Windows 10 is just around the corner, and a lot of users are now ready to upgrade free to the latest and greatest. However, there will be users who are still skeptical about Windows 10 and those who need more time to upgrade.
Many of those users who won't be upgrading immediately may opt to create a dual-boot system to start using Windows 10 alongside Windows 8.1 or Windows 7. After all, this could be considered one of the safest method to test an operating system.
Typically before beginning with a dual-boot setup (instructions that you can check from my previous guide), users will first need to download the Windows 10 ISO file for either 32-bit or 64-bit architecture from the Microsoft servers. Then they will try to create a bootable media using the "Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool", which for a good period worked pretty well.
However, most computers sold today, such as Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Dell XPS systems, and others, use a new BIOS called UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), which is a standard firmware designed to replace the old BIOS standard.
When you plug in the USB drive with the Windows 10 installation files and boot your computer, you'll probably notice that either (1) the bootable media won't be recognized or (2) you might even get some other errors, as many user have reported in the Microsoft community. If you try to do a clean installation using the "Custom" install you'll get a message that you cannot install Windows 10 because the partition you're trying to use is GPT (GUID Partition Table). .
This error could be the case if you use the "Windows USB/DVD tool", which creates a bootable USB drive using MBR (Master Boot Record) partition and not a GPT partition.
You can also try configuring the BIOS to use the "Legacy Support" to boot with the USB installation media if it wasn't detected before. However, you will probably get the error "no OS found" when rebooting your PC, so this isn't the solution.
Now, how you do solve the issue? While it will be a good idea for Microsoft to update its USB/DVD tool to let users customize the creation of installation media, the company wants you to update from Windows Update. But we know many there are many users who prefer to upgrade the old fashion way.
Using Rufus to solve the problem
Lucky there is an easier way, you only need the right tool. You need Rufus, a utility designed to create bootable USB drive for systems using MBR or GPT partitions.
Rufus is also a standalone utility, meaning that installation isn't required, just download, double-click the executable file, and you're ready to go:
Once you have Rufus open, the first thing you have to do is to choose from Device the USB you want to use to copy the Windows 10 installation files.
Then select GPT partition scheme for UEFI, leave the "File system" and "Cluster size" on the default settings, and remember to enter a label for the drive.
Make sure that Create a bootable disk using is checked and ISO Image is selected from the drop-down menu.
Next click the drive icon and open the Windows 10 ISO file you want to write to the USB drive, and click Start to finish.
Now, try to boot your computer with the new Windows 10 USB installation drive and you should be able to install the operating system normally alongside your previous version of the operating system.
Thanks for the tip @Swizzlerz!