I have 8 HP ProLiant DL380 servers that are mounted in a data center. I have to deploy Windows Server 2016 Datacenter operating system on all of them using a particular customer's (modified) ISO.

Unfortunately, the only way I can access this installation ISO is inside the DC security zone, which means I will have to create a bootable USB drive on-premise to install the farm. Another problem is that according to customer's SLA using any additional software for creating bootable drives is prohibited. Is there any way of creating a Windows Server 2016 bootable USB using only native Windows 2016 Server tools?

Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    Forget this and mount and boot from the ISO image in iLO. Feb 28, 2017 at 21:01

3 Answers 3


Yes. This can be done using native Windows commands like diskpart, bootsect and copy (xcopy).

Here are the guides that cover the topic exactly: https://www.starwindsoftware.com/blog/how-to-create-bootable-windows-server-2016-usb-thumb-drive-for-installing-os


Hope this helps.

  • 2
    Thank you so much!! The first link is exactly what I need! Feb 28, 2017 at 13:31
  • 4
    It would be better if you included the actual directions; links can and do go down. Mar 1, 2017 at 1:52
  • Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – Jenny D
    Mar 21, 2017 at 20:03

That should be possible.

  • Mount ISO image, say drive letter is x:
  • Mount USB Drive, letter y:
  • Run elevated cmd
  • Run diskpart wipe the drive and create an active partition:
  • Caution, this will wipe your disk! list disk, select disk <nr. of pendrive>, clean, select partition 1, active, exit
  • Copy bootsector -> x:, cd boot, bootsect /nt60 y:
  • Copy everything from ISO to thumb drive xcopy x:\*.* y:\ /E /H /F
  • Done.

Handle with care and double check those commands! This works for Server 2012 and should work for 2016, too.

  • 1
    This is golden! Man you should have a script and a blog page for that. Feb 28, 2017 at 14:52
  • Well, I think this works from Server 2008 R2 onwards...
    – duenni
    Feb 28, 2017 at 14:57
  • 1
    In my experience the USB drive needs to be formatted FAT32 and not NTFS in order to actually install off of for reasons unknown to me.
    – JBaldridge
    Feb 28, 2017 at 23:20
  • @JBaldridge UEFI require the bootfiles placed on FAT32 partition.
    – Martheen
    Mar 1, 2017 at 7:22
  • File creation error - The parameter is incorrect. when trying to copy a large file to the FAT32 parition. The file in question is 4.7GB sources\install.wim from the windows11 install iso.
    – J'e
    Nov 15, 2022 at 17:59

The closest thing that comes to mind is to use Microsofts own tool: Windows USB DVD tool

  • 2
    I am afraid this one will not pass. The requirement is quite clear - usage of pure Windows 2016 only is allowed :-( Feb 28, 2017 at 10:54

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