Installing Windows 10 with a macOS-made USB stick

This guide was written in July 2020. Things may have changed since then.

Preparing the USB stick

On your Mac:

  1. Download a Windows 10 ISO-Image to your desktop
    Use this link:
  2. Plug in a USB stick (all data on it will be erased!)
  3. Open a terminal window
  4. Find the name of your device with diskutil list, should be something like “disk2” (if you’re not sure which one it is, run the command before plugging in the stick and after, note the difference)
    In the following commands, I will use disk? as a replacement for the real name.
  5. Format the USB stick for MS-DOS with a Master Boot Record: diskutil eraseDisk MS-DOS WIN10 MBR disk?
  6. Mount the ISO-Image: open ~/Desktop/Win10*.iso
    It will be mounted in your /Volumes folder as something like “CCCOMA_X64FRE_EN-US_DV9”
  7. Copy everything over except one file: rsync -avh --progress --exclude=sources/install.wim /Volumes/CCCOMA_X64FRE_EN-US_DV9/ /Volumes/WIN10
  8. Because the image contains a file too large for your newly formatted USB stick, we need a tool to split it: brew install wimlib
    (This requires Homebrew.)
  9. Split the file and save its parts on the USB stick: wimlib-imagex split /Volumes/CCCOMA_X64FRE_EN-US_DV9/sources/install.wim /Volumes/WIN10/sources/install.swm 4000
  10. Unmount the USB stick: diskutil eject disk?

Installing Windows 10

This assumes no special configuration (like dual boot). It was tested on a HP Pavillion Gaming Laptop dk-1710ng which already had FreeDOS installed. Anything on the hard drive will be deleted.

  1. Plug the USB stick into your PC.
  2. Start your PC and go to your boot options (something like hitting Esc after startup, then F9, this may vary from computer to computer).
  3. Boot from your USB stick.
  4. You should see the beginning of the Windows 10 installation procedure. Don’t start the installation yet.
  5. Hit Shift+F10. This will open a terminal window.
  6. Run diskpart.
  7. Show all available hard drives: list disk
  8. Select your laptop’s hard drive with select disk ? (replace ? with the number from the list).
  9. Delete the hard drive with clean. Repeat the last two steps for each hard drive in your laptop. But don’t delete the USB stick!
  10. Go back to the Windows 10 installation window with exit (twice).
  11. Install Windows 10.