This article published by MiniTool corporation teaches you three methods to convert Windows existing installation into portable ISO. It also introduces you to how to make use of the created ISO file and the benefits of using an ISO file.
About Create Windows 10/11 ISO Image from Existing Installation
ISO image here is a file that contains all operating system-related items. It includes everything that needed to boot up a computer or install the OS. To create a Win10/11 ISO image from the existing installation means to make a system image file based on the current Windows 10/11 OS.
Then, how to create Windows 10 ISO from existing installation? There are several methods.
Way 1. Make a Windows 10/11 ISO Image from Existing Installation by MiniTool ShadowMaker
Usually, you have to rely on a professional and powerful tool to create a system ISO. Such tools can pick up everything needed to build an image file from your computer and make sure the created ISO image is bootable. Below will take MiniTool ShadowMaker for example to show you how to make a bootable iso of existing windows installation .
Step 1. Download, install, and launch MiniTool ShadowMaker on your computer. If it pops up asking you for purchase, click Keep Trial to keep using it freely.
Step 2. When entering the main interface of the program, select the Tools option.
Step 3. In the Tools tab, choose Media Builder .
Step 4. In the pop-up new window named MiniTool Media Builder, click on WinPE -based media with MiniTool plug-in to select it.
Step 5. There is an Options button in the lower-left for you to specify which drivers to be included in the Windows 10/11 ISO image.
Add Drivers – To manually add drivers on your computer into the upcoming ISO file.
Detect Drivers – To automatically detect drivers that are compatible with WinPE from the running Windows.
Step 6. Next, select ISO File and choose a local location to save the ISO. It will start to create the Windows ISO immediately after you pick up a storage address.
Besides creating ISO files, MiniTool ShadowMaker also allows you to create bootable USB flash drives , CDs, or DVDs.
Step 7. Wait until the process finishes. It won’t take too long (usually within 10 minutes). Or, you can do your other business during the task is processing.
Finally, you can see the crated Windows 10/11 ISO image in the location you choose.
Besides creating a Windows ISO image from the existing installation, MiniTool ShadowMaker also enables you to back up files/folders, partitions/volumes, system, and hard disk drives. Actually, MiniTool ShadowMaker is more a data backup app than a bootable media creator.
Way 2. Create Windows 10/11 ISO Image from Existing Installation with Windows Media Creation Tool
The Windows Media Creation Tool is specially designed for building installation media or upgrading the system to Windows 10/11 . As for the installation media, you can use it to install Windows 10/11 on a different PC, a new copy, a clean installation, or just reinstallation.
Before starting, you are required to have a license to install Windows 10/11 with the Windows media you are going to create. Then, you can firstly download Windows Media Creation Tool on your computer.
Step 1. Click on the downloaded MediaCreationTool20H2.exe file to run it.
Step 2. Select Accept to agree to the applicable notices and license terms to continue.
Step 3. Choose to Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC in the What do you want to do screen.
Step 4. Select language, architecture, and edition for the Windows media. It will detect your current settings and select them as default for you. If you would like to change those options, just uncheck the Use the recommended options for this PC and specify new settings for the Windows media.
Step5. Choose ISO file in the Choose which media to use screen. Then, click Next to select a location on your local machine to save the Windows 10/11 ISO image.
You will need to burn the ISO file to a DVD later before making use of it to install the system.
Step 6. Wait until the system image creation completes. It will take a certain period of time depending on the different versions of Windows 10/11. For me, it costs me about 35 minutes to finish the task. Yet, you can work on your other business during the task with only a slower computer performance .
When it finishes, you can continue to use this tool to burn the created ISO file to a DVD. The detailed guide will be described below.
Way 3. Create Windows 10/11 ISO Image from Existing Installation via MiniTool Partition Wizard
Besides the MiniTool ShadowMaker mentioned above, the MiniTool Media Builder is also embedded in MiniTool Partition Wizard . Therefore, you can also rely on MiniTool Partition Wizard to build Windows 10/11 ISO images from an existing installation.
The way to make system ISO on MiniTool Partition Wizard is similar to that of with MiniTool ShadowMaker. First of all, download and install MiniTool Partition Wizard on your computer. Next, open the program and click the Bootable Media icon on the upper right. Then, the MiniTool Media Builder window will pop up and just follow the guide in Way 1.
Use the Windows 10/11 ISO Image Created from Existing Installation
In general, there are two ways you can make use of the Win10/11 ISO image file.
Case 1. Burn ISO file into CD/DVD/USB
No matter in which way you create the Win10/11 ISO, you can burn it into a CD, DVD, or USB and then rely on the DVD, CD, or USB to install Windows 10/11 or something like that.
You will need a professional ISO burner. The Windows Media Creation Tool itself is also an ISO burner. So, you can continue to use it to burn the created Windows 10/11 ISO to a DVD or USB.
For the first place, insert a USB or DVD into your machine. The target disc will be overwritten and the data on it will be deleted. So, make sure you have moved out all important files before using it to store the ISO image. A blank disc is recommended here.
Actually, when the media creation task completes, Windows Media Creation Tool will provide you two options, one for opening the location where the created ISO is stored and one for launching the DVD burner. Just click the Open DVD burner option, select the target disc in the new Windows Disc Image Burner window, and click Burn to start the task.
- You can check the integrity of the burned disc by ticking the Verify disc after burning .
- If you are informed that the disc image file is too large while burning a DVD from an ISO file, you will need to use Dual Layer (DL) DVD Media.
You can also access the Windows Disc Image Burner by right-clicking on the created Windows ISO file in its saved location and select Burn disc image . If you cannot see the option, you should first go to the ISO file Properties , and change the Open with app of the ISO file to Windows Explorer in the General tab. You need to click Apply to save the changes.
You can also use other applications to burn the created Windows ISO to CD/DVD such as UltraISO. Also, you are able to burn the ISO image into a USB disk with third-party tools like Rufus .
After burning the bootable disc, you need to change computer boot order settings to switch from the current boot disk to the new burned media, restart your computer to boot it from the bootable media, and enter the Windows installation. In the Install Windows screen, personalize your language , time , and keyboard preferences, select Next , and click Install Windows .
Case 2. Mount Windows 10/11 ISO Image
Besides, you can directly make use of the created system ISO. Easily, right-click on the ISO file and choose Mount . Within the mounted DVD drive, double-click the setup.exe to trigger the Windows 10/11 Setup . Then, follow the on-screen guidance to finish upgrading to Windows 10/11.
Actually, you can directly create a bootable CD/DVD/USB with the software above. Doing that, you do not need to further burn the ISO image into a physical disc or USB.
Why Need to Create Windows 10/11 ISO Image from Existing Installation?
Just as mentioned in the above content, the Windows ISO image file can be used to install a system or boot up dead computers. Compared with the bootable USBs, CDs, or DVDs, which has the same function as the ISO files, ISO images have the following advantages.
- No need for extra devices like CD, DVD, or USB.
- You can view its contents by mounting it as a virtual drive .
- You can run the ISO file on a virtual machine .
To install Windows 10/11, you can also make a system backup image and restore it to its original location (reinstallation) or another computer (clean installation) with MiniTool ShadowMaker. Yet, an ISO file is better than a backup image file for:
- Easier to be deployed on any computer.
- You can view its contents by mounting it as a virtual drive.
What’s quick access in Win1? How to remove, disable, clear, turn off, unpin, or stop quick access? How to add, enable, turn on, pin, or start quick access?
OK, that is all I want to share about creating ISO images from Windows build. If you have other methods that can achieve the same purpose, please share them with our readers. Or, if you have anything want to say about this topic, feel free to leave a message in the below comment zone. And, if you encounter any problem while using MiniTool products, just contact our support team at [email protected] .
PS: Most of the contents of this article apply to Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. Surely, you can create Windows 7 ISO image from existing installation by MiniTool ShadowMaker or MiniTool Partition Wizard.