Creating a Windows 11 Bootable USB on Linux

In the past it has been relatively difficult to create a Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 11 UEFI Bootable USB on Linux due to poor driver support for the Windows NTFS format. The inbuilt driver in the Linux Kernel did not handle large NTFS files for example the >4.0 GB install.wim of the installation media and corrupted it therefore creating corrupt Windows Installation Media. A previous workaround was documented to split the install.wim file into multiple install.swm files in order to create a Bootable USB with a single FAT32 Partition.

Linux Kernel 5.15 and later contains an updated NTFS driver which can handle large NTFS files. This can be used to create a Bootable USB without splitting the install.wim.

Checking Linux Kernel Version

Ubuntu 22.04 LTS ships with Linux Kernel 5.15. To check the Kernel version we open up the terminal and input:

uname -r

In my case on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS the Kernel Version is 5.15 and therefore has the new NTFS driver:

If the Kernel is below this, you are using an obsolete version of Linux and should update to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS or the 22.04 LTS version of your desired Linux distribution.

This new kernel version has massive improvements over older Kernels as it incorporates a stable version of the new display driver graphics model, allowing use of multi-monitors with differing configurations and docking/undocking from Thunderbolt docks and has better support for 2 in 1 touchscreen convertible devices.

Download a Windows ISO

Mainstream Windows ISOs can be downloaded from the Microsoft Windows Software Download Page. Windows Insider Preview ISOs can be downloaded from the Microsoft Windows Insider Preview Software Download Page:

Although this guide looks at downloading Windows 11 and creating a UEFI Bootable USB. The instructions should be identical for Windows 8.1 64 Bit and Windows 10 64 Bit.

A UEFI Boot with Secure Boot and 64 Bit Windows has been the standard for all computers manufactured in the last decade (2012 models and newer). This guide will not work for older computers with a Legacy Only BIOS or 32 Bit Windows. As Windows has became more hardware intensive, legacy computers have fallen below the minimum recommended system requirements to run a modern build of Windows. Windows may install on such computers but not perform as intended.

The Windows 11 Software Download page has a Windows Upgrade Assistant, Windows Media Creation Tool and Direct Download Links. On Linux we must use the Direct Download Links as the former are Applications which are designed to run only on Microsoft Windows:

You will get a Download Option to select your ISO. Windows 10, Windows 11 and the Windows Insider Preview ISOs are all multi-edition covering all the OEM Editions. Your Windows Product Key should be embedded in your Device and be automatically input during installation.

Windows 8.1 on the other hand has single edition ISOs. Only the correct edition will automatically input your embedded product key during installation. An incorrect edition will instead ask for a product key. Select Download:

Next use the drop down list to select your language:

In this example I will select International English:

Select Confirm.

A 64 Bit 24 hour time-limited download link will display. Click on it and download your ISO:

Installing GParted

The Ubuntu 22.04 LTS software store has been updated to only incorporate snap packages. GParted is not a snap package and has to be installed using the advance package tool apt. To install GParted use:

sudo apt install gparted

Input your password when prompted for authentication:

GParted is now installed:

Partition a USB Flash Drive

You will need a 16-32 GB USB Flash Drive. Insert it and launch GParted:

GParted requires elevated permissions in order to work with USB Flash Drives. Input your passowrd and select authenticate in order to proceed:

To the top right select the Drive Dropdown Menu:

Select your USB Flash Drive (this can usually be identified by the file size):

Right click any partition on the drive and select Unmount:

In theory we can create a Bootable USB with a GPT Table and a single NTFS Partition. However in practice this Bootable USB won't display in the Boot Menu of some Dell Systems when Secure Boot is Enabled. Some Dell systems require a FAT32 Partition to pass Secure Boot… Therefore we will create a Bootable USB with a GPT Partition Table, a FAT32 Boot Partition and a NTFS Install Partition.

Now select Device and Create Partition Table:

Make sure it is GPT and select Apply:

Right click the Unallocated space and select New:

Change the New size to 1024 MB, the file system to fat32 and the label to BOOT:

Right click the remaining Unallocated space and select New:

Ensure the File system is NTFS and the label is INSTALL:

Now apply the changes:

Select Apply at the warning:

Then select Close and Close GParted:

Copy Windows Installation Files

Now right click your Windows ISO and select Open with Disk Image Mounter:

Navigate to its contents. You will see a sources folder:

Within this is an install.wim file which exceeds 4.0 GB. Note 4.0 GB is the upper file size limit of the FAT32 file system and therefore this file will not fit on a FAT32 Partition.

Copy everything on the ISO to the FAT32 BOOT Partition of your USB except the sources folder:

In its place create your own sources folder:

Copy the boot.wim from the ISO sources folder to your BOOT sources folder:

Now copy all the files from the ISO (including the sources folder) to the install.wim:

Once all the files have copied over you have a Windows 11 Bootable USB.

Intel Rapid Storage Controller/Intel VMD Drivers

When you are reinstalling Windows 11 or Windows 10 on a system with an 8th, 9th, 10th or 11th Intel and the RAID SATA Operation, you will need to load additional storage controllers in order to recognise your storage controller to see your NVMe SSD. Download the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver from Intel and extract it and copy the extracted folder to the install partition of your USB Flash Drive: