MikroTik is a widely used networking company famous for its RouterOS, which provides users extensive networking capabilities at an affordable price. However, if you have a newer computer that does not come with a CD/DVD drive, it may be challenging to get the software for RouterOS installed and up and running. With that said, you may be wondering if you can use a USB drive to install the application instead.
The following guide will break down all of the steps you need to take for installing MikroTik on your PC by using a USB drive.
How to Install MikroTik on PC from USB
The following steps should be taken to install MikroTik on PC from a USB:
- Get the correct USB flash drive – the drive must have at least 4GB of free storage space, but 8 GB is preferable.
- Download the latest version of Windows to your PC – if you try to operate on older versions, such as Windows 7 or Vista, you will need an ISO image file of the installation disk for MikroTik.
- Download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool– this tool allows you to use your USB flash drive as an installation drive.
- Run the media creation tool – select “Upgrade this PC now” and follow all prompts. You will not lose any files but will be able to perform a clean install on your computer from the USB drive.
- Reboot your PC – this process will look different for different computers. However, upon rebooting your computer, you need to be on the lookout for the “BIOS” or “BOOT” menu key when the manufacturer logo appears. Press the key to open the menu and change the boot order, looking to prioritize RouterOS.
- Check for MikroTik – the latest version of RouterOS (starting from v3.0rc5) is available when booting your PC from a USB. Using this feature, you can test how your PC will work as a router.
- Run the latest version of RouterOS from the USB – this will allow you to test how well the system is functioning and allow you to install RouterOS on other PCs using Netinstall and the USB flash drive.
How to Install MikroTik on USB Drive Using Netinstall
If you are having trouble getting MikroTik installed on your computer by using your USB drive, perhaps the issue lies in the fact that, depending on your computer and Windows version, you may need to use MikroTik Netinstall software to get RouterOS saved to a USB flash drive.
Use the following steps to ensure that you have MikroTik installed on your USB drive:
- Choose the correct USB drive– again, having a drive with at least 8 GB of free storage space is preferable.
- Download the Installer File RouterOS x86 ISO – start on the MikroTik download page and search for the x86 section. Choose “CD image installer” with the extension .iso.
- Download the Netinstall installer software – on the same download page, continue scrolling and select “Netinstall.”
- Select preferences – in the window that pops up, there will be several preferences that you must confirm. In the top box for routers and drives, make sure that removable media drive F is selected. Click “install.” In the lower box for packages, click “browse.” A selection for “routeros-x86” should appear. Click on this selection.
- Extract Software Netinstall MikroTik – you may extract the first Netinstall zip file or open it immediately.
- Format USB flash disk – use a FAT32 system to first format it as USB FD. Check that there is no important data in the drive.
- Copy process RouterOS files to flash disk – make sure the USB drive is highlighted in the pop-up window and select “start” in the control box.
- Insert the USB drive into your PC – upon booting your PC, the RouterOS software should be recognizable and ready to be installed.
What is Netinstall?
Netinstall is a tool designed for Windows operating systems, and it is extremely helpful when installing RouterOS via USB port. Netinstall reformats the device’s disks and copies over fresh files onto the system’s disk, which can help solve multiple issues if RouterOS is not installing properly. Always use Netinstall if you are having trouble with any MikroTik installations.
If you are unsure about the status of Netinstall on your PC, use this extensive checklist to ensure its functionality:
- Download Netinstall from the MikroTik page.
- Download RouterOS from MikroTik’s main package.
- Disconnect your PC from Wi-Fi, Ethernet, LTE, or any other type of network connection.
- Open “Start” and “Settings.” This will allow you to configure a static IP address for your Ethernet interface.
- Open “Network” and “Internet.”
- Select “Change adapter options.”
- Right-click on your Ethernet interface and select “properties.”
- Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click “properties.”
- Check “Use the following IP address.” Make sure the fields are filled out to MikroTik configurations.
- Open your downloads folder and extract the netinstall.zip file to a convenient place.
- Run netinstall.exe.
- Always allow access for Netinstall in public places.
- Connect your MikroTik to your computer using an Ethernet cable.
- Power up your PC and put it into Etherboot mode.
- Wait for the MikroTik to show up in Netinstall to complete the process.
MikroTik is a popular networking company, most notable for its RouterOS that provides many network solutions at an affordable price. However, if you have a newer computer that does not have a CD/DVD drive, it may be difficult for you to install the necessary RouterOS software. Using the helpful guide listed above, you can effectively install MikroTik on your PC using the USB drive.