Get the latest Windows 10 Build 9879 beta then create a bootable USB flash drive installer, avoiding multiple huge downloads

Posted by Paul Braren on Dec 28 2014 (updated on Jan 23 2015) in
  • Beta
  • Windows
  • *On Jan 23 2014, build 9926 was released, below article updated

    Back on September 30, 2014, Microsoft published Announcing Windows 10:

    With the Insider program, we’re inviting our most enthusiastic Windows customers to shape Windows 10 with us. We know they’re a vocal bunch – and we’re looking forward to hearing from them.

    The Windows Insider Program is intended for PC experts and IT pros who are comfortable using pre-release software with variable quality. Insiders will receive a steady stream of early builds from us with the latest features we’re experimenting with.

    If you're horsing around with Windows 10, perhaps the original WindowsTechnicalPreview-x64-EN-US.iso version, or even the more recent build 9860, you'll notice that checking for the latest build can result in a huge download to get to Build 9879. Longer still for it to perform the upgrade, which is more extensive than your normal Windows Update.

    We’re rolling out our first new build to the Windows Insider Program

    The keys to having fun quickly are the combination of using the latest ISO, and having a simple way to create a bootable USB flash drive. That way, you can give this beta a try faster, freshly installing on any old laptop or desktop, without having to fuss with so many lengthy upgrades.

    Step 1) Download

    Download Windows Technical Preview November Update from the downloads site:

    for 64 bit English (United States), it's WindowsTechnicalPreview-9879-x64-EN-US.iso that you're after, 4GB in size.

    Step 2) Create the bootable install media

    Rufus settings you’ll need to succeed with Surface Pro 3

    Follow TinkerTry's Rufus takes 5 minutes to create a UEFI bootable USB 3.0 flash drive for Windows 8.1 installation

    (you'll need a 8GB of greater USB flash drive)

    If you’re using this boot media with a modern UEFI computer like a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, you’ll need to choose the UEFI boot setting, which changes the File system to FAT32

    Step 3) Play

    Insert the USB flash drive into your test machine, power it up, and choose your BIOS option to boot from USB, performing a fresh install. When you do Windows Updates, you should have far fewer of them than if you had started way back on Build 9860. Well, at least until the next beta build arrives...

    If you like what you're seeing, there's a way to get your test (non-production) Windows 8.1 system ready for the January 2015 Tech Preview via Windows Update. Then we'll all see what happens at the January 21 2015 press event.

    If you're interested in trying a beta of Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, turns out it works fine with Windows 10 beta in my test, seen here, with simple backups and bare-metal restore capabilities.