14 January, 2014

How to install Windows 7 from USB flash drive

         Your computer has no DVD drive or it's broken and now you want to install Windows 7 on it. This guide will help you to create a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 7 using DiskPart utility (DiskPart command in Windows XP is unable to create a bootable USB flash drive). There are many methods will help you to do that but this is the one I like the most. Just a few Windows commands and we don't have to install any additional software.

        First of all, you need a computer to work with, and a USB flash drive that is big enough to hold the contents of Windows 7 DVD. In this post, I'm using a computer running Windows 7 and 8GB USB flash drive (4GB is enough).

Make sure that you back up any data that you have on the USB flash drive before you begin because we will need to format it.

1. Connect USB flash drive to the computer which you will use to prepare the drive.

2. Locate the Command Prompt shortcut on the Start menu (by typing cmd or Command Prompt). Right click on it and select "Run as administrator", then respond appropriately to the UAC:

3. Launch DiskPart utility by typing diskpart on the command line:

4. Locate the USB flash drive using the list disk command:

As you can see, my USB flash drive has detected as Disk 1 by checking the Size column, it shows as 7498MB which is roughly 8GB.

5. Select USB flash drive:

6. Use clean command to remove all the partition or volume formatting information from the disk:

7. Create primary partition and mark it as active:

8. Format the drive as FAT32 file system or NTFS, then allow the drive to be assigned a drive letter using assign command:

Type Exit command to exit diskpart environment.

9. Copy Windows 7 files from installation DVD or extract from an ISO disc image to USB:

10. Go to Command Prompt and navigate to boot folder. Use command bootsect.exe /nt60 F: (F is my USB drive letter) to make the flash drive bootable:

You are now can close the Command Prompt windows and use USB flash drive (boot from USB) to install Windows 7.

11. To boot from USB, you have to set the BIOS to boot from USB first instead of the hard drive (or select USB as boot device in the boot menu). The key to access BIOS settings or boot menu varies by manufacturer, but is usually F2, F10, F12, or Del.


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