USB stick. I could easily download a Windows 10 ISO file, but I knew that it needed some ‘special magic’ to write it to a USB stick that would boot properly.

I tried various solutions (including windiskwriter) but none of them worked – until I tried Ventoy.

I got rather confused when reading the Ventoy webpage, so I wanted to write a quick blog post to show how to use it for this specific use case. The technology I had available to me was one M1 MacBook Pro running macOS and one x64 desktop machine with no OS (on which I wanted to install Windows) – and so these instructions will be based around this situation.

The way that Ventoy works is that you write the Ventoy image to a USB stick and it creates multiple partitions: some boot partitions, plus a big empty partition using up most of the space on the USB stick. You then copy your boot ISO files (for Windows, or Linux or whatever) onto that partition. When you boot from the USB stick Ventoy will provide a menu to allow you to pick an ISO, and then it will boot that ISO as if it had been burned to the USB stick itself. The easiest (and most reliable) way to write the Ventoy image to a USB stick is to use a bootable Ventoy image to do it – a double-USB-stick approach.

So, in my situation what I needed to do was:

  1. Download the Ventoy Live CD ISO file from
  2. Burn that to a USB stick (it can be a small one) using a standard USB stick burning program like balenaEtcher
  3. Boot from that USB stick on my x64 machine.
  4. Insert another USB stick (ideally a fairly large one) into that machine (while keeping the first one inserted) and follow the on-screen instructions to burn Ventoy to that USB stick.
  5. Shutdown that computer
  6. Insert that USB stick into my Mac, and copy the Windows 10 ISO file onto the large empty partition.
  7. Boot from that USB stick on the x64 computer. It will show an interface to allow you to choose an ISO to boot – there will be only one, so just press Enter. A few minutes later the Windows 10 installer will be ready to use.

Of course you can now keep this Ventoy USB stick around, and add other ISO files to it as needed.

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This post originally appeared on Robin's Blog.

Categorised as: Computing, How To, OSX, Windows

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