Valve’s Steam Deck runs on a custom build of Arch Linux known as SteamOS v3.3. Valve mentioned that they plan to use a rolling update technique for Deck’s system software, even though SteamOS was originally created for Steam devices running Debian Linux. That said, we should keep in mind that, as demonstrated in this article, you can also install Windows on the Deck.
Steam Deck can emulate a variety of consoles, arcade devices, and even MS-DOS games, and that should come as no surprise. It is also important to note that there are several legitimate emulators that you can use to install and run your games.
With Valve’s SteamOS recovery image, you can go back to SteamOS if you decide not to replace it with Windows. You can easily switch between operating systems each time your device boots if you install Windows on a USB flash drive or SD card.
How to Dual Boot on the Steam Deck
Windows must be installed on a USB flash drive or micro SD card if you want to dual boot Windows and SteamOS. This is not possible with the built-in storage. Using an external USB-C drive is an option if you only need Windows when your Steam Deck is stationary and preferably plugged into a powered dock at home. The most convenient option if you want mobile access to Windows is an SD card.
Here’s how you can use a Steam Deck to boot Windows from an SD card:
1. Download Media Creation Tool for Windows 10 from Microsoft official website and get Windows 10 installation files.
2. Get the Rufus app and set it up.
3. Launch Rufus.
4. Choose the appropriate SD card or USB drive under Device option.
5. Select the Windows 10 installation file from the boot selection menu.
6. Choose MBR in the Partition Scheme section, then click Start.
7. Place a USB stick or SD card in your Steam Deck once the image is completely installed via Rufus
8. To start, press the power and volume up buttons simultaneously.
9. Choose Boot Manager, then press Enter after selecting the bootable device.
10. Once this is complete, Windows 10 will be installed on your device and you will need to follow the installation procedure. There is really nothing new as we follow the same simple procedure every time we install Windows 10 on any of our computers or laptops.
How to boot from USB?
Make sure the turntable is off, then press the Power button while holding the Volume Down button. Once the boot screen appears, release the Volume Down button and press the Volume Up button to launch the Steam Startup Manager. The system will take care of the rest if you do a good job creating the image or media you want to boot from. Keep in mind that you can dual boot Windows using your trusted USB drive and an SD card using Steam Deck.