Rufus quickly creates a UEFI bootable USB 3.0 flash drive for Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 installation

Posted by Paul Braren on Sep 11 2013 (updated on May 30 2019) in
  • Windows
  • Productivity
  • :

    The executable is digitally signed and the signature should state:
    "Akeo Consulting" (v1.3.0 or later)
    "Pete Batard - Open Source Developer" (v1.2.0 or earlier)

    Rufus: Reliable USB Formatting Utility (with Source), read the introductionFAQ, and support forum.

    Completely free, and fast. Great for transforming ISO files into bootable USB flash drives.

    Using a Transcend 8GB USB 3.0 drive, which is a moderate performer, the super speedy Rufus took just 7 minutes and 4 seconds to complete the job.

    [Sep 15 2013 update: using a Mushkin 16GB USB 3.0 drive, Rufus took just 4 minutes and 39 seconds, wow! Screenshots below updated accordingly]

    You'll see from the simple UI screenshot below that using this tool is rather straight forward.

    For rapidly booting and installing a fresh copy of Windows 8.1 on a modern laptop, such as the Yoga 13's USB 3.0 port, you'll need to make sure to:

    • set the correct USB 'Device' that Rufus auto-finds
    • set the 'Partition scheme and target system type' to "MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computers" for a versatile boot media (works on old ThinkPad T60, works on latest UEFI Yoga 13)
    • choose your ISO file, for US English Windows 8.1, that's en_windows_8_1_x64_dvd_2707217.iso from MSDN/TechNet
    • at power on of your system, chose the UEFI USB boot device if available, or just pick the USB device from the list

    On a UEFI/USB 3.0 equipped system, the install then progresses screamingly fast, especially compared to the USB 2.0 speeds you'd normally endure. Very simple, just follow along with the screenshots below.

    Choose your device, pick MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computers, set everything else as shown, then select your ISO file and click ‘Start’
    wait for it to complete
    DONE with creating this USB 3.0 key in 4 min 39 seconds seen at lower-right, click ‘Close’

    For complete video walk-throughs, see also:

    Rufus takes 2 minutes to create a bootable USB flash drive for ESXi installation

    Rufus let’s you quickly and easily reformat an ESXi USB flash drive back to full capacity

    June 12 2015 Update

    SanDisk Ultra Fit 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive SDCZ43

    Rufus works fine for creating bootable Windows 10 installation media too, used it several times these past few months of Technical Preview tests, including the most recent Build 10130.

    Pricing has improved, now you can get the 32GB SanDisk Ultra Fit for around $10.

    May 30 2019 Update

    Rufus 3.5 still works fine for creating bootable Windows media. The GUI has changed a bit, but the options haven't, screenshot below.


    See also