I tried to create a Windows 10 USB boot medium with WoeUSB. I formatted a USB drive with an NTFS partition, but WoeUSB complains with:

Installation failed!
Exit code: 256
Log:
WoeUSB v@@WOEUSB_VERSION@@
==============================
Mounting source filesystem...
Error: File "/media/woeusb_source_1543626298_6098/sources/install.wim" in
source image has exceed the FAT32 Filesystem 4GiB Single File Size Limitation
and cannot be installed.  You must specify a different --target-filesystem.
Refer: https://github.com/slacka/WoeUSB/wiki/Limitations#fat32-filesystem-4gib-single-file-size-limitation for more info.
Unmounting and removing "/media/woeusb_source_1543626298_6098"...
You may now safely detach the target device

I've also tried to start WoeUSB via command line, did not work.

sudo woeusb --partition Win10_1809Oct_English_x64.iso /dev/sdb

My iso is located in: home/sawyer/Downloads/Win10_1809Oct_English_x64.iso

Thanks in advance! I've been trying to get windows installed for three nights now, so any help towards that goal is greatly appreciated.

Some third-party installers, like your Win10_1809Oct_English_x64.iso, feature Windows installation images greater than 4GB making FAT32 as target filesystem impossible. NTFS filesystem support has been added to WoeUSB 3.0.0 and later. If your version of WoeUSB is earlier than 3.0 please update it. The latest version of WinUSB at time of posting this answer is 3.2.10.

For WoeUSB v3.0 and later the --format command-line option is no longer available.

  • 1
    My USB is 8GB. My interpretation of the warning was that FAT32 formatted USB's can not handle files larger than 4GB, so it's necessary to format in NTFS. Thing is, I have formatted my USB in NTFS, but it's like WoeUSB can't see that. – SLD Dec 1 at 1:27

Couldn't reproduce the error as running that command produced a different error (check_runtime_parameters: Error: Target media "/dev/sdb" is not an partition!).

What seemed to work was to wipe and build a boot drive from scratch with:

sudo woeusb --tgt-fs NTFS -d ~/Downloads/Win10_1809Oct_English_x64.iso /dev/sdb

I tested the current woeusb from the PPA (running a persistent live Lubuntu 18.04.1 LTS), and the following command lines work for me.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install woeusb

sudo woeusb --target-filesystem NTFS --device path/windows.iso /dev/sdx

In my case the iso file was in /media/lubuntu/usbdata/images/ and the target device was /dev/sdb, but in your case check carefully that you will write to the intended drive (avoid destroying valuable data in some other drive),

sudo woeusb --target-filesystem NTFS --device /media/lubuntu/usbdata/images/windows.iso /dev/sdb

Notice that all partitions on the target device must be unmounted.


The created USB boot drive has a small FAT partition (for UEFI boot) and a big NTFS partition with the Windows files. It can install Windows both in BIOS and UEFI mode with woeusb 3.2.10.1 (dated 2018-09-19 (Sept 19 2018) in the PPA).

Using NTFS makes it is possible to use file size > 4 GiB. Typically the size of install.wim is

  • smaller than 4 GiB for pure Microsoft iso files
  • greater than 4 GiB for some iso files for particular computers, OEM, because of added program packages.

There is also a GUI version woeusbgui. I don't think is has the option to create a target drive with a FAT file system for UEFI plus an NTFS filesystem, so I would recommend using the command line version woeusb.

  • This answer worked for me recently, and as far as I can tell is the best of the answers thus far. – Thomas Ward Dec 3 at 16:00

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