Legacy boot mode is essential for older computers that utilize BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) rather than UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) for booting. If you need to install or repair Windows 10 on a computer with legacy BIOS, creating a bootable USB drive is the way to go. Rufus is a powerful and user-friendly tool that simplifies this process. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to make a legacy bootable USB for Windows 10 using Rufus.



Before you start, ensure you have the following:

1. A USB Drive (8GB or Larger): This will serve as the storage medium for the Windows 10 installation files.

2. Windows 10 ISO File: Obtain a digital copy of the Windows 10 installation files by downloading the ISO from the official Microsoft website.

3. Rufus Software: Download and install Rufus from the official website (https://rufus.ie/).

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these detailed steps to create a legacy bootable USB for Windows 10:

Step 1: Insert the USB Drive

Connect your USB drive to an available USB port on your computer.

Step 2: Launch Rufus

Open the Rufus application. Note that you might need administrator privileges, so if prompted, grant them.

Step 3: Select the USB Drive

In the Rufus window, the connected USB drive should be automatically recognized and selected under the “Device” section. Ensure you have the correct drive selected, especially if you have multiple drives connected.

Step 4: Load the Windows 10 ISO File

Click on the small disk icon next to the “Boot selection” option. This will open a file dialog. Browse your computer to find and select the Windows 10 ISO file you downloaded earlier.

Step 5: Choose the Partition Scheme and Target System

Under the “Partition scheme and target system type,” select “MBR” (Master Boot Record). This is essential for legacy boot mode.

Next, under “Target system,” choose “BIOS (or UEFI-CSM).” This option ensures compatibility with both legacy BIOS and newer UEFI systems.

File System and Cluster Size

Step 6: File System and Cluster Size

Leave the “File system” as “NTFS” and the “Cluster size” as “Default.”

Step 7: Volume Label (Optional)

You can give your USB drive a name in the “Volume label” field, but this is entirely optional.

Step 8: Start the Creation Process

Double-check all your settings to ensure they match the ones listed above. Once you’re satisfied, click the “Start” button.

Step 9: Confirmation Prompt

A warning will pop up, stating that all data on the USB drive will be destroyed. Make sure you’ve backed up any important data from the USB drive, then click “OK” to proceed.

Step 10: Wait for the Process to Complete

Rufus will now start creating the bootable USB drive. This process may take some time, so be patient and let it finish.

Step 11: Completion

Once Rufus has finished, you’ll see a “READY” status in the lower left corner. You can now close Rufus and safely eject the USB drive from your computer.

Using the Bootable USB Drive

With your legacy bootable USB for Windows 10 created, you’re ready to use it. Follow these steps:

1. Insert the bootable USB drive into the computer you want to install or repair Windows on.

2. Turn on or restart the computer.

3. As the computer starts up, access the BIOS settings (usually by pressing a key like F2, F12, ESC, or DEL).

4. In the BIOS settings, navigate to the “Boot” or “Boot Order” section and set the USB drive as the first boot option.

5. Save the changes and exit the BIOS settings.

6. The computer will now boot from the USB drive. Follow the on-screen instructions to install or repair Windows.


Creating a legacy bootable USB for Windows 10 using Rufus empowers you to install or repair Windows on older hardware with ease. By meticulously following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll have a functional bootable USB drive at your disposal. Remember to always back up important data from the USB drive. That is a crucial step before initiating the process, as it involves formatting. If you need assistance with any writing tasks during this setup, you can always ask professionals to write a paper for me with Writepaper, ensuring you get quality content while you focus on your technical projects.