Installing or reinstalling an OS can be a difficult task for users who are not very experienced. Most often, this is done with a USB drive, but can it be done using an SD card as well? You can install Windows 10 on an SD card. It’s not as simple as using a USB drive, as there are a few steps to follow and things to consider.
Use of SD Cards
Why choose an SD Card
SD cards are small, portable and available in most cases. SD cards are a good alternative for devices that have limited USB ports or don’t boot from USB. While using an SD Card is technically possible, we don’t recommend it for several reasons. We’ll discuss these in the following sections.
Challenges and considerations
Many computers’ BIOS (the firmware which initiates the booting procedure) does not support booting via SD card reader. This is especially true for older systems. SD cards are also slower and less durable than USB sticks. This can affect the installation process.
Install Windows 10 on an SD Card
What You Need
You’ll first need to download a Windows 10 ISO image file from Microsoft’s site. You will also need a SD card that has a minimum capacity of 8GB, though 16GB is preferred. A tool such as Rufus can be used to create a bootable SD.
How to create a bootable SD card
Follow these steps to create a SD card that can be booted:
- Download Rufus This open-source, free tool allows you to create bootable USB devices and can also be used with SD cards. Install and open Rufus after downloading.
- Insert the SD Card. Be sure to backup any important data, as this process will delete all data.
- Set the Parameters Select your SD card in Rufus from the dropdown menu. Click ‘Select” next to the ‘Boot Selection’ option and select the Windows 10 ISO you downloaded. Make sure the UEFI or BIOS target system is selected and that the partition scheme is set to MBR.
- Start Process Click on ‘Start” to start the process. Rufus will format your SD card, make the SD bootable and copy Windows 10 installation files to it.
Booting from SD Card
After creating your SD card bootable, restart your PC and enter BIOS/UEFI (normally by pressing F2, F10 or DEL at startup). Find the boot order setting and move the SD card reader at the top. Save your changes, then exit BIOS/UEFI. Now, your computer should boot from the SD Card and begin the Windows 10 Installation process.
It is possible to install Windows 10 on an SD card, but it’s not always the most convenient or best method. The process can be complicated by issues such as slower speeds and limited BIOS/UEFI booting support. USB flash drives are usually a simpler and more reliable option.
If you are in a situation that requires an SD card, it is still a viable option.